Review 2013: Not The Doctor: Charlie Brooker: Videogames Changed The World

TV Videogames Changed The World is an intelligent, chronological attempt to describe the history of computer and video gaming from the early seventies through to now, selecting twenty-five of the most significant texts beginning with Pong, utilising a mix of Wipean presentation and knowledgable and well chosen talking heads in a way which seemed designed to demonstrate that it is possible to do this sort of thing without employing the likes of Barry Shitpeas and Philomena Cunk. While you could argue that ignoring the much earlier Spacewar! is a strange choice, Brooker has in mind a through line about human interaction and games as an example of inclusivity, and it was indeed Pong-clones which first appeared in people's living room's hooked up to a television, or as was the case in our house a beige Hanimax wired into the spare black and white portable in the spare room, which was the front lounge. Our council house had two downstairs lounges which we used depending on the season.  In Speke.  As well as reminding me of how I was somehow born at just the right time to experience all of this innovation, it was also reminder of how little of this innovation I did experience first hand, standing in WH Smith enviously watching the games chart on a  ceiling mounted portable television, listening to Pat Sharp or whoever the narrator was extolling the virtues of The Eidolon while I was still playing Snapper on the Acorn Electron my Mum and Dad were still paying off on hire-purchase from Bits & Bytes or wherever.  Gaming always seemed like a pursuit for the relatively well off.  Still does to some extent.  Yet visiting the relatively well off I was still able to try an Amstrad CPC or play Gauntlet both of which were omitted from the documentary.  But what is here is still neverless somewhat definitive and a demonstration that outside of BBC's Click, gaming rarely gets the in-depth television coverage it probably deserves.

Watch:

On YouTube.
On the 4od website.

Interviews:

With Digital Spy: "Why are there no computer game TV shows?"

With The Guardian: "... why video game television is so hard to make."



Obligatory photography with satirical buffering circle:

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