Shamelessly nicked from Off the Telly (and speaking of that site, we’re a bit late in wishing Graham and the gang a happy tenth birthday, but it’s well worth doing, because it’s collectively one of our favourite sites, and indeed perhaps the biggest inspiration for the creation of NTS), here’s some info from Endemol on the upcoming BBC4 special Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe, a project that I imagine something like 99.9% of the regular readership of NTS are probably at least a bit excited about. Hurrah!
Following in the footsteps of Screenwipe and Newswipe, Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe will poke fun at the world of video games and its relationship with the media.Video games continue to be looked down upon by other media and Gameswipe aims to bring some equality into the mix by illustrating how games can be just as dumb or brilliant as TV and movies. The one-off, 50 minute special will premiere during the BBC’s forthcoming Electric Revolution season.
Gooood. It’s about time someone produced a gaming show that actually looked at the cultural relevance of video games, and the fact that they easily stand shoulder-to-shoulder with… well, with everything else, really… as an entertainment and artistic medium. And Brooker, as someone who’s spent his career championing underappreciated artforms, is perfectly placed to do this. Plus, the ‘wipe format is one of the best things that’s been on telly over the last five years or so.
Charlie Brooker comments; “It’s good to be doing more ‘Wipes‘ for BBC4. I started my writing career penning video game reviews, so Gameswipe effectively sees me coming full-circle: it’s evolution in reverse basically. Expect pixels, joypads, some of the world’s weirdest games, celebrity cameos and the occasional sound effect.”
As someone who was an avid reader of Brooker’s writing in PC Zone a decade or more ago (oh how I wish I still had access to a full set of his back page “Sick Notes” columns), I can indeed confirm how exciting it is to see him return to his roots. Hopefully he won’t have to eat his own arse this time.
Comedian Dom Joly ventures into the online gaming world and does his best to wind up hardcore gamers as they relax with their favourite games. Other contributors include Graham Linehan and Dara O’Brian.
Hmm, not sure I like the idea of the perennially unfunny Joly performing another tedious variation on his “winding people up” schtick. Besides, messing with online gamers? Been done, hasn’t it? Not a big fan of Dara O’Briain, either, but Linehan is exactly the sort of bloke they should be getting in for this. How about a bit of Serafinowicz action, as well? Plus, although there’s no mention in the press release (due to his not being famous in the slightest), let’s hope the rumours of Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s involvement turn out to be true - you might say that “the games version of Charlie Brooker” becomes redundant when Charlie Brooker is busy being the games version of Charlie Brooker, but it’d still be nice to see his animation on The Proper Telly, Like.
And finally, this is quite exciting, too :
Electric Revolution, a season of programmes giving viewers a unique insight into how developments in technology have shaped our lives over the past 50 years and charting the rise of today’s globally-linked, instantly-gratified digital culture.
BBC4 are great at this sort of thing, and if this is essentially going to be gaming/computing’s equivalent of Comics Britannia, then count me in.