September 27, 1976
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Matthew "Matt" Harding (born September 27, 1976), is an American traveler, video game designer, and Internet celebrity known as Dancing Matt for his viral videos that show him dancing in front of landmarks and street scenes in various international locations. Harding has since received widespread coverage of his travel exploits in major print and broadcast media outlets, and was hired by Visa to star in their Travel Happy campaign.
He began his game industry career working for a video game specialty store called Cutting Edge Entertainment. Harding later worked as an editor for GameWeek Magazine in Wilton, Connecticut, and then as a software developer for Activision in Santa Monica, California and then Brisbane, Queensland.
Harding claims that a sarcastic joke about the popularity of shoot 'em up games led Pandemic Studios to develop the game Destroy All Humans!, on which he received a conceptual credit. Saying he "didn't want to spend two years of my life writing a game about killing everyone", he quit his job and began traveling, leading to the production of his first video.
Where the Hell is Matt? videos
Where the Hell is Matt? is an Internet phenomenon that features a video of Dancing Matt (Matt Harding) doing a dance "jig" in many different places around the world in 2005. The background music in the video is the song Sweet Lullaby Dancing Remix by Deep Forest. The video garnered popularity on the video sharing site YouTube. There are now five major videos plus outtakes and background videos on YouTube.
The website has since replaced the word 'hell' with 'heck'.
Videogame development credits
Harding's development credits include:
- Destroy All Humans! (2005)
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
- Army Men: RTS (2002)
- Dark Reign 2
- Battlezone II: Combat Commander
- Zork: Grand Inquisitor
- Benji Lanyado (December 23, 2006). "Dance, dance, wherever you may be". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
In the year we became obsessed with YouTube and MySpace, perhaps it's no surprise that a blog of a bloke doing a silly dance around the world got five million hits [...] Tis the season to give out awards. So, here's another one. My award for Alternative Travel Hero for 2006 goes to (cue drum roll, split screen of smiling nominees) ... Matt Harding.
- Andrea Sachs (October 22, 2006). "The Guy Who Danced Around the Globe". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
So, where the hell is Matt? We found him in Seattle, but before that, Matt Harding, 30, was everywhere. In 2003, the video-game maker performed a silly free-form dance in more than a dozen countries, which he filmed and then posted on his Web site at http://www.wherethehellismatt.com.
- Gilden, James (September 17, 2006). "The Internet Traveler". Kansas City Star. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
The man in the video is doing some sort of quirky dance in a foreign land, arms flailing and flopping, feet moving as if walking over hot coals. There is nothing graceful or beautiful about the dance. Nonetheless it communicates an infectious joy that defies easy characterization. In short, it is fun to watch. [...] "It's just something I've always done," said Matt Harding, who created and stars in the video. "It's that dance that kids do when they're 2 or 3 years old.
- Jackson, Kristin (October 5, 2006). "Dancing around the world (and Web)". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
It's a 20-something's fantasy: Travel around the world, dance a lot and get paid to do it. [...] Matt Harding of Seattle made that dream come true. And he's turning into an Internet star, thanks to a short video he made of his recent trip that's become wildly popular on the Web.
- Mike Musgrove (July 13, 2008). "Product Placement Creeps Into Amateurs' YouTube Offerings". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
Matt Harding has this silly dance he does, this running-in-place thing where he waves his arms around spastically. If it had a name, you might call it the Excited Toddler.
- Travel the world with the currency of the world, 20 November 2008. Press release by Visa. "Visa's new travel-focused commercial recreates the dance made famous by internet celebrity Matt Harding in his self-made quirky video travel diaries."
- McGrath, Charles (2008-07-08). "A Private Dance? Four Million Web Fans Say No". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
Mr. Harding, who grew up in Westport, Conn., skipped college at the suggestion of his father,
- Jordan Smith (August 26, 2005). "Dancing Matt coming to town". Austin Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2006-12-16.
Harding didn't. "I … didn't want to spend two years of my life writing a game about killing everyone," he said
- "YouTube co-founder tells grads to be persistent, take risks". Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
- "Matthew Harding". MobyGames. Archived from the original on 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
Games Credited Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow (2006), Bethesda Softworks LLC [...] Destroy All Humans! (2005), THQ Inc. [...] Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), Activision Publishing, Inc. [...] Army Men RTS (2002), 3DO Company, The [...] Dark Reign 2 (2000), Activision Publishing, Inc. [...] Battlezone II: Combat Commander (1999), Activision Publishing, Inc. [...] Battlezone (1998), Activision, Inc. [...] Zork: Grand Inquisitor (1997), Activision, Inc.
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