Mind Gamers

Robby Rackleff as his comic and video game personality, Blue Leader

Robby Rackleff, an MFA graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, got his first video game from his hippie parents who were trying to lessen the blow of their divorce. It was a Game Boy… and then it was a Sega Genesis… and now it’s been every single console made since then.

A true fanatic, Rackleff has turned his life as a gamer into a surreal identity named Blue Leader. Blue Leader is the star of Do the Math Comics, a story arch built around the idea of all the X-Men “just hanging out talking about video games,” and several short films narrating the birth and evolution of the game systems that have brought Rackleff to alternate realities.

Here’s a bit from an interview Baltimore City Paper did with Rackleff that sheds a little more light on his obsession inspiration:

CP: Your video game lectures are often presented alongside bands, DJs, art openings, and other more typical forms of independent culture. Should people think of video games as an art form?

RR: There are a lot of games that can be considered works of art. Like Okami, where you’re this benevolent wolf being who’s bringing beauty back to a world that’s being manipulated and terrorized by alien demons. It’s so awesome. It’s such a direct opponent to something like Gears of War, which is about surly bad-ass dudes who are just slamming each other, yelling, “I love guns, and I love this shit, and I love blowing shit up! Yeah!”

Rackleff’s Dark Fortress Occult Master of Space: GENESIS GENESIS will be featured as part of Thursday’s Alternate Selves Film Screening, but here’s another sample from this unusual character, this time depicting the curious beginnings of Nintendo.

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