And please... share it wherever you can, so we can keep the momentum going. Obviously, we're not expecting there to be as much interest in ep 2 as episode 1, but the more you can do to help the better.
If you haven't already, please go and subscribe and click on notifications. It really helps - and if we can get 10,000 subscribers (and we're close) we'll have access to YouTube's studios for more filming.
This Sunday's ep features a host of big names. Mr Hairs is back, fresh from the release of his excellent new book, Big Boy Barry is interviewed, and we end with the debut of a brand new game show format - Mockety Moc - which features Ashens and Barry Lewis from Barshens/My Virgin Kitchen, Kim Justice, Nostalgia Nerd, and (controversially) ludicrous internet/wrestling villain Top Hat Gaming Man.
Before you react to the latter... we know, alright...?
Trust us. We know.
On with the 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
I send this with deep sorrow. The cat from my local (that means a pub for you in the You Es of States) was run over, literally half an hour ago.
I am sincerely upset about it. I loved Thunder Paws and I knew I should have adopted her - she would have been been safe with GM.
I am upset,
I don't know if this feedback is any good to you! I've just gone through and commented what thought of each segment of the show. Overall, you've done a great job on a shoestring budget. Don't let the twitter trolls or commenters get to you! Nor any of my comments for that matter! As they're simply my take on things.
What I loved:
* Panel opening
* Mr T bins - you've nailed these segments! Bloody funny!
* Head to head - really liked possibly having the teams swat up a bit more prior so factual stuff can be highlighted more? (I gather there were 2 takes anyway?)
* Larry's fact of the week - really liked maybe needed to be introduced?
* Show and tell - Really liked.
* Video game pioneer or murderer - really liked but the joke at the start was possibly a bit too long.
* Ashens segment - really good, works well.
* Banter between you and Gannon before duck hunt really good
What confused the hell out of me:
* Swan Talc thing perplexed me kinda went right over my head! I'm guessing this is your regular humour and I'm just not used to it! Caused me a bit of disconnect from what I was watching.
* Blackbird/crow How's your wife? Err is this a Teletext Digitiser reference I'm not remembering! caused me a bit of disconnect again.
* Mr Biffo's top 3 first person shooters - I felt this was misplaced. In fact the top 3 were so obscure I didn't know if you were taking the piss with it. Maybe more emphasis on what the segment represented was it your top 90s first person shooters?
* Duck Hunt for Real - mmm this segment has me really split! Don't get me wrong, as a joke I think it really worked. I found it funny. My problem was it was so SURREAL and sat weirdly within the shows format. I'd probably have had Gannon come on with the shot gun but not had him shoot anyone in even just faded to credits and have it implied with gun shot sounds.
I think Duck Hunt - seemingly the stand-out moment of the ep, even for the haters - will make sense when you see more episodes. The idea of putting a big game at the end comes from my love of The Generation Game back in the day. They'd do some big showstopping game as a finale, and it was always what I watched the show for.
The way the show is structured and formatted comes from Digi itself, the way it had "sections". You see, once we've established what those are, then we can start playing around with the format a bit more...
First you have to get used to it, though...
I'm writing to update you on my book The Evolution of Gamepads. I've gotten lots of interest in it and I'm glad to be able to share. It is available to order now from my publisher - bit.ly/theEOG - and on Amazon - amzn.to/2zR0XT5
Congratulations on the first episode of Digitiser! It was... unique. I'm looking forward to next week.
Sincerest apologies, this letter is not about Digitiser née The Show.
What is the worst game that you enjoyed writing the review for the most?
And the opposite question too please.
But most favourite reviewing of a bad game? I'm not sure. None are a real stand-out, though the 1% I gave to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein on the Game Boy has always stayed with me - both for being so hilariously unfair, and an indictment of the ridiculousness of scoring in percentages.
You will no doubt get a ton of letters commending you on Episode 1, but let me add to the list. In particular, I think you have got the production values just right and the show would look perfectly at home in a late night slot on mid 90s Paramount Channel (I loved that channel) or Channel 4. Nice one chief.
INSERT NAME HERE (I hate coming up with pseudonyms)
I mean, let's face it... I didn't have to leave in my ep 1 spelling error...
I noticed a lot of Marillion love in the last Friday Digi letters page. That kind of thing always makes me smile, because I used to listen to a lot of their stuff back in my 20s.
I sort of went off the boil with them, though - after Anoraknophobia. I found their output to be a bit too patchy for my liking. I still kept up with them on an 'off and on' basis for a bit until the Somewhere Else album dropped. I didn't like that one at all, and it kind of killed off any enthusiasm I had for later releases.
I was surprised to see your comments on the track 'Out of This World,' though. Afraid of Sunlight was the first Marillion album I ever bought, and I remember that track being a real stand-out for me. I think, because I used to play guitar (and still do, despite work-induced RSI making it a real struggle for me these days) all the clever atmospheric stuff Steve Rothery does on it is what made it jump out at me.
Seeing you describe the song as 'dreary' just made me think about the whole issue of personal taste. That's not a dig, mind - I've genuinely always found it fascinating that songs one person might fall in love with might be audible torture to someone else.
The whole thing's on my mind because I've just been unpacking a load of boxes and found my copy of This Strange Engine. I remember that when I bought it, I didn't really care for it. But since I dug it out I've actually been listening to it a fair bit and really digging it. What did you think of that album?
Anyway - RUSH FOREVAAAH!
(Oh, wait - didn't they split up just this year?)
Age 41 and three quarters
Anoraknophobia, for me, marked the end of a three-album rough patch - which includes Marillion.com and Radiation, and probably This Strange Engine (though there are highlights on all those albums, there was a lot of filler too - the title track and Man Of A Thousand Faces being the exceptions for sure).
By their own admission, they were close to splitting up during this period, and questioning the future, and were - reading between the lines - churning stuff out. And then they invented crowd-funding, and it changed everything.
Anorak isn't brilliant, but the highs, for me, are a lot higher, and the production so much better. And that was followed up by Marbles, which might be their best album. Which was followed by Somewhere Else, which might be their worst album. And since then we've had a bit of a solid run. Sounds That Can't Be Made and F.E.A.R. are both brilliant.
Right. Sorry, everyone. Biffo catnip.
I watched that long-awaited video game show thing on YouTube last week.
Bikini babes playing beat 'em ups?
Up and down?
Up and down?
The biggest boatload of congratulations to you and the team on the launch of the show. WHAT a start you’ve had! It makes my 3-bit pixel heart beam a blocky smile. Seriously - well done. I hope you feel it was worth the monumental effort you’ve all put in. From my perspective as a backer, I can only say that it’s exceeded all hoped-for expectations.
In many ways I was always likely to enjoy it - it’s me, for crying out loud - so what I’ve found the most cheering is the number of people unfamiliar with Digi either past or present that jumped in the ol’ jalopy and joined us for the ride. That really had been great to see - I do hope they stay.
I’m keenly awaiting the rest of the series, especially after seeing who pops up in episode 2, from the trailer you posted.
Before I go, I also want to mention how much I enjoyed the interview you did with Steve McNeil for his podcast. Something that really got my attention during the chat was your comments about being approached to make Digi documentaries over the years.
What more can you tell us about this? Obviously they didn’t come to anything, but I’m intrigued that they were even discussed - loved the idea for the subverted version that would turn into a sci-fi, Found Footage-esque experience, too!
Anyway, congrats again, and may the gusts of windy praise continue to “fill” your “sails” for the rest of the run and beyond.
And the lovely thing is, as the week has gone on... the knee-jerk "I hate it!" reactions have been drowned out by the positives. I'm braced for more negativity this weekend, obviously - it'll be all "Yeah, came back to see if it got any better, but I'm done... it's still shit" blah blah. To be expected really. It's not for everyone.
I reckon this weekend's episode has a nice confidence to it, and then Episode 3 is the point at which the series really finds its feet and takes off. The last 10 minutes especially...
Anyhow. The documentary idea came from Rab "Consolevania" Florence. He wanted to make it, and we had discussions with Channel 4 about it, but it never went anywhere. That planted the seed for Mr Hairs and I to start talking about doing something for the 20th anniversary - we wanted to do a book and make our own online thing...
And thus, I got in touch with lovely teletext graphics expert Dan Farrimond about how to do teletext graphics, and that started the ball rolling to launch this site...
Well done on episode 1! I can even forgive the odd roughness of the production. It’s all good, man. It makes me happy (and, boy, do we all need some happiness at the moment...). Keep on doing this, and you’ll surely be able to move on confidently to a second series. I’m certainly looking forward to episode 2.
And I have to express my dismay at hearing about the ugliness that’s been fired across the bow. Very sad, and very unwanted. I liked the way that Digitiser the Show is welcoming to all, but also very silly. That’s what I feel makes it work. Why people want to be nasty to those who make nice things is beyond me. I hope that those affected are OK, and I know you’ll give them the support you can.
Please send my congratulations to all - those in front of, and also those behind the camera. You’ve done good. Pat yourselves on the back.
All the best,
"Their code is a law unto themselves. Offend one and you offend them all...!"
There's a big difference between acceptable and accepted.
The Digi and Retro Gaming communities have had some of the most lovely, wonderful, kind, and supportive people in them that I could have hoped to meet. They say you should never meet your heroes, you'll only be disappointed - but that's not been the case. Everyone I've met has become someone I care about. People I've admired professionally have become people I care about personally.
That's why it was both horrific and heartwarming to see us rally round of one our folks who had been threatened.
Anyone saying that type of abuse is just how the internet is, or "it's just trolling, ignore it" has unwittingly become an enabler. Just because something is accepted as the way it is does not make it acceptable to be that way. You have the power to help change it. You can speak out, because honestly, if you're part of the group that isn't affected by it, you're part of the group that is most likely to get listened to when you talk about it.
It's not acceptable. Don't act as if we should just accept it.
Someone tweeted that there was more hate and misogyny around on the day that the threats were talked about. No. It's always there. It had just been brought to your attention.
I will not accept it.
So I thank everyone who spoke out about it. We have a lovely community that I'm proud to be a part of.
And if you're at an event and you feel unsafe or need company, I'm happy to be there for you. I might usually be a timid thing that goes to lengths to hide her height, but if anyone needs protecting, I transform into a wall of Amazonian rage.
Well that all got a bit serious. Big love to all. Yes, even you, PSB.
I sometimes find it hard, when stuff like this happens, not to lose faith in humanity (let's face it: in men), but as you say... this past week has demonstrated that there's more good than bad in the retro community.
People can change though, and the best way of doing that is, for me, showing them that the door is open to a place where you will be accepted for being better.
Well hello. I enjoyed the first episode of Digitiser immensely. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed. I know you had some technical issues with the frame rate but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment.
Well done to everyone involved and I do appreciate all the effort you and the team have put into it. I look forward to the next episode which, judging from the trailer, I have a cameo in it as a well known Street Fighter character! How exciting.
Bit sad and disappointing to read of the crappy attitude of some viewers and the nastiness directed at Octav1us. The mind truly boggles as to how some people can even function on a day to day basis with horrible attitudes like that.
I will continue to support you, the Digitiser team and everything Octav1us does as your creative endeavours are always amusing and are a constant joy that brings a smile to my otherwise miserable old face.
Concealing the addresses on the photo was an annoying reminder that Digitiser now has a rubbish stalker-botherer; MrPSB minus the wit and imagination.
The trouble is, assuming that this person is an impressionable statistical inevitability fallen through the patchwork of an underfunded and mismanaged health service, YouTube is part of the problem. They probably never set out to normalise anger as a career choice, but found it too profitable to stop.
Since YouTube allowed custom thumbnails, the fashion has become posed expressions that Mr Tumble would consider deeply patronising. Nuanced discussion languishes between the extremes of anger and delight.
Which is nothing new, for television, but I can understand why some people feel that worthy videos, created when there was no money in it, has been muscled out, even stolen and repurposed, by overblown emotion.
The joke's on them: there's still no money in it! Except for YouTube.
So I'm pleased that you assembled an unassumingly normal bunch of presenters for the show. Well, normal by Digitiser standards. The first episode did feel slightly nervous, but promises excellence once you've warmed up as a team. I'm not so sure about all the future guests, though at least there's no Dave Perry.
I jest, but if he does make jiggly bits a regular feature, then you should introduce some Tech Boyz for the 90s Ladiees. Hairy programmer types are under-represented in that field, and you already have some appropriate costumes. Just wash mine thoroughly first, OK?
You know what the really sad thing is about the main Digi show troll (who I assume you're referring to)? I watched some of his YouTube videos a while back, and I enjoyed them. I thought he was funny, and for a while I was subscribed to his channel. Since then though he seems to have become bitter and obsessed, particularly when it comes to retro YouTube.
But... that door is always open...
You can be rightly proud of the show. I’m not actually all that interested in retro-gaming (or games come to think of it. A few months ago I unplugged my PS4 as we’d got a new boiler and the bloke who had come to fit it needed a socket to plug the Hive thing in and the PS4 pulled the short straw, and I haven’t bothered to plug it back in.
Get this, I now have this Hive thing constantly plugged in and burning electric so that I don’t have to walk 12 feet to fiddle with the central heating settings, something I do probably 2 or 3 times a year. I even did a proper Freudian slip, calling it Hype when chatting to the bloke, and was very pleased with myself for days). Anyway, regardless of not being interested in the subject I really enjoyed the show.
The best bit was BUM scrolling down the Amstrad screen, proper funny pay-off. The best one was Paul Gannon because he seems so normal, and after watching the show for 10 minutes he clearly isn’t. And that’s meant in the nicest possible way.
There are only three things around at the moment that I make a point of watching – Digitiser, the Louis Theroux docs and the profoundly brilliant Nathan For You, so that’s exalted company. The only issue is how I sell it to people I think would enjoy it, as they invariably haven’t heard of the original Digitiser, the idiots. To be fair I rarely watch much of what they recommend to me, it’s invariably rubbish. So any tips would be appreciated.
Dear Biffopotamus. After your work putting together Found Footage and now Digitiser: The Show, what skill have you had to learn that you've most impressed yourself with, and what new skill do you feel will be most useful in the future?
Little moments, like the reveal-o-bits, would be very difficult to hand off to someone else, because they're quite stream-of-consciousness in the way that Digi always was.
My editing IS getting better, though. I have learned through all of this the ins and outs of making a TV show, which - despite being a writer for TV for 20 years - I never really knew or understood. I don't yet know if that skill is going to be applicable elsewhere yet, but I hope it is...
239) Of the entire series, Grand Theft Auto 2 is curiously overlooked, with even GTA London being remembered more fondly. I assume this is because it was overshadowed by GTA 3. Can you think of any other major games that are forgotten in their series, but didn't actually end the series?
240) Sony have announced that they are not attending E3 for the first time in Sony's computer game history - is this a big deal or are they just moving with the times by embracing more direct communication?
241) What game has had your favourite storyline, regardless of the game's quality?
242) Which do you think had the bigger impact on computer games, the introduction of CD-ROMs or analogue controllers as standard?
240) I think Sony is big enough that it doesn't need E3. Nintendo seems to do perfectly fine without ever needing to attend these big trade events.
241) I was going to say The Last Of Us. It might not have the most original story, but I found it emotionally engaging, and affecting, in a way that games never had been before. Until, probably Red Dead Redemption 2, actually. There's a moment in that where one of the characters meets their final fate, and I gasped. I hadn't even realised I'd grown to like them.
242) CD-ROM, hands down.