I’ll get my gaming/technology news fix any way I can. Having got a Sky+ box at the start of the year and wandering through a few channels I’ve been able to spot a couple of TV programmes that are about videogames. Whilst I don’t have any experience making factual, news or technology focused programmes I have to say that what I see is pretty sub-standard viewing.
I’m not expecting a show to compete with the up-to-the-second news delivery that the Internet can offer. Nor am I expecting it to offer the level of detail that print media does. But what I see on my screen is pretty insulting to my intelligence and have to wonder who can find it appealing.
My primary gripes are:
Watching average gamers play games is not entertaining.
I adore watching speed-runs or videos of killer King of Fighter combos and examples of supreme gaming skill. I have absolutely no desire to watch a couple of kids or minor celebs waggle their thumbs accross a digital football pitch whilst attempting to score a goal by luck.
Padding out your show by presenting a semi-skilled semi to be followed up in part 2 by a semi-skilled final of Fifa just makes the situation worse. Yes, you’ve filled 12 of your 25 minutes of broadcast time but you’ve not done anything watchable.
Post play analysis of average gamers is not entertaing either
I don’t sit around navel gazing rethinking my ‘technique’ in Tony Hawks or 60 seconds of a Dance Dance game. Neither does anyone else apart from pro-gamers. Asking 13 year old Terry how they outsmarted their rival on Streetfighter isn’t really going to result in anything worth hearing because the answer isn’t real. Ask an expert, sure. Don’t ask some kid who got lucky – and don’t tell me it’s informative or entertaining.
I know the name of the show I’m watching and I don’t suffer from attention deficit disorder.
Yes, your logo is nice. OK, so you’ve got some kid doing 3DSMax or Maya animations with it in. Good for you. But I *really* don’t need to see 10 seconds of your logo spinning around between every element of your show as wells as the ad-breaks.
I’ve not done a controlled study but I reckon there’s a good couple of minutes worth of self-indulgent logo-spinning done in these shows that’s totally needless and boring as hell.
Show some consistency with your attitude
Either you think I’m a kid who’s desperate to hear about Pokemon or you think I’m a teenager who’s desperate to hear some innuendo or footage suggesting Mario has a penis. It’s clear as hell you don’t consider any of your viewers as adults, that goes without saying.
Show more games
I don’t give a fuck about the presenters. I don’t need to see some egotistical idiot giving a 2 minute monologue about how he’s about to show you a game or how he travelled to this part of the country. Whatever you’ve got to say, you can say it in a voiceover whilst I’m viewing the game(s). Gamespot video reviews do this perfectly.
You’re not funny.
Seriously. If we want jokes we’ll ask or we’ll watch a comedy. If you GENUINELY have an insider joke that shows you truly understand our culture then maybe, MAYBE we’ll forgive you. Otherwise just don’t bother. Please.
Show more games
We love games! Show us more! If you’ve got a REALLY good scoop on some mega-exclusive then dedicate more time to it. Otherwise show us a minute or so of footage and move on. Watching games is less fun than playing them, so show us a little bit of LOTS of games.
We know what interaction is
Don’t invite us to phone in so you can give us a cheat for GTA:SA that everyone already knows. Don’t tells us to try this or that out here and now. We’re not taping your show and your delivery of information usually sucks so bad that we can’t hear you over whatever generic drum and bass crap you’ve got playing all the time. We certainly aren’t going to remember some web address or convoluted series of button-presses. We play games, we know how to interact with something. Just give us the damn games, ok?
DO show us stuff that magazines can’t.
Get into shows, have proper (not staged) interviews with industry figures. Show us areas of gaming culture (pro-gamer events, game music concerts, launches of new hardware). Don’t, for crying out loud, show us poor quality footage of Killzone with the goddamn IGN logo sitting in the corner of the screen.
Lay off the damn video effects and ‘trendy’ music
Your voice? Yes. The game’s SFX? Yes. The games’ music? Yes. Exciting drum and bass beats banging away whilst you spin a logo of your show around the screen to prove you’re hip, trendy and know what the kids want? No.
Oh, and show us more games.
A fair amount has been said about new games journalism and it’s presence in print and online. I’m still waiting for old games journalism to hit broadcast media.