Games On Telly! And LAYDEEZ! Gasp!

Wrong girl. Never mind. Imagine tats, please.

Today, in between frantically packing my room away from the implacable builders who want to knock down my wall and acting as my brother’s enormous parcel receiving service, I escaped to a much warmer, less industrialised house for an hour’s coffee flavoured respite and a crafty bit of Star Trek: TNG (it’s on all the time! Digital telly is truly a marvel). While I was enjoying a bulgy headed woman telling everyone to be mates and explaining why the all basically look like humans with a dangerous self-modification fetish, up popped an advert (they have lots of these on telly). This advert was very keen for me to watch a program about these videogames that everyone is so keen on these days. They even showed bits of one! It had cowboys in it. And another, with soldiers. Can’t think what that might have been. The young lady who was trying to get me to watch this thing was very friendly, and had some tattoos and even some piercings! She clearly plays lots of videogames. She must be just like me. I’d be well in with a chance! I’d better watch.

Thoroughly impressed, I bent my browser towards the website for this awfully promising doohickey (and now, YOU CAN TOO), and read on. The following in particular caught my attention;

“GameFace is a new show we’ve put together with the simple intention of entertaining YOU…yes you who loves to play but isn’t gaming obsessed. Unlike other gaming related shows in the past, we’re not going to be interviewing games publishers or their developers, or ANYONE from the gaming industry to be honest. Why? Because they’re BORING! And we’re not going to bring you those all singing and dancing “exclusive looks” at games that aren’t even finished yet! There are plenty of hardcore gaming websites out there for that kind of hype creation.”

Hmm.

Games on telly, eh? Why is this so terribly difficult? People like games. People like reading about games. People like watching games (to an extent). We happily wander the internet looking at dreadful sites like IGN, Gametrailers, Metacritic. Why won’t this translate to telly-vision?

Games on telly has never worked. Never, ever. It’s always excruciating. I’m not ashamed of my fixation with impressing the laydeez in Outrun, but games telly always makes me feel subhuman. Am I one of the dreadful creatures that people are making this tripe for? Oh God I hope not.

Gameface’s answer to this is to claim that people like me (and you, I imagine) are cooler than that. We don’t want to see unreleased games! We’re not, like, obsessed or anyfing. We want to watch games on telly for the norks on the bird with the tats, innit? And pictures of CODMODWAR2, natch. Don’t talk to devs – they’re BORING. That’d be like someone talking to an author! Or a film director! Or an ACTOR. I mean, as if.

Clearly, this is the beginning phase of yet another humiliating failure for games on telly. Imagine how successful a film program would be if the producers desperately stressed to anyone with enough of an interest to check their web-o-site that the program wasn’t going to talk to all the boring people making films, and wasn’t being made for the saddos who were really into films. That’d pummel the X-Factor right onto sunday morning, surely.

It should come as no surprise to the morons who run Bravo that people are not keen on being treated as if they’re stupid. You can’t just fling a female at them and hope that woman+inane reviews = ratings dominion. It doesn’t work like that. But no-one in the mainstream media has the brass neck to suggest that games are anything more than brainless time passers for mentally inhibited adolescent psycho-pervs. Even Charlie Brooker (the man who could perhaps have made games telly work) shied away, fumbling explaining and apologising throughout his one attempt at games tv.

For games telly to work, someone needs to take games seriously. For this to happen, we need something that assumes that its audience is intelligent, interested in what games are and where they are going, and not just whether the new Medal of Honour has better guns/graphics/multiplayer than COD. Something like One Life Left, perhaps – but tellyvised. Gaming media needs to stop being embarrassed about its subject matter, and it needs to stop only talking to people who have had consoles since they were three and can finish Trials HD in six minutes.

Because good games are better by far than telly, or films. We don’t play them because we’re idiots. We play them because the good ones are great.

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One Comment on “Games On Telly! And LAYDEEZ! Gasp!”

  1. NightHunter Says:

    I know you’re not really that much of a fan of Yahtzee’s later stuff Paul, but I think GameDamage might be quite good if it finally gets aired. Yug, Matt and Yahtzee all know what they’re talking about and have a broad enough spectrum of tastes between them to keep most people entertained.

    Link to the trailer:


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