Arcades are weird now. It's apparent how much gaming has moved to the home. More than ever, an arcade really does feel like a place designed purely to rob you of money, either by tempting you with Minion or meerkat effigies, or through straightforward gambling.
Even the inexplicable scaled-up versions of Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja are nothing more than devices for dispensing tickets (10,000 for a Minion thimble!). It's all rather depressing, really. What games they do have are at least ten years old - and chiefly light gun games, or racers.
It's a shame that arcades didn't move in the direction of becoming sort of scaled-down theme parks, offering experiences that even home systems couldn't compete with. Remember that massive version of Galaxians? Or the full size Ridge Racer car? REMEMBER?
Anyhow - here's this week's rather pallid letters page. If you would like to appear on next week's page, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in Plug Zone - please send your emails for next week to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
You might be interested in knowing that Pac-Man ghosts have been discovered in the wild:
Why don't more potato based snack manufacturers follow the example of KP Skips and produce tie in games like Clumsy Colin Action Biker? Maybe a game based around finding the little blue sachet in a packet of Salt 'n' Shake? Or perhaps an adventure set in the subterranean world of the singing potatoes from the Smith's Jackets commercial?
Sometimes you just want to keep things simple, classic, less is more and all that. McCoy's salted are the best crisps, but you can only get them in multipacks with McCoy's overpowered salt & vinegar and cheese & onion; both flavours I like, but not the way McCoy's insist on spoiling them.
For the record, though: I'm currently addicted to the McCoy's non-ridged beef & onion flavour, so it isn't like I'm averse to flavours, for pity's sake.
I have been enjoying the teletext pictures you have been creating for new backers of Found Footage (please feel free to take this as an opportunity to plug the campaign).
My favourite so far is the one featuring Cthulhu in the bath. I wonder if we might see Cthulhu doing other everyday things, such as signing on at the job centre, or sitting on the sofa with a half-eaten pizza and playing Call of Duty in his pants?
Please make it happen.
Heretical statement warning: I wasn’t a fan of Digitiser. I also wasn’t not a fan of Digitiser. I read it sometimes but it just sort of passed me by for reasons I can’t remember. It should have been right up my alley.
However, Digitiser2000 has become an important part of my life. As expressed by several other people, I love the mix of hilarious inanity and serious personal reflection. You’ve been open and honest about a number of things that I think your readers/co-conspirators find appealing and have helped create a community feel to the site and your Twitter presence.
I know from reading replies to your tweets and the comments on the website that plenty of people like the fact that you are to some extent accessible in a way that say, Charlie Brooker, couldn’t be even if he wanted to be.
I wish you the best of luck with Found Footage and hope it brings you what you want. I just hope Digi stays a while yet.
Digi2000 is going to be around for as long as people want it. I think the way to look at Digi2000 is as a mothership, from which I can launch occasional other things. The Found Footage campaign has been a success (you can still give to help us reach that stretch goal, brah).
I'm sure I'd turn to crowd-funding again for a follow-up project, which might be something a little different (a lot of people have requested some sort of book). Let me get Found Footage done first, and then watch this space.
Talking of space and motherships, let's check in with a real astronaut...
What games have been the funniest? I cannot think of many that gave me a genuine laugh other than Sam and Max and (some of) the Rabbids series. Is humour lacking in games in general?
Yet... I can't really recall many times when I've laughed out loud at major releases. If I do laugh at games, it's weird little indie titles, like Shower With Your Dad, or Enviro-Bear 2000. Games or otherwise, much of what amuses me anyway is stuff which is either trying hard to be crap deliberately, or aiming to annoy or confuse players. It's all about context for me, I guess.
It's not a game, but something which amused me recently is an online show called The Watercooler, made by a couple of YouTubers called Will Derbyshire and Adrian Bliss.
In and of itself the show isn't massively funny... but what made me laugh out loud was the fact it was shown at Buffer - the annual film festival for self-important YouTubers, Vloggers and online "humorists" to show off achingly artsy and narcissistic fare full of drone shots and sunsets, and then ramble on about wanting to create "content" which "connects people", while running their hands through their perfect, middle class, caucasian, haircuts.
I watched a clip of Will and Adrian talking at the post-screening Q&A, where The Watercooler had evidently gone down like a lead balloon, and they were full of apologies - but also a sense of pride and amusement at having confused and alienated their peers. That takes guts. And I found that in itself very funny.
More of that attitude in gaming. That's what I want.