Sorry that this week's Digi has been slightly on the bitty side. This is a consequence of one fact and one fact alone: I'm literally getting married in the morning (technically afternoon... although that fact is also dependent on whether you're reading this on Friday). Even though we've made the entire nonsense as simple and low-key as possible, I've had the soon-to-be-in-laws staying, and... well... you know.
We had some letters, so I thought I'd spew out a Friday Letters Page regardless. Normal service shall be resumed next week, as we're not having a honeymoon any time soon, because there's Too Much To Do.
Indeed, once this weekend is out of the way, the missus and I will be moving full-speed into putting Digitiser The Show together. We do our first filming on June 15th - when several classic Digitiser characters will be brought to horrible life - with the full studio session currently scheduled for the first week of July. Filming will then continue on-and-off between now and the autumn.
And that is that. On with those sweeeeeeeeeet 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, please send your filthy emails to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's my typical week right now...
Tuesday a.m. - "Oh, that random thought is both pretty relevant AND irreverent, it'd make a great letter to Digi. I'll bash off an electromail after work."
Tuesday p.m. - Switch on computer, browse interwebs, order ANOTHER set of screwdrivers. Wonder where the screwdrivers go.
Wednesday a.m - "Godsdammit! That Digi letter..."
Thursday p.m. - "Last call for Digi letters? I had a good idea...now...ooooooh, those screwdrivers ought to be here by now."
Friday - "Oh, man, Digi Mailbox day."
Saturday - "YES! Those screwdrivers have arrived!"
Just, you know, I'm getting my excuses in early. In case you take some time off, what with getting married and all.
I hope that goes well for you. Well, you know, forever, as well as on "The Big Day".
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got screws that won't screw themselves. Oh...buggering flipsnakes, where ARE the screwdrivers?
Press reveal to see if top DIY guy Hank McHonk has any cool screwdriver tips for you.
Dear Biffo and Mrs. Biffo. Congratulations and good luck for your wedding day. There is a wedding in Dark Souls 3, did you know? It’s one of those obscure “if you do thing A, then seemingly unrelated thing B, then option C becomes available, and then marriage” type things that are so common to the series. It’s not a happy occasion however; there is sacrifice and organ rending.
Hopefully there is less of that on your special day and more cake and disco. Hearty congratulations.
What do you think about the Dark Souls Remaster? It’s disconcerting to see it play so smoothly and without all the jank of the original, but does it lose some of its off-kilter appeal? The game is utterly transformed by having so many fellows to co-op with, compared to the barren online wastes of a recent PS3 play through, yet I tend to lone wolf most of it, except for the pad-hurlingly punishing bits, which are beginning to come thick and fast. Grats again, dear beans.
There is another entry in the Digitiser: The Game development diary. It's witty, informative, kind to sensitive skin, and is my cheque in the post yet?
To atone for the nagging sense of guilt following such blatant self-promotion, here's a more fictional advert.
Congratulations, and I hope you and your lady have a great day.
Here are a few things I don't get about weddings, though. I'm sure these don't apply to you, but... well, I feel like writing them down anyway because you've got space to fill, and CTRL+A CTRL-V CTRL-C will copy any amount of text so what's the harm.
I mean it's only seconds of your life ticking away that you'll never get back. What else could you be doing? Nothing, that's what. Do nothing. Just sit there. Optionally, sigh every few minutes. Stare at a wall. Stare at a different wall. Or read this.
Nikki's list of wedding things she does not understand:
Or is the joke that actually, the OPPOSITE is true and no man has ever felt like that ever? Is there a limit to the amount of questions I can ask in a row here? Dare I continue to found out? Are you expecting me to say, "tune in next week to found out," at some point? Will you be surprised when I don't?
Ok, so there was only one thing on the list. That's still a list though, isn't it.
So, yeah, talking about video games then. Go on, as you were. Games and things. Less existential dread.
I wish you all the happiness in the world for the weekend, and every day after that. Also, don't be tempted to say "I do-do" and then laugh because do-do means poo. Just think it. And don't laugh.
After my last marriage, I was quite happy never to get married again, because - y'know - it's just a piece of paper and that innit. But then, I was drawn to the notion of getting married because I wanted to, rather than because I felt I had to, and it had more appeal... and, well, for both of us it's a way of saying 'this is for life'. Press reveal to see something else that's for life.
Best wishes for your nuptials-me-do this weekend, Biffo and Sanya! Enjoy yourselves, and I hope you have a lovely future together.
I’ve had a kind of complicated journey as a Star Wars fan. I remember seeing the original films on VHS when I was small, then went all in when the Special Editions came out in the cinema: toys, EU novels, the works.
When Episode 1 came out I had a kind of traumatic response and gave up on it all - and, to be honest, was a bit fed up with the later EU novels - and didn’t bother with 2 or 3 til years later, on TV or whatever.
The recent films have been a breath of fresh air, especially Rogue One and now Solo. I think the reality is that I just want my Star Wars in and around that era: the Empire, the Rebellion (give or take), and so on.
I think I can live with a Boba Fett movie for that reason, assuming it isn’t too contaminated by links to the prequels...? I wasn’t entirely pleased with the surprise appearance of an old nemesis at the end of Solo for this reason, but I appreciate there are people who dig that character for other reasons. So whatever. Nice to see Kessel and Corellia on the big screen.
It’s weird being a fan.
Anyway! All the best for the big day, Mr B. Wishing you and the soon-to-be Mrs Biffo many more happy years together.
Case in point: I really, really enjoyed the Solo movie, but I'm no longer sure how I feel about Star Wars. It's weird, but something really broke in me with The Last Jedi. Even now, six months on, I can't even put my finger on what happened. I can, objectively, see that it's a decent film. It's well made, the story is solid, and yet it has left me with a weird feeling of loss. More so, even, than the prequels did.
Judging from the box office disappointment of Solo, I'm guessing I'm not the only one.
I've recently reevaluated my opinion of the prequels in the wake of all this. I don't think they're particularly good, but they do have value - because they're the work of a singular vision. They're quirky, they don't simply rehash old Star Wars beats, they try to do new things with the Star Wars universe. And they could do it, because it was Lucas at the helm, and it was entirely his right.
The thing I don't get about The Last Jedi is how everyone was saying it was changing the rules. For me, one of the biggest issues is that it felt too familiar; once again remixing moments and themes we'd seen before. If anything, it didn't go anywhere near as far as I felt it needed to offer a new take on Star Wars. Every moment is one we've seen before... albeit with a slightly different outcome.
Everyone talks about super-hero fatigue, but I see no real signs of it happening. Marvel, for me, is very good at putting new stuff on screen, the films are funny, the characters likeable. Everything in all these new Star Wars movies just feels like a variation on what came before. That was fine for The Force Awakens - which washed away the taste of the prequels - but we've had three films since then which are just doing much the same thing.
It's just... I dunno. Maybe... just maybe... there is too much Star Wars?
I hope you have an amazing weekend. If you find yourself a loose end for 10 minutes then you could always knock us up a quick listicle, maybe which video characters could get married or something. If not then no harm done. Congratulations x
But anyway. Press reveal to see an unexpected celebrity union.
1. What has been your favourite game or console advert over the years? I have to be predictable and say the PlayStation 'Double Life' advert but the Virtual Fighter 4 UK one was good, too.
2. What item of in-game clothing would you most like to be real/own?
3. Hasn't the criticism of Mass Effect Andromeda gone too far? It's no classic and nowhere near as good as Mass Effect 2, but the online hive mind acts as if it was terrible. I think that it is pretty good but was clearly hamstrung by overambition and the stupid ending to Mass Effect 3.
Good luck with the wedding!
2. Does the Portal gun count as clothing? Hmm. No: I like Joel's clothes from The Last Of Us, because he basically dresses like I do already.
3. I bought Andromeda, and never got around to playing it, because all the criticism put me off. People care too much about stuff these days. You can't just be mildly annoyed... you have to be OUTRAGED! it's just a game. So in answer to your question: yes.
Found this in a guide for 1950's ladies... probably applies to you... and your predicament.
1. A Smile Goes A Long Way.
2. Keep Quiet.
3. Wear Pink Underwear.
4. Don't Let The Kids Be Too Much Trouble.
5. Expert Cooking Will Keep Your partner Loyal.
6. Put As Much Care Into Your Appearance As Dinner.
7. Don't Be Too Sexual Or Too Prude.
8. Don't Be Mad If they Goes Astray
9. Remember That The MAN Is In Charge.
For some reason they didn't include 10...
P.S. Have a bloody great time.
Dear Mr Biffo. I have been greatly enjoying the new Half Man Half Biscuit album over the last few days. Do you have any opinion on them and if so what?
Congratulations on the upcoming nuptials! It’s my wedding anniversary on Saturday so I can say with confidence THAT it’s a good day to choose.
Love and one of those slightly awkward modern handshakes that could become a hug but we’re not really sure if the other one is feeling it,
I’d like to join in with the surely bounteous wishing of well for your imminent wed-me-do. Vastly inflated congratulations to you and Sanya - I truly hope you have the very best day, and get many an appreciative nod for your music selection throughout.
Also, sorry to have panicked you when I got the wrong day and tweeted similar tidings a week early last weekend. Hope you weren’t beset with too many cardiac problems as a result or anything.
This week I have realised two things of relevance to you and your past endeavours.
Thing the first: I was watching some 90s nostalgia programme the other day, and there was a bit about Nirvana, which reminded me. It reminded me: of a tribute to Kurt Cobain that ran on Teletext’s Generator pages (or ‘Greatarator’ as Digi termed it) as news broke of his death, which included a full-page Teletext art gravestone with ‘RIP Kurt’ emblazoned on it.
I guess this was probably your work - do you have any memory of doing it? I had no idea who he was at the time, so it was all a bit bewildering.
Thing the second: this week I inadvertently got into an online ‘spat’ with an ex colleague I haven’t seen in 10 years and barely even spoke to back then, over whether a certain far-right cretin was a free speech martyr or not (clue: he’s not), and I was left mourning the lack of critical thinking that people seem to display these days.
Which got me to thinking: tracing things back, it seems likely to me that your outspoken writing back in the early-to-mid 90s helped me to develop my own critical thinking skills.
Having my opinions challenged, albeit about something as mundane as which console is best, or whether Sonic 3 is a big fat cuss-oh or not, likely primed me to be open to assessing things critically myself - rather than taking them at face value based on my own confirmation bias or something. Digi may well have played a part in me growing up to (hopefully) not be an idiot, and for that I thank you.
So: cheers, yeah?
Have a tippity-top day tomorrow.
As for the other thing... that's really lovely. And a bit weird for me that Digitiser would've been so influential in somebody's formative years. Gawd knows where I got it from though.
Everyone: go check out Super Page 58. Bellston somehow keeps managing to find old Digitiser stuff to put up there.
Dear Digi. On an almost daily basis I keep getting little bags of 6mm steel ball bearings through the post. I've checked both Amazon and eBay and I've certainly not purchased any - if I had then it could possibly be explained by some computer glitch or something somewhere. I now have 3500 of them; I know this not because I've counted them but did some 'magic' with scales and mathematics.
Last week I was looking at the tub I keep them in and wondering what I could do with them. I've got a fairly large neodymium magnet and wanted to see what would happen. I've now got several cuts and substantial bruises on my left hand and it took my friend, Pink Kelly, almost three hours to remove the balls from the magnet.
Still at a loss as to what I could do with them I bought a catapult on eBay. I don't know what I was planning to aim for but there's a weird dude who is about 15 years old that is always kicking a football around in the car park where I park my car and I've seen him not only hit it but also checking the doors to see if it's unlocked. I loaded five of the ball bearings and took aim.
Lucky for him I missed but I was quite surprised when he looked at my car. I was even more surprised when I realised I'd hit my own windscreen and caused quite a few considerable cracks.
I don't know what my insurance policy says about windscreen cover - I don't tend to check important things like that. I certainly won't mention that I caused the damage myself when I call them up to find out.
The ball bearings? Still in a tub but in my 'safe cupboard' now, along with my stash of tripods and all of the empty Amazon boxes I keep amassing.
I am unfit but strong and that is all.