The Alan Titchmarsh Show On Videogames

By Kieron Gillen on March 22nd, 2010 at 7:42 pm.

Sigh.

Because we really probably should post it even though no-one has the time to take it properly to task. I suspect we’d have said something similar to The Sixth Axis’ Open letter to ITV. You have to feel for C&VG’s Tim Ingham, who even by appearing on the show is pretty damn brave. Putting aside the research seemingly pulled from thin air, the latter-day attempt to link the Bulger killing to videogames is openly disgraceful. Watch and despair.

UPDATE: C&VG Uncover some interesting stuff about the vehemently anti-violent entertainment Julie Peasgood. She voice-acted in the old, terrible game Martian Gothic. The word you’re looking for is “Hypocrite”. It doesn’t mean that she’s particularly judgmental of large, African water-dwelling mammals.

As the Sixth Axis note, if you want to compose a polite complaint to ITV, here’s their contact details. I stress, polite.

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254 Comments »

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  1. Roadrunnerr says:

    Also, why do those cunts get to interrupt Tim, while he can’t interrupt these fucking nazis?
    MY GOD I’M RAGING SO HARD

  2. Helis says:

    Who wants to play “SHOUT AT THE TELEVISION CAMERA!”?

    YOU SIR, ARE A WINNER!

  3. Laserhead says:

    I’m not great at the whole letter writing thing. Ah well. This whole thing depresses me anyway. I thought Tim did pretty damn well.
    ====
    Dear ITV,

    Congratulations on producing a talk show where the host can display absolutely no knowledge of the subject he is discussing and yet receive rounds of cheering and applause from the the audience. I’m assuming you had some form of mind control device in place, lest my faith in humanity sink a notch further (canceling the rise brought about by Obama’s healthcare plan getting through).

    I’m doubtful that outlining my views on the industry would make the smallest difference to Alan’s show, but I would request that if Alan is going to conduct a discussion topic unrelated to horticulture, he should at least check his guests when they begin spout sensationalist claims as facts.
    ===

  4. Calabi says:

    That made me angry. Games dont make you angry people whom talk rubbish about games do. Ban them!

    That’s the most nonsense I’ve heard in ages, literally just shit made up from their heads, and spat out, and cheered by the audience.

  5. TheApologist says:

    A total disgrace. The most encouraging thing you can say about it is that it looked quite so bizarre and out of date, but then I have actually ever played a video game.

    Have complained to ITV. Politely :)

  6. Jahkaivah says:

    You know what would have been awesome?

    If Tim, in the middle of that, for a second, looked towards the camera lens and said, “So Charlie Brooker, what’s your take on this?….. Alright then, fair enough”

    Because chances are it’s bound to be covered by Charlie Brooker, (even if by self-fulfilling prophecy), and would make for some fun fourth wall breaking meta snark.

    • IdleHands says:

      After my rage subsided I did wonder if Charlie Brooker would respond, but then decided that it’d be more awesome to see Harry Hill make fun of this segment. I can imagine Harry Hill explaining to Titchmarsh what a DVD is, that no Alan DVD’s are not for growing they are for watching.

      That said I do hope Brooker writes a piece on this or references at some point, it does incapsulate the problem gamers have in modern media. We so need Gameswipe the series just to help cast away with this tired old view of gamers and games.

  7. Captain Bland says:

    What is really scary is that Julie Peasgood has written a book of sex advice. What do you think the chances of it being well researched, open minded and non-judgemental are?

    • Lilliput King says:

      Nowhere near as good as the chances of it being a comprehensive run down of S&M practices for the modern couple.

      “Violence for entertainment is wrong, YOU DIRTY BOY”

  8. Graham says:

    I hope that these murder trainers are banned such as Call of Modern Warfare and Grand Thift Auto, I enjoy much more story driven games such as Earthbound and Jewel Quest. I heard on the news that the Columbine shooters used Call of Modern Warfare to train to use guns! I enjoy wholesome games for the family not games that train kids to kill!

  9. Gap Gen says:

    The last paragraph didn’t do The Sixth Axis any favours, I don’t think. Telling someone who you are trying to get to agree with you that their medium is moribund isn’t the smartest trick in the book.

  10. Shadowmancer says:

    That was an extremly biased audience and panel, I feel sorry for Tim I hope he got drunk to wash away the memories of this.

  11. Dexemplu says:

    Tim has balls of steel.

  12. Niall Flynn says:

    Pure garbage, typical narrow minded views from aging technophobes.

    This type of show just shows the inherit backwardness of the traditional media.

    In a year where online advertising spend has toppled traditional, to hear this rubbish.

    Lets hope in 10 years time we are watching live games on our PCs in our living rooms, rather than this drivel on the Telescreen.

  13. Moni says:

    I really enjoyed that video. Tim Ingham defended his views brilliantly, he was calm and measured, citing hard facts with every statement.

    His opponents did nothing but sprout buzzwords they’d glimpsed at off the teleprompter, showing either an inability or no will for reasoning.

    • Feste says:

      Tim was great, but I’d have been more optimistic if the audience had actually listened to the argument rather than treating it as a 5-minute Hate

  14. Orange says:

    I couldn’t watch more than 10 seconds of this. Just annoyed me too much.

  15. Schmung says:

    ITV have a long and glorious history of pandering to the lowest common denominator. Their entire business and programming strategy is based around it nowadays. They’ve spent the last five years culling any decent original programming (and indeed the people who make them) in favour of Jeremy Kyle etc while they flounder around trying to work out how to keep making in the face of opposition who don’t care (Sky, C4 etc) or don’t have to(The Beeb). You’d almost feel sorry for them if they weren’t such a colossal bunch of fuckwits.

    A balanced and reasonable discussion of gaming is not something that you’re likely to get from them because having people get angry makes for ‘better telly’ and therefore more ad revenue. That said, feel free to bombard the duty office will emails, because they do record and publish all the comments they receive.

  16. mandrill says:

    I say we invade Alan Tichmarsh’s forums and post reasonable and well though out reasons why we feel insulted, misrepresented and marginalised by his television show.

    Someone has already started: http://www.alantitchmarsh.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1509

  17. SilentHitoshura says:

    FANNY!

  18. Evo says:

    The whole thing was just a a shameful display of outdated stereotyping and ignorance-fueled prejudice. What really gets me is how Tim was asked to justify playing violent videogames as if he was some sort of deviant for doing so. In the comments I’ve seen on this story around the internet, many gamers seem to feel the need to justify their hobby. We really shouldn’t, and don’t, have to do this.

    I think the problem is that many non-gamers do not realize that there is quite a large disconnect between committing a violent act in a virtual world and committing a comparable act in the real world. I enjoy many violent games, but when shooting virtual guys in Fallout 3, I’ve never mentally connected that to shooting real people. Similarly, when condemning the Wookies to slavery in KOTOR, I didn’t mentally connect it to enslaving a race of hirsute sentients in real life. So basically, it’s not real. Why would it affect what I do in the real world?

  19. John says:

    Well, i didn’t think 2 minutes were enough to whatever topic, but this video certainly proved me wrong!

  20. HarbourMaster says:

    Big shout out to Tim for putting himself forward before the lynch mob and keeping his head.

    You have to realise, though, that if the programme doesn’t research this at all and just invites a few talking heads in to bark loudly, then think of how much other disinformation the show has probably put out. And ilk like it. It’s the reason I barely watch any TV outside of fiction these days – the FOX news template. Sorry, I guess I undermined my own argument, FOX news should probably be included in the fiction category. My bad.

    I think someone should tell Alan that there’s a PROVEN link (and I’m SHOUTING here) between using garden shears and DIGITAL AMPUTATIONS. More people lose their digits during shear mishaps that they would IF SHEARS WERE BANNED. I just abhor accidental violence like this. It’s common decency.

  21. kupocake says:

    Open minded Sex Advice? Surely I won’t be the first person to point out that her name is Peasgood..

  22. Huggster says:

    The point about torture porn is a good one. I have seen a lot of horror movies and I find those kind of films disturbing, uneeded and don’t watch them.
    Why then is there a ride at Alton Towers called “Saw”, based on the film? Because according to Alan and the rest of middle England, no-one under 18 will have seen Saw, Hostel or any other of the movies. Are you telling me they built the ride excluding the age range of 13 to 18, marketing it at adults only? No chance. They knew most teenagers had seen it “illegally” so to speak.
    Everyone knows teenagers watch movies far worse than any video game. Yet they are seen as more acceptable.
    These are the facts – 90% of the population will never appreciate well written games or films, so the entertainment industry will keep turning out the same shallow pap for the mainstream. There will always be good product outside of this, but at the end of the day – home sapiens likes dumb sex and dumb violence, we gotta deal with it.

    • Huggster says:

      Sorry its Thorpe Park, and I meant “homo sapiens”. Anyway you get it.

    • Gorgeras says:

      Bizarre, I actually think the Saw films(seen 1-3 and 6, missed 4-5) are underrated and dismissing them as ‘torture porn’ misses the point of them(aside from the obvious studio incentive ‘make money’).

      I could almost swear that the tabloid fuss over Saw(and with each iteration their reviewers admit the earlier ones were actually good) was an attempt to *make* the kids try harder to see it because Jigsaw’s misanthropy is exactly that of those tabloids: people are complacent, people don’t care, they are blind to the suffering of others and their own decadence. Most of Jigsaw’s targets are the tabloids targets.

  23. Lilliput King says:

    Titchmarsh looks so sad in this picture.

    What’s bugging you, Alan?

    • IdleHands says:

      “The thing is I never wanted to be a talk show presenter doing biased pieces just for ratings. I wanted to be . . . a lumberjack!”

    • Gorgeras says:

      “The thing is I never wanted to be a talk show presenter doing biased pieces just for ratings. I wanted to be . . . a pokemon trainer!”

      I sense a meme starting.

    • Feste says:

      “…Leaping from ill-informed opinion to ill-informed opinion, as they make their way down the might tubes of the interwebs!”

    • Jimbo says:

      I like to think that the frost had his dahlias.

    • El Stevo says:

      @ Lilliput King:

      He’s just got one of those melty faces that always looks sad. Like a St. Bernard.

  24. Greg Wild says:

    The Alan Titchmarsh show is basically part of the media machine determined to drum into its audience the values of a dull world. It revels in encouraging people to be mediocre, to be conformist, to accept a set of wordly values that reinforces catagorical disinterest in engaging radical ideas. It’s thoroughly designed to convince its audience to be outraged at even the slightest bit of controversy. Anything contrary to its values is to be sidelined.

    The thing is, gaming is becoming a generational mainstream. The Titchmarsh show is old media, for an older generation not brought up on a medium focused on the computer screen, instead a TV one. It’s a fundamental conflict between two generation’s values. They’ll never meet. Never agree. But they’ll die out, and the new media will take over – ready to brainwash us all over again unless we, the citizen’s of the world, keep control over our own media (though this is another debate.)

    Point is, Titchmarsh is a dying breed.

  25. corbie says:

    I got through it by imagining Tim’s achievements popping up at the bottom of the screen every so often. “Suffer the children ” , “Home Cinema ” “Not a wargamer ” and “Tsunami of future violence ”

    That and a tank bursting through the wall at the end and mowing them down. DAKKADAKKADAKKA.*

    /Corb

    *well if they want to be right then they have to pay the price! Oh the irony.

  26. Premium User Badge

    _Nocturnal says:

    That Tim guy was splendid. He reacted quickly, delivered the right arguments and kept his cool all the way. We need more people like that representing us.

  27. Neil says:

    Wouldnt be like Mckenzie to get something wrong. Ahem Sun Lies ( coverage) of Hillsborough when he was Editor. JUSTICE FOR THE 96

  28. Leehambly says:

    Peasgood says she is “categorically against violence as entertainment” and yet has profited from it throughout her entire career. Beautifully feckless and brainless double-standard.

  29. T-Bone says:

    Wot I sent:

    Hello,

    I recently saw online a clip of your “Alan Titchmarsh Show”, and the segment I saw was discussing the videogame BAFTAs, that were to take place later that night. It’s very concerning that, even when setting up the discussion based on a ceremony celebrating videogames, the programme stated that videogames were “corrupting our children” and are harmful to our nation’s youth. It’s upsetting, as a gamer, as someone who is passionate about this medium and who considers it as a legitimate form of media just ike television, books and films that my preferred form of entertainment is, as a whole, painted as violence-inducing, hateful and destructive.

    This discussion, while commendable for being one of the rare videogame debates to feature someone who actually knows what they’re talking about, was an outright attack on the medium and something I cannot just sit down and allow. The guests ignorantly spouted their lies, stating such things as “[videogames] promote hatred, racism, sexism and promote violence”, and these kinds of lies are just the kind that I cannot stand. Has this woman ever played a videogame? I doubt so, and why you should invite her on as a guest to a videogame discussion is beyond me. The one person who knew what they were talking about, and had named sources to back up their points (unlike the vague “an american study” providing the other guests’ “facts”) was Tim Ingham, and you’re panellists, you’re audience, your host would not let him speak for more than a few seconds before being interrupted. Even as he was agreeing with the other panellists in that violent videogames should not be in the hands of children, he was being scoffed at and looked down upon in a way I find disgusting.

    I find this sort of witch hunt and scapegoating unacceptable. I am disappointed this biased, igorant and hateful panel was ever aired and I hope that future videogame “debates” will at least include a balanced, reasonable panel. This production of blanket statements merely insults the intelligence of the millions upon millions of people who play videogames and are still reasonable, non-violent individuals, who support an ever-increasing and advancing industry. I am appaled that this was allowed to be broadcast.

    Thank you for your time,

    T-Bone (not actually, but you will never get my name!)

  30. Matt Petty says:

    So what you’re saying is that Julie Peasgood, in between episodes of Cash in the Attic and The Alan Titchmarsh Show, where she railed against violent videogames, was paid money for voice work on a 17-rated PS game Martian Gothic in 2000. Perhaps she should give it back and make a statement regretting doing that job.

  31. realitycheck says:

    Why yes Alan, between your continued television career and Scribblenauts, I think I will be spawning a team of little cerial killers, and damned proud of them I shall be. Whats that Julia? A little off the top ? Certainly, just let me stave your skull in with this tetris block.

  32. Joe says:

    I’m 15 and have been playing video games for years now, I played gta when I was around 9 or 10 and I have turned out fine, I am not violent and feel this is the most biased piece of crap I have ever seen. Yes kids shouldn’t be playing these games but with correct supervision then there should be no problem. I almost feel insulted by the whole thing.

  33. MiikeHypercube says:

    There is a hidden, unspoken assumption by the Mail/Sun/ITV types in this piece, which is that no parent need ever be responsible for anything their children do or see. That’s the only possible reason why they consistently ignored the point that children were not supposed to watch 15 or 18-rated games in the first place.

    This is the same baying mob that wasn’t baying for the blood of Thomson’s or Venables’s parents. They want to create a world where none of us, ever, is in any way responsible for anything we or our children do. All problems in this brave mediaeval world are then resolved by declaring certain phenomena or people as “eviw” and getting out the pitchforks.

    Which is probably why this conversation has been going on ever since the first Punch and Judy show hit the streets.

  34. Daz says:

    He certainly defended his corner very well, clearly everyone else on the show was very uninformed. Watching stuff like this just makes me angry more than anything.

  35. Graeme Strachan says:

    I still want to know how Peabody shouting out “I am against violence as entertainment!” counts as a response to Tim’s Point and why it’s worthy of applause.

    Drivel, the entire lot of it, as usual an utter waste of space and time. The fact that the mention of the Byron report garnered a condescending sneer from the audience really just goes to show that they were utterly uninterested in hearing anything other than the lambasting of videogames.

  36. Rinox says:

    Summary of the clip:

    “Won’t someone please think of the children!!!”

  37. Lewis Dunn says:

    Full marks to the CVG guy. Seriously, you made your point eloquently and justified them. You even gave an ACTUAL study for people to look at, as opposed to the woman on the show who didn’t and just plucked one out of the air.

    I honestly want you to go on every show and fight our corner.

  38. Surgeon says:

    I just couldn’t believe the audience reactions when I watched that this afternoon.
    It was like they were being prompted into it.
    Peasgood mentions some random study off the top of her head, and they all cheer.
    Tim then counters with the Byron report facts, and they all groan.
    Unbelievable.

    Tim did a really great job to remain level headed, and still went on to offer real facts to counter their insane arguments.

    Well, at least someone has had the sense to update Peasgood’s wiki page, pointing out her hypocrisy :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Peasgood

    KG perchance?

    • the wiseass says:

      ^This.

      Also I find TV soaps mentally degrading and potentially dangerous for my common sense. Would somebody please think about us violent video gamers and forbid this kind of dreck that is aired day in and day out on TV and poisons our (and our children’s) minds?

      But then again, I’m a reasonable person to accept that there is stuff in existence that other people enjoy that I do not. I’m tolerant enough to let them enjoy whatever they’re enjoying, despite being a violent video gamer.

  39. the wiseass says:

    So on the one side, we’ve got a dude called Tim, that gives us a well informed perspective, comes up with some decent numbers and relates to other media types giving us a well thought out speech on the whole matter and he simply gets shitcanned for being reasonable.

    On the other side we’ve got some overly dramatic blonde woman spouting random buzzwords, walking down the “oh won’t somebody thing about the children” route, flat out denying that violent video games aren’t meant for children in the first place and she gets applauded for being a rhetorical dimwit.

    Would I expect something else from a TV show? Not really. Is that the reason why I don’t watch TV any more? Absolutely!

    Ignore, continue anyway.

  40. Michael says:

    Not quite. Regulatory bodies have a little more teeth here than they do in the US.

  41. Alex says:

    Oh my God, this Mario Kart game teaches children to throw things at other cars whilst driving! It must be banned!

  42. Bob says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    Well, hmm.
    There was me thinking this sort of attack on video games had gone out of style. The whole affair seems bizzarely retro.
    Ho hum.

    I agree, talk about your blasts from the past.

  43. Wyatt says:

    I don’t think we’ll be back in Ten years to discuss this. Alan Titchmarsh will be very Dead.

  44. simonkaye says:

    Massive super mega-mad-props to Tim Ingham. Grace under fire, balanced reactions, sense of humour intact.

  45. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    That was pretty awful. There are games that I’ll find distasteful and going a bit further than I’d like a game to go.. but that has nothing to do with kids being exposed to games they shouldn’t get their grubby hands on anyway.

    Moreso, if the host had been impartial and the woman at least had been.. well replaced by someone capable of being less aggravating and more reasonable it may not have been as frustrating to watch as it was.

  46. Sergio Ballistica says:

    i tried very hard to keep a straight face while watching this… i failed after about 7 seconds. What a load of crap, i love the way everyone ignored the guy defending video games. The crowd were no more than sheep applauding that berk of a woman – alarmist muppets.

  47. Midnight says:

    Tim: “Videogames have exactly the same certificates…”
    Alan: “But they’re at home.”

    Ah, so the real problem is the result of diminished parental responsibility in a modern age so dominated by excessive State nannying.

    If I were on the show, this is the point at which I would have asked Alan what kind of effect his collection of hardcore pornography was having on his children. Clearly he’s not to blame for leaving it lying around, the govt should ban it.

  48. Mr Mark Streatfield says:

    As a parent that has censored his childs gaming, I think that this “interview” was discriminatory against a form of media that has taught my son literature, history, spelling, typing and many other lessons. Most of all the realities of war, especially regarding the ethics and politics behind for instance the world wars. It has also taught him a tactical perspective, much like a person playing chess or any other kind of recognised sport would hone their tactics and skills, he has learnt aspects which he can apply to other aspects of his life such as college work.

    The interview was incredibly biased with two uninformed people effectively baiting the representative and demonising him in front of the audience. Merely mentioning two studies, one of which was a case study which are specifically known to analysers as lacking validity when generalised to populations was not a valid arguement. Furthermore both of these baiters could not answer any of the representatives points they merely repeated themselves as if trying to ignore his response.

  49. Vinraith says:

    Alarmist “news” talk shows are misinforming and needlessly panicking our nation’s adults. To protect them, we clearly need to ban this kind of alarmist nonsense. Won’t someone please think of the adults?

    • jti says:

      It is no wonder that Thatcher ruled as long as she did. Just think about it. How? Why? Yeap, it’s not a pretty sight.