[GameSetVideo Treasures is a new column by the IGDA Preservation SIG's Andrew Armstrong, picking out and discussing some of the highlights of the Internet Archive's Game Videos collection, which preserves game-related archival videos for posterity. First up - some intriguingly elaborate promotional mockumentaries for two Microsoft-published games.]

First on this revamped GameSetVideo Treasures, we have a double feature of mockumentaries made by (at that time) Microsoft Game Studios employee Fred Northup Jr., promoting two Microsoft games made a few years apart.

Northup himself worked from 2000 to 2005 on various video games made by Microsoft, in addition to making these two videos. As a creative writer, he contributed to the story and scripts of games like Midtown Madness 3, Forza Motorsport and Project Gotham Racing 2.

The first spoof-ish video, The Man Behind the Motion was for Midtown Madness 3, and goes a little something like this:

The actual mockumentary features Michael White (under his real name), Motion Capture "Artist" -- who is the defacto perfectionist of the motion capture biz.

It's a rather fun video, especially the retro look at motion capture (with Pong or Pitfall) by his father, Moe, where the term "Mo Cap" was coined from. The cast as a whole appears to be from the Seattle based Unexpected Productions group -- of which Fred was a member before he joined Microsoft.

Microsoft put out their own press release when it got made, noting a few of production details like it being filmed in 3 days, and winning an audience choice award, but it's obviously meant to be virally spread -- like now!

[You can also download it too (WMV, 32MB).]

Nex up, Conker: Celebrity Squirrel promotes Conker: Live and Reloaded, a remake made in 2005 of the Rare/Nintendo 64 classic Conker's Bad Fur Day:

This mockumentary details the disappearance and finding of Conker in the feature "Celebrity Squirrel". In here, there's some very random interviews and "facts" about his life, including a good look at his bad language - including his part in Halo 2 being recast due to it.

Conker also puts together a rap single, "No More Tediz", heard in the credits. There's some funny moments, but not quite as consistent as the Midtown Madness one, in my opinion.

This film goes with a broader cast, and adds some 'celebrity' cameos, including Shaun Alexander (Seattle Seahawks), Cam'ron (rap artist), and Ryan Stiles (comedian) with Mike James presenting. There's some video game people on the cast too, with Halo's audio guru Marty' O'Donnell, and Conker's voice is properly done by the brilliant Chris Seavor. It's all pretty goofy, but... hey, this is a genuine cultural artifact!

[You can download it here (WMV, 85MB).]