Lots of other interesting people are going to be there. Dave Perry's filming his new Games Animal YouTube series, and at least two other members of the Digitiser show team will be in attendance. So, that's exciting.
I'll be on stage with Iain on the Saturday, just after lunch. Get your tickets here.
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
Hey, Biffo, old boy!!
Now see here!! When's digital wallpaper/flooring going to be available? I want to fly a Spitfire from my armchair LIKE NOW, MAN!!
Yours, as ever, in good faith, sincerely etc,
Forget digital wallpaper. You know what somebody really needs to make? A baseball cap with built-in speakers. That would be the best idea ever.
The Black Panther hoo-ha has set me thinking. Why are there no 'event' releases now? I remember pale youths stood outside Antics in Gloucester for weeks awaiting the release of Flight Simulator 5.0 or that Bitmap Brothers one that had goths in it.
No one did that for God of War. Downloading of games has robbed us of that social contact.
Also God of war is bobbins, so a major press thingy with a scantily clad Zoe Ball outside Game in Birmingham would hide its flaws and allow me to see a scantily clad Zoe Ball.
I had not heard of you before the announcement of the Digitiser Kickstarter. People seemed excited about it so I pledged. I hope that I enjoy it. I might not, sometimes I don't like things.
I see that you are making a miniature of the show's desk. I like miniatures. Can I have it when you're done?
All the best.
Anyway. Hello. Welcome aboard. Thanks for pledging. We'll try not to disappoint you, but we probably will. Oh well. Doesn't matter.
Sorry to be the Harbin-ger of doom!!!!!!!!!!
I have to take frequent long car rides with the boss to dull business meetings, and along the way he appears to enjoy unburdening or “relieving” himself upon me with lengthy and distressing stories of his personal tragedies both current and historic. Some have been so emotionally devastating I’ve been on the verge of tears when arriving for said meeting to present a serious business presentation in Doncaster or wherever the fuck we’ve driven to.
My question to you, Sir, is this: is this an ‘alpha’ tactic to wrong-foot me ahead of the business to come?
Is he genuinely reaching out in a “safe space” of a closed vehicle with a gay man (me) who he assumes might be more receptive to tend to his emotional needs in a way his straight cronies aren’t? Am I *shudder* the work wife?
Worse, this is by no means a reciprocal arrangement: he recently asked about my new motor vehicle purchase and stopped me before I was nary two sentences into a response with a cutting “I’m only casually interested, you don’t need to go on”.
I read you every day.
I'd be surprised if this was some alpha-y power play, because telling you real personal stuff would make him more vulnerable. Don't wannabe alphas try to be above that sort of thing? Of course, a true alpha wouldn't even need to try. Social dominance is mostly passive, and primarily about physical aspects - height, deep voice, etc.
That doesn't stop the betas trying to acquire it through power, or techniques (such as attempted intimidation, sitting in a big chair, touching your back etc.), or back-stabbing - but I've never heard of it happening by sharing emotional stories.
It could be your boss does indeed need somebody to talk to, and it could be that he perceives you as somebody who might listen. The fact he can reduce you to the point of tears suggests that, if this is the case, he has at least picked on somebody who can do good empathy.
If he's decided to open up to you chiefly because you're gay, then good luck to him. Most of my gay mates would rather get drunk than talk about feelings.
Like you, my neighbours are idiots. The level of idiocy on one side of the house has rather left me feeling that karma is a real thing that comes to get you. About 18 months ago, and a week before my very poorly cat was put too sleep, we were talking about her and her condition.
He then proceeded to tell me that he wanted to keep cats out of his garden. Not ours, of course, ours were fine. He then started to barricade the gate he had just bought that opened into an alleyway we share, and add extra fencing to the fence along our garden.
One thing that really annoyed me was the thin wire he put up in his gate - it was bordering on snares, and I told him that I did not want to take sliced up cats to the vet. So he added some plastic tubing to make them less snare like. It only dawned on him two months ago to use chicken wire instead.
Anyway, our cats have not been in his garden for 18 months. One thing we do know is at least one of them catches mice (he brings them home, shows us, and then eats them - he even catches rats which isn’t bad going considering the size of some that he’s brought back), and we know that the neighbour’s shed has mice living in it. The cats always kept that population down.
Now, the neighbour has a mouse problem. We wondered why he started leaving his gate open, but he told us. His wife is one of those people who is scared of mice, and has been having problems recently because of them. Our neighbour now wants the cats back in his garden to sort them out.
The cats, being cats, have decided that they can get their mice elsewhere, and they have yet to set paw in his garden since the gate has been left open. When I learned this, it was all I could do not to laugh in his face. I had to go away for that because what I don’t want is him getting his airgun out.
So, karma, eh?
All the best,
This, following their recent gifting of a load of profiteroles, has wrong-footed us, and now we once again feel obliged to thank them somehow. We just want to be left alone. Why must they insist on being neighbourly!?!?
Furthermore, we have a mouse in the house. Possibly two. They're eating food from traps without setting them off, and ignoring poison, and our useless cats have thus far failed to do anything other than stare at the source of scratching and rustling, in what I can only assume is fear.
I fear I have slumped into a midlife gaming malaise. Gone is my free time. I am only able to snatch an hour here and there to actually “game”.
Far Cry 5 broken into half hour chunks loses a lot of its appeal, when you go back in 5 days and can’t remember where the dirty badgers you need to skin are hiding.
I tried replaying the Resident Evil HD remake, furiously running to find a typewriter while being harangued to “get it back to the telly”.
What would you suggest for the pressed for time “grown up” gamers?
You’ve indicated some ennui with recent AAA map-moppers, and are busy delving into gaming’s past for The Show. What genres that have faded away have you rediscovered?
I miss a good RTS, me. And city building games. All these app store Kairosoft-style sim games don’t do it for me at all.
Back in the 80's, when I was alive, Atari Combat was one of my favourite games. These two little tanks and the bullets ricocheting around the screen kept us occupied for hours on end.
But if you very slowly inserted the cannon of one tank into the rear of the second tank, both tanks would lock together and spin around the screen in some sort of frenzied tank orgy.
I have seen a few people speak highly of Octav1us Kitten in a few past few Friday letters... And I wanna do the same!
I looked her up on YouTube after seeing her name in the Digitiser The Show Cast, as well as Blockbusters with Ashens, and I thought her content was fun and informative. On top of that, as a fellow anxiety/depression sufferer, I have a lot of respect for those despite their own illness bringing them down, make the effort to let fellow sufferers know they are not alone.
Anyway, I keep seeing requests for more letters and I'm not sure what to say, so as well as singing the praises of Octav1us Kitten, I mostly want to see if last thing on a Thursday Evening is far too late to send a Friday Letter.
Hope you’re well.
El Greenio Screenio
Colour me excited by the model Digitiser Show desk. Looking forward to the moment when it pops up through the big desk hole, revealing a tiny puppet Mr. Biffo at work.
The desk, real studio, and puppets are all reminiscent of Biffovision. Now, I understand that your pitch was to make a classy games show with funnies, but a hint of old Saturday mornings seems the natural way to tickle nostalgia bones and stand out from YouTube.
I mean, when Super Bad Advice writes a funny review, the slightly muted response suggests that most of your audience are jaded and/or mortgaged enough to wait until hot games become stained CEX overstock. There's too many new releases to follow, even within the retro niche, while magazine shows like Going Live appear to have died childless. Maybe you could tap into those fond television memories, minus the historic allegations?
Though perhaps you should ignore the voices, do what your heart says, even if it says "blow the budget on life-size animatronic elephants." Send your musical supremo out on a pushbike to collect them, then you could call it CJJC's Elephant Antics.
I still watch "teletext" most days, or whatever the BBC version is called these days.
I know it's old fashioned, but at least you can rely on the bbc to be semi reliable for their sources....
I miss the red green blue yellow "fast" text goodness of the "old days" though.
God I feel old.
I love G.I. Joe (or Action Force if you were an 80s kid from the UK). I collect them even now I'm a bald idiot who should know better. When I was an un-bald, smaller idiot, I remember wishing there was a game based on G.I. Joe, not knowing there was in actual fact a NES game kicking about, and not a bad one at that!
It's hardly remembered as a classic, but I'd have loved it if only I'd known it existed. Is there a franchise, be it toy or TV, that you yearned to see turned into a computer game when you were younger?
Is there an old 80s franchise you love that you think could be an amazing game, but no one has done it justice? Hopefully, otherwise this letter is pointless. Bye!
1. I don't play games that have loot boxes/crates so I declare my ignorance of them in advance. They seem to be a bad thing, but is the reaction to them too strong? Are they much different to e.g. football stickers but in digital form? I don't like the sound of them but I'm wary of judging something that I don't use too harshly.
2. In the spirit of Edge Magazine (still authoritative and as self-important as ever), what would your restrospective 10/10 game be i.e. one that looking back was better than you thought initially?
3. Do you see any issues with famous game characters being re-cast? Kratos has received a mixed reaction in the new God of War, but I cannot help but feel that people would care more about live-action re-casting. Is this a case of computer games being less respected as an art form or is it just less of an issue without the physical element. Also, did you ever advocate re-casting Tracy Beaker with Kat Slater from EastEnders?
2. In relation to one of the letters above, it's Space Invaders. I wrote a bit of a feature on this site about it, I think, but in many respects it really is the perfect video game. I'd dismissed it as being dated, a necessary first step, but it gets so much right.
3. What do you mean by this? Haven't they been "re-casting" games characters almost since the beginning? I mean, Pac-Man from Pac-Man was completely different to the Pac-Man in Pac-Land, who had legs and everything.
I'll ignore your ridiculous question about Tracy Beaker and Kat Slater. Though get a load of this blatant name-dropping: I've been out for a meal with both of them.