Even if you can't make it, and you happen to be in the area, why not join us in the evening at The Highlands Pub in Bispham, just down the road from the convention centre, from 5.30pm onwards? You can get tickets to the show here.
But enough about that: 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 early to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know the Blackpool Pleasure Beach opens on Saturday? Would you record yourself on a terrifying ride and post it for us loyal fans to watch and giggle to?
ThemeParkWorldwide will be there also, it would be good if you could stand in the background in one of their vlogs and make faces. Tee-hee. Thanks, you.
Sadly, looking at my schedule for Saturday - which has, inexplicably, now been taken up with meetings to do with Digitiser: The Show, interviews, and other things, I'm barely going to get the chance to even play on the old games, let alone visit the so-called "Pleasure Beach". Therefore, I can only hope the ThemePark Worldwide team make their way up to the Expo, so that I can meet them and cry and tell them that I love them.
Also: I don't tend to get scared on rides alas. Spinny ones do make me feel sick though. That said, if I have time, I will be trying to take some videos while at the show, though it's somewhat compromised by the camera on my stupid BRAND NEW iPhone deciding to stop working.
Dear Digi. We're starting a YouTube show called Jaws 19. It's a movie discussion and general waffle type thing. As you seem to have employed YouTube and social media so wonderfully with Found Footage (and also traumatised 1000s of people) what tips would you give for new starters to help get people interested in something you believe in and want to succeed?
Anyway, I wouldn't take any tips from me when it comes to using social media. Found Footage did okay for my purposes, but it hardly reached Logan Paul levels of ubiquity.
I wish there was a formula for getting stuff noticed, but there's just so much content out there. I mean, we had lots of support from your Danny Wallaces and Rab Florences and Rufus Hounds, an association with Charlie Brooker, tons of you tweeted about it and shared it, we had coverage on Gizmodo and Polygon, but even all that failed to really help it break out beyond its core audience.
Admittedly, that might be down to what it was: a poo-flecked stream-of-consciousness that went out of its way to be as difficult to watch as possible, with a weird underlying sci-fi story about sentient bums. The masses want accessible, and Found Footage was never that. I have come to terms with the reality that what I want to do is probably more Bill Drummond than Billy Ocean.
I recently invested some time in ‘Sonic Runners Adventure’ on mobile (which is all right, for what it is): I was sufficiently bereft of other entertainment to 100% it, all stars and achievements and so on. But on completing it... the game didn’t acknowledge this in any way.
No little video, or bonus power up, or anything. Not even something on the level of the ‘Well done! Time for a holiday!’ message I seem to recall for getting all the Shines in Mario Sunshine. Maybe there’s more content coming and they wanted to leave it open ended? Maybe they never expected anyone to bother finishing it? Or maybe they just didn’t care? I dunno. Perhaps I’m expecting too much.
Have you ever felt unappreciated for the time you’ve invested in a game, Mr B?
Now press reveal to see something that recently made you feel disgusted with yourself.
So with that rocket thing happening earlier in the week, I was wondering: Elon Musk sent a car into space, but what would you have sent if you were to send a monument to yourself and human kind out into space?
Also, if sci-fi has told us anything, surely this is the starting point for some future cataclysmic event? In a few hundred years time, that car is going to return as either a sentient, god like space super being, or.... or it will crash into a spaceship desperately fleeing a dying earth with the remnants of human kind!
This letter is answering a plea for letters. I'm embarrassed to admit I have only recently discovered what Digitiser2000 is through various Twitter goings on (I'm enjoying it and will stay), and in all honesty, I don't play computer/console games now but have a little in the past.
Beginning with a beige Acorn Electron (Daredevil Dennis, Citadel among my favourites), then only ever using a PS1.
My addiction to Ridge Racer Type 4 and the first Gran Turismo became out of hand. Around the same time I got into 'Music 2000', which is laughable now, but actually could be tweaked a hell of a lot beyond the cheesy techno loop-based music it was perhaps intended for.
It's no exaggeration to say, it was for me, a life-changing piece of software. I was obsessed. Every spare minute was used on that thing. I'd taken drum lessons as a kid and could strum a guitar but wanted something to help me get ideas out without building a studio and learning every instrument that I wanted to hear.
After I'd exhausted all it had to offer, I bought a PC and still make music to this day. When using Music 2000 I had no idea it was roughly set out like a lot of the professional software that exists now and reduced that intimidating learning curve.
I made an album with Music 2000. No one will ever hear it because it's god-awful, but it was a foundation for everything I know about making music on a PC.
So, hurrah for Music 2000, I owe it a lot.
Idle speculation about your announcement at Play Expo tomorrow:
1. Noisy departure from the retro games industry, like the KLF, but with more wet sausages thrown into crowd.
2. Digitiser show to be retitled "The All Pauls". Now exclusively by, and for, people called Paul. Third presenter revealed as Paul McCartney.
3. Inaudible due to ill-timed Quorn and sugar-free Polos detox diet.
Press reveal if you want a sneak peek at who our co-host is (SPOILERS!):
I am minded today of a time I was in Kenya in the late 1980s, and was fighting a nagging urge to do a poo. It was a safari holiday, and I was on a journey to Nairobi. It was a long drive, and all of us in my party were suffering from various degrees of upset stomachs. We had all declined the use of a toilet break after one brave soul described the facilities as “you know the ones in Piccadilly Circus?” - a clear signal that we should just move on.
So, on we trekked. A few stops along the way as various people’s sphincters gave up the ghost and they ran bravely into the scrub. I didn’t want to do this as I knew that knowing my luck, I’d be bitten by something nasty. So I clung on
Eventually we arrived, checked in and used some civilised toilets. I think I had been battling the need for more than five hours by then. Cramps, the sincere hope that the farts would be just farts. The whole gamut of “I need a dump” signals.
That, it seems, is nothing. Not even heroic or epic. Right now, in a police station in Harlow, is a suspected drug dealer who has been on “toilet strike” for (at the time of writing this) 21 Days. Two more days, and he reaches a record. Apparently, he has concealed a package up his bottom, and isn’t keen on letting it go. So he’s just not going to the toilet.
Essex police are Tweeting about this using the hashtag #poowatch http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-42972989
I wonder if, by the time this letter gets aired, he will have buckled. I kind of hope that he doesn’t now. He’s close to setting a record. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the poor sod who sifts through three weeks of poo looking for a condom full of drugs.
All the best,
The communal village toilet was outside, about 50 metres from the village, and comprised of an L-shaped brick wall, and a plank over a hole that was - I noted - full of the worst sort of spiders. I'd tried to hold on as long as I could, because the wall only came up to my shoulders - and thus everyone in the village could watch me having a poo, if they so wanted - but eventually I could tame the big brown beast no longer.
After disposing of the spider's nest, and emptying myself to my great relief, it then dawned on me that there was no toilet paper, and that I was expected to wipe with the pages of a children's picture book, which had been hung on one of the two low walls. It wasn't even a book with soft pages; but one of those books made from really thick paper, and thus wasn't exactly fit for purpose, as it were.
If you wish to know how this all felt, try having a poo in one of the glass tanks at zoo's insect house, then wipe your arse on a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Fortunately, later that day I noticed that the meat we'd been eating up to that point had all been sourced from an unidentified animal carcass that was hanging from a tree to air-bake. I made the mistake of walking around to the back side of the meat, to see it crawling with a living carpet of flies. Suffice to say, I didn't eat any more of that meat for the remainder of the trip, and thus never needed another poo until I returned to civilisation.
I’ve literally never been so excited about a new Spiderman game as I am this year. It looks quite nice and it’s my most anticipated AAA release of 2018. Don’t like Crackdown, Redemption, Last of Us, God of War, Detroit... Sea of Thieves looks good, but I don’t like multiplayer.
The game I’m most looking forward to is actually Concrete Genie but with the caveat that I might think it’s shit when I get to play it (about 50/50).
Sky from ThatGameCompany on iOS looks very interesting as does the thought of playing Mario Kart on my iPhone.
Most excitingly of all is that Namco may be working on Ridge Racer 8 (the 8 tells us it’s a proper RR game) for the Switch.
I’m sorry it’s not rumoured to be happening on the PS4 - I’d love it to look all max’d out - but beggars can’t be choosers and, shucks, I’d even buy an Xbox One X just to get my hands on it - that’s how sick in the head for Ridge Racer I am!
How about you? Anything got your periscope a’poppin’ on the 2018 radar?
One more thing before I go - have you come to peace with the white bits on Spidey’s suit? I’m still a fan, but I’m starting to take them a bit for granted if I’m being honest.
In terms of what I'm looking forward to this year... probably only really Far Cry 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2. Actually... maybe Days Gone too, as it's by the people who did Syphon Filter, which is terribly underrated these days. I'm also going to give Dark Souls another go when it comes out on the Switch.
Dear Mr. Biffo, how can I ably engage ST "fans" when they persist with their alt-right tactics of Amiga erasure?
Concerned of Middlesex
Excuse me, Mr. Biffo, on the "Itchy & Scratchy" CD-ROM, is there a way to get out of the dungeon without a wizard's key?
Dearest, dearest Mr. Biffo. I had to answer your call to arms for the sparse mailbag this week, as what else am I supposed to do on a Friday morning during my break at work? Admittedly re-reading my own words won't be all that entertaining, but I'm counting on others heeding your call.
Anyway, the pressure is on to say something interesting now... I'd like to say I thrive under pressure like say, a brain surgeon, but instead I flail about like some sort of flannel-brained goon. I shall ask this: You are tasked with creating a games console. What would you call it?
And what era would you prefer to release it in? Would it have any special features (e.g. Vinegar dispenser)? No need to flesh out a business model; Egon Must has bankrolled it or whatever. That's all I've got, sorry.
I've always enjoyed the dark and visceral aspects of your writing: Mutants, science experiments gone wrong, body horror all seem to be regular themes, where do you feel your penchant for the unpleasant comes from?
As an extension to that what other movies/series/art would you recommend for similar content?
Change of pace: what's your favourite Lego theme and why?
Which was sort of semi-consciously inspired by The Living Bum, which I did here on Digi a few times. And that just comes from being amused by the idea of a bum being "living", rather than being into body horror.
That said, I guess do have a streak of darkness running through my writing - but that's really down to comedy often being about juxtaposition. So, if you put something dark and horrific or weird next to something that's completely incongruous (like, say, off the top of my head... Dale Winton inhaling a Yum Yum so hard that it gets lodged in his lung), then that - in theory - is funny. Occasionally.
But - hey - it's subconscious most of the time, so you might be a better judge of it.
In terms of stuff that I'd recommend in that area... I honestly don't know, because I don't really tend to like "dark" comedy as a general rule. And I'm pretty squeamish. I'd say check out the art of Brendan McCarthy. He's my favourite comics artist, and very surreal, and weird, and funny.
Favourite Lego: Star Wars, obviously. Though I've not bought any since the ruddy cat knocked my Slave-1 off the bookcase and smashed it.
Yesterday I had to go out to see if my leather trench coat was in the boot of my car... don't ask why, it's a long story, but no. Since I moved house last year I haven't seen it, which is odd. It's probably in a box that I've not unpacked yet. Either that or some Nazi ghost or something stole it because of the cold weather.
Anyway, walking back I slipped on the bloody ice and cut my knee pretty badly, which reminded me of the first place I bought. I was a bit of a skinflint and never put the heating on (I was single then), not even in the winter. This was a bit detrimental to the health of my Sea Monkeys; they were swimming around really slowly and the water was getting dead cloudy.
I took a pan from the kitchen, turned it upside down and put it in front of the gas fire in my lounge. I lit the fire and put the Sea Monkeys on top with the idea that the heat my 'perk them up' a bit.
When I got back from the pub about eight hours later the Sea Monkey aquarium had melted. I had forgotten about them before I went out. I cannot imagine the horror they had to go through whilst being slowly boiled alive, the conversations they must have had whilst they were being slowly (but accidentally) tortured to death.
Moral of the story? Winter weather really hurt my knee...and don't go out to your car with just a t-shirt on and boxer shorts. Oh, and bleach is also not too good for Sea Monkeys I was to find out. I wish someone would breed a bigger, harder version. I'd call them Ocean Gorillas.
I'm still unfit but strong and that is all,
First of these is the Crash Annual 2018 - a brand new, hardback, edition of the classic ZX Spectrum gaming magazine, which picks up exactly where the mag left off in the early-90s.
Secondly, I cannot recommend more Stuart Ashen's Attack of the Flickering Skeletons - a second instalment in his Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard of series. It features brand new teletext illustrations from the legend that is Horsenburger.
Lastly, Dan Whitehead's Speccy Nation - volumes 1 and 2 - are an excellent summary of some of the beloved Sinclair computer's greatest, and less fondly remembered, games. I recommend the second volume. Mainly because I wrote the introduction...