This week I had intended on featuring some of GTA V’s bizarre in-game films -the mini-movies you see when you meet up with one of your criminal cohorts, drive to the cinema, pay your admission fee, and watch (for reals) a “film”. But something about last week’s video and the comments about online video creators like the AVGN has gotten me thinking more about gaming as a weird mainstream/underground industry with a culture that is very much its own.
And nothing encapsulates that idea better than this wonderfully candid slice of UK television which shows journalist/broadcaster and game enthusiast Charlie Brooker attempting to teach Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow about videogames. This isn’t the first time I’ve featured this video on Very Very Gaming – I actually posted this way back in 2014, shortly after Channel 4 posted it online – but now seems a perfect time to revive this hilarious and exacerbating slice of “news”.
Here’s what I had to say at the time:
Charlie Brooker is so earnest here, you can’t help but sympathise. This candid video reveals Jon Snow to be a true news reader – conservative and stubborn to the core, he appears to genuinely believe the rubbish he spews everyday on the news. Someone turn his news anchor switch off! After this interview you can imagine them heading to a nearby restaurant, only for Snow to start up his horse-meat-in-ready-meals diatribe again, while everyone sighs until Snow leaves. He then hops in his private helicopter home because he once reported that you’re more likely to die crossing the road than in a plane crash.
It’s pretty remarkable to find a grown man react to exploding Lego on-screen with “it’s violent and horrid”, “you think a child doesn’t think those are real people?”, “I’m told that people can watch these things for five hours a day!”, “they’re going through the psychological experience of killing people”. All the stereotypes are out in force then! That includes obligatory snide remarks about the number of men who play videogames in proportion to women. And Snow’s constant cynical interruptions are breathtakingly redundant: “I don’t watch videogames.” “So it’s a technological intrigue.” “You think I’ve had a sad and bereft life by not having dabbled in this stuff?” “I thought this was supposed to be state-of-the-art”. Brooker has the patience of a saint.