AREA 5 Kickstarts Video Game Culture Documentary Series 'Outerlands'

AREA 5 has launched a Kickstarter to help fund their documentary series on the people and culture of video games.

AREA 5, the studio behind The 1UP Show, I Am Street Fighter, and GROUNDED: Making The Last of Us, has turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund their next project, Outerlands.

A TV documentary series in the vein of This American Life, Outerlands will consist of hour-long episodes celebrating the best of video game culture and the people who are a part of it. With a long list of possible topics ranging from gaming in the military to the rise of eSports, Outerlands will shine light on the hidden stories not covered by traditional gaming media. “We’re hoping that we can tell all those stories that don’t really have a home anywhere else,” AREA 5’s Matt Chandronait told IGN.

In addition to the AREA 5 team, several other industry artists will play an integral part in the show’s production. Jim Guthrie (Indie Game: The Movie, Sword & Sworcery), Disasterpiece (FEZ), and Virt (DuckTales: Remastered) will be composing original music for the series, with Cory Schmitz (The Last of Us alternate box art), David Hellman (Braid), and Phil Fish (FEZ) in charge of art. 

Still not sure what to expect? AREA 5 has created a 7-minute Outerlands short to offer potential backers a glimpse of what the series will be like. The short introduces Frank Cifaldi, a game preservationist with an impressive gaming magazine collection. I won’t give away too much, but the human-interest piece is funny, nostalgic, and offers just enough to leave you wanting more.

The guys at AREA 5 are asking for $210,000 to help cover travel and production costs. They’ve also included a number of stretch goals that, if met, would provide for additional episodes, an original soundtrack, and freelancer budget. With a little over two weeks of the campaign left, the project has already earned $117,000.

The 18-month project is expected to be finished by July of 2015 and the team is already planning for future seasons. “There’s no better way to prove the reality of the fact that there’s an audience for this kind of stuff than to ask that audience directly to support the project,” Chandronait told IGN.

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Published Jan. 30th 2014

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