They're very different to Digitiser The Show, but... still very Digi. If you can give them a watch, or a share, that would be lovely. I work very hard on them - especially these next two. And if you're a Digitiser Patron, you can submit questions for an upcoming Q&A video.
Let's just do some letters now shall we?
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: email@example.com
I want a PLUSH Gossi the Dog. Please make PLUSH Gossi the Dogs. I would buy one and I reckon at least eight other people would too. I’ve wanted one for the last twenty years.
Loved your write up on hating Smash Bros, but still buying it. I'm the same with Final Fantasy games... they are rubbish. I still buy them though.
Do you have any other franchises you despise, but still buy?
PS... Kingdom Hearts 3 is out next week... I'm having THAT!
Thank you for answering my Smiths question last week and turning it into a rant about Graham “A blokes a bloke, and a birds a bird” Linehan.
Anyway, the other way round now. Who’s work have you never liked, but turned out to be a lovely person in real life?
Stephen Morrissey, Stretford, England
Working in telly means I've met a ton of actors and performers. Ultimately, they're just people I meet in the course of my work, and I don't get starstruck (though I probably would've done if I met Steve Guttenberg, who's in the upcoming 100th ep of 4 O'Clock Club).
Some of the nice ones included Maxine Peake, Tim Minchin, Marc Wootton and Mark Heap. Lenny Henry was nice, but quite guarded. He bought a copy of my book, Confessions of a Chatroom Freak, and asked me to sign it, and I wrote: "To Lenny. Enjoy my stupid book". He told me off, and said I shouldn't be so self-depreciating, and should take more pride in what I do. Which was a valuable lesson. I'M AWESOME.
Also, if I did meet a famous person who was lovely, whose work I didn't like, I probably wouldn't write about it on here... Though Kimberly Wyatt is in one of my kid's shows at the minute, and I can't say I was ever particularly a fan of Pussycat Dolls.
That was a lot of name-dropping. Sorry. But you did ask.
I loved your response to the Morrissey question. And there's some weird meta-irony in there somewhere, because the reason I loved it was that it comfirms the fact of your being good people (person), which is more important than your being funny.
I don't know if meta-irony is a thing.
Fuck, Marry, Kill: a Companion Cube (Portal), Professor Oak (Pokémon), Eli Silverman as Henry VIII (Digitiser The Show).
(I thought you deserved a break from the poo stories)
What do you think has been your favourite (or most memorable at least) bit of feedback on Digitiser The Show so far?
So, to discover that he didn't harbour a grudge, liked the show, and - indeed - would consider involvement, in some capacity, in Series 2, made me feel a lot better. I still feel bad though.
More on all of that in a moment...
Who would win in a fight: Fat Sow or Gannon?
I've not been very vocal recently, so I thought I'd just send one of those electronic letters to say I have been very much enjoying the Digi shorts (the videos, not the garments HAR HAR).
There was going to be a point to this email, but now I'm just thinking about Digitiser: The Shorts... Other Digitiser branded clothing could include Moc Moc a Soc(k), Moc Moc a SIn slippers, and Moc Moc a Frock.
You could also make things for the home such as The Man With the Long Bin (it's just one of those tall metal kitchen bins).
I shall expect a cheque in the mail presently.
Someone who discovered your work through Barshens and Digitiser here! I decided to go back through your work once I started following you on Twitter, and your three articles on Jim Sterling were of particular interest to me.
I personally used to regularly follow the man, but his rage got a little too much for me. Even if he isn't as bad as some of the other YouTubers out there.
Given this, I posted your two articles about the Digital Homicide affair to a forum I frequent once I discovered them (links: <https://www.digitiser2000.com/main-page/jim-sterling-the-best-modern-games-journalism-has-to-offer-or-a-vulgar-patronising-embarrassment-by-mr-biffo>, <https://www.digitiser2000.com/main-page/sterling-vs-digital-homicide-whats-really-going-on-by-mr-biffo>) three or so months ago.
I said your opinion was a little more nuanced than others I'd seen, even if I believed DigiHom was still very petty throughout. Your use of the 'drama triangle' was also very interesting for me, it was a side I hadn't seen before.
I got a few civil responses to my post, some in agreement and some not so much. But one I received a few days after posting was particularly vitriolic.
Here it is, in full:
"not this shit again. biffo's article(s) rests entirely on a prima facie bad faith reading of sterling's corpus of work and goes to some increasingly questionable depths to paint sterling as a borderline abusive personality. the fact that you call this shit "nuanced" is telling enough. and of course the anti-sterling circlejerk is eating this shit up.
"fuck off with that shit, mate."
Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I found it somewhat telling that the most fervent defense of Jim was in this form.
Thus, I think his channel is probably the best argument for tone being more important than intent in conversation. Jim's messages about the excesses of capitalism in the games industry, and about the general entitlement of 'hardcore gamers', are lost completely because of his aggressive style of putting it. Is that entirely his fault, or an industry which emphasises such rage over everything else? Who knows.
So thank you for being somewhat balanced in what you put out! Most of the retro things you talk about fly over my head, but the things I can understand always leave me thinking instead of enraged. And I think that's a good thing.
Those articles were a turning point for me, in terms of what I write on here - because the first couple are me reacting, rather than writing, so now I try to take a step back first before putting fingers to keys; What's really going on here?
Rage is an interesting thing, though. On the occasions when I'm being "angry" Mr Biffo, the articles get far more views. Trouble is, that's sort of not me. Or rarely me. I don't find it easy to be full of rage - I'm more comfortable being flippant or taking the piss in a funny way. Given the utter lack of growth on this site over the past four years, it would seem that isn't what people want...!
It'd be easy enough to record a video where I go on a rant, but... if I don't like something, I tend to be more resigned about it, and struggle to work up the enthusiasm to start shouting. Too much effort.
Arnie was in some sub par tie-ins for games when he was the doyen of Hollywood, but why aren't the current leading lights of the acting world in games? For example, the one who's a bit of a plank from the new Blade Runner, but everyone fancies. Ryan Thingamy.
When I looked him up on IMDB, an expert said: "Trademark: Frequently wears wristwatches off and on screen." Now I'm concerned I have been causing an infringement as I too have frequently worn a wristwatch.
I saw him in First Man - an excellent film nonetheless - and... I liked Blade Runner 2048, and I liked La La Land, and... I dunno. Is it just me, or is he phoning it in every time?
What are your thoughts on “loot boxes” and the like? I see that in Belgium, the FIFA game has had them removed (because, basically, they look like gambling).
I know it’s in the history of games to keep the player pumping in those coins into the cabinet, but I’m wondering if you’ve dropped £50+ in a game, should you then be encouraged to drop more cash to make it easier to progress? Or even stump up real money for a virtual item that does nothing more than look nice on screen.
It seems pretty prevalent now, and for me it leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I like playing games, and it’s nice to play them without the reminder that *you could do better* if you throw a bit more cash as the developers.
Sorry to hear (on last week's letters page) that you’re struggling to muster the time/pennies to get yourself back to Orlando. I’m a gargantuan enthusiast of the place too, and have managed to visit every couple of years for the last 8 years.
I’m not particularly rich or anything – it’s literally the only family vacation we do, mainly for this reason: I’ve visited other places and didn’t like them as much.
I’m fully aware that makes me sound culturally stunted on some levels, but I’m a fairly well travelled chap and I know what makes me happy – and that’s theme parks, fireworks, officially licensed spectacles and other similarly loud things. In abundance.
I’m very much indeed looking forward to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge too. We (i.e. ma and da fam) are tentatively planning to visit there in November 2020… I’m fully expecting being in the presence of a life-sized Millennium Falcon to reduce me to a blubbery mess.
Although, for the most part, I’d say I’d much prefer the Universal parks to Disney. I adore the Hulk Coaster and the Amazing Spiderman 3D Ride, and the new (ish) Jimmy Fallon ride is pretty special too. Oh, and the Potter stuff is all incredibly magical and immersive, even to someone like me who cares very little for the wizardy adventures. But it’s The Simpsons part of the park that truly satisfies my soul. It’s easily my favourite place on the planet. Even if the Krusty Burgers are a weird colour.
Do you think the incoming Nintendo rides will be an equal crowd magnet for Universal as the new Star Wars stuff will be for Disney?!
You’ve mentioned a couple of times about visiting Florida in the summer… Have you considered Easter time instead? The weather is way more tolerable for Englishmen for starters, and whilst you will get some overspill from the spring break crowd, the parks never seem too overwhelmed with bodies, and it’s always a good time of year get a deal – especially if you book like 9 or 10 months in advance.
We tend to stay on the I-Drive (full of those gorgeously tacky gift shops, loadsa chain restaurants, and walking distance to Universal Studios) and shuttle it to the Disney parks on the days we wanna do some Walt. We also enjoy visiting the Amway Center to watch Orlando Magic slam some dunks. Live US sports are something else.
This year, however, we’re heading to Disneyland Paris because we have a brand new human baby (to go with our 4 year old), and a long haul flight coupled with adjusting to a different time-zone seemed a bit unfair on someone so miniature. Have you been there? Did you dig it? I went there on a school trip about 20 years ago and remember being somewhat underwhelmed, but I’m hoping they’ve raised their game in the proceeding decades.
Sorry this letter is more like a ramble than anything else. It’s just super fun talking about theme parks, ain’ it!
Surprised you liked the Jimmy Fallon ride. It's fine - and the queue is great and all - but Universal have gone overboard on the motion simulators now. And it seems as if both Universal and Disney are now going through a period of mostly building rollercoasters (new ones themed around Jurassic World, Potter, Guardians of the Galaxy and Tron are all incoming). I like the dark rides best; anything with an animatronic. Which is why I'm looking forward to Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy's Edge.
Yes, I have been to Disneyland Paris, and I do like it. It's not the same as Orlando, but I thought Walt Disney Studios was better than its reputation. Yes, it's full of big, empty areas, and the theming isn't up to much (they're building new areas - including a scaled-down Galaxy's Edge), but Tower of Terror and Rock N' Rollercoaster are both still great, and Ratatouille is cute. Also, Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean are better than the Orlando versions.
The merchandise was rubbish, though, compared to Florida. Really cheap and nasty.
Theme parks; my catnip.
Dear Mr B
I noticed that in the past you’ve enjoyed readers’ tales centred on, well, poo. I have a poo story of my own which I thought I’d share. I hasten to add it does not involve my own poo, but rather someone else’s, which actually makes it worse for me, but there you go. Shit happens.
I’m currently working in Salford’s beautiful Media City (as Guns ‘N’ Roses famously sang, “Take me down to Media City, where the concrete’s grey and the parking’s shitty”). The other day I had to make use of the facilities. Now, I appreciate a degree of solitude when I perform my myriad ablutions; not for me the bustle of a crowded nightclub toilet. As it happens, on this occasion I only needed a “wee”, but all the same the loo was busy.
Two of the three urinals were occupied, and as I suffer from the condition known colloquially as “shycock”, attempting a widdle in between two other people was an act of futility. Fortunately there are two cubicles for such an occasion.
One of them was in use, however, and so – slightly self-conscious at the thought that the peeing people might now think I was going to take a loud and long number two – I made my way towards the second, unoccupied poo-booth.
Obviously in this situation I expected an empty piss-cupboard, and so I strode gallantly forward, flinging aside the door to the lavvy with great vigour, momentum on my side as I prepared to enter. What greeted me upon the door being opened stopped me short. For this toilet was filthy. Now, the loos are usually well looked-after; this was not a dereliction of duty on the part of some underpaid member of the janitorial staff.
No, what had occurred here was some kind of conscious act. For the filth that I beheld was not some mere badly-aimed excretion; it was not a bearclaw of such girth as to block the U-bend. It wasn’t just mucky. Something had come back out of the toilet bowl. Paper adorned the rim. A large quantity of liquid that can only be described as effluence snaked its way across the floor towards the door – towards me, in fact.
This was a toilet accident on a grand scale. This was an act of arse art. This was what the Joker would do if he was that awful Joker from the Suicide Squad movie. The one that appeared to have been written by a 12-year-old edge-lord drunk on Red Bull and PornHub. Yes, this was disaster crapitalism writ large. And I was about to step in it.
Fortunately my reflexes are like as to a cat; unfortunately that cat is Garfield. I managed to stop myself but did so with a visible shudder, my body recoiling as if subjected to early-millennial ragdoll physics. I then said – involuntarily, very loudly, and for some ungodly reason in a loose imitation of Kenneth Williams – “oooh, bloody hell.”
Embarrassed by my high-pitched and, frankly, somewhat camp outburst, I fled the scene, hiding out in the disabled loos until the heat was off (and until I finished my wee). All that remained were questions. How, how, had the water come back out of the bowl? Who had done such a thing and then left, like a shit-caked thief in the night? What wretched soul was this? Were they now a shattered husk of a man, trailing bog roll and filth in their wake?
I spent the rest of the day scanning the office, looking for guilty eyes, a waxen complexion, or brown stains on their shoes.
There you go. I hope you enjoyed this tale of woe. I went back to the toilet just today, as it happens. It’s been cleaned up. To look at it now you wouldn’t realise the horrors that occurred there.
But I know. I know.
I hope you are well. I’m fine except this week I accidentally bought a weird Freemason watch off of Wish. T'was only £2.80 so it may end up being serendipity. Especially if it gets me off all them murders I done (internet music theft).
Aaaaaannyway, have you bought any tat off ‘Wish’ intentionally or not? It’s quite addictive browsing the shite they flog. They do some completely legal and licensed(not) video game stuff too. So that’s nice.
This week I’ve been mostly playing PC engine games on my awesome
JXD7800 gaming tablet, what a completely underrated console that was!? Shame it never took off in the UK. The Pacland port is really very good.
Got to go now, byeeeee.
++++++plug zone+++plug zone+++plug zone+++++
"I’m writing with the hope you can include my new book in your OPZ (Occasional Plug Zone). I’ve written a new Dictionary, called The Dictionewary. It contains hundreds of new words and definitions which I have invented, which are all documented in a familiarly alphabetical style. It’s the sort of thing that could revolutionise communication worldwide in a few years, and I was hoping that you and your readers would like to help.
"Not only does the book include hundreds of new words and definitions, it also contains a few stories of how these words came about. It even has two intros - one for normal old people like us and one aimed at the youth of today, the type of people who may be unfamiliar with how dictionaries work.
"I’m hoping that through continual usage some of the new words I’ve created, like Misefifo, Abrewval, Crissix and Imbaughough (pronounced im-baff-off), will become proper recognised words within a few years.
I appreciate that, up to this point, my letter comes across as someone wanting to advertise something that has nothing to do with the usual Digitiser topics. However, one of the words in The Dictionewary was inspired directly by a conversation that I saw happen on Twitter between you and Paul Gannon a few months ago.
Someone who says or writes something that people think is real, but that was actually a well crafted joke.
It comes out on the 4th Feb and is available to pre-order / buy here : https://amzn.to/2CIkjvk
Craig from the 80s.