Occasionally, channel surfing throws up something quite interesting. And not in the “oh I didn’t know fruit bats actually ate fruit” kind of way. This was certainly the case with Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe, re-screened by the Beeb last week and something I chanced uopn.
If you’re not familiar with Charlie Brooker, he usually fronts a show called Newswipe where he exposes the inner workings of news media, or Screenwipe where he exposes the inner workings and agenda of the television in general.
Gameswipe doesn’t quite follow in this trend, but his usual deadpan, sardonic and vaguely acerbic delivery remained. As someone who doesn’t play games, apart from Street Fighter and Angry Birds on the iPhone I loved the potted history of videogames and the demonstration of different videogames genres via a man in a black lycra suit (think Charlie from Sunny in Philadelphia playing Green Man, but in black and you get the picture).
Brooker also showed us how videogames have been presented in the media – mainly either in a patronising way or in shock at the fact you can beat someone senseless in the GTA series (for example and not exclusively) of games. What was enlightening however, was that Brooker, as a keen gamer and videogames journalist in a prior life, laid some of the blame for this perception at the failure of gamers in general to convey their hobby to a wider audience. To be fair, he did then talk about games such as Mad World on the Wii…
So, as far as “videogames” shows go and despite it being a one-off, Gameswipe is cracking good fun and as I saw, we have come a long way from Patrick Moore being Gamesmaster (and not really having a clue what he was doing – he’s an astronomer after all) and dishing out tips to spotty teenagers or Craig Charles hosting a show where yet more spotty teenagers battle each other on Street Fighter, on TV.
Check out a clip here or try BBC iPlayer!