Mr Biffo

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS -

This month Mr Biffo wants to tell you about his new TV show

When you look at the size of the games in­dus­try, it’s as­ton­ish­ing that tele­vi­sion rarely touches it. Cur­rently, in the UK, we’ve got one throw­away 15-minute show on the BBC iplayer, Chan­nel 4 dab­bled in it re­cently with the god-aw­ful Rob Beck­ett-fronted Playing For Time, and Dave – at the time of writ­ing this – has just can­celled Dara O Bri­ain’s Go 8-Bit and its spin-off

Go 8-Bit DLC. Even Ginx TV – the only ded­i­cated es­ports gam­ing chan­nel – seems to be un­der threat, hav­ing ter­mi­nated its con­tract with Vir­gin Me­dia over as­sorted dis­putes.

I dunno about you, but I miss the days when we had Games­mas­ter, Games World, Bits and

Bad In­flu­ence! on our screens. All of those shows tack­led gam­ing in a way that was fun and authen­tic, and pas­sion­ate, and colour­ful… without alien­at­ing any­one. Games­mas­ter was, lest we for­get, a mas­sive hit for Chan­nel 4 back in the Nineties.

A proper gam­ing show is some­thing that many of us yearn for, but some­thing which TV doesn’t seem to want to touch. Given the scale of gam­ing – eas­ily com­pa­ra­ble these days with the mu­sic and movie in­dus­tries – it baf­fles me why they’d not at least try. I mean, if you want to make such a show ac­ces­si­ble, there are decades of old games out there which would tickle the nos­tal­gia bone of many a ca­sual viewer and lapsed gamer. Why has Chan­nel 4 done a ‘100 great­est’ show on ev­ery­thing but videogames?

I work in TV for a liv­ing, and con­trary to what some peo­ple seem to think – that TV is scared of gam­ing, be­cause it com­petes with broad­cast­ers for po­ten­tial screen time – I think it’s more that there aren’t many gamers work­ing in tele­vi­sion. It isn’t that they’re scared; they just don’t un­der­stand it, while also ac­knowl­edg­ing that they’re los­ing view­ers to Minecraft and Fort­nite videos on Youtube. Their re­sponse seems to be to bury their heads in the sand and carry on re­gard­less.

I hope you’ll for­give the in­fomer­cial-type na­ture of what I in­tend to tell you next, but I’m al­most damp with ex­cite­ment, and I think Retro Gamer read­ers will get a kick out of it. I’ve grown tired of broad­cast­ers ig­nor­ing our hobby, so ear­lier this year I ran a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to bring back proper gam­ing TV.

In­spired by the likes of Games­mas­ter and Bad In­flu­ence!, I – and a group of pas­sion­ate friends – have made a show that’s the sort of games show I wish we’d get on Chan­nel 4 or BBC1. In short, a show that’s good enough to be on TV, and looks at all the old games and sys­tems we grew up playing, in a bid to prove that be­ing a gamer doesn’t stop at the age of 18, when you fi­nally grow out of Fort­nite. It’s in­for­ma­tive, an­ar­chic, and in­clu­sive; ev­ery­one is wel­come.

Se­ries 1 of Digi­tiser The Show is now up on Youtube as you read this, and I’m in­cred­i­bly proud of it. Please give it a watch, if only to prove that retro gam­ing TV can be mas­sive.

I miss the days when we had Games­mas­ter, Games World, Bits and Bad In­flu­ence! on our screens

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