From Sega Retro
|Place of birth: United States|
|Date of birth: 1974-03 (age 47)|
|Company(ies): Renovation Products|
|Role(s): Spokesperson, Tester|
|Education: Fremont High School (1992), San Jose State University (Bachelor of Business Administration and Management Science; 1998)|
James "Jamie" Bunker is an American businessman and former tester and spokesperson for video game publisher Renovation Products, notable for being the face of the company's United States advertising campaign for their 1990 Sega Mega Drive horizontal shoot-'em-up Gaiares.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Bunker joined Renovation Products in 1989, and was one of the company's earliest employees. Employed as a video game tester, he was still attending nearby Fremont High School while working for the company, and was only sixteen years old at the time. Although one advertisement claims Bunker was employed as a game tester when he was only twelve, the minimum legal working age in California is generally fourteen, and Renovation Products was not opened until 1989. While he was possibly serving as an unpaid intern at another company when he was only twelve, the ad is likely instead referring to when Bunker developed a passion for video games in general.
While working for Renovation Products, he was regularly sent by the company to attend various Consumer Electronics Show events, and while working as a game tester, he formed a relationship with another Renovation employee who still remains "the love of his life."
Gaiares advertising campaign
In 1990, Jamie Bunker was selected by Renovation Products to be the spokesperson for the upcoming Sega Mega Drive game Gaiares' advertising campaign, with the photoshoots happening that same year. Bunker posed with the game's United States release in a series of three advertisements, with each labeling the seventeen-year old spokesman a "professional gamer". Contrasting with the often juvenile and exaggerative statements of other game advertisements of the day, Renovation Products' advertisements simply featured Bunker presenting the game with a recommendation of its quality; one even extolled Bunker's credibility as a game tester.
While generally considered quite humorous for its bold show of excitement, it has also been considered exceedingly genuine and charming by a number of modern critics. Having developed a modern reputation as one of the Mega Drive era's most fondly-remembered advertising campaigns, Gaiares has become strongly associated with Bunker in the Western world, and continues to be discussed and adapted to this day.
In May 2005, Bunker emailed Derrick Sobodash of T2D – The Second Dimension in response to a previous article written on the Gaiares campaign, revealing that he still owns the original prints of the three advertisements.
- Gaiares (US; 1991) — Endorsed by
also published in:
- Jamie Bunker at LinkedIn
- The Forgotten Professional Gamer article by Todd Ciolek at Kid Fenris (Wayback Machine)
- Unpublished: the real Jamie Bunker article by Derrick Sobodash at CinnamonPirate.com (Wayback Machine)
- Where Are They Now? article by Ray Barnholt at 1UP.com (Wayback Machine)
- File:EGM US 020.pdf, page 35
- http://www.1up.com/features/where-are-they-now?pager.offset=1 (Wayback Machine: 2015-11-06 00:18)
- http://cinnamonpirate.com/2007/07/unpublished-the-real-jamie-bunker/ (Wayback Machine: 2010-10-30 20:12)
- GamePro, "March 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 77
- Game Players, "Vol. 3 No. 4 April 1991" (US; 1991-0x-xx), page 33
- Game Players, "Vol. 3 No. 5 May 1991" (US; 1991-0x-xx), page 25
- Sega Visions, "April/May 1991" (US; 1991-xx-xx), page 33
- Game Players, "Vol. 3 No. 7 July 1991" (US; 1991-0x-xx), page 21