~ April 2004 ~
were looking into the "dangers and greatness" of professional
wrestling, it wasn't long before my games came under scrutiny. This interview
to ascertain my views on the phenomenon...
Could you tell me your name and a little about yourself?
I'm Mat Dickie. Operating under the abbreviated name "MDickie", I have spent
the past few years single-handedly creating interactive entertainment -
particularly wrestling games. I turned professional early last year, so
now I'm responsible for publishing the results too...
Explain your role in society as an
Independent Games Manufacturer?
represent an exciting new era of games, whereby one man can create something
worth talking about. The ability to produce something independently is
what electrifies all the great art forms - from movies to music. I do what I
want, when I want, how I want - which is a stark contrast to the formulaic
approach of commercial developers. While they produce Hollywood blockbusters,
I concentrate on more unusual games that push things forward...
Where does you main inspiration
come from to build game engines?
one thing that has always driven me is that what I want to play doesn't exist!
I'm so disillusioned with the state of the industry that I've had to take it
into my own hands. In my view, the current crop of game developers are
severely misguided. They care more about making "movies" than games. Nobody
dares to take a chance on gameplay and concepts anymore - so I've taken it
upon myself to keep those qualities alive...
I've seen a
lot of wrestling games, including
(of which I'm a big fan). How
big of a wrestling fan are you?
huge fan of wrestling - at least, I was when that game was made. However, in
recent years my passion has started to dwindle. Vince McMahon's WWE has
left a bad taste in my mouth. I've always respected the sporting side of the
business, but that seems to have been thrown out in favour of "shock TV". It's
unfortunate that WWE represents wrestling in the Western world, because
deep down I still love the industry itself...
What to you are the benefits of wrestling on people?
At its best, wrestling is an absolute phenomenon of entertainment. It's got
all the honour and tradition of a sport, plus all the excitement and glamour
of a Hollywood movie. There's nothing like it in the world, and that's very
appealing. For a lot of kids, it's as close as they come to "sport" too. It
gives them a whole range of athletic role models to look up to, that they
perhaps wouldn't otherwise have. It certainly got me into fitness...
What negative effects does wrestling have?
That's the dilemma. Whilst it's fun to imitate their fitness, it's also just
as tempting to imitate their stunts. They make it look fun and they make it
look easy. Obviously that can have disastrous effects. I don't believe there's
anything we can do about it though. At the end of the day, you've just got to
trust that people will exercise a little common sense. If they don't, they
deserve everything they get...
Would you say your products are promoting bloodshed
Yeah, I can't deny that my games are violent. But if you look closely, you'll
find that they're infinitely more respectable than the other games that
are out there. When somebody dies or gets crippled in my wrestling games,
it shocks you. It's not a gratuitous thing that happens for no reason, with no
consequences. You're responsible for the wrestlers, and you feel bad when
you've lost one of them. You even participate in a memorial show, for God's
As a child, who were your icons
and did you ever partake in playfights?
I first fell in love with wrestling, I was drawn to the usual suspects like
Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. I fell for it big when I was a kid! I
practically lived and breathed it, so it was inevitable that I would imitate
If you did participate in
playfights, were there any
the contrary, I have fond memories of my wrestling exploits. One day the
teachers were so fed up with it that they dedicated our PE lesson to it (to
get it out of our systems, presumably). We had a series of Battle Royals on
the exercise mats - and we could scarcely believe our luck! I did well in them
too, and even won one of them. For a kid that wasn't
good at any other sports, it was a rare chance to shine. I enjoyed
every second of it...
Are people dumb to imitate wrestling?
little rolling around is fine in my view - like Stu Hart did in the dungeon.
However, I do have a serious problem with backyarders that equate "wrestling"
to brutal acts of self-abuse. I've got no respect for them whatsoever - and
neither have wrestling trainers. If you want to make it in this business,
become more of an athlete than a stuntman. Follow Bret Hart and Kurt Angle's
example - not Mick Foley's...
Why is it that people who watch wrestling see the 'Don't
warnings, but frankly don't
It's just far too tempting. Wrestling fans look up
to those guys like nobody else, and they want to imitate them in every
possible way. Deep down, a sensible kid knows where the line is. I, for
one, always respected how tough wrestling was - and wouldn't dare take it too
far. Even if you do, it only takes one "close shave" to scare you
away for life...
What's in the future of wrestling
gaming, and how will you make a difference?
don't know if the future of wrestling involves me right now. This latest
series is the last for the time being, but I'd like to think that it's a good
finale. Between the 2 games in the Wrestling MPire series, I feel I've
created a simulation of the whole wrestling experience - from the office to
the ring. That should be enough to keep wrestling fans entertained for years
to come. I've taken wrestling to places that it's never been before or since -
so in that respect, I'm sure I've made a difference...