Suffice to say, I'm stunned that so many of you will be coming to the show - some of you are even travelling from as far afield as Skye and the USA. The numbers mean that it's no longer the little comedy club-size event we had originally anticipated, but something on a grander scale. And yes, it will climax with the first public performance of my new play, The Passion of Sinclair...
I've said it before, but while Digitiser may not have the biggest audience on YouTube, we certainly have the most loyal, ardent, and dedicated. I'd take that over hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
It feels like Digi is, once again, this sort of cult thing that people will stumble over and either hate immediately, or fall in love with. There's no middle ground. It's perfect. Thank you.
And talking of you lot... let's consume some of your letters.
If you'd like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, or you've got a picture of a bin you wish to share, please send your filthy emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week you expressed an interest in what happens to wee and poo on a boat. There are two main methods; keeping it in a sealed bucket with strong corpse-dissolving chemicals that you empty yourself, or keeping it in a non-chemically-treated large tank under the bed that you pay to have sucked out.
Both methods have their passionate advocates and it’s often the subject of lively (and sometimes near fatally violent) debate, similar to the school yard arguments about whether the SNES or Megadrive was best, or possibly how ladies may fight over the advantages of tampons vs. sanitary towels. Not knowing any, I cannot verify this.
We have the sealed plastic bucket method. However, Mr. J (the wife) would like the pump-out tank, but I recently witnessed a pumping-out mishap that led to raw sewage backfiring and spraying from a collection point like a big stinky chocolate fountain!
This was quite unpleasant as you can imagine, for the people who got covered in their own month old shit, and their poor boat, although it did bring back happy memories of the great mighty poo scene from Conkers Bad Fur Day. Maybe I should have spat a few bars from it at them to cheer them up?
On a game related tangent, to try and keep things relevant, I’ve started replaying Project X Zone on the 3DS this week as I forgot to take any games with me and had it downloaded and enjoying the way the Namco, Capcom, and Sega characters interact with each other, for example an early stage features teams from Tekken, Virtua Fighter, and Streetfighter having a lovely time together. What’s your favourite crossover title?
That said, I'd rather been hoping you'd make a joke about the poop deck, but I'm sure you must get sick of those.
For your service to furthering my knowledge of boatpoo, I award you with this reveal-oh:
Have you seen the Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer? If so, what are your thoughts?
If not, here's a link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvvZaBf9QQI
And now what are your thoughts?
I mean it's not like they made an Aero the Acrobat film is it.
Can I just get off my chest that I'm still irritated that the Sega Saturn can't play Mega Drive cartridges through its cart slot? It's bugged me for 20-odd years. Seemed like an open goal to me.
Glad I've mentioned it anyway, even if it's too late to do anything about it. The wife doesn't care when I bring it up over the dinner table. Love the show Biffo.
Anyway, I'm with your wife. If you brought this up while I was trying to eat I'd stab you with my spork.
I'm way behind on reading your blog.
This is possibly too big an ask, but it would be nice to be able to download the pages for offline viewing. RSS would have been the way to do it, but the RSS feed only has the most recent posts. It seems the blog software you use (Weebly?) has very limited functionality, at least for the end user.
I'm quite technical, so had there been a RSS feed to hook on to, I maybe could have found way to convert those into PDFs, so that I could stick them on my eReader.
Obviously you're a busy man, and it's quite a technical question, so I'm not expecting any miracles,
Can somebody in the comments suggest a solution, in very simple terms that an utter Luddite can understand?
I was just watching a video on YouTube all about the Sega Saturn and it got me thinking about all the quality games that system had.
I didn't own one myself, but I got to play on my friend's (who was also one of the 7 people in the UK who owned a 32x), and he had a stack of games that I would have never got to sample without his friendship.
Wasn't that 3D controller a bit of an odd dish shape?! Did it make Night's actually playable? Both: Yes. It's mind blowing now to think that its analogue stick is now considered standard, but at the time it was a very unique feature (Now I'm wondering if the n64 came out before the 3D pad did... Can't be arsed to Google it, so will leave that there in the hope of generating some comments below.)
ANYWAY, the real point to this was that suddenly my mind went to Virtua Cop 2, House Of The Dead and then to other light gun games on the Playstation, Die Hard Trilogy, Time Crisis and Point Blank. Turns out I really really miss light gun games as a gaming genre, and we've been starved of them for way too long.
Sadly, I don't go to the Arcades to play light gun games any more, mainly because the Puffies there cussed me too much back in the day and the PTSD is real (there are no arcades around near me).
Much worse is that I know why we've not had light gun games for the last, what, 2 generations - The Wii's zapper games being the last. HDTV and the technology it uses makes the light guns not work - because reasons.
I've got my fingers crossed that the next tele-visual systems technology will allow the great light gun gaming genre to return to the home. I miss owning a strange coloured chunky futuristic looking light phaser with which I could have once pretended fired real lasers to 'kill' my younger brother.
NEVERTHELESS, can you think of any other genres that have been killed by technology moving on?
Very much looking forward to the live show!
PS: I just thought of VR and how that might have replaced light gun games to a point. Is that comparable? I don't know.
But it's a good question. For a long time it looked as if the traditional side-on platformer was going to be killed by everything becoming 3D, but thanks gawd they made a comeback. For me, 3D platformers and 2D platformers are completely different genres. The same can be said for point-and-click adventures, and pretty much anything. Thanks to indie games, I don't think there are any dead genres anymore.
Though I do miss the big, blockbuster, real-time strategy game. Are there any good ones on the Switch?
Over the years I've used various 'screen names' for different sites and services, and occasionally found myself talking with others using a name I made up on a whim many years ago. Which always feels a little odd, and sometimes not even really remembering which name I should be using.
So I was wondering if you have ever accidentally referred to yourself as Mr Biffo in real life (outside of Digi-related activities), leading to some confusion and embarrassment? Or had to awkwardly introduce yourself as Mr Biffo to someone with no knowledge of Digi?
I feel this letter would take a disappointing turn if the answer to both is a simple no, so if that is the case please make up a hilarious lie instead, like you have a neighbour who thinks your family are 'the Biffos'.
Bruce Flagpole (I think)
I gave up twitter a while back but I saw this: https://twitter.com/mrbiffo/status/1123546513425219584
I’m driving down from Newcastle upon Tyne on July 19th and going back on the 21st. Happy to give a lift to anyone on the way.
I realize that Microsoft is a business and needs to make money, and while it is true we are getting games free from them every month, am I alone in thinking that this month's games with Gold choices for the Xbox Live platform is abysmal?
The recent announcement of the price increase of Xbox Live costs doesn't help matters either and considering the choices haven't been the greatest it does make me wonder if June will even be worth having the free games at all.
Sadly this problem has been going on for years, and the one game I must admit that I'd like to see offered with a games with Gold is Dead Rising 3, or possibly another game that hasn't yet been offered. I honestly thought vast improvements would have been made, but it feels to me that every month we aren't really getting as good as we could have.
I am hopeful Microsoft will eventually surprise people but the way things are going, and unless we get much better free games this program will eventually fail.
gamertag ( gaz be rotten)
Today is a sad day. I've just made my order online for my my groceries delivery and the only 'window' they had (for Friday) was between 9pm and 11pm.
Living alone (through choice and not because my Imaginary Wife left me and no longer lives with me) this is dire; how am I supposed to go out on a Friday night when, inevitably, the delivery will turn up dead on 11pm? Fridays and Saturdays are the only nights to go out on to meet the classier sort of ladies... from my experience.
That being said, I went out the other night with a Moga Bluetooth controller and spent two hours sitting in a corner playing Sega Mega Drive games on my phone. With hindsight this was a daft idea - the nearest I got into a conversation was like this:
"Another Guinness, GM?"
I didn't speak to anyone and ended up spending £12 more than if I'd bought some cans and stayed home AND played Mega Drive games on a decent sized screen.
Fortunately my local is open until 1am tomorrow (Friday) so I might meet some lucky lady that hasn't already been snatched up. Like I said, I like the classy ladies and I know where to find them.
I'll take my Moga Pro, just in case. You know, to impress them with my collection of games on my phone.
I am unwell but still, as forever,
P.S. I've just seen that Sonic trailer - something which, as a person with their finger on the pulse, I didn't know was a 'thing'. I'm not a Sonic / Sega fanboy and my reaction? 'Puh'. I'm sort of indifferent to it. I won't pay to go and see it but I'll watch it when it's free somewhere.
I personally wish notorious psychotic British crackerknackers nutjob Charles Bronson wasn't in prison (probably forever) - he would have made an excellent Robotnik! Look:
Biff Microliquid where are you?
It's the space year 2020. Following the 'Rites of Spring'-esque riotous sensation that was Digi Live the previous year, you have ridden the subsequent wave of popular acclaim to the point where games companies both micro and mega are offering you full creative control of a crack team of 'morris dancers' (games designers).
Offers of lucrative popular culture franchise tie-ins litter your in-tray. Funds are effectively infinite.
So, what does the first Digi created game look like? Which company/ licence would you take? And what would you call the studio?
Have a good 'bank' holiday all.
Voiced by Guides
340) Virtual reality clearly has not been the commercial success that manufacturers were hoping for/predicting a couple of years ago but I would argue that the medium has had a great year critically-speaking.
There have been lots of good games available, on Playstation VR especially and the key, for me, is that developers have a better idea now of what works in VR and what doesn't. I'm not sure that VR will ever become the standard way to play games, or at least people will not switch directly. I suspect that 'normal' games will take more and more VR 'elements,' perhaps AR as part of a continuum that ends up being a form of VR.
Having said that, after the recent slew of good VR games, does this bode well for VR as a medium/format with the arrival of PS5/next generation consoles in general?
341) Even though it wouldn't be my own choice, Breath of the Wild is arguably the strongest launch title in computer games history, but do you think it was the biggest system-seller? If not, which would you choose. Personally, I would argue that Halo and possibly even Ridge Racer did more to sell the format than BoTW.
342) Do you think it is possible that, in terms of making computer games mainstream, the extreme difficulty of many games in the 8-bit and (to a lesser extent) the 16-bit eras was a problem? I am really poor at games, which is strange considering how often I played them, but I rarely finished any 8-bit games and not that many 16-bit games, as they were too difficult to persist with.
I cannot help but think that computer games might have shed their 'nerdy' image sooner had they been a bit easier earlier.
343) In 2015 (I couldn't find more recent figures although it will now be higher), data centres created 2% of global CO2 emissions - roughly the same as air travel. With a move towards cloud computing and streaming, is this something that should be resisted, temporarily, on moral grounds?
344) Can you think of a game series more suitable for a revival that Ultima? It is a ready-made IP with a lot of back story that could be used. It's really surprising that a large publisher hasn't picked it up.
That said, it looks as if I'll have to play most Quest games standing in the middle of the living room, which - again - isn't really practical, even if they do release some must-have games for it.
341) Nah, it's Mario 64. You can't downplay the impact that had at the time.
342) Yep, I agree with this. Something similar we've definitely come up against with Digitiser on YouTube is the natural Digi inclination of not really taking anything seriously - or to at least offset the serious moments with messing about. For many people - the literal-minded, humourless, irony-free, gatekeepers of gaming, you're not allowed to take the piss, or mess about, when talking about games.
Which seems ridiculous to me - games are meant to be fun - but there's a real self-important streak running through gaming, and particularly retro gaming. Git gud culture and all that. They don't like those on the outside who don't make it the entirety of their very existence.
Which, I appreciate, isn't specifically what you asked about, but I wanted to talk about it anyway.
343) I read somewhere that Google offset their carbon footprint with renewable energy sources. But yeah, I do think we're starting to reach a point where people and companies - if not governments, yet - are beginning to take climate change seriously, finally. There feels like a shift towards cleaner energy, and Google, for all its faults, does at least seem aware of what it needs to do.
344) Not sure I care one way or another about the Ultima backstory, but those games were more influential than they're given credit for, in the way they structured an open world. That said, "Lord British" seems more interested in going into space and flogging his blood on eBay these days.
i’d fuck sonic.
Dear Mr Biffolic Acid Deficiency,
Do you think that, with the inevitable arrival of streaming services for games, that smaller services dedicated to retro gaming could thrive?
The success of mini consoles does seem to show that there’s a market for retro gaming without all the faffing about with obsolete tech or scouring the net for emulators and ROMs.
A service offering access to a swathe of Spectrum games or a comprehensive library of games from the NES to the N64 playable without dedicated hardware would surely, if sensibly priced, be sustainable.
Who knows, it could even lead to casual gamers getting in to retro gaming (cue the all those retro gaming gatekeepers collapsing with an attack of the vapors).
With Lovey Dovey Doughnuts,
Dear Mr Biffo,
I've been meaning to write to you for years, so here's a thing that once happened to me that involves videogaming.
Sometime in 1992 or 1993 my GCSE Business Studies class entered a competition to "Make an Ad for Sega" - an ad concept with storyboards and that.
My group's idea was a burglar who breaks into a house, sees a MegaDrive sitting in the front room, decides to have a quick go and is so engrossed he doesn't notice the police arrive and arrest him. The last shot saw the burglar looking forlorn behind bars with the end slogan "Doing time takes ages".
To our surprise we were selected for the final, to pitch our idea to Sega, who gave us a Game Gear each and a "Sonic 2" mug.
Our teacher took us down to London to Sega's swanky HQ, which they'd just bought off then-recently-failed bank BCCI. In the lobby I remember being awed by a huge Virtua Racing arcade machine (on "free play").
We were also given a preview of their new ad featuring the bloke who played Spudgun on "Bottom" doing a parody of "Apocalypse Now". I don't remember much about our pitch, but we didn't win. In retrospect, an ad appealing to criminals probably wasn't what they were looking for.
Afterwards we hailed a black cab to go to King's Cross and, being a naive lad I opened the front door to get in, not realising it was only for luggage. The driver looked at me like I was insane. My (less naive) schoolfriend mercilessly mocked me for it, and continues to do so to this day, 25+ years later.
Even more annoyingly, as a direct result of this competition, same friend was asked to be a reviewer on the new videogame TV show, Bad Influence. I was livid with jealousy as my friend - who didn't even properly like or know much about games!!! - got to hang out with Violet Berlin and review Alien 3 on the SNES and stuff, whilst I - a "proper gamer", albeit too shy to speak in public and blighted with chronic acne - was overlooked.
I hope you liked this story.
I could end with a bit about how much I loved reading Digi, as it was a vital, welcome daily dose of surreal comedy when I was very low and depressed. Or how ace it was to find your Digi2000 website years later.
Or how pleased I was to contribute (albeit a small amount) to your Kickstarter and watch your show.
Or how particularly good your Cinemaware video was. Or how I'm gutted I can't get to the live show in July. And how I still intend to enter the "Digitiser Destroyed Me" competition someday, if it's not too late. But I expect I've gone on too much already.
Much love, keep doing what you do as it is marvellous.
PS I had to phone Nintendo today about them repairing my joy con.Their hold music is the soundtrack from Breath of the Wild. I thought you'd want to know.
PPS this is the ad Sega excitedly showed us https://youtu.be/AhtVzXZ9Ttw and it's as awful now as it was then.
10) What games do you feel failed through no fault of their own because the game itself was awesome, but would have performed better if they had been marketed better?
My picks for this are Blur and Brink.
I absolutely adored Blur, but it was sent out to die by an Activision who purchased a studio (in this case Bizarre Creations) and didn't quite know what to do with it. I loved playing the game, and found it to be more palatable than Mario Kart, an unpopular opinion I know. I really like Mario Kart, but I've always preferred Blur.
As for Brink, it was the first online FPS I really played where there was an emphasis on smooth transition of movement, but also allowing for greater range of mobility depending upon your characters body type. It was mostly glossed over by the gaming public at the time, which is a shame because on the rare occasions I managed to get into a game full of human players with no AI in sight it was awesome.
That was back when I used to play multiplayer games quite a lot, before I got sick of online games. Which brings me to my next question …
11) Why do you think it has taken the online gaming platform holders so long to start doing anything of note to clamp down on bigotry in online games?
Side note: I love Nintendo's online multiplayer offerings, as the lack of microphones for players by default means I don't have to listen to racist, homophobic, sexist, outright bigoted American kids when I play games online. As a result of this, Splatoon is easily the best multiplayer online game I have played in years.
12) Your article about the press reaction to that Sonic The Hedgehog trailer was on-point, in my humble opinion anyway. As such, I ask: do you feel that outrage-baiting in the gaming press (outside of tabloids running gaming articles) has gotten worse over the years?
I ask outside of the tabloids, because I think we all know that outrage baiting is their business model. I remember way back when, The S*n was calling for Mortal Kombat to be banned, and then the very next year was actively promoting the far gorier Mortal Kombat II. It was weird (to my at-the-time very young self) how they went from outrage baiting to full-on backing the franchise in the space of under a year. That being said, the tabloids are outright idiot-magnets, so I am not surprised they are so fickle.
11) I know little of this clamping-down (as welcome as it is) because I rarely play games online. Why has it taken them so long? I guess it's quite difficult to police for one thing. Also, given that so many little turds are horrible, wretched, edgelords, I guess they were wary of upsetting a huge section of their customer base.
One of the things that puts me off playing games online is the chatter. Worse still when I'm in a team with somebody and I'm expected to talk to them while I'm playing.
I've discovered in my 40s that my natural inclination was always to be antisocial, and it is something I wrestle with constantly, because not everyone gets that this is an okay way to be. And I don't want people to think it's about them if I don't want to do something. I mean it never is - I love all my friends -
but after working my arse off all week, I'm just happier being at home, doing my own stuff (unless we've planned something that is very specifically tailored to my interests).
I hope he doesn't mind me saying this, but Gannon is quite notably antisocial, outside of filming and whatnot, and I actually find it quite inspiring.
12) Oh, it has totally gotten worse, and you can blame the internet, and the vast number of different outlets vying for attention. I've even seen it with Digi videos; the ones we did with the title "Your Opinion On Mini Consoles Is Wrong" and the one about Michael Jackson and Sega have done better than many of our other, better, videos.
People want to be outraged, but I always feel so self-conscious when going for those clickbait-y techniques, even if it holds us back.
That's it! New video this weekend - our Star Wars Special, just in time for May 4th. Enjoy!