Charlie Brooker's How Video Games Changed the World
December 1, 2013 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Following on from Gameswipe (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5) and a less than successful attempt to teach Jon Snow about Videogames. Charlie Brooker explains how videogames changed the world.
posted by Z303 (35 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
*no not THAT Jon Snow, carry on.*
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM on December 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Cool! Charlie Booker started his career reviewing games, so I guess full circle and all that.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:09 PM on December 1, 2013


You know nothing.
posted by Beardman at 12:26 PM on December 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Jon Snow confusion.
posted by mediocre at 12:28 PM on December 1, 2013


"These ice-zombies, I suppose you can just push them over with a stick. You willing people must be very stupid not to have tried that. I'll go try it now."
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on December 1, 2013




Just watched this; interesting as always, though not very indepth yet.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:52 PM on December 1, 2013


This is a misstep for Brooker in much the same way that Kieron Gillen's Uber was also terrible.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:39 PM on December 1, 2013


Also this is a good article.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:41 PM on December 1, 2013


Was hoping for some hint of good news in this piece, so at least there's this:

> The average age of a Daily Mail print edition reader is creeping toward 60.
posted by ardgedee at 2:37 PM on December 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


This was an interesting thing for me to watch. As a non-gamer (it's complicated) who does try to keep at least an eye on games and gaming culture, I'd heard of or experienced to some degree basically every game mentioned. And the thread he draws across the decades of video game development is persuasive.

Also, he didn't actually write this show, he merely presented it. So maybe that's why this is the first time I was hearing Douglas Adams-style cadences to his sentence constructions.

But really, now I'm looking at twitter in a whole new way, one which has me a bit more skeptical about it but also understanding the way I engage with it a bit more. So, I guess I learned something!

Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 2:40 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, if Twitter's a video game, then so is MetaFilter. Am I winning yet?
posted by benito.strauss at 3:00 PM on December 1, 2013


Any show with Robert Florence (previouslies) being incredibly keen on stuff has got to be good.
posted by scruss at 3:03 PM on December 1, 2013


> Am I winning yet?

The only way to win is not to play.
posted by ardgedee at 3:07 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This show was of course at least partially an excuse to plug the PS4 and XboxOne, even if it was done with relative subtlety. I wonder how much Sony & Microsoft were prepared to pay for the ads & placement within the program?

I enjoyed it regardless & the final point about twitter / facebook et al effectively bringing gamifiction to our 'real' lives was well made.
posted by pharm at 3:19 PM on December 1, 2013


I should have added a link to Charlie Brooker on why video game television is so hard to make
posted by Z303 at 3:34 PM on December 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Am I winning yet?

I dunno. Are you?
posted by hippybear at 3:37 PM on December 1, 2013


This show was of course at least partially an excuse to plug the PS4 and XboxOne, even if it was done with relative subtlety.

Were there any new-gen game system games mentioned, even once, in this show? If there were, I missed it entirely. That's so subtle, it might as well have never happened!
posted by hippybear at 3:38 PM on December 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


At 42 years old, Charlie Brooker is settling into his middle age

You go to hell and you die.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:58 PM on December 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Am I winning yet?

I dunno. Are you?


Always.
posted by The Whelk at 4:04 PM on December 1, 2013


Were there any new-gen game system games mentioned, even once, in this show? If there were, I missed it entirely. That's so subtle, it might as well have never happened!

It's a subtle slam on the XBRO for lack of backwards compatibility.
posted by Artw at 4:25 PM on December 1, 2013


Ah, so also a slam on all new-gen consoles for lack of backwards compatibility. It's odd that he never once slammed modern computers for being unable to play those brilliant Sinclair games.
posted by hippybear at 4:32 PM on December 1, 2013


pharm - So, you are claiming that this video is shilling for a product that is mentioned for the very first time 1 hour and 20 minutes in?

Those were some wasted marketing dollars.
posted by Riemann at 4:33 PM on December 1, 2013


It's odd that he never once slammed modern computers for being unable to play those brilliant Sinclair games.

Well, but they can. All it takes is a Sinclair emulator. You can run those in a browser window these days.
posted by baf at 4:36 PM on December 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


"So if you pull up next to the streetwalkers and honk-"
"I SWORE AN OATH!" sorry.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:10 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a reasonably interesting show, if understandably lightweight. I did crack up when this throwaway line came out of nowhere.

The article Artw linked to makes a worthwhile point. It seems to be a fairly popular thing to bring up recently, though there never seems to be much of an aim to it other than to rub in a sort of bonus scoop of malaise.
posted by lucidium at 6:02 PM on December 1, 2013


I have finished the program and I am deeply disappointed in Charlie for a repetitive and crappy final 20 minutes. Twitter as videogame? Well, yes, I used to participate in #hashtaggames (#religiousgameshows Whose God Is It Anyway?), but he didn't even bother to mention that.

Also totally unmentioned (unless I missed five seconds in there): Portal. WTF, Charlie?

Where is Farmville? Or Bejeweled? Not Top 20, but significant enough to get a mention in the timeline.

And yes The Last of Us is important, but in a big way as the maturation of a dozen "the zombies are attacking" games before it, NONE of which I saw namechecked. (And the gameplay element of easily excusably killable sorta-human opponents - let's face it, every zombie game ever made is more entertaining than most episodes of "Walking Dead").

Yep, Charlie, you missed some big important points just so you could repeat, more times than necessary, some others. Charlie Brooker is usually his most entertaining when he is his most superficial, but not this time.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:40 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is well weapon.
posted by meehawl at 10:45 PM on December 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Watching that train wreck with Jon Snow makes me wonder what game could you take into an environment like that and succeed in engaging an older news presenter? The only things that spring to mind are mindless fare like Angry Birds or Candy Crush that don't express the depth the medium of games are capable of.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:40 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


And to answer my own question, I wonder if the latest FIFA game wouldn't have been a better choice.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:53 PM on December 1, 2013


Riemann: Perhaps rather the likely guarantee of advertising cash from Microsoft & Sony helped to convince Channel4 to fund the program? You probably didn't watch it live - there were multiple PS4 specific adverts in the first half that I watched, including one with a code that you had to enter on the Sony website in exchange for a chance to win a PS4.

It was a program full of gems made by people that are not only utterly steeped in games but can also talk about them with clarity and enthusiasm to a non-gaming audience. It was a pleasure watching the guy who directed The Last of Us talk about Papers Please for instance - I find it quite heartening to know that the people making the AAA high end games can be just as interested in the more experimental, indie end of modern gaming as the RockPaperShotgun writers are.

hippybear: There aren't any new console games worth talking about yet. Also tbh, in gameplay terms it's hard to argue that the latest consoles offer anything new except greater visual & physical fidelity: in a program that wants to talk about the meta-narratives of games, those things are mostly irrelevant.
posted by pharm at 1:23 AM on December 2, 2013


Goodness me there were so many advert breaks during it! It was quite good, and it was lovely to see people talk on television about Monkey Island (even if, weirdly, bits of the clips from it were cut off from the screen!). The problem with this program is that the conversations it is having deserve individual programs of their own. The development of indie games, the evolution of the portrayal of violence and women in games, increasing complexity in gameplay... all interesting things, all things he has to pack into the tiny two hour slot video games get this year... Also, possibly because of the lack of interest of the crew strategy games, and top down games in general got very short shrift. Starcraft and the Sims were there, but no civillization?

The weird thing is that in the 90s, when games were more marginal, there were several shows about video games! They weren't terribly good, but at least they existed.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 5:28 AM on December 2, 2013


The main youtube link's down for me, here's a link to 4od if you're in the UK or if you can make your computer think you are.
posted by Ned G at 10:17 AM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Keith Stuart: How Video Games Changed the World – some thoughts
posted by Z303 at 1:05 PM on December 2, 2013


The main youtube link's down for me
Seems it has been reuploaded to fix some sync problems
posted by Z303 at 2:23 PM on December 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


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