For those who don't get my Kickstarter updates, or can't be bothered to read them, filming is currently scheduled to continue until mid-May - to fit in the availability of the cast, and the locations that I've begged people to let me use. I'm still aiming for a late-May/early-June premiere, which should give me time to finish the editing, animation and sound.
I'm hoping to do something of a publicity blitz in time for the launch, so if you've got a podcast, or a blog or vlog, or write for a magazine or website... don't be shy of asking if I'll do something for you, like I am of asking famous people to appear in the show.
I'm so proud of what we're doing that I'd love it to be seen by as many people as possible.
Anyhow, 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 our occasional Plug Zone - please send your emails for next week to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been sitting on the toilet contemplating children's nursery rhymes. There is a trend of changing the lyrics to make the children's songs more suitable for children.
Why do you feel they changed the words to Ba Ba Black Sheep, but not to Ten Green Bottles when the latter is clearly a war chant against the peaceful people of the planet Vulcan?
A Passing Drunk
Have you ever watched Ginx TV?
Given there's a telly channel for everything, I always thought there was room for something dedicated to gaming. Watching it recently I'm not so sure. It seems to be lots of e-sports, and for the reviews you might as well go find game footage on YouTube, rather than seeing gameplay interrupted by the host's wrong opinions and terrible personalities.
There's no evidence of the slightest bit of imagination in any of it. Though I'm sure they are nice people and that doing 24 hours of TV about bloody video games is no doubt quite tricky.
I'm certain that it can be done well, and the way to do it - I think - is to bring games into the real world; too often, watching people playing games is just horrible, horrible, telly. Take it from somebody who has written a lot of kids TV; even now, in 2017, we avoid storylines which feature video games or computers, because seeing characters using a screen is just death.
You need to do the same with a factual entertainment show; recreate FPS levels in real life, turn one of the presenters into Super Mario, or have a race against the clock to navigate Los Angeles only using the map from GTA V. That sort of thing.
And - easier said than done - but let's stop selling the idea that the only people who play games are 24 years-old and beautiful. Get a bunch of mates together to present, so the audience feel like they're part of a gang. Stop trying to make games cool!
So much gaming content is aimed exclusively at the young, and yet there's a whole generation of us who grew up playing games, and are now grumpy and old. I just want a show that everyone can watch, which feels inclusive, but also acts like it doesn't give a damn.
When I launched Digi2000 I sort of felt initially that I had to compete with the young upstarts... then very quickly I realised I couldn't pretend to be 21 anymore, and that us middle-aged gamers were desperately under-served.
I've got to go to Leicester later on today. I went to Leicester once before and ended up getting lost round some sort of covered market. There was a stall there that had a big sign up, written in marker pen in terrible handwriting, that read "WE BY STOLEN MOBILE PHONES" (sic). Never found out if they sold them too, but I'm guessing they did.
Also in that market was a stall that dealt exclusively in retro gaming stuff. I was quite interested in this but I picked up a copy of Alisia Dragoon for the Mega Drive, and it was so sticky I put it down and left.
Wandering off, trying to find where I'd parked my car, I ended up in some other market thing. There was a stall there that sold skinned sheep heads and another one that sold fish. The smell from the fish one sort of made me feel sick, so I went and bought a can of Tizer, then called my Smoking Brother.
That being said, please find attached a photo of Bernard Cribbins that I took a few years ago. He was eating sandwiches whilst sat on the grass by Broadway tower. I've got one I took of Matthew Kelly in a sling in Stratford upon Avon too, but I can't find it right now.
I am fit and strong and that is all.
“Mate, you don’t work in the film industry do you?” he asked me, breathlessly… “Er, sort of…”, I mistakenly replied.
This kicked off an epic, rambling, pacing-the-floor rant – which lasted the entire duration of my epic, rambling haircut (it had been quite long at the time) – about how he’d been screwed over by a film producer, who had promised to make a trilogy about his “unbelievable” life.
He told me how "dark forces" had conspired to leave him out of work since 2001, and that his suitcase was full of papers that could bring down the British Government.
Further highlights of the story included the 12 months he spent in prison due to “a sexual conspiracy”, how he knew stuff about the establishment that would “blow your mind”. Sadly, the only specific aspects he could tell me about were that his story “involved a lot of gore, if you know what I mean”, and how he had trained the greatest police dog in the history of the Metropolitan Police, which had been “the size of a pony”.
He even ended up leaving his telephone number with the woman cutting my hair, because she foolishly let slip that she was good friends with Vinnie Jones's sister. "Vinnie Jones would love to hear about all this," he insisted.
I wavered between thinking I was imminently due to find out I was on a BBC Three hidden camera show, and fearing he was about to grab a pair of scissors and stab me.
Be honest: it was you wasn't it?
What would be the most tax-efficient way to donate to Digitiser?
I'm asking because you recently mentioned that VAT is deducted from your Patreon income. Fair enough: supporters get rewards, so are paying you for a service.
However, PayPal donors only get a warm glow of satisfaction. As Ken Dodd once said, I'm no tax expert, but aren't those exempt from VAT? You know, like Jaffa Cakes.
In the catering and service industries, discretionary tips fall outside the scope of VAT. Details are provided in HMRC document E24, which is surprisingly readable, and features these excellent words: "tronc" and "troncmaster."
So, if your financial advisor can confirm that PayPal attracts no VAT, I'll probably send most of my tiny contribution that way instead.
We have PayPal (email@example.com, if you're interested) because I know some people would rather make a one-off donation rather than commit to something ongoing (which I totally get - it's scary to make that commitment, and then there's the social awkwardness of potentially un-making it somewhere down the line; honestly, I understand that circumstances change).
In terms of what's better for us... well, knowing there's a certain guaranteed amount coming in every month does make a huge difference, and it's handy having the donor names all in one place. So, I guess I do prefer Patreon.
But at the same time, I'm grateful for all the donations we receive; big, small, ongoing, one-off. If it wasn't for our donors, I honestly couldn't justify the time I dedicate to the site; it exists and is updated as frequently as it is because of them. The several thousand of you who read Digitiser2000 for free owe them everything...
What are your thoughts on Educational Computer Games? Educational Computer Games get a bad rap. They are usually of a basic and poor quality so this does not surprise me. But why is this?
Why aren't they given the care during development that they deserve? Is it a financial issue, as developers assume there isn't much money to be made in the education sector?
The common mistake that most developers make is concentrating on the education aspect primarily and then just shoe horning in the gameplay as an after thought. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this matter.
I thought I’d kill two birds with one shiv and send you in a list of questions I’ve compiled from beauty pageants.
Fun for you and a real insight for the more dangerously obsessed among us.
Put on your white boots and gold coat, Love, it’s time to sparkle!
- Tell us about a time when you overcame defeat?
- Do you think that social media has helped or hurt our society?
- Who is your role model?
- If you could meet one celebrity who would it be?
- If you could meet anyone from history who would it be and why?
- What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
- What is your greatest accomplishment?
- What is your biggest fear?
- If I was a genie in a bottle and could grant you any wish what would it be?
- I suppose it depends on your definition of defeat. I guess when I quit Mr Biffo the first time around, I felt defeated. And I'm here now. So... y'know.
- Both. It has changed the world profoundly.
- Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever had one. I always admired David Bowie for how - in his later years - he never seemed to court the spotlight. I've got a soft spot for any celebrity who seems to be in it because they enjoy it, rather than because they like being famous. I'm a big fan of modesty and humility.
- I don't really have a yearning to meet any celebrity. I've met a lot over the course of my career, and they're just people, and like people they're a mixed bag; some are lovely, some are more of a handful. And "regular'' people can be just as interesting as someone who is famous. Often more so, because fame can have a weird effect. That said, I always thought Carrie Fisher would be fun to have dinner with. Also, Space Man Chris Hadfield.
- History person? I dunno. Jesus.
- A failed best man's speech about a decade ago, in which I attempted to use a projector and laptop - which went badly wrong, throwing my entire speech into disarray. I then realised I'd badly misjudged my audience, and in my nervousness made a terribly misjudged "joke". I'm doing another one later in the year. Have I learned my lesson? No. I just care less these days.
- Not messing up my kids/maturing into someone I think is generally a good, grounded person.
- I don't know if it's a fear, but I worry slightly too much about money. Also, that I'll grow too large for love.
- Financial independence. No, really. It's rubbish that I'd have to choose that, but in our society money = freedom. Also: a proper holiday, which I really could do with this year, and can't afford right now.
Which software developer would you say has produced the most good games? Are there any that you particularly admire?
So far are you happy with the Nintendo Switch? Is it better, worse or as you expected?
Have you tried phone-based VR and if so, what is your opinion?
The Switch is better than I expected, because it's different to how I expected; it's weird how much I appreciate the local multiplayer-combined-with-portability aspect. That said, I'm mostly only playing Breath of the Wild on it, so it's really too early to call.
Yes! I have. In fact... I did a review of one such headset on the Digi2000 YouTube channel. It's fine... but not a patch on proper VR. And until you've done proper VR it's hard to describe just how powerful it is.
A Found Footage question: of the two episodes we've seen thus far the opening shows a tape, is it that both episodes are on one tape or is each episode on a separate tape?
Your article about the online gaming reminded me of my own short lived experiences of it on the Dreamcast years back and I can sympathise with your views.
I got Phantasy Star specifically to play online and for the first week or so quite enjoyed it building up my character and even met some helpful people online who showed me the ropes, helped me upgrade weapons and even just have me currency to buy better equipment. It was all going great until inexplicably my character became a girl called Ellie.
Apparently someone else had done this to me via some kind of hack/cheat. I tried to get back into it but was repeatedly met by sweary racists, who seemed to be playing just to type offensive comments and denigrate me .
I gave up on this soon after and moved onto Unreal Tournament, I thought this was great until I tried online, and discovered that I was crap at it. I was pretty sure everyone I played was cheating; they all moved so much faster than me. I didn't last long online with this, but had loads of great games on split screen with my mates.
This for me had always been the most fun, mostly because I'm just not as good as almost anyone online, and have got no chance to ever get that good. Also because that's how I'd always played multiplayer games since the days of Gauntlet and Double Dragon. If I'm honest I feel like I'm missing out with the whole online experience. I can certainly see the attraction, but as a busy dad of four I can't see myself getting good enough at any games to make it worthwhile.
Incidentally does anyone else remember Ikari Warriors? (A bit like another classic Commando). It's an old favourite from the early days of 2-player games. Simpler games but fond memories.
Hope all the Found Footage is going well, I always enjoy and appreciate the updates. Looking forward now to the next instalment,
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