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Brooker does games...again - Gameswipe


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Why? It's obviously bollocks. Reading a ton of books doesn't make you a great writer.

It'll make a good writer better, though. Exposure to ideas, exposure to language - even these basics are valuable. Christ, even reading bad books will be beneficial so long as the reader has a critical mind.

So I'd disagree. It's not 'obviously' bollocks, or even 'bollocks'. You're bollocks. And so's your mum.

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Sure, but what evidence is there that that's the case with game writers? None at all, it's just supposition.

Ther reason that game writing is crap is that either 1) they are crap writers; or 2) games are a crappy medium for conveying good writing.

You're right, it is completely supposition and it's simply a theory as to why there is a lot of bad writing. But considering he himself is in the industry as a writer, he may well have come across people who fit that description.

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It'll make a good writer better, though. Exposure to ideas, exposure to language - even these basics are valuable. Christ, even reading bad books will be beneficial so long as the reader has a critical mind.

So I'd disagree. It's not 'obviously' bollocks, or even 'bollocks'. You're bollocks. And so's your mum.

Spot on.

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I hated it too, it started out alright but when it hit the violent games causing issues it hit rock bottom, there's too much in it that is inaccurate and total bollucks.

Rab and Ryan's rant was boring bollucks mind, they had their speech during after the show's theme of how older games were truer and better than the current set, yet the programme never mentioned their love for current games, including GTA IV; which one of them spunked all over.

It's pissed me off a bit to be honest, it's misleading and melodramatic.

Very much like your post

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Brooker showing the violent and stupid teenage based market games like Wolfenstein and 50 Cent was obviously to make a point- not that "these are some of the games the general public will judge gaming on but we also have Ico and stuff" but that "yeah so what? Some games are violent and stupid- what the fuck does that matter you overreacting idiots?". And it was a point brilliantly made.

Showing the same stuff the media does when complaining about how evil it all this, but showing Brooker on his couch chopping up folk with an axe enjoying the hell out of it or pausing to to have a drink while burning soldiers alive. That to me was a much nicer counter point to the public than showing them beautiful like SOTC or something. Not to hide shamefully behind your stupid/violent games but flaunt them like big proud stupid willies. If you can flaunt even the worst of your hobby image wise, it shows you don't give a shit about mass acceptance. Just play what you want.

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It'll make a good writer better, though. Exposure to ideas, exposure to language - even these basics are valuable. Christ, even reading bad books will be beneficial so long as the reader has a critical mind.

So I'd disagree. It's not 'obviously' bollocks, or even 'bollocks'. You're bollocks. And so's your mum.

;)

If you're only going to come back here to state the bollocking obvious, you're wasting your own bollocking time as well as ours! Please point out where I said that it won't. You bollock.

What is bollocks, apart from the things that you like to have resting on your chin, is Linehan's bollocks about games writers not bollocking well reading bollocks anymore.

Sorry, I mean books.

'Cos he knows bollock all about it. For all he knows, all games writers read more than he does.

So bollocks to you.

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I wouldn't mind sending the BBC an email asking for more Gameswipe but the BBC site keeps leading me round in circles. All I can find is links to message boards, useless FAQs and blogs. anyone got an email address I could use as I'm sure they used to have contacts for this sort of thing.

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If the ratings were great on the night and it's still in the top five watched shows on iPlayer, it makes you wonder if there's been a sea change with BBC execs. With this sort of response, they must have gone from being apathetic and snobby toward gaming, to being desperate to not only commission a full series of this ....

But ALSO try and get other gaming culture centric shows onto their channels ASAP.

Though I predict the forthcoming one-off drama about Mr Sinclair and Curry will not rate anything as highly as this first Gameswipe did.

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Brooker showing the violent and stupid teenage based market games like Wolfenstein and 50 Cent was obviously to make a point- not that "these are some of the games the general public will judge gaming on but we also have Ico and stuff" but that "yeah so what? Some games are violent and stupid- what the fuck does that matter you overreacting idiots?". And it was a point brilliantly made.

Showing the same stuff the media does when complaining about how evil it all this, but showing Brooker on his couch chopping up folk with an axe enjoying the hell out of it or pausing to to have a drink while burning soldiers alive. That to me was a much nicer counter point to the public than showing them beautiful like SOTC or something. Not to hide shamefully behind your stupid/violent games but flaunt them like big proud stupid willies. If you can flaunt even the worst of your hobby image wise, it shows you don't give a shit about mass acceptance. Just play what you want.

Where does the extract of the guy commentating on FEAR 2 fit into that?

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Where does the extract of the guy commentating on FEAR 2 fit into that?

That was just to show there are mentals out there and like any hobby in the world, gaming will have it's share of lunatics. And for lolz

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The Graham Lineham bit confused me (maybe I need to watch it again). Were his examples meant to back up his point that game story writers didn't read? I thought they were satire at first.

Aren't the stories for a lot of games written by novelists anyway? I think Shadow Complex's story was and that didn't seem much different to the standard

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I think Linehan's point was that a bit of serious research from game writers, beyond watching a few films, wouldn't go amiss, not that developers should start hiring tired old hacks to write a couple of paragraphs to bookend whatever game they've cobbled together.

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The back story was for shadow complex, not the games narrative though.
The game's script is written by comic book writer and Star Trek novelist Peter David.

I'm not saying Shadow Complex's script is bad, I quite enjoyed it. It's just that the fact the writer had read (and written) lots of books didn't really make any difference.

Linehan's point seems to have been unsubstansiated then. I wonder what kind of research CoD4's writers did to know about the power of the male moustache...

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Is that Wolfenstein any good? I thought the axe bits looked hilarious.

It's not nearly as bad as some people made out. Multiplayer's awful, though.

What's interesting about some of the reviews for Wolfenstein is that they criticised the hub structure, and then when ODST did the exact same thing, it was widely praised for it.

As for the writing thing, I think the reason writers for other media rarely impress when it comes to games is that many of them have no real experience of writing for the medium so they don't know what works and what doesn't. That, and some of them probably just toss out a tweaked version of a rejected early script they wrote, seeing it as a quick buck rather than anything they'll be remembered for. And then you get those who likely do know what they're doing but half their stuff is cut or edited to fit the gameplay.

It's those who approach it holistically - making sure the script fits the game and the game fits the script - that tend to fare best. Valve's particularly good at this. Heck, Left4Dead barely had a story, and yet it's better-written than 99% of other games. Dead Space: Extraction is another good recent example, perhaps partly thanks to the structure of the game. It's a seamless flow between story and game.

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Aren't the stories for a lot of games written by novelists anyway? I think Shadow Complex's story was and that didn't seem much different to the standard

Yeah, but they're novelists that write Star Wars Expanded Universe books and Warhammer 40k books and TV show tie-ins for nerds.

It's like saying "They've got film writers on board!" There's plenty of shit films, the act of working in a medium that's not games doesn't automatically bring the respectability of that medium to games.

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If you base all your writing experience on what you see on screen then you have no point of reference for describing a scene/setting like you would if you had seen how the best writers do so in books.

I think the point that Graham Linehan (thanks Fry) was making that the writers he was refering to are simply writing dialogue/action without any thought as to what is happening in the environment around them, leaving it up to an art director who may be thinking of a completely different atmosphere than what the writer wanted.

The Graham Lineham bit confused me (maybe I need to watch it again). Were his examples meant to back up his point that game story writers didn't read? I thought they were satire at first.
I think Linehan's point was that a bit of serious research from game writers, beyond watching a few films, wouldn't go amiss, not that developers should start hiring tired old hacks to write a couple of paragraphs to bookend whatever game they've cobbled together.

Everyone seems to have a different interpretation of Linehan's comments!

Personally, I thought he was saying that developers should look for inspiration in sources outside the same few sci-fi/war/action/gangster/zombie films (Aliens, The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan etc), because it can help make a story and setting feel more convincing.

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Linehan's point seems to have been unsubstansiated then. I wonder what kind of research CoD4's writers did to know about the power of the male moustache...

Not really. He backed up the Driver thing and its 'good cop' thing pretty well. Unless we're saying his point is moot because Shadow Complex had a professional writer behind it.

It's a basic point really, he just tried to apply it to games. The more research you the better, in most cases. Getting all your ideas from Scarface and The Godfather to make a gangster based game, for example, is no better than writing an essay and referring all your points to the two core texts recommended for the subject. Sure, it might look good and play well but it's gonna look bad if you can't dig deeper for alternative ideas, especially when you've released four iterations of the same story already.

To that extent I agree, and I think my way of putting it is probably a bit better than Linehan's more direct, "read more books," approach, because books aren't suddenly the de facto source of good inspiration.

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The Graham Lineham bit confused me

Not as much as he managed to confuse and enrage the fella who's already posted (yet another) a Hilter/Downfall spoof video, off the back of Linehan saying that he met Gabe [Newell], referencing him as the guy who created L4D.

I reckon Mike Booth and other members of the Turtle Rock team wouldn't be too happy about that, just like Toby Gard was and maybe still is a bit miffed, that Ian Livingstone hogged a lot of the credit for Tomb Raider.

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Personally, as much as I like the guy's TV work, I found myself disagreeing with Graham Linehan's comments on Gameswipe. Anyone earning a crust as a writer is going to be reasonably literate so it's silly to suggest that they aren't reading books. There's also a hint of cultural snobbery going on there too... after all, why shouldn't games writers take their lessons from the best of movie writing, or for that matter TV writing? Seems like a good match to me. Never mind The Wire, even aiming for The Bill would be a good start.

Overall I liked Gameswipe a lot, though it would have been cool if they'd followed the Screenwipe format a bit more. By all means give some shit games a good kicking, but also champion a few genuinely great games too. I'm pretty sure it was Charlie's enthusiasm for 24 and The Wire that got me interested in those shows, so it'd be cool to see a similar approach to games.

As it was, Gameswipe seemed to be more about describing gaming to non-gamers, as well as discussing the way games have been covered in mainstream media over the years. Good stuff, nice seeing games discussed like they actually matter. Now, the next step is to actual cover games in the same way Screenwipe covers TV.

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Not read what folk have said in this thread, but seen a lot of negative comments on people's Twitter feeds that I don't get.

For me, like all Brooker's "wipe" shows, this was ultimately an entertaining show. There were a few little nuggets that I didn't know, and I really enjoyed some of the contributions from other folk (thought they all made good points, in truth), and so I'm at a bit of a loss as to why some folk are so disappointed. What exactly were they expecting?

The one shining moment I thought was Brooker's 50 Cent review (Wolfenstein coming a close second), which I think aptly tackled some of the well-crafted-but-ultimately-crap stuff that some studios focus on these days.

In short, I could happily sit through a series of that.

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Here here.

So for all those that were disappointed, what exactly did you want to see in this show?

A few of those runners stories from Screenwipe, only done with developers? Sure that would have been nice, but realistically in a one off episode, that and many other things couldn't fit.

Dredging out that shit Craig Charles fronted VR show is worthy of kudos. It was almost like the Fightbox of its day.

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The one shining moment I thought was Brooker's 50 Cent review (Wolfenstein coming a close second), which I think aptly tackled some of the well-crafted-but-ultimately-crap stuff that some studios focus on these days.

To me that was the only failure of the whole show. The Giant Bomb review absolutely nailed it, Broker didn't seem to "get it" as they say.

http://www.giantbomb.com/50-cent-blood-on-...-review/17-289/

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