Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

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space_ace
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Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by space_ace » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:07 am

As most gamers know, Manic Miner was the first computer game in this country to sell over five million copies.

Blue Plaques have been around for 150 years across the country, so their references are largely historical, even though you are starting to see some new names being recognized for various contributions and successes. I do feel that now is about the right time that certain achievements and programmers should be recognized in this way, and I feel that a Blue Plaque in Holt Road, dedicated to Matthew Smith, would be a great way of commemorating that first, truly blockbuster, game.

If you asked anyone in the street, in that era, to name a computer game, then they would almost certainly say Manic Miner. It was a part of our culture at the time, and it brought joy to millions – in time, it will be part of history, but I would like to see it happen now, whilst Matt is still alive, and whilst it remains a fond memory for so many.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by joefish » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:36 am

Unlikely the National Trust would put one up, but you could try.
Some cities have their own less official plaque schemes you can nominate and fund, but it doesn't look like Liverpool does.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by Matt_B » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:50 am

The usual rules for blue plaques are that the person needs to have been dead for at least 20 years, so Smith hopefully won't become eligible for one for a good while yet.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:08 am

Does it count if he mentally left this planet over 20 years ago?
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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by space_ace » Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:51 am

Since 2003, living people may be commemorated, through popular vote, following public nomination. I don't see this as beyond the realms of possibility; a Facebook Group or online petition would undoubtedly attract thousands. Gaming needs more recognition in historical terms as a pastime, and a cultural part of our society - something like this could get the ball rolling for other such things..

Matt_B wrote:The usual rules for blue plaques are that the person needs to have been dead for at least 20 years, so Smith hopefully won't become eligible for one for a good while yet.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by Matt_B » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:04 am

space_ace wrote:Since 2003, living people may be commemorated, through popular vote, following public nomination. I don't see this as beyond the realms of possibility; a Facebook Group or online petition would undoubtedly attract thousands. Gaming needs more recognition in historical terms as a pastime, and a cultural part of our society - something like this could get the ball rolling for other such things..
Unless I'm much mistaken, it's only the London Borough of Southwark that's allowed living people to be commemorated. Still, if you can find a Matthew Smith related location there, good luck.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:44 am

space_ace wrote:Gaming needs more recognition in historical terms as a pastime, and a cultural part of our society
There've been some knighthoods and the like, what with Sir Clive and Jez San, possibly more.
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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by space_ace » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:59 am

True, I don't think there has been much at all for actual game programmers though - I don't think Jez San would have received his OBE without his other interests/technological skills.

His story is almost unique; no-one expected that a computer game could become a household name, no-one believed that a 17 year old could write a game in his basement that could sell 5 million copies. Even today, you have people like Ed Miliband saying that "Completing Manic Miner was a "pretty pivotal moment" in his childhood.

Antiriad2097 wrote:
space_ace wrote:Gaming needs more recognition in historical terms as a pastime, and a cultural part of our society
There've been some knighthoods and the like, what with Sir Clive and Jez San, possibly more.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by space_ace » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:11 am

I think you're right, different borough's seem to have different stipulations. Others seem to be open to making exceptions, wonder whether Liverpool would be? Probably not, but it is possible..
Matt_B wrote: Unless I'm much mistaken, it's only the London Borough of Southwark that's allowed living people to be commemorated. Still, if you can find a Matthew Smith related location there, good luck.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by Gigifusc » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:59 am

I'd support this. Matt Smith is a legend.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by joefish » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:32 am

It's not so much about different stipulations. Some councils have their own local scheme where they write their own rules. But most don't. They won't have the little heritage symbol at the bottom of their plaques either.

It's only the English Heritage scheme that operates over the whole country, and they don't vary their criteria.

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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by sscott » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:02 am

Gigifusc wrote:I'd support this. Matt Smith is a legend.
He is both a legend and a cautionary tale sadly. Don't get me wrongI will never achieve anything like he did but I think should have made a lot more of his talents!
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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by killbot » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:10 am

sscott wrote:
Gigifusc wrote:I'd support this. Matt Smith is a legend.
He is both a legend and a cautionary tale sadly. Don't get me wrongI will never achieve anything like he did but I think should have made a lot more of his talents!
Yeah, I think of him as the Syd Barrett of gaming. It was sad to read the RG interview with him years ago where he was living with his mum in rather reduced circumstances.
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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:13 am

It's a common tale for many artists. At least Matt's talents were recognised while he's still with us. Even if he didn't make much money out of it, he knows he's a significant part of UK gaming culture and history. Small reward perhaps, but it's something.
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Re: Blue Plaque for Matthew Smith in Holt Road?

Post by Gigifusc » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:41 am

I know some see him as a tragic figure, but he doesn't seem to portray himself as such. Every interview I've seen he seems comfortable with his life. Yes, I'm sure he wishes he could do whatever he wants with a sackful of gold, but he's lived a life.

He's given me so much joy from one game that I can never really repay him, so I choose to see him as a hero even if he doesn't see himself that way and his life didn't go the conventional way of rags to riches. Love ya Matty! :)

Edit: 2 games actually. :)

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