-[Jump Button is a weekly column by Drew Taylor, written specially for GameSetWatch, that focuses on the art and substance of video game culture.]

In the world I'm imagining, Peter Molyneux is dead. His body is still flip-flopping in his grave, but the front page of the Sydney Herald Sun is of some tennis player who's drunkenly peed on a police car.

The Frag Dolls are pushing up daisies, the entire team wiped out in a freak mini-bus accident, and the UK's Daily Mirror has the headline, 'World's first pregnant man!'

Suda 51 has testicular cancer and the Indian Express is headlining new Bollywood fashions.

This is the future of gaming as we know it.

Karima Adibibe has keeled over, face down in a private hot tub, and the China Daily is excited about a new mobile phone carrier test.

Gabe Newell is beaten to death with a crowbar and the Norway Post is running a story on head lice. The Mexico Daily a story on Gordon Ramsey and Cathy Freeman. The Jerusalem Post a report on future uses of technology and dictatorship. And this is what we're heading towards.

Mario still exists; but they only roll him out for anniversaries. Special occasions. Historical exhibitions, correctly costumed in his trademark overalls and insignia hat. Sans 'It'sa me', of course, because such comments cause racial tension and promote negative stereotypes; and are boring.

This is the future of gaming as we know it. A maybe reality; content culture without mass media celebrities.

Bits in a bubble.

Wind back the clock now. Back to the Machinima Film Festival held in Melbourne, early 2007. To the breakfast conversation with Rooster Teeth Production's Gustavo Sorola, second floor of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Bircher muesli and scrambled eggs.

-Turn back the clock now, to Gus, to where I'm proposing the idea—mouth full of fluffy albumen and cooked ham, latte growing cold on the side—that for gaming to really break into the mainstream it needs more celebrities.

Gus responding without hesitation, 'I think that's really valid.'

Adding, 'Even before we started [the Halo-inspired machinima series] Red versus Blue, a few of us made and worked on Drunk Gamers, which was an alcohol and video game review site. At that time when we were making the web site, which was back in 2001, I think, we were looking at this web site and we said the same thing. We said that gaming needs celebrities.'

Gus, one of the people who put machinima in the spotlight, who describes himself as a 'pseudo-celebrity', saying, 'When you think of gaming and you think of video game-related celebrities you think of Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade. You think of a few select developers, and that's about it.

'At that time we wanted to be the celebrities that everyone associated with video games and then, of course, that web site died and it didn't work out.

'Without that much thought about it...'

Gus, his words trailing off momentarily, alluding to the success that's seen him go from Puerto Rican 'beach bum' to international traveler. 'I wouldn't say it's happened, but I'd say it's started to happen.'

'I think you need a mix of all types of people,' adds Gus. 'You definitely need developers, because they're the ones who fully understand the implications of the game and what's possible. And you need people who can give commentary about the gaming industry, which I think the guys at Penny Arcade do a good job at.'

Gus, a year ago, 'And you need, I guess, professional game players; I guess you have Fatal1ty doing that.

'I think you're really starting to see the first wave of that now. You need a healthy mix to get a full perspective on it. Just like in Hollywood. You have directors who are famous, actors who are famous, you have someone from just about every aspect.'

This is Gus and I, thinking about Pure Pwnage and Leeroy Jenkins. Over a year ago, thinking about celebrities such as Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw and Jack Thompson and Gerstmann-gate, even if they didn't 'exist' back then.

-This is Gus and I. Not thinking big enough.

Not thinking 'second wave', not thinking mass market.

John Romero and Stevie 'Killcreek' Case, only without the fizzle. Artists like Invader, with the metro daily profile of Banksy. Altruists, eccentrics, Billy Mitchell (post King of Kong), Uwe Boll. Only bigger. Alan Bradley, Velvet Strike, Brody Condon, All Your Base Are Belong To Us, but on a level equal to Paris Hilton, to Osama Bin Laden, to Justin Timberlake, to Princess Diana (post death, post conspiracy theories).

Gaming culture, only with 150% more people that other people are interested in.

This is the future of gaming. Bits and bods. Bits and bods and warm blips.

Kissable blips.

Gus again—talking about what he knows—saying, 'All it takes is. Really what it takes is a breakthrough work. That's all it takes for just about any industry. And once you have your own breakthrough [locally] I think you'll see a huge growth and [more] people doing it.'

A breakthrough, like a celebrity, I ask?

'Right. And then it's sort of like a competition. You'll have other people saying, “I could have done that better. I'm going to give it a shot.”

'And that's how it all starts.'

[Drew Taylor works in the games industry in Australia and writes video game culture articles for various magazines. He knows the secret to creating the first real mass-media video game celebrity, but will only tell it to the first person who creates a professional, 13-part YouTube series on how to make video game themed birthday cakes. Complete with downloadable recipes and patterns.]