This is, of course, the perfect opportunity to catch up on all the articles and videos you might've missed. May I point you towards the YouTube channel's new best-of playlist? It's as solid a place to start as any.
Be good while I'm away. Be nice to one another. And thanks for feeding the cats.
Here's one last letters page to tide you over until I get back. Don't eat it all at once!
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
Been re-watching the Digitiser Series One videos, and you said in one of them that you thought more video games should have prog rock soundtracks. Have you stumbled onto any games that do in your opinion have proggy soundtracks, even a bit? I've got my thoughts on a bunch of them but they're all on the Amiga innit?
Sedric and Charlie
Anyway, I was sort of only semi-serious when I said that, brah. Prog would make for a terrible game soundtrack for a number of reasons. Firstly, what most people think of as prog is that sort of horrid, sub-Genesis, widdly-widdly, constant-time-change, English whimsy sort of prog. There are far too many bands who play homage to that wrong-headed idea of what they think prog is.
The best prog bands never sounded like one another. Even Marillion, after an early flirtation with that Genesis sound on a couple of tracks, became something very different from their second album onwards.
I prefer my prog to build, and evolve, and I don't like it when there's a load of jarring time-changes in a song.
For me, real prog started with Genesis and Floyd, then moved onto people like Kate Bush and Talk Talk. In terms of more recent bands, I like Anathema and some Steven Wilson (though he's a bugger for the abrupt musical shift; I like him best when he's being all poppy), but I can't think of any of prog that'd particularly suit as a gaming soundtrack.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that I keep talking about prog.
Regarding the bit of the PIMP MY PRANK! video where you were "smoking" the talcum powder "cigarettes", do you think it would be fair to say that Mr Biffo did a poo, doo-dah, doo-dah?
Cow Areola, 34
PS: Mr Biffo did a poo, oh doo-dah-day.
Following on from your pranks video, I thought you might like to hear about a prank I witnessed.
A guy in my Year 7 Maths class brought in one of those pens that gives you an electric shock when you press it. Much titting about ensued, with people pressing it to their heads or onto their clothed crotches. This was fine until one guy grabbed the pen, unbuttoned part of his school shirt and pressed it against his bare nipple.
His nipple squirted blood.
I assume he must have had a cyst or something under the skin which was set off by the pen, but at the time it was absolutely shocking.
I also wanted to say that I'm really enjoying your non-video game videos. Obviously the game stuff is your bread and butter and I think it's bloody awesome, but the other stuff is a breath of fresh air and is really, really enjoyable. Please don't kill yourself and/or someone else in the process. Or if you do, please make sure the camera is on the right setting ;)
I'm seriously gutted about the camera being out of focus for the whole of that shoot. Basically, we forgot to change the settings back from the Digi Live filming, and now we've got several months' worth of videos with us out of focus on the main camera.
And of course that would be when Jim Sterling, with his millions of followers, decides to retweet us...
God, we're so adorably inept....!
Hello, King Biffo!
Hope you’re doing well this week!
This week, I’m back at school, which is a big sarcastic yay moment, I’d say. The only advantage to school feels like the good pathway to uni I got so that’s my thoughts on that, yAy.
Anyhoo, I gotta say, Biffo, the last few Digi videos have honestly been the best I’ve seen since the show last year. So big huge well done on that. From your hilarious editing on the Ghostbusters episode to Gannon yeeting himself out the way during the “indoor” fireworks ep, and just… that last episode in all it’s strangely funny glory.
You’ve all done really well on them, so thanks from all of us!
I’m working on a thing you might find slightly interesting, but I’ll link it next letter time because of not having enough time to finish it before Friday, and I wanna put a lotta thought into getting it written. Anyhoo, Have a splendid week, buddy!!
We will still talk about games, mind; I've got a ton of old gaming tat that needs looking at soon. We just wanted to mix things up a little. And mix we shall!
Did you know that Super Mario Bros 2 was originally a game called “Doki Doki Panic” that was reskinned? Did you also know that the ZX Spectrum game Jet Set Willy could not be completed without pokes due to a bug? Or that if you reach screen 256 in Pac-Man the game glitches?
What’s your favourite least impressive gaming fact?
Star Wars is alright innit. I like that Old Wanky Nobby bloke.
I know it has been perceived as a flop, and only one of the rides is open, and it's basically a big Star Wars-themed market... but since booking the trip earlier this week I've been ridiculously excited. It's that proper, giddy, don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself excitement, like a kid in the run up to Christmas. That alone has made the absurd amount of work I've done this year almost worth it. I never get that excited anymore.
And yes - I will do my best to vlog as much of it as I can for you. There was even a suggestion at one point that we might do a proper Digi ep out there, as Gannon is considering another trip to LA in the autumn. Alas, it doesn't look as if our dates will line up now, and probably never will unless you all go and hassle him and tell him this is something you would like to see.
Daddy or chips???
Jon Clay, Taunton, Somerset
I’ve recently been playing Shenmue, and the forklift races got me thinking: this would make a great segment for Digitiser series 2!
Just imagine, you, Gannon, Larry and Octavius racing turbo-charged forklift trucks around a busy builders yard – it would take the show to a whole new level. To ensure that it fits in with the Digitiser brand of barely-controlled-chaos, you would of course have to do it with no helmets, padding or training. Anything could happen!
Admittedly this might be rather expensive, but with Shenmue 3 coming out soon you could get the games company to sponsor you – if one of you has a near-fatal accident, the video would surely go viral and be great publicity for them!
Hope this helps,
Forklift-racing sounds awesome, mind. And very Digi. We'd definitely die!!
I never found that good new sports game I was after, so I ended up digging up an emulator and playing Tron Deadly Discs. Lethal Frisbee is a sport, isn't it?
Anyway I have some (attempts at) Man's Dad jokes:
Q. How do flies travel on holiday?
A. With FlyBe
Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?
A. To see his girlfriend.
Q. What did the optician say to the programmer?
A. Do you C? (Do you see?)
Honestly though, it's bin day here and SOMEONE has been PUTTING energy drink CANS in my REFUSE! The council's not going to like that.
Thinking about your plans going forward after your extrememly well-deserved holiday and then honeymoon(!) can I suggest that you see if a certain Mr Findas wants to join in, in some capacity? I know he may be a bit on the Spectrum, but I'm sure he can be of some value.
I know he's criminally underrated, but hey it's all a bit niche.
Oh and if you're going to do another Digi Live please can you ensure you start it with a cavalcade of "indoor" fireworks? I tried doing indoor fireworks once but it was a disaster because I realised I was actually lighting them outdoors and things got... messy.
Something I'd like to do in the next couple of months is get some guest appearances on Digi. Derek is very close to the top of our list, because we all like his vids, and like us he seems to put talking about the actual game stuff second to just doing something fun.
As a recent convert to your content, I have been enjoying the Digitiser Youtube output of late. However, I simply must insist that more energy is spent on Health and Safety considerations. Fire, explosions, extreme flatulence - each seems more extreme than the other. Someone will get very hurt... or worse: a nice retro t-shirt/item may get ruined.
I understand that in these days of extreme competition on the Youtube, with algorithms and so on demanding more extreme content, I ask that you don't follow the examples of your peers such as Logan Paul or that woman who shot her husband on camera, and instead think of yourselves and the gear you show. Especially the gear.
If you are still going to chase extreme stunts to please the algorithm gods, could I suggest that future crowdsourcing be put towards the hiring of qualified stunt people (or doubles as I believe they are called in the industry)? I saw the latest Tarantino documentary and Brad Pitt was Leonardo DiCaprio's stunt double and they look nothing alike so it can't be hard to find someone. At the very least, buy some bubble wrap and slap it across yourselves and the retro items you show. Probably the retro items more.
Also, if you need further flatulence files, I would be willing to supply my own .wav collection gathered from my time with food poisoning.
Rudy Manchego (Esq)
We do try to be careful, believe it or not. Also, I've made it this far in life doing much the same sort of stuff off-camera, so it's not like any of it is an attempt to court views. It just goes wrong without us even trying.
I mean, a stupid Sega fan even accused me this week of mentioning Grand Theft Auto in a Digi article, as some sort of cynical SEO strategy. I don't have even the most basic understanding of SEO, and my wife - who recently did an online SEO course - keeps telling me off for not putting keywords in the titles of our videos, whatever that means.
There's this website that uses the latest neural network stuff. It takes a piece of text you give it and continues it for a few paragraphs. Sort of weird predictive text stuff.
I hope you don't mind this abuse of your creative works, but by way of experimentation I transcribed the goujon john teletext page and fed it into the input box. I checked and input isn't absorbed into the borg mind for future regurgitation.
The whole page was too large so I used chunks. I have reassembled some of output below. I recommend playing with it. It was also able to answer some questions I had about Bronk. Although it comes up with much the same stuff and doesn't really capture the flavour of the input like i hoped it would.
Now here's what the algorithm had to say about our Mr John....
!!GOUJONS: INDOOR (BAD GUYS) - RINGGRILL (NEW GUYS)++
What is Goujon John? Goujon John is literally a mentally challenged goldfish. In other words, he is only as smart as the goldfish itself. To the best of our recollection, Goujon John has only been seen in one other goldfish, and this one was owned by the Great Grand Father of all Goldfish, Charles H. , known as "Mr. Goody-Goody." It was Goujon John's parents in 1871 that sent him to the Great Grand Father of all Goldfish, Dr. T.H. , who in turn sent him to the renowned aquarium in Paris where he currently resides today.
I have a bad mental condition - and I have a
terrible secret - so you have to have a
special dispensation to come see me.
I don't want to die - and I don't want you to die
as well -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
As you can see, the order I originally had was quite
disagreeable, being mainly about doing things to you
in a way that might annoy you (and if it did
not, I didn't like what I saw of it). I decided that
I would rather, like, write a letter or tell you about
things you might like, then do things to you in a way that would
make you feel annoyed or embarrassed.
- You can tell me
Goujon John can be seen using his goujons to
cause damage to the player character in the 2D
game "Street Fighter II" by running over them.
Goujon John seems to be a fairly easy fight to
understand. He has about 7 basic moves, and these
are as follows:
1. - The "Dirty Goujons" - When you press the
"A" button while you hold up the "Dirty Goujons"
character is forced (forced is the wrong word
here) to try using the same attack whenever he/she
is running. This causes them to run off of the screen
and start to get in your way
* All I ask is that you don't
give up because you're not as keen on
your goujons as I am!
* Don't despair - your goujons will definitely
come off in some sort of way that suits you!
It's so easy and so free, you
can do this for a living!
* This goujin is not perfect. It
seems to be made of a thin, stiff
material, and it does not do well against
cracked glass. It seems to be designed for
you to take out a letterbox and smash,
if necessary. This is an expensive
goujin though, because it is made of fine,
expensive materials, and if it slips
into your face, it will take quite a
THE GOUJON JOHNSON PROMISE:---
* This is the "Goujon John Johnson"
* I don't want you to be
* afraid of your goujons!
* I'm not your Goujon John Johnson!
* And I don't care who
it's hours of fun, or something?
Would you (or any of the Digitiser readers!) be interested to know there's a CheapShow-themed Choose your own adventure book/magazine coming out (probably at the end of next month; I need to check this with Gannon first). Complete with artwork by Vorratony (a well-known artist of CheapShow/Digi art) and you(!) as a playable character.
Now for some questions so this doesn't seem too much like a desperate plug... er... what are your thoughts about the Choose your own adventure books? Are they a waste of paper or the perfect geeky holiday/garden/beach 'I'm not using a screen, but can still play a game' gadget?
Enjoy your well-deserved holiday (that goes for Sanja too)!
I got a C.
A "C" for "Coolboy".
Those spoof LCD games you mocked up a while back... did I hear mention that there was a Ghostwatch one? I’d love an actual Ghostwatch game but don’t know how it would work, any ideas?
I mention this as your practical joke video reminded me of my uni days where I helped decorate another students flat with childish crayon art including a life size Mr Pipes on the kitchen wall.
The actual cruel joke bit was the giant clown in the hall, as one of the residents was terrified of them. I had to wash the thing off as it was so apparently traumatic! I couldn’t find a pic of the clown, but here’s the giant fake window view I did for them of Fred ‘I’ll do your patio for free’ West greeting them with a friendly gap-toothed wave.
Just to test how late your cut-off for Digi letters is, I wanted to thank you and Gannon for making me laugh again with your fireworks display on Monday, after I had the news that my grandma died on Sunday. Apologies if my letter is rambling mush (drunk and tired and emotional), but seriously, in what were and are bleak days... thank you, both Pauls.
Not next week though, because I'm on holiday. You'll have to find some other way to cheer yourself up.