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Gameswipe, there.

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.

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Thanks for the birthday wishes and kind words. Although NTS - which is excellent - is currently beating OTT in the currently-being-updated stakes.

Anyway, the whole Electric Revolution season looks great. There’s Electric Dreams (guess what they use as the theme tune?) in which a family ‘go back’ to 1970, and live through the decade a year per day. I’ve watched the first episode on preview disc and it’s probably the freshest take on the nostalgia genre I’ve seen for an age. Who isn’t going to get a frisson when the mum of the family sticks a wood-effect vinyl cover over the top of the chest freezer? Plus, there’s Synth Britannia - a look at New Wave music - and, possibly best of all, Alexander Armstrong playing Clive Sinclair in Micro Men (working title: the much more ace Syntax Era).

I’m stupidly excited about the whole thing.

By Graham Kibble-White
September 11, 2009 @ 10:59 am

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Ooh, I didn’t realise Micro Men was part of that season, excellent. I just hope they use MJ Hibbett’s song as the theme tune… ;-)

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By Seb Patrick
September 11, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

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>Who isn’t going to get a frisson when the mum of the family sticks a wood-effect vinyl cover over the top of the chest freezer?

Crikey, that fired off a few synapses in my brain!

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By Tanya Jones
September 11, 2009 @ 10:59 pm

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Tuesday, 10pm, just before my SkyPlus subscription runs out so have set it up.

By Daff
September 27, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

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Bit rubbish, wasn’t it? It’s all very well closing out the episode by pointing out how there are so many innovative, thought-provoking titles on the market if you look past all the gory dross, but it would have been nice to see more than 15 seconds of them during the course of the programme. The show’s gaming vocabulary was more than a little odd- five minutes of talking about Wolfenstein to illustrate FPSs, but not a mention of Bioshock or Half Life? I suspect that it started out as being the programme we hoped it would be (Screenwipe for games), but ran up against the BBC’s product endorsement guidelines pretty quickly…

By Julian Hazeldine
September 30, 2009 @ 7:39 am

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What was the music at the end of Micro Men?

By mckay jones
October 08, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

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