At the moment there's lots of talk about the decline of the gaming magazine. How the former publishing powerhouse, Future publishing is now a shadow of it's former self, and how far the print medium is lagging behind digital content providers. Well as far as print is behind the internet, television is fucking light years behind both.
GamesMaster ended 16 years ago, and despite a couple of interesting blips on the radar like Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe (and his later documentary "How video games changed the world) gaming's relationship with with TV has sired nothing but a litter of stillborns, in terms of creative and commercial success.
But despite gaming culture fully embracing the digital world, Red Bull TV (which is apparently a thing now) think there's value in jumping on a sinking ship with the announcement of their new telly pilot.The unimaginatively named, "Players" which according to the press release, is summed up as "Top Gear for gamers" presented by Matt Littler and Darren Jefferies-which, for the sake our non-UK reader, are two talking planks of wood that used to act on a soap opera for teenagers with learning problems called "Hollyoaks". So the soapy dicks will make a, "weekly entertainment magazine program, committed to bringing the best games coverage in the UK but without alienating non-game lovers." So smart phone apps and a loo at the latest Just Dance game then?
The non-broadcast pilot is set to be half an hour long, split into segments of 2-3 minutes, with the presenters talking to a guest celebrity who play on a "bespoke 16-bit old skool game". Which probably means quick snippets of trailers then back to the studio where poor man's Ant & Dec will play some walking abortion from the Big Brother house on Mortal Kombat on one of those arcade cabinets that houses a PC running a MAME emulator, as well as hosting a mini-quiz on video games. I'm sure that'll draw it's target demographic of the "cool, non-geeky, opinionated and fun loving." Or "twats" to use the industry term. Whether the presenters will be encouraged to act like racist, homophobic, right wing arseholes, like the actual Top Gear, has yet to be confirmed.
I kid, of course. I don't think the two genetic rejects, regurgitating PR blurb inside an abandoned cash 'n' carry in South London, will act like the GameFaqs board come to life. The whole "Top Gear for video games" tag is likely there for two reasons; being a rehash of a already popular format increases a pilot's chances of getting made, and because people in TV are still way off the mark on how to cater to gamers. Hence why the production company behind "Players" thought, "Yeah, two young, white males. They're the only people who play video games." Come on people, this Red Bull channel is supposed to be a for the hip, young bastards about town, who play all the latest games after a busy day of skateboarding and filming knife crime on their mobile phones. You're not gonna appeal to that crowd with two vanilla cocks, on the wrong side of 25. You need you finger on the pulse and find presenters more representative of today's young gamer. How about a gurning emo, a sex pest and a cunt in trendy glasses?
The most basic of web searches can get you written and video content to any kind of video game-from old text adventures to the latest Flappy Bird clone- in seconds. News, latest trailers, extensive reviews, event coverage and play throughs. Unless "Players" can actually emulate what Top Gear does so well- an aspirational, entertainment show that has the presenters doing stuff the average driver could/would never do with cars and access to the newest, most expensive cars in the world- then why would even the most casual gamer take time to tune into a weekly, 30 minute show on the hope the game or app they're interested in will be covered in a non-advertorial manner? I fucking doubt it.
So lads, if you want to make a go of this Top Gear for gamecocks then you have to above and beyond your initial inspiration. Go out an commit a hate crime, go The One Show and protest the invasion of the Ukraine isn't violent enough, cheat on your mistress with your ex wife, the skies the limit! Oh, and don't forget to plug the disgusting energy drink, that tastes like cough syrup that's been passed through the urethra of a syphilitic weasel. Fuck it, go the whole Keighley and get your show sponsored by KP skips to boot. Yeah, that'll make PewDie Pie's millions of subscribers come running to your tin pot skateboarding channel.