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Austin Comic Con ’10: Adam West Interview

I recently attended Wizard Worlds Comic Con down here in Austin, Texas.  It was my first Comic Con, which is weird because loving comics and growing up in New York City you would have thought that I would have gone to the New York Comic Con at least once, but alas no.  Maybe that was a good thing, because what better way to experience your first Con then to interview one of your idols?  One fateful morning in the late 80’s a young MoonDoggie was sitting in front of the television watching “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling,” and just as that went off the original Batman movie started, and ever since then I have been hooked on Batman.

As I was gearing up for Comic Con and I received my list of interview times and saw that Adam West was on the list, I got really excited and started doing some hardcore research and I found some rather interesting info which I doubted was true but figured I would ask anyway just to clear the air.  What I was very excited to find was an op-ed piece he did for a magazine back in the day about video games.  I thought to myself, “This is perfect.  I run a video game blog,” so I decided to open with his editorial.  For those who haven’t read his article, here it is via 1UP.com:

I’ve been playing with computers longer than most.  I had onboard computers in Robinson Crusoe on Mars, having learned in an episode of TV’s The Outer Limits that you can’t survive on the Red Planet without them.

Then, of course, I was up to my cowl in computers as television’s Batman. We had an Interdigital Batsorter, Chemo-Electric Secret Writing Detector, an Intergalactic Recorder, and other forward-looking implements.  In 1966, when the series began its three season run, all of that was science fiction.

Computers were playthings of the researchers at MIT, and satellite dishes were strictly for communicating with those brave pioneers in Gemini and Apollo spacecraft. The only “cable” I ever thought about was the one which carried telephone impulses to and from Europe (and now that has been replaced by far more efficient satellites.)

Videogames? In the sixties, that meant To Tell the Truth and What’s My Line? Today, a lot of the apparatus we had in Batman — dressed, of course, in less imposing names — is fact. And we’re lucky this is so.

My present-day fascination with videogames does not derive from personal affection. I prefer working out and skiing to playing videogames. But that’s a personal preference, not a value judgment. I happen to think that videogames are an ideal means to help broaden the imaginations of young people.

Take the character of Batman. Our show still draws heavy ratings whenever it’s shown, and I’m pleased that today’s relatively sophisticated audiences enjoy the unique meld of action and humor we had in every episode. Yet, I’d like to see a videogame which features Batman as he was conceived back in 1939: a shadowy creature of the night.

Once again I, personally, would rather play that part than play the game, but for all the people who don’t have that option, videogames are a great way to experience the thrill and challenge of being such an extraordinary figure.

Needless to say, adventure characters should be just one facet of video gaming. In the same way a painting allows us to gaze upon the faces and souls of people from another age, or a book permits us to linger on the thoughts of great figures from history and fiction, videogames can expand our awareness of the world as it is, was, or might be.

The medium is still in its infancy, but read this again in a few years and see if this prediction hasn’t come true: as video gaming grows, we will grow.

T1GN: Do you remember writing this op-ed all those years ago?

ADAM WEST: Just barely (chuckles).

T1GN: Do you still feel the same way now as you did when you first wrote this?

ADAM WEST: Absolutely, more so even.

T1GN: Why is that?

ADAM WEST: Video games today are ingenious creative endeavors.  With the advancements in technology, and the fact that hollywood writers and directors are getting involved in the whole process, I really do feel that video games are on par with movies as a form of art and entertainment, maybe even more so because of the interactive aspect of games.

(Let me tell you people, it’s crazy when you meet someone that you have looked up to since you were a little kid.  I have The Batman’s full attention.  No meet and greets and no one getting autographs while we talk.  He made his adoring geek fans wait on a gigantic line that was continuing to grow with each passing moment as we sat there and spoke for about 15 minutes. I felt like a god among men having everyone at the convention staring at me probably asking themselves “Why does that schmuck get to sit next to the legend?”)

T1GN: When I mentioned on twitter that we would be talking I was bombarded with questions to ask you, and I do not want to waste your time with all of them, but this question was asked more than any other.  Would you mind answering it?

ADAM WEST: Not at all.

T1GN: Apparently in the trivia section of your IMDB page it says that you had your dentist add a little black Batman logo to one of your molars is there any truth to this?

ADAM WEST: See for yourself (opens his mouth)

(I won’t lie I totally went in for a peak.)

ADAM WEST: (closes his mouth and laughs) No, there’s no truth to that but it would be really cool wouldn’t it?

Check out Adam West’s official website for news on appearances, his official fanclub, peruse his store, or even pick up a customized ringtone or e-card using Stargreetz.