VG State of Play UK

QueenieThe US and the UK share a lot of commonalities. You Americans use our language, for example. We suckle at the teat of your film and TV industry. Sweet music passes freely between us. We both come together for bloody and violent deathmatches online, and so on and so forth. There are some differences, too, though. We have free universal health care (Don’t worry, I’m not going to get political, just saying it like it is…), red buses and post boxes, and have a reputation — wrongly upheld, I reckon — for bad teeth. You insist on telling everyone to have a nice day, whereas we’re more than happy to revel in our misery, quietly fuming at the injustices of it all. You make a great cup of coffee, but you couldn’t do a decent mug of builder’s tea if your Xbox Live depended on it. I’m also interested in the similarity, or difference, in how videogames are received by the wider community. This is what we get in the UK — sound out in the comments about your experiences.


Suddenly We’re Cool

We’re used to the media treating games like the proverbial redheaded stepson, right? There are two attitudes to adopt when the latest GAMEZ R EVUL piece drops into your local news. On the one hand, you can become as outraged at this unfair treatment of it's not murder, it's a gameyour pastime as they are at your pastime itself. They’re outraged, you’re outraged, you’re both like ying and yang. Gradually, like a pressure cooker, the swelling sense of unfairness builds inside you, til you quite literally burst, showering bile and fecal matter over the bus and other passengers. On the other hand, if you don’t fancy the humiliation, you can adopt the attitude taken by the Karate Kid. Wax on, wax off. Keep calm, concentrate on raising your game til you have Marcus Fenix dancing like a ballerina, your eyes closed in a rhapsody of absolute oneness with your console. In other words, you ignore it as more evidence that the rest of humanity is composed of braying donkey-folk.

But what’s this? A BBC show about games, that doesn’t set out to paint them as the devil (link UK only). I don’t know if you’ve heard of the presenter, Charlie Brooker, in the US, but if you haven’t, you probably will have heard of Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw. Yahtzee presents the brilliant Zero Punctuation series for The Escapist, and based his ascerbic wit partly on Charlie Brooker’s searing rants. At the time of writing, Brooker’s games show, Gameswipe, is available in its entirety on Youtube. Watch it all. If it seems like it’s covering old ground, thats because — shock horror — it’s actually pitched at the average non-gamer. Finally, they can begin to lift the curtain on our world, and, so the hope goes, one day we’ll all live in harmony and peace, like humans and machines at the end of the Matrix trilogy…


Yay, Events

You have your E3 expo down in LA. It’s a scintillating explosion on the senses, and, following a lull a couple of years back, is surely back for good now on the gaming calendar. So what do we have in the UK? After all, we have a great development scene, including true gaming royalty like Rare and Rockstar. Well, from personal Gamecityexperience, the festival I’m looking forward to the most also happens to be local to me, here in Nottingham. GameCity is a four day event that turns the city into a playground. It happens in less than a month now, and information is coming down thick and fast. Remember Elite? It was released some 25 years ago now, and games like Homeworld and EVE:Online owe their existence to it. It’s still a great game today, if you can pick up the Acorn version. It was a homegrown British classic, and this year, at GameCity, both co-creators will be together in the same room for the first time in… well, a long time. After releasing their seminal trading game, Ian Bell and David Braben split acrimoniously. A lot has been rumoured about what did or didn’t happen, and who sued who, but whatever the truth, getting them in the same room together is quite a feat. Also coming up, the godfather of the rhythm action game and creator of Parappa the Rapper will be speaking, and there will be a live action event, Crysis:LIVE! I don’t know how that is going to work, but it’s going to be a blast. 

Look out for more detailed coverage of the GameCity festival in coming columns — like I said, it’s local to me so I’m going to be getting stuck well in :)


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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