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How Videogames Changed the World - Brooker


KartoffelKopf
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Enjoyed it, as a casual list of important milestones in games it was quite well thought out. They were always going to miss big milestones here and there but overall it's a solid list. Personally I much preferred Gameswipe as I think that's something that is desperately missing from mainstream TV which was mainly just making fun of videogames. The talking heads were very hit/miss, I liked the Guardian Guy who was able to explain at least in a very basic sense within limited time about the complexity of some seemingly simple games. That labyrinth rapper guy though? He just didn't belong in the show at all and brought nothing to the show.

I do love the history of videogames, it's quite amazing how it all came to be and am sure future generations will be interested to hear, see and even play Pacman etc for the first time as they were not around in this pivotal moment on this planet. Also it gave me a warm glow because I was thinking about iconic games yesterday and was wondering 'Do we have games that are as revolutionary and important as Pacman, StreetFighter, Mario, Doom, Elite etc anymore? Especially in the last decade? I'd sort of forgot about Wii Sports, MineCraft and Mass Effect. It's good to know games continue to evolve and do new exciting things.

Also, TOTALLY forgot about that Pacman board game!!!! I had it yet it had been wiped off from my brain.

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I thought it was great. My wife doesn't really play any games apart from Animal Crossing, Candy Crush and the odd multiplayer game with my son when I'm not around, and she found it really interesting and enlightening - she asked me about Journey and Papers, Please as a result of it, and I think as a snapshot of the best (and occasionally worst) of the medium it covered a lot of ground in 100 minutes. I learned a couple of things I didn't know before I watched it. The only thing I found slightly odd was that Pokémon was entirely ignored - not only is that still a hugely successful franchise, but it's been very influential.

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I did notice that too. "Mindless shooter", but i doubt charlie chose that clip. I made my mother (who is a gamer) sky plus it and im even going to get her to watch indie game. I told her a lot about fez at the time, shes very into quantum physics type sci fii and whatnot, and she's watched me play most of these games for the last 30 years. I have no doubts she'll understand gaming even better after watching this, its walking a really tough tightrope between being interesting to us gamers, entertaining and explanatory to non gamers, and being acceptable saturday night TV. I think it could have been 5 hours long and still worked too, showing stuff like the Korean obsession with Starcraft in more depth for example. This may sound silly, but i like to see proper adults discussing and acknowledging videogames without any stupid hyperbole on TV.



Iain Lee/channel 4 did this better a decade ago

He definitely didnt, his show was far more "games eh!, theyre mad! what a guilty pleasure".

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I think if they included enough games to counter the "Why wasn't Game X in this TRAVESTY of a programme?" argument, the show would just have been Charlie Brooker reading out a list of games for two hours while the music from Robocop on the Spectrum plays mournfully in the background. It's a quirky list of games put together by individuals, not the definitive list of all the games that ever have or ever will matter.

Anyway, it was really good - less funny than I thought it was going to be, but very interesting and with some incredible footage. That bit of a guy at a rave being interviewed confusedly before going MENTAL was jaw-dropping. The bit about Elite was nice and involved as well.

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I agree. The game clips were well chosen and shows someone must have worked very hard getting these old computers to talk to video capture then playing them to illustrate the point. Only once or twice did I see them default to trailer footage.

That lots of people liked it on here and said their non-gamer friends liked it too shows they did a fairly good job of appealing to both audiences. Having a foot in each camp so-far-apart-they-were-doing-the-splits might account for the bulky running time.

Where in this multi-chambered termite's nest do we talk about the potential of gaming on TV without referring to a particular programme?

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It's not news that Mr. Rab is now basically an East Londoner

Oh really?

Mate, I don't live in London. Glasgow, mate.

I'd never leave this country, like some traitor.

I'd go if I lived in London.

But then, if I lived in London, I'd be a fucking cock-end.

:quote:
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I thought #1 was a bit of a strained analogy (which you could apply to almost anything, the game of life, having a job, salary = points or whatever) but on the whole I liked the show.

I disagree with that guy that said the AC130 section wasn't a statement, that's always how I interpreted it. The distancing, the blurry camera, the lack of challenge, the lack of threat, the bored professionalism of the spotter deadpanning "Enemy KIA" and "Good kill, good kill."

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Did anyone watch Indie Game The Movie afterwards? Fascinating watch, I thought.

Watched it when it came out. It's worth watching for Team Meat alone. GO TEAM MEAT!

I thought this was 'okay'. It could have removed quite a lot of the criticism around it by simply changing the 'countdown' to the year.

I would have preferred more of a documentary format akin to Gameswipe than a bunch of talking heads too. I thought Labyrnth was probably the best of the bunch tbh, with his comparison of the tube music in Super Mario to a grime beat (true!) and his story about winning a fight using Tekken moves. The guy from the Guardian was excruciating to watch, full of himself.

The twitter stuff was just Brooker craming something controversial in. I love twittter more than most, and whilst it shares similarities with gaming, it's not a game. It's a communication and promotion tool.

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The problem I had with the show is that they tried to stick with the standard Channel 4 style of including a countdown from something to one. No need whatsoever.

No need for Dara O'breeen or Johnathan Ross either. They provided zero input really.

Not bad for a mainstream Saturday night program though, quite nostalgic in parts!

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t's really disappointing to hear that its yet another example of this tired genre. It's particularly frustrating because I thought Brooker had said they were trying to avoid the problems in this format.

The problem here is that no-one is willing to produce a tv show about games for gamers. The medium (in terms of its relation to TV) only has any cultural validity and commercial feasibility when its offered up as something for non-gamers to deign with their attention.

There's an interesting interview of Charlie here (by Keith Stuart, The Guardian) which pretty much covers this point within it:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/29/charlie-brooker-video-game-television

I've seen some people comment, "oh, why does every video game programme have to be a history of video games?" The reason is, as you go along, you do have to explain the grammar of gaming. That's easier if you start with the basics, you have to start in a sort of tutorial mode. Any gamers tuning in who moan about how we're starting with Pong, should bear in mind that almost every game they've ever played starts with a tutorial – we're not patronising them half as much as that.

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Thought it was great. Clearly constrained by what people will actually put on TV on a Saturday night, I thought the format was an interesting way to look at things like Space Invaders and Pac-Man in a new light (their cultural impact), whilst saving the usual "this is what this game is and why it's good" stuff for the games that don't normally get covered enough like Elite and Street Fighter. The more modern second half was a great opportunity to explain the current structure of the industry and touch on and explain important recent games that people may have heard of but not really understand.

Most importantly though, it brushed away the arguments that games aren't beneficial to the people who play them with a few well chosen statements, showed the hysteria surrounding violence in games as being insubstantial and spent a great deal of time focusing on the many things that the medium does well and the benefits it has had and continues to have. Showing the current benefits of Minecraft was really powerful, and whilst I didn't entirely buy the number one choice, I thought Brooker's final thought was great.

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I thought #1 was a bit of a strained analogy (which you could apply to almost anything, the game of life, having a job, salary = points or whatever)

Essentially that was what was done - Twitter was just a poster child, really, for things that aren't actually games drawing on the same psychological impulses to succeed as arcade games do. In the interview posted above, Brooker talks about how he's got into running as a form of exercise because there's an app that tracks his progress and sets his goals, turning a rather mundane physical activity into a series of minor yet rewarding achievements.

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The bit where they were justifying the amount of time people waste in Minecraft made me laugh. If my kid wanted to play Minecraft rather than play with Lego, he'd get shipped off to a military academy so fast he wouldn't even have time to make a tearful YouTube video about it.

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The bit with the fatality from Mortal Kombat 9 was properly horrific. If you can skip the bit that covers video game nasty hysteria, it's probably OK. Although it's not really hysteria in that instance, it's mind-bendingly gory.

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The programme contains an awful lot of human misery that a responsible parent would want to spare their children. There was a woman on it who said she played World of Warcraft for fourteen hours a day. Pretty ugly stuff.

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