Saturday, 16 June 2012
Former Inside Xbox team, ponce off their next project
Former Inside Xbox host: Dan Maher is threatening to inflict his punchable face, media studies style of presenting (see Fern Cotton or anyone at IGN) and nauseating sense of self on us all as, instead of moving on from hack game journalism to working in games PR or spending every waking moment moaning about what cunts his former employers are, Maher is dipping his toe into the yawning chasm of filth, thieves and whores that is gaming TV. By which I mean, he and two other guys from Inside Xbox are putting their hand out for people to donate money to their project possum page on donation site: indiegogo.com. And to their credit, they've exceeded their initial goal of $10,000 (about £6,000) so they look to make good on their proposal video- giving an idea of the kind of show Explosive Alan (the name of their production company) wants to make.
And you thought it was just me that made jokes about games journalists doing coke? But still, good on them for convincing enough people to chip in to a production that doesn't even have a name yet, no real plan of who's going to watch and no female presenter. Which are three things any commissioning editor (the person that decides what shows a TV channel buys) will make a priority.
As I've said many times already (and countless others will also say) video games are dirty words in UK television. And as far as TV people are concerned, gaming has only two audiences: children or late night basement dwellers who will wank/ themselves into a frenzy over anything remotely female holding a controller. Sad but true. Also, TV goes in trends. Why are there so many make over shows? Because one channel took a risk with one, it became a big hit, so other channels see that success and want some and thus make their own make over shows. In the past ten-odd years, there have been many video game shows and two channels. All of which died on their collective arses. So TV's attitude to video games is: is gaming doesn't work on television. But as Maher mentions, in his intro video, Explosive Alan will also look to online as a means of hosting their -as yet un-named- show. Thing is, the internet already has more than enough gaming shows. It was one thing when your shows were on the Xbox LIVE dashboard (before Microsoft buried it, along with the arcade and indie game section) and the fact that you exceeded your target is a positive sign. But that youtube video has only 12,000 views. That's not a great amount for a (supposedly) professional outfit. Especially when you'll be relying on every individual to tune in show after show. Granted it's tonnes more than Ginx, but they have deals with countries that don't speak English. Explosive Alan doesn't, plus add the fact that this show has no discernible identity, other than trendy haircuts. And one other thing, no female equals much less views. Sad as it is to say, it's true. Look at how many views the IGN videos get. Or even EA's infomercial: "Pwned". The comments are all about sexual assault and what drug Julia Hardy is on, but it's the views that matter.
And if you're someone who has donated,don't worry. I'm not going to have a go at you. You think Inside Xbox was good, you've got enough problems already. But you should know, even though Project Possum has reached it's target, that's no guarantee anything other than a pilot will get made. And even if the show does get picked up, don't assume it will resemble the look and feel of that intro video. As Maher will no doubt admit, the people with the money call the shots. A channel or website could very well pick the show up but then say: "casual and mobile gaming is the thing now, so it'll be all about those kind of games. And we'll need some dollybird to present it for the much needed 15-25 year old male demographic. Just find some cosplayer or something. I'm sure CVG know loads"
Many a brave attempt at making a video game TV show has gone to shit, whether it be channel interference, lack of budget, lack of vision, poor presentation or the producer using a E3 trip to score rentboys (I'll tell you that story one day), whether project possum ends up the same way? I would suggest you lower your expectations and then some