Then this happened: my brain started wanting to do stuff about video games.
Without getting too, uh, psychological about it all... telling myself I no longer had to do a thing - probably, frankly, because I was reacting to the mild backlash against the Digi Minis moving away from games - revealed that beneath it I actually sort of, sometimes, want to do gaming content after all. Giving myself permission to want to, rather than have to, made all the difference.
We'll see where it goes from here.
This is one of the most exciting things about this site, yes? You get to come along on this thrilling psychological journey with me - in real time! Yes, it's all a bit mad, but at least I don't have an urge to put pens up a fox's bottom. I'M NOT HURTING ANYONE!!!
Anyhow, just a small reminder that there's a new Digi Mini going up on Sunday. Visually, it's one of the most spectacular ones we've done - and contains real, actual, science. I'm not sure yet... but it might be the last Mini of the current run, before I go away on my belated honeymoon, and we kind of relaunch them. Ish. I mean, we're not reinventing the wheel.
Also, you can now catch up on all the ones you've missed, because apparently loads of you didn't have an extra 15 minutes to spare every week. Do you see?!
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
My wife bought a pack of rubbers...Although I’m supposed to refer to them as erasers lest people giggle like small children.
Ostensibly they are supposed to represent Battersea Power Station, Queen Elizabeth Tower, The London Eye, and St Pauls Cathedral; such as if one were travelling west to east along the Thames.
However, my rubber river tour goes like this.
Descending above the water somewhere near Pimlico and taking the long way round (*looks up* "an air traffic reference" *returns to newspaper), making Spitfire noises, I track towards sunrise.
Only two chimneys on Battersea Power Station... What is this? The pre-WWII Battersea prior to the 1940/50s expansion?
A singular tower that looks like a generic grandfather clock and is unmarried to the larger structure that hosts the "Mother of Parliaments!"
UGH! That ferris wheel has a bulky weight bearing anchor, entirely unlike the gossamer thin, graceful support structure weaved in reality.
But here’s the big one, and it had me chuckling to myself and saying “Oh China...alongside your dreadful human rights record, you get so so so much wrong!”
The supposed St Pauls... It much more closely resembles the Pantheon (*looks up* "in Rome" *returns to newspaper*) albeit with a spurious cupola!
I cannot get over how much it makes me smirk and tut, and I intend to share my observation with all my friends.
Antique rare Volkstedt porcelain figure of a Tailor. Some superficial damage. C17th
And don't print this bit...unless you want to...for some meta-joke.
Whenever you talk about your writing and finding and being yourself...I 100% get it. Stuff like the above exists in my head all the time and I have to hide it from my responsible middle class job, and almost the entirity of my friends/family lest they think I am mad.
I often think that the underlying causes of so much stress today is simply that people are shoe horned into jobs they cannot enjoy in order to pay the bills. Once you have a mortgage and responsibility, you're cut loose from being able to be you.
I supposedly work in a creative profession, the design of training... But as usual it has become tied in procedural knots that rob it of any real flare, and as management, I'm supposed to enforce this risk averse way of thinking. Only Citalopram keeps me turning up and slogging away.
Keep doing what you're doing, for you, and we'll be along for the ride because there are so many people out there who would be classed as nutters. But we're just different.
The channel will grow, there is a need for absurdism again since so much has become political and safe these days. More will find you.
Would it still be a car?
Anyway... as for the not-for-publication part... don't hide yourself away, Dave. You write good, and you've identified a big part of why there's so much anxiety in the world.
I often reference a book that changed my life - Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Harari. It made me realise how society, work, all of it... is just made-up stuff. It's not who we are, or who we evolved to be. The people we see as "normal" - the ones who've contorted to fit into the box, and surpressed who they are - are the ones I see with a problem. Don't live a lie! Life's far less stressful if you just give in to who you are.
Unless you're a murderer or something. Obviously, don't hurt anyone.
You think our monkey ancestors bothered putting on suits and ties before going to a job interview? No! They just dicked around in caves doing whatever they liked, being funny.
46) For the benefit of 'Sedric-and-Charlie' (last week's Letters Page), I will consider their request. I suppose that I have to go out with some kind of bang for question 500.
Anyway, with the news that Bully 2 was in active development up to the point of being playable in a basic form, how much potential do you think this could have had? I liked the original but thought the biggest problem was not setting it in a fictional Eton, rather than an American school - a huge missed opportunity. The game itself was good enough and a next-generation version would have had my attention if the setting was changed.
447) Speaking of Rockstar, has their gigantic commercial success negatively impacted upon them as a creative force? It's difficult to argue that GTA 4, 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are not, at the very least, very good games, but what else do they do?
It is, I suppose arguable that GTA & RDR online are separate games to the single-player elements that spawned them, but where are the Bullies, Manhunts and Table Tennis successors?
Now, especially in the case of Manhunt, it might not be so bad that they don't make them any more but it just seems slightly sad to me that perhaps the only studio in the world that can genuinely do whatever they want, on their own terms, has become a franchise house.
It's better to make great but familiar games (Nintendo for example) than to make bad but original games, but some new IP would be nice - after all, they didn't invent Red Dead, strictly-speaking.
448) Which games or computer hardware manufacturer has/had the best logo? Maybe not for artistic reasons, I will vote for Commodore - the 'C Equals' logo still looks good now.
449) Does Death Stranding's marketing of appearances by Guillermo Del Toro, Nicolas Refn and Lindsay Wagner, while their voices are supplied by other actors, do the voice cast a disservice? I understand that characters rarely look like their voice actors, but when the characters are actually meant to look like the real people, I think this is new territory.
450 - Getting There) On a related note, the original design for Ellie in the Last of Us looked remarkably similar to Ellen Page before being re-designed to look more like Ashley Johnson. So much so, in fact that I went a long time thinking that the character was played by Ellen Page and that perhaps Naughty Dog's initial plan had been to have her voice the character.
Which games character's portrayal would have been improved by a famous actor/actress and by whom?
Not fair, of course, to compare it to a game it wasn't really trying to be, but I hope the sequel - for entirely selfish reasons - is set in a recognisable British school at least. Though even modern schools I don't really identify with anymore. They have interactive wipeboards now. Interactive!
447) I dunno. I mean, RDR2 was, in my eyes, an absolute triumph. GTAV similarly so, even if some of it left a bad taste in my mouth. I think they release games so infrequently - because of the sheer size of them - that the lack of variety doesn't seem to matter to me.
448) Easy: Ocean software. I loved that 1980s chrome look, but it was also a great, simple, logo when reduced to flat colour.
449) I'll be honest... I hadn't been aware that this was a thing. Seems a bit weird, but I guess if the actors were fine with it... it's not an issue.
450) Yeah... see, The Last of Us was different, because Ellen Page didn't know they were doing it. That's not right. I dunno if any games character's portrayal is improved by having a famous person in the role. I think it just needs to be the right person. I mean, I can think of many films and TV shows where a famous actor was cast when a good actor would've been a better choice.
With the note of finality in the air from the latest update on the website, I just wanted to put this down to paper, as it were, since I've wanted to send it for quite a while now, and now seems as good a time as ever.
When I was quite young, I was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder, and honestly, it was a lonely life, I didn't really understand why people were like they are, why other people couldn't understand me or the way I thought, and to a degree, that's still an issue now, but at least I'm somewhat more equipped thanks to the years that have gone since then.
Another thing I didn't really get was humour, why was something considered funny, or the opposite? That's not to say I didn't find things funny, though, but what I found funny was almost never conventional, or at least, not age appropriate. I got on well with adults, but not my actual peers.
It's a bit of a stereotype to say, but my "special interest" was computer games, and I sought after anything and everything that I could watch or read about them, books, magazines, TV shows. And then one day, teletext.
I found out about Digitiser, and honestly, it was the first time I saw humour that I found funny, and the first time I'd ever thought that I was experiencing something that was made with me in mind, and it was honestly mind blowing that there was a form of media out there about what I loved, that I could consume and felt like I could enjoy and understand, and my world didn't feel quite so lonely any more.
When you brought Digitiser: The Show to fruition, I was introduced to a lot of incredible people via the show, and it's felt exactly as amazing to me now as it did then to have filled my social media with so many fantastic individuals.
Lots of things have shaped my life since then, of course, but Digitiser is definitely a starting point for anyone trying to pinpoint my inner workings.
Essentially, this email boils down to me wanting to thank you for helping me become me.
Whatever the future brings, I welcome it with open arms!
All the best.
Apologies for the air of finality in the recent posts. I think I just needed to get that out of my system. Digitiser isn't going anywhere... I don't know where I take it from here. I'll just take it one day at a time, write what I feel like writing that morning, and right now it appears I still enjoy writing about video games.
I hope you can give the Digitiser Minis a chance. No, they're not about video games, but they're very sincere in their stupidity, in the same way the original Digitiser was.
So, it looks like the crowd calling themselves "Atari" are further dragging the once-great brand into the mud. Can you see any way for "Notari" to turn things around and reinstate the brand?
Such a shame. Atari has such a great, iconic, logo too.
Can we step outside the character, whimsy, sarcasm etc. for a moment and discuss something? The Amiga, by Commodore.
Genuinely, I’ve met some really terrible and privileged people in the Amiga scene over the years. However, I love the machine, particularly the A1200, and to this day it’s quite possibly my favourite OS I’ve ever used.
My question to you, Paul Rose, is how you genuinely feel about it?
This isn’t a dig at you (I think the anti-Amiga sentiment in Digi is really funny) but I'm just curious of your thoughts.
The machine itself? Well, I can see that it had some great games... I just never owned one. Well, I did in the end - Teletext bought us one - but it was right at the end of its life, so I never played very many games on it.
I am currently playing Final Fantasy VIII Remaster.
Jim Leighton (Future World Darts Champion) x
Am just beem out here, good morning eat a naan m.
Have you ever used those magical boots that make the skin on your feet peel off after a week or so, leaving your feet soft and smooth? If not, you should definitely try them. Peeling HUGE pieces of skin off of your feet and finding the softness beneath is deeply satisfying.
Hi! I’m knee deep in sheep shit, trawling Twitter, and finding an overweight Mario. https://www.reddit.com/r/CheapShow/comments/ax792f/our_lord_and_saviour_eli_silverman/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
You gave an email, this is your fault, please include more dead things on Digi, I miss that lil stinky thing. (Not Eli, Keith)
- 2019 - GGCHV
There's a lot of Eli/Fat Sow/Digi talk in the 150th ep of Cheapshow coming up soon btw...
Dear Mr Biffo The Wisp,
What's the most disappointing food you've ever tried?
I always remember the childhood experience of trying Battenburg cake, how something that looked so lovely could taste of pensioners still haunts me.
On a related note I recently bought a jar of Piccalilli on the assumption that I probably liked it, only to be quickly reminded that I don't as it's just acidic vomit flecked with cauliflower pieces.
Love and kissy kissy,
Anyway. Most disappointing food? Chocolate-covered "gourmet" bacon in America. Cost something like $24 a slice. Disgusting and a rip-off. Press reveal to see something else that's a rip-off:
Alright, I've been gone since forever, I know that, but I've returned to say about the new consoles, Sony announced the PS5, it looks promising, even more promising than the Xbox I forgot the name of.
Nintendo has yet to announce their new console (Switch doesn't count as it was a stand in for the Wii U), but I'm wondering what side do you think will win the next console war, I'm thinking Sony, but Microsoft will definitely be out for blood after the Xbox One's bad start,
From the BV Reviewer
PS. Might just sneak this in here, it's a unrelated meme I found on Instagram.
PPS happy early Halloweenie!
This answer bored me.
Now, I'm not hopping on The Blizzard-oh Bus. Think Diablo III was the last I owned, and loathe Overwatch, WoW et al, so a boycott is already in place. But it does raise the thorny issue of where companies source their funding and revenue streams, which loops us over to Atari.
I am an Atari fanboy, and although I was aware of the retro console it was developing, the VCS, can't say I was likely to want one.
What is fascinating is how, from a long history of mucking up pretty much all it ever developed, it's committing Jag-wah scale boobs again. But this time it's crowdfunded. Which makes me uneasy, like the feeling when I first unboxed my Jag-wah. Long story short (head over to The Register for some good journalism and my sources):
December 2017 Announces that the console could be 'pre-ordered'. The VCS at this point is an empty box. Silence ensues - tadaaa! An Indiegogo launches. And raises $3m. Launch date - June 2019
June 2018 - Boffins start thinking what might be good to put in a plastic box for a few hundred dollars.
June 2019 - No working box seems to exist. New launch March 2020
Now - main Architect walks out amid alleged invoice mumbling. Backers - dischuffed.
All very, very familiar territory. But $3m crowdfunded?
No idea on the legal ramifications if it goes further downhill (disclaimer, disclaimer etc), but I'm rather uneasy as A) it seems remarkably easy to raise that much money even for a project as niche as this, and B) the games industry is strewn with games and kit that never got going or was born rubbish.
Not that fussed if it's shareholders who carry the can, but members of the public deeply damaged by having bought an Atari Falcon and looking for some redemption? Doesn't seem quite right.
The Amiga was still rubbish mind...
When it's trying to get backing for consumer products, then it's a whole risky can of worms.
It's like... if and when I do crowdfunding for a follow-up to Mr Biffo's Found Footage, it's a lean enough project that I can shift lanes if I hit any roadblocks, and find a more affordable way to do something (indeed, I've already discussed both Big Budget and Small Budget versions of the idea I have). When it's something like a console, you can't really cut corners in the same way, or find creative solutions.
It’s great to see you all inspired at the moment. Your posts this week have been some of the funniest you’ve put out on Digi2000 - you’re in a very rich vein of form, and the news about the next big video project is both exciting and incredibly encouraging.
Encouraging because it’s clear you’ve found your love for what you do again, and have an idea you 100% believe in.
The other ideas you were knocking about sounded like they had more than enough potential - a series 2 of Digi would of course have been welcome, and Bubblegun could’ve been superb if done right. But the news that you’re digging up those lost tapes has me just ecstatic at the prospect of what’s to come.
It’s the best possible outcome as far as I’m concerned. I’d been in the mood for more Found Footage for a while now, and this is perfect timing - the fact that the idea of it has you so enthused and energised is such a positive sign as well. I’m already eager for the buildup and drip-feeding of details, even at this super-early stage.
I’m sure I speak for a lot of this community when I say we’ll do all we can to help you realise the vision you have for this one. Ready and standing by, anyway we can help.
Talking of help, thanks so much for the assistance and nuggets of trivia you sent my way for the new Digi FAQs on Super Page 58. It’s something I’d wanted for the site for some time, so I’m really happy that it’s been fact-checked by you, and some mysteries have been at least semi-answered.
Here they are, if anyone hasn’t seen them yet and is curious. Hope they prove useful:
The ghost of Tony Wilson graphic you made for it was just spot on as well, thanks so much for doing that.
Off the back of your revelation that Reversible Sedgewicks made a cameo in that episode of My Parents Are Aliens, I must ask you - are there any other Digi Easter “eggs” dotted throughout your TV work that we can track down? I love the thought of you dropping in little references to things that would go completely over most peoples’ heads.
Did Danny Boyd ever pop up in your kids shows like you were intending at one point?
Well, it seems like it’s been a very positive week in for you and Digi all in all - I think you can go off and fully enjoy pretending to be in Star Wars for a couple of weeks now.
Hope you have the best time - you’ve certainly earned it!
And when I did my ep of EastEnders, I had a reference to "Zombie Dave's Pizza" in there, which remained right up to the penultimate draft... and believe it or not it was me who took it out, because of the way the story changed.
Beyond that, there aren't any I can recall. I recorded the 150th ep of Cheapshow last night, and there are a lot of "moc-moc-a-mocs" in it. No, really. You'll see why...
As you've made friends with an Air Fish (which we all know is a Pike on a Stick, you're not fooling me, oh no!!!) who somehow wants me to write to you, I was wondering about Air Guitars and what you like to play on them. I like "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits with that Yaffel botherer Sting.
Jon Clay, Taunton, Somerset
451) You've mentioned before, correctly, that Sega has a fantastic back catalogue that they ignore. It seems hard to believe that Golden Axe, Daytona USA, Ecco and others haven't continued, which begs the question why? I suspect that it is partly because, as a developer, we didn't know what we had with Sega until much of it was gone.
At times I think they were unfairly treated by a games press, which was then (and still is in many ways) soft on Nintendo to the point that many of their great games left the public conscience. Do you think this could partly explain their reluctance to revive their classics?
452) Do you have any thoughts on Blizzard's ban of Chung Ng Wai? Are they correct to try to appease people in a commercially sensitive area or should they be ashamed for caving in to an authoritarian regime?
453) Which arcade games, if any, would have been improved by being able to complete them? As much as I liked it, I was always annoyed that you always lost eventually playing Crazy Taxi.
454) Is Hideo Kojima the most powerful individual games developer in the world and if not, who is?
455) I was reading about Nerina Pallot today and there was an interesting quote from a former manager of hers which described how she should have been a huge star as she had the backing of a big label, good songs and a decent amount of talent - but after 3 years of 'push,' it just didn't work.
What games should have been really popular in your opinion, but just weren't, perhaps for no obvious reason. I would nominate Remember Me.
But there are signs that reviving the Sega classics is starting to happen; Streets of Rage and Panzer Dragoon are both coming back.
452) I get why they've done it - China is a massive market, and they're a business - but at the same time... it seems a kind of cowardly move on their part. The way Hollywood bows down to China, despite its record on human rights - shoehorned-in locations in, say, Marvel movies - feels really cynical to me.
453) The point of arcade games was never really to complete them. They were machines to keep you playing as long as possible, so you kept sinking money into them. That said, Dragon's Lair - which, let's face it, you could only complete if you spent a small fortune - would've probably have worked better as an animated movie, from beginning to end.
454) Huh. I dunno. Perhaps. His games are weird though.
455) Spec Ops: The Line should've been bigger than it was. It was a solid FPS, with an interesting setting, and it did some really interesting things narratively and thematically. But maybe gamers don't want to have to question the nature of war when they're more used to shooting things mindlessly.
I agreed with your thoughts on Apple Arcade a while back - it’s a largely nice collection of games, and well worth the price of entry. I’d have paid £5 for Grindstone and Cat Quest 2 individually and have had plenty of fun from them.
A little disappointing you can’t buy the titles without subscribing if you so wish, but I suppose they have to get people in somehow. However: some Arcade stuff is pretty rancid, notably Oceanhorn 2 which plays like somebody’s first Unity game.
But there is other mobile gaming news! I have to mention Mario Kart World Tour on iOS. Absolute guff. They have failed to distill any of the joy or novelty from the console versions, and instead present an (admittedly pretty) imitation with utterly miserable controls.
It just feels wrong, plays wrong, stinks like Toad’s corpse reversed over twice. I’m almost glad they seem to have scrapped the Zelda iOS game by now: it’d probably just have been something like the shooting gallery minigame one. Very poor stuff indeed from Nintendo.
Enjoy your holidays! Very much looking forward to a Star Wars superfan’s review of Galaxy’s Edge, and will be using it as the basis of a strategic assault on my wife’s resistance to going near the place. All the best!
And thank you! I'm ridiculously excited about Galaxy's Edge. It's the whole reason why we never had a honeymoon after we got married last year; we were waiting for it to open. Gutted the second ride won't be ready in time, but I'm mostly looking forward to the food anyway. Story of my life.
Definitely aiming to get some footage for Digi while I'm there, which I'll try to weave in to some videos somehow. Also, we're staying in a mad Airbnb that's basically for D&D players to host games, and has suits of armour and potion bottles everywhere, and a dragon's head on the wall. I'm probably about as excited for that as I am Disney.
Anyhow, if we get enough letters before next I go, we might have a Digitiser Thursday Letters Page next week. Write... write... write!!!
And watch Sunday's Digitiser. And this one (and all the other ones):