Why does gaming TV suck in the UK?


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peej
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I guess this could've gone in the random musings thread but I'm thinking of sticking together a feature for the front page on gaming TV. It'll be a bit of a trawl through the archives / my memory as well as a look at what's around at the moment. Sad thing is, during the latter half of the research and looking at what's on offer at the moment in TV and mainstream media, it's amazing how fucking awful most game TV (and radio) is. Podcasts and webcasts aside, games coverage is embarrasingly bad on terrestrial channels, equally awful on satellite stuff too.

Does anyone actually watch any game TV regularly? Have I just been missing the good stuff or is it all pretty much shite / out of date / out of touch?
#1 at 17:17:00 - 10/09/2009
DDevil
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There's still gaming TV in the UK?
#2 at 17:36:03 - 10/09/2009
Syrok
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It also sucks in Germany by the way eventhough they have station dedicated to it. Or had might be Internet-only by now.
#3 at 17:42:17 - 10/09/2009
peej
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DDevil said:There's still gaming TV in the UK?


Fleetingly. Bits and bobs on The Gadget Show from time to time, a couple of dedicated proggies on Bravo and other satellite channels. But they're so shitty you'd almost long for the days of Dominik Diamond and Gamesmaster. Almost.
#4 at 17:45:22 - 10/09/2009
mal
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Those 15 minute game programmes you get on Bravo or whatever channel are truly awful. The phone in competitions are hilarious though - somehow they always seem to find this most morose person they can.

I dunno. Every few years someone announces that they're going to reinvent gaming TV and bring back the halcyon days of Gamesmaster (though to be honest, the last time I remember someone saying that it was Ian Lee with the short-lived Thumb Bandits).

It seems that despite gaming making more money than the movies (or whatever the stat actually is) no-one actually wants to see it on the telly. We can get decent opinion in so many mags and internet sites, what does TV give us? It used to give us a first look at upcoming games in motion, and I used to watch them for that, but nowadays we have gametrailers for that.

But lets face it, how much TV is there that is related to hobbies and non-televised entertainment. Film only gets a couple of hours a week, and the BBC's film programme is relegated to the 11:30 on a weeknight slot, even though its fronted by one of their biggest stars.
#5 at 18:34:37 - 10/09/2009
peej
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I find the Beeb's coverage of gaming particularly twee and old fashioned (no disrespect to Ellie / Rob's efforts on morning telly now and again but fucking hell, the Beeb just can't "do" gaming properly can they?)

It's weird, even when gaming appears on the news (like a recent item on Beatles: Rock Band) they wheel out some fucking old tossmonger like Rory Cethlan Jones who makes several smug barbed comments about "har har, nudge nudge, computer gaming, har har nerdlicious innit!" rather than producing something informative, informed and actually in touch with modern gaming.

I guess even if the beeb DID make a proper attempt to do a gaming show, it'd be fronted by someone so hateful you'd rather watch someone inserting porcupine spines covered in monkeyshit into their eyeballs than sit through it.

#6 at 18:38:54 - 10/09/2009
Rhythm
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The only thing worse that TV-based gaming shows? The EGTV Show. You'd be forgiven for thinking EG had nothing to do with gaming if your only exposure to the site was through that portal
#7 at 18:41:24 - 10/09/2009
peej
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Yeah well I'm not even going to start on various web attempts to do their own "TV" - they're just made of fail from start to finish - same reason why I can't abide those "sentUaMessage" casts on XBL.

I guess half the problem is: Games journalists make fucking awful telly presenters / contributors, and vice versa.

#8 at 18:49:48 - 10/09/2009
peej
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What you could almost do with for games is something like the old Chart Show of the 90s. Basically no presenters, no chat, no crap - just an hour long proggy showing off game trailers / in-game footage. Dehumanising gaming on telly might actually work better than trying to turn it into a telly proggy in the traditional sense.
#9 at 18:51:05 - 10/09/2009
HairyArse
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There's also Area5's Co-Op 'programme' but I'm not a massive fan of their guerilla filming style - particularly the jump cuts.
#10 at 18:51:29 - 10/09/2009
TheSaint
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I have caught some coverage of professional tournaments for games like Project Gotham and Quake 3 on one of the obscure satellite channels.

They would be quite watch able if they didn't insist on putting crap commentary over the top.
#11 at 19:12:06 - 10/09/2009
Rhythm
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HairyArse said:There's also Area5's Co-Op 'programme' but I'm not a massive fan of their guerilla filming style - particularly the jump cuts.


Yeah, it's a bit hit and miss. When they get it right it works really really well but all too often the show consists of nothing more than Matt Chandronait and Ryan O'Donnell wanking to camera.
#12 at 19:21:00 - 10/09/2009
NewYork
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There was a fairly sober show on about a year ago on the now non-existent gaming channel (I forget the name of the channel, but it was in the entertainment section of Sky's EPG, remember?)

It was like Newsnight, but with games. Just four fairly adult dudes around a table discussing games 'n' stuff. One was even a professor of something-or-other at some university. It was a fairly competent, non-embarrassing show.

On the whole, though, I don't need my gaming opinions from "bit wooh, bit wheeey", footie-watching, Kaiser Chiefs-listening, down-t'pub-on-a-Sunday Brits.
#13 at 22:30:52 - 10/09/2009
peej
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NewYork said:
On the whole, though, I don't need my gaming opinions from "bit wooh, bit wheeey", footie-watching, Kaiser Chiefs-listening, down-t'pub-on-a-Sunday Brits.


That's why I can't stomach most of the online attempts to do TV (and why I thought Gamer.TV was a pile of shite too, despite appearing on it once :)
#14 at 10:31:54 - 11/09/2009
NewYork
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Did Charlie Brooker's gaming show ever pan out?
#15 at 10:47:26 - 11/09/2009
peej
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Still waiting on that one. That might actually be alright but I have this horrible feeling he'll wheel in the likes of Gillen, Minkley and other "notable gaming slebs" and it'll all end up an anal-wallpapering exercise.
#16 at 10:51:32 - 11/09/2009
Funkyd
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Sounds like my sort of thing.
#17 at 01:34:04 - 13/09/2009
Retroid
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Bravo's attempt before it got sodded into Playr was 'OK' but pretty much everything previous to that has been utter, utter shite.

I also simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND people's fond memories of Bits. It was fucking awful and a combination of the worst stereotypes of gamers; juvenile, trashy and they'll-watch-anything-so-long-as-it's-got-tits.
#18 at 12:29:25 - 17/09/2009
peej
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I think they were just fond memories of whatsherface's "bits" not the proggy itself.

The minute I see Iain Lee attached to anything gamey on telly, I feel the urge to smash things. He's one of the most irritating, smug and unfunny presenters on telly - the fact that he's a gamer doesn't negate the fact that he's fucking annoying.

Same goes for Minkley and a couple of other TV / Radio "favourites" (including Vernon Kay's continued self-aggrandisement which seems to revolve around being an obsessional COD / Tiger Woods / NFL player)
#19 at 12:33:25 - 17/09/2009
NewYork
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GAMESWIPE.

TONIGHT.

10 PM.

BBC4.

BE THEER OR BE QUEER.
#20 at 23:42:03 - 29/09/2009
NewYork
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#21 at 01:46:35 - 30/09/2009
Micro_Explosion
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It was reasonably good although it seemed confused about whether the audience is people that know about games or people that know nothing at all i.e. doing a run through of all the genres and then describing the over the shoulder view in Fiddy's game as though no-one watching would be familiar with that type of game.

For any proper series he just needs to decide where it needs to be pitched, especially as the only people likely to watch are those that know the run-of-the-mill stuff.
#22 at 02:31:58 - 30/09/2009
TheSaint
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It's a tough one I can't imagine many people would have watched if they didn't already have at least a casual interest in gaming.

I think the reference to the third person viewpoint in the 50 cent game was just a set up for his fart joke.

The content argument in games like Rock Band was an interesting one though but not something that had ever bothered me personally.
#23 at 15:24:28 - 30/09/2009
Bernie
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Well, after his fantastic series of 'Screenwipe' and 'Newswipe', the first show of 'Gameswipe' brought to us by the mankind hating collumist, Charlie Brooker, may encourrage some decent Games related TV shows in the UK.

Ah, gone are the days of Games Master with sheepish looking children asking about how they get past a simple boss level, and Patrick Moore responding in a bastardy "you moron, you don't know how to do that already" fashion. Ahhh.

I think the only Games TV show I'm aware of is something that may still be on the Bravo channel. Even most once decent gaming magazines are turning pants...
#24 at 17:09:13 - 30/09/2009
HairyArse
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Got this to watch tonight but hoped for big things from it and so far the reception has been luke-warm.
#25 at 18:06:29 - 30/09/2009
El_MUERkO
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HairyArse said:Got this to watch tonight but hoped for big things from it and so far the reception has been luke-warm.


i watched it, i enjoyed it, i appreciated what dara o'brain was trying to say and i agreed with some of the points the show made

too much bitching about it to be honest, it's like people expected the second coming
#26 at 18:17:17 - 30/09/2009
Whizzo
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I do think Dara being shit at games is his biggest problem.

I enjoyed the show, it felt a bit rushed at times being only 50 minutes but it was certainly worth watching.

Given its rating I doubt it'll be the last time Brooker covers games on BBC4.
#27 at 18:40:29 - 30/09/2009
frod
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TV has even less chance than print of being ahead of the Internet.

It's bound to suck forever.
#28 at 14:55:44 - 01/10/2009
billdoor
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The lead time on a magazine is about 6 weeks isn't it? A weekly TV show has to be less than that...
#29 at 15:02:23 - 01/10/2009
frod
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I don't think they can commission 6 half hourly shows on TV in the vain hope that some content may turn up.
#30 at 15:13:12 - 01/10/2009

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