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Brooker does games...again - Gameswipe


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That was a mess. Almost every segment I wanted to jump in and point out to the viewers how some obvious inclusion had been missed. We get a long review of Wolfenstein (who cares?!) and Dara O Briain talking about punishment in games, but no mention of the recent attempts at removing player punishment from games. We get a long segment on 50 cent but no counterpoint in the form of a mature but artistically accomplished game (ie Ico), instead we're shown only colourful fluff and ultraviolence with no mention of any of the interesting things occuring in the industry right now. Either the point got lost in the editing or was hardly there to begin with. And I love Charlie Brooker and the 'wipes. A really wasted opportunity which could work much better as a whole series. Brookers self-flagellation doesn't work so well when he's trying to stick up for the legitimacy of gaming whilst running endless montages of mindless shooters and ignoring everything interesting about modern gaming.

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Enjoyed that, but why spend so much time on Blood on the Sand? Sure it's easier - and funnier, I suppose - to tear down rather than build up, but dammit, I see enough crap games, show some good ones.

I also realise that the programme wasn't really aimed at "us". Even though it's obvious "we'd" all be watching.

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That was a mess. Almost every segment I wanted to jump in and point out to the viewers how some obvious inclusion had been missed. We get a long review of Wolfenstein (who cares?!) and Dara O Briain talking about punishment in games, but no mention of the recent attempts at removing player punishment from games. We get a long segment on 50 cent but no counterpoint in the form of a mature but artistically accomplished game (ie Ico), instead we're shown only colourful fluff and ultraviolence with no mention of any of the interesting things occuring in the industry right now. Either the point got lost in the editing or was hardly there to begin with. And I love Charlie Brooker and the 'wipes. A really wasted opportunity which could work much better as a whole series.

While I thought it was great, I do agree that it oversimplified things at times, and for a programme which was essentially saying that games aren't childish and full of killing, it spent an awful lot of time focusing on hugely violent games at the expense of the titles like Flower which shouldn't have just been glossed over with five seconds of VT and a brief soundbite.

Still, it wasn't aimed at 'us' - it was clearly a programme to inform the uninformed, and it did that pretty well (if less successfully than the excellent Newswipe).

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Enjoyed that, but why spend so much time on Blood on the Sand? Sure it's easier - and funnier, I suppose - to tear down rather than build up, but dammit, I see enough crap games, show some good ones.

I assumed that was in there to say "Look us gamers don't just like blood and gore, we like it when it's done right. Here for example is a game that looks like the others shown, but it's shit."

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While I thought it was great, I do agree that it oversimplified things at times, and for a programme which was essentially saying that games aren't childish and full of killing, it spent an awful lot of time focusing on hugely violent games at the expense of the titles like Flower which shouldn't have just been glossed over with five seconds of VT and a brief soundbite.

Still, it wasn't aimed at 'us' - it was clearly a programme to inform the uninformed, and it did that pretty well (if less successfully than the excellent Newswipe).

Perhaps with a full series it would have made a much more tangible point, but who except for gamers would watch 6 or 12 episodes on the subject? Kind of a lose/lose really. I don't see a TV show on gaming working until it recognises it as a growing medium, a cultural phenomenon and a budding (if misfiring and adolescent!) artform, and treats the subject seriously. An in depth critique of really just how far the medium has come, questioning why it still fails so flatly in many areas and yet succeeds uniquely in others. You know, a proper BBC4 documentary. Just replace the obscure German literary figures (or whatever...) with videogaming.

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maybe a little too much time was spent on violent games

That's what made me chuckle though, especially the bit when he stopped to drink a tin of pop and then carried on torching people. It was kind of the theme wasn't it? Then showing the classic clip of the man saying "if you look past the countless crude shooters, there is some interesting stuff to find", which is arguably as relevant now as it was then.

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instead we're shown only colourful fluff and ultraviolence with no mention of any of the interesting things occuring in the industry right now. Either the point got lost in the editing or was hardly there to begin with.

I think he was making that point - I loved the fact the show ended with that 1980s Tomorrow's World(?) footage with the phrase "there are good games, they're just hidden behind all the shoot 'em ups." (The more things change...) But I agree that it was undermined by spending all that time spent on 50 Cent, MadWorld, and and that crazy German guy's FEAR2 commentary. Although that was funny. :blink:

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That's what made me chuckle though, especially the bit when he stopped to drink a tin of pop and then carried on torching people. It was kind of the theme wasn't it? Then showing the classic clip of the man saying "if you look past the countless crude shooters, there is some interesting stuff to find", which is arguably as relevant now as it was then.

I think that's the thing that confused me the most about the show; having the final clip saying that there's loads of interesting stuff to find under the surface whilst in the main focusing on the violent, mediocre 'em ups. Saying that I did enjoy it and laughed plenty of times, especially at the old news footage and would like to see more - I just found it didn't really know what tone to approach the subject at.

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I enjoyed that far too much. Largely brilliant and largely rubbish in equal measure. Never have I understood the Edge marking system more. 5/10

if I could be arsed I talk more about the Ryan and rab contribution. Summat about willy's wife and plinky plonk marble music. Not played the original of the almost orchestrally scored latter then. Poor maria the housekeeper is no doubt spinning in her shallow grave. Snipe away, I never professed to be an expert. Or a wife, housekeeper or marble.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Alec Meer has reviewed it (that was quick):

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a patch on his Screenwipe or Newswipe shows – which is primarily the fault of deciding to cover the entire subject and history of videogaming rather than analysing/taking apart/building up a specific element. Not helping was that Brooker’s known and occasionally evident affection for videogames was drowned by the artificially poisonous tone throughout – the ultimate message being that games can be fun, but are generally pointless and loads of them are crappy. Which perhaps isn’t a million miles away from the truth, but, again, meant there was no sense of purpose to the show.
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the ultimate message being that games can be fun, but are generally pointless and loads of them are crappy.

That's based on the idea that his 'message' should be cheerleading about how great games are. If you make the logical comparison with Screenwipe and use it to make a judgment about television, you'll think it's exploitative, manipulative, irritating, and ran by exploitative, manipulative and irritating wankers, with the occasional gem in the sea of shite. It's a weird double standard to expect an air of overwhelming positivity for a games spin-off.

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