Disneyland's quietly becoming a bit of a video game star. In the last 18 months, it's provided the inspiration for two separate big budget releases: Junction Point's troubled - and dangerously lavish - Wii oddity Epic Mickey, and Frontier's lovely Kinect: Disneyland Adventures.
Amongst the dozens of things that video games and Disneyland have in common - a fascination with sight lines, a focus on visual progression and fantastical architecture - is an overabundance of non-player characters. I should know. A few years back, I was one of them.
For a few short weeks towards the end of the 1990s, I worked at Disneyland. It's the reason I can put pirate alongside barista, insurance clerk and mailroom boy on my CV.
My tenure was extremely brief, but I took the role seriously. Californians know that Disneyland isn't just an amusement park created by an entertainment company. It's something else: a crucial part of the Golden State's weird psyche, a contributing factor to its unrealistic expectations. I spent my swashbuckling days standing underneath a fig tree in New Orleans Square, right outside of Pirates of the Caribbean, and I delivered my one line - "Yo ho, keep to the left," - with a sense of drama it perhaps didn't entirely deserve.
Ten million selling Xbox 360 motion-sensing add-on Kinect is the most accurate analogue input device gamers have ever had, Elite creator David Braben has said.
UK game developer legend David Braben is known for creating Elite, one of the most influential games of all time. But these days he's one of the brightest minds in Kinect game development.
By Kinectimals dev Frontier.
The trajectory of most new video game hardware is a lot like the trajectory of a really good game of Defender: you fight for survival, you struggle to meet a specific set of criteria, and once you've done all that, the second wave swoops in and it's back to the grind. Hardware can't hyperspace its way out of trouble though. That bit of the analogy doesn't work.