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 »

  1. DMJ says:

    I resisted watching this for so long, simply because I find ignorance to be almost physically painful. It would have been just as meaningful if the program was about Tim making good points and the “host” and other “guests” poking him with long sticks and singing “lalala I can’t hear you!”.

  2. jti says:

    OK, let me share this with you… It is from Devils Dictionary and in this case (among the others) it tells the truth:

    IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.” He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.

  3. JuJuCam says:

    I hate to stray waay waay off topic, and I know RPS is a Eurocentric website, but I wanted to lighten the tone here with some good news for Australian gamers (as if they haven’t heard).

    South Australian Attorney-General Micheal Atkinson yesterday resigned from office.

    For those of you not yet cheering, Mr Atkinson was the main blocker for the adoption of an R18+ rating for video games in our great southern land, and the reason games such as Left for Dead 2, Fallout 3, and Risen have been censored or outright banned for sale here.

    Of course, there is no guarantee that R18+ will be adopted, but a public input request on the subject last year generated the most interest any such request have ever had, so it’s looking good.

    Back on topic, Alan Titschmarch truly lives up to the “Tit” in his name.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Awaiting pertinent comment by Yahtzee in his next Zero Punctuation…

  4. Mojofrodo says:

    Hmm.
    Not exactly a very fair argument. one poor guy who actually knows what he’s on about, a guy who lives in the garden, and 2 people who have probably never sat on a computer in their lives. Admittedly COD: Modern warfare is a bit much for me, but Its not for kids anyway even if it did provoke violent behaviour. which it doesn’t. This is the same kind of stupidity that was seen when the telly was invented.
    GAH!
    (shakes head in dispair)

  5. El Stevo says:

    The C&VG stuff about Julie Peasgood’s voice work on a game ten years ago is an example of a tu quoque ad hominem fallacy, and totally unhelpful. If you’re going to criticise her, criticise her for the idiotic things she said.

    • Wednesday says:

      I’m not sure calling someone out on being a god damn hypocrite is any kind of fallacy.

    • El Stevo says:

      @ Wednesday:

      It’s not possible that her views could change in the ten years since she worked on that game? It’s not possible that her work on the game might even have informed her views about video games?

    • invisiblejesus says:

      He’s right. It doesn’t actually refute anything she’s saying, and besides that the voice acting job was long enough ago that a reasonable person might have changed their views by now. Which is not to say that she’s a reasonable person, the point is that it is a form of ad hominem and serves only to weaken one’s argument. It might be a little different if she’d done that voice acting job, say, last month.

    • Wednesday says:

      I’m not sure we should get hung up on this “ad homien” phrase just because its fancy Latin. We’re not just screaming “poo face” at her to make her shut up.

      We naturally assume a link between action and belief, to genuinely hold a beleif is to act. accordingly.This Martian Gothic game is hardly the sole mark in her history wher violence is concerned, as many have pointed out with the Bill and Brookside.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      It’s still an attack on her personal character rather than the points she’s trying to make. That can be appropriate if she’s recently contradicted her apparent belief, for example if she did that voice acting job yesterday. Even then, if you have a counterargument based on facts, you’re better off avoiding the shot at her personally in favor of sticking to the actual facts of the case. Just bringing up one voice acting job she did ten years ago is already going to undermine your case because it makes you look desperate. It creates the sense that you don’t have a serious counterargument, because if you did you wouldn’t resort to such a minor and long-ago event to try to counter her. It’d be like me saying trans fats are bad for you, and you countering that since I worked in a fast food restaurant 14 years ago that I must be a hypocrite. It just doesn’t hold up to serious, calm scrutiny.

    • Wednesday says:

      It still strikes at her as an “authority” on the issue. If you’ll forgive the ruductio ad hitlerum(while we’re on the latin), if Hitler said “anti-semitism is wrong”, he certainly wouldn’t be incorrect, but we’d have to take pause to consider his credentials as an authority on the subject.

      So, what I’m saying, is that Julie Peasgood is a bad as Hitler.

      Yes, yes…

  6. fearian says:

    WAR-GAME-VIDEOS

  7. Richard Clayton says:

    Aaaargh. Infuriating cod debate by people who want to blame something. And something “cool”.

    Infuriating (repeat!) to the point I cast aside my World of Goo, Tales of Monkey Island portfolio and blew the dust off Far Cry 2 so that I could cause some chaos for an hour…

    Shot a lot of people and felt better. I’m a bit confused why… but they made me do it….

    Back to the mysterious sign painter…

    If I ever meet Tim Ingham I shall buy him a pint.

  8. Seth B. says:

    Nice letter. I loved it. Be careful they don’t use certain quotes of it next time out of context if they decide to show it. I don’t see anything that stands out but, ya know.

  9. Lanster27 says:

    I agree with the 1 out of 5 stars for the video.

    Did they just say violent movies are more suitable for kids than violent games. At least the last speaker knows what he is saying about games needing more sophistication.

    • Mr_Day says:

      It certainly makes a change, it used to be that parents were convinced that an 18 rating on a videogame “isn’t as bad as those nasty films, is it?” when buying inappropriate games for their children.

      I think Tom chick’s piece on MW2 even points out that parents left their children outside when they went in to purchase the game, which would be for those children.

      There is an American called The View, which features Whoopi Goldberg, that was mentioned on WoW radio a while back because someone had pointed out that Wiifit had called her child obese, and that this was in fact a bad thing. Goldberg even rolled out the old “I don’t think people who make thses games realise that children get hold of them”.

      Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftN1mDJkALY

      Two problems with that. One, This is Nintendo. The Disney of the gaming industry. They knew the game would be played by children.

      Two, I was under the impression that age classification schemes like the esrb and PEGI are made possible with the full co operation of the gaming industry – a quick check shows a large number of big name publishers are members of the ISFE. How can you conclude that the game industry, which is trying very hard to ensure that children do not get hold of material that is unsuitable, of being unaware of the problem?

    • Mr_Day says:

      Imagine it said “American show” and “these” in the respective error places, thanks.

  10. KillahMate says:

    From the clip’s first minute:

    “…An industry worth billions, but recently it’s come under fire due to the violent nature of some of its content…”

    I do find it cute how they think they’re so hip and topical with their reporting, as if the world is just now waking up to the dangers of videogames and they’re there, coming in live from the cutting edge. Like this hasn’t been hashed and rehashed over twenty years ago.

    Tim held up exceptionally well, I thought. He knew his stuff and stayed on message. Kudos. Also I don’t know that McKenzie fellow, but he does seem reasonable, though misinformed. The host is utterly bland and easily ignored (I’m not familiar with British non-scripted TV, aside from Charlie Brooker).

    The creature in the middle chair does not display any redeeming qualities, however.

  11. gulag says:

    I hear the Rock and Roll is also detrimental to todays youth. When will the government do something about this social disease? Also, whistling outside of chruches, that’s bang out of order.

    I can’t imagine anyone under 35 watching this wasn’t howling with laughte,r as they watched this bunch of hopeless cases flailing against the present, never mind the future.

  12. autogunner says:

    comment of the week from the you tube comments:

    “I remember watching this and wanting to punch that stupid bitch in the ovaries. I am 20, have been playing games since I was 6 and am a well developed, sensitive individual.”

  13. El Stevo says:

    I’ll repost something I said the other day when this came up in the Sunday Papers comments:

    I do think Tim was a little disingenuous when he said the thrill from violence in games was in the storytelling. To be fair, that may be true for him, but for me and I think a lot of other players of those type of games the thrill is in the violence itself. When I play Mount & Blade I play it because I can lance people in the face. The point is that nobody is hurt from that expression of violence, and there is no evidence that playing those kinds of games will make me more violent in the real world.

    I can see why he said it given the audience and the people he was debating with. It probably wasn’t the right forum for getting into the debate about ascribing moral value to things that are actually morally neutral.

  14. David says:

    And the Government want to tear down the BBC to make way for more stuff like this! When you watch this and then watch that episode of Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe that he did for the BBC you wouldn’t think they were from the same decade…

  15. Muzman says:

    I know I’m a little late, but can someone draw a map for us for’ners on who these people are? Only one seems to have an actual job. Tim, editor of C&VG aaaand… some randoms who are a’gin it.
    Are the other two well known media concern trolls or something?

    • El Stevo says:

      @ Muzman:

      The host is Alan Titchmarsh, a gardener who is better known for his horticultural programmes. The woman is Julie Peasgood, an actress, writer and ‘sexpert’. She’s one of those faces the turns up on daytime talky shows a lot.

      The other man is Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of a low-brow tabloid called The Sun. He’s known for some pretty tasteless headlines and stories. When the Argentinian ship ARA General Belgrano was sunk by the Royal Navy during the Falklands War he chose to run with the headline “Gotcha”. Hundreds of people had lost their lives.

      In The Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, a crush which happened at a football match in which 96 people died and hundreds were injured, they made totally unfounded and pretty vile allegations about the fans who were present.

    • Muzman says:

      Thanks Stevo.

      Wow, MacKenzie was editor of The Sun at the time of Hillsbrough? And he’s any sort of judge on moral character issues? At least he didn’t jump in the the concerned citizen garbage like whatsername. But Aye Yie Yie.
      (maybe this is all in that Six Axis article and I should read it more closely)

  16. Mr_Day says:

    I feel the best way to counter the argument that videogames are causing us to be depressed and violent is to simply continue to be happy and pacifist. To that end, I am happy that UK Amazon are doing the CE edition of Machinarium for about the same price as the download from their site.

    This makes me happy, and I didn’t have to hit anyone to get there. Result for common sense, I am sure you’ll agree.

    Funny that someone mentioned Charlie Brooker, I would have found it interesting to see him on the show – not that I am saying Tim Ingham wasn’t dashing in his defence.

    • Mr_Day says:

      Eurgh. I really do sound like a spam bot now. I apologise, I’ll stop.

  17. Dustin Diamond's Sex-Tape says:

    Mr C. V&G really dropped the ball here. I guess he was knocked for six by the initial onslaught of stupidity (the dumbfoundingly impressive cinema comment), but he really should have taken that cue to run their whole argument into the ground. I guess the lad went in their knowing with the facts on his side, what can go wrong? I’ll just calmly state my case and let the words seep through into the viscous public consciousness.

    BANG WRONG.

    His spider senses should’ve tingled that this was a pantomime puppet show from the beginning, and being the only one with facial hair, the baddie in the act was firmly established.

    OFFENSE, OFFENSE, OFFSENSE BOY. No one conquered Europe by sitting in their soggy trenches crying for mummy. The arguments they put forth (the lions share of which coming from a previously willing accomplice in the great crime of in game violence) were a gift to anyone sharp of tongue and caustic of mind set. There should’ve been a smoking crater of obliterated stupidity by the end of the segment, but all we had was a puddle of luke warm pandering,

    Ask for a rematch boy, we’re not licked yet. Embrace the inner asshole, leave them in tears.

    Or just Gillen-them into oblivion with rapid-fire word fucks and numerous spinny hand gestures. they won’t understand, they will simply recoil in awe.

  18. mathyou says:

    Whoever mentioned Chris Morris earlier had the right idea. There is a definite need for a Brasseye episode about gaming, he could get that woman on the zeitgeist. It would be immense.

  19. Karus says:

    Concerning about children and using games rated 18+. Lolz. It’s like claiming television is BAD because some stations show tits at some hours. Sad.

  20. daddystronglegs says:

    Stick to plants Alan……
    …and while we’re on the subject of plants and violence, what about Venus Fly Traps and Nettles?
    They slowly digest living insects and sting little children….. I’m sickened by you Titchmarsh.

  21. Schmung says:

    Plenty of comments about this in the duty log. Seems the posting of this on the intertubes hath riled people somewhat. Wonder if they’ll actually bother doing anything about it.

  22. Rocktart says:

    I haven’t watching this program, but feel it would be more in the spirit of the program if I complained without seeing it.

  23. x25killa says:

    *sighs* I’m not going to watch any of it. No point in raging over some people who just don’t get videogames. Sod them.

  24. H says:

    This is what I sent in the end.

    ——

    Having just seen a clip of The Alan Titchmarsh Show in which videogames are decried as being harbingers of doom, I feel I must complain.

    Not only was the article as a whole grossly misinformed it catered only to the gutterpress masses. Why was the totally, woefully misinformed comment about Venebables, one of James Bulger’s killers, not immediately corrected? The programme has only served to add to the horror surrounding the murder of James Bulger and, because this glaring, horrific mistake was not immediately corrected, the comment will stand as an example of how all gamers should be hung for playing games.

    Studies have shown time and time again that playing videogames can serve to further educate and reach out to youngsters with learning difficulties. Studies where videogames are linked to violent behaviour are, I think you’ll find, few and far between. For every study you dig up which sensationalises violence in games there will be two more that say “gamers aren’t actually baby killers”.

    Has anyone ever told you about Penny Arcade? It’s a website run by two long-time gamers who have raised MILLIONS for childrens charities. Child’s Play (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child%27s_Play_%28charity%29) receives contributions from gamers from all over the world. I would say that some of us play video games that depict violent scenes. Shock horror.

    I myself have served with two of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and am currently an active Special Constable. I give up my free time to keep the streets safe. I have been playing computer and video games for around 30 years, and a lot of them have had violent themes. I don’t go out and beat up grannies or slaughter innocent children.

    Moving on to comparisons between films and games, was Alan Titchmarsh not aware you could watch films outside of a cinema? Has he heard of DVD, do you think?

    I have to say that this segment of the programme was offensive and totally misinformed. I am horrified you allowed it to be broadcast and request you apologise not only to me but to all gamers out there. You should at the very least allow a proper, informed debate if you’re going to set out to lynch an industry that’s bigger than TV in this country. It makes you look stupid if you do it without checking your facts first. Please don’t do it again.

  25. XM says:

    It is all down to teaching your child right from wrong if you’ve done it wrong they could become unstable and this has nothing to do with any form of entertainment.

    All the effort should be put to teaching parents how to raise their kids.

    And as an added bonus this may just cure all crime too.

  26. Lewis says:

    Shameless plug time! But a relevant one. My rebuttal features quotes from Tim Ingham and, notably, none from ITV, since their rep palmed me off onto someone else, who failed to reply to my messages.

    • XM says:

      Thanks that was a good read.

      Thinking about it from another view point ITV want games to die so more people will watch violent soaps at 7pm.

      Games are killing TV is all TV bosses think about not the life of our kids.

    • bill says:

      don’t know why you couldn’t find a reference to the 130,000 study… i found it in 3 seconds on google. first result:
      http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-03-01-1Avideogames01_ST_N.htm

      Of course, she slightly miss-represented it, as it was actually a review of 130 previous studies. It’s also slightly debatable if it’s accurate… but of course that doesn’t mean it’s not accurate, only that there’s some scientific disagreement about it.

      So I guess she did at least google it for 3 seconds, though obviously she only took on board the parts that supported her argument.

    • bill says:

      PS/ I’m replying here because i get a CGIWrap error when trying to post at gamesetwatch.
      PPS/ Even if games do turn kids into violent murderers. a few hours a week sat infront of stupefying soaps should easily counteract that.

  27. RobotRocker says:

    I’m not saying that ITV should know how utterly stupid the show was and how much of an insult to viewers it was by sending your e-mail but shouldn’t something which obviously breaks OFCOM regulations be sent to the proper channels? Having a look over it again, it breaks sections 2.2 (Factual programmes must not mislead the audience), 5.7 (Facts and views must not be misrepresented), 5.9 (Alternative viewpoints must be adequately represented), 7.9 (proper consideration of facts).

    I’m just going to list how it breaks some regulations as an example, not that you should be researching the guidelines yourself which are listed here http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/ifi/codes/bcode/

    2.2 The show misleads the audience into thinking that violent videogames are readily available to children without the discussion of BBFC and PEGI ratings and does not explain how it is illegal to sell BBFC rated products to under age children. Also it disregards officially commissioned government reports like the Byron report to pander with alternative studies that skew the facts.

    5.7 MacKenzie twisting the Bulger story to make a point easily falls under this. It’s emotional manipulation by using a false statement.

    5.9 In all fairness to Tim Ingham, he was a soft target drafted in as he had very little TV debating experience while the other two were veterans and knew how to pander to the audience. It’s not a fair representation of the argument and makes it one sided. If Charlie Brooker, Robert Florence or someone who could properly debate the issue who also has experience in televised debate, it would have been a fair representation.

    7.9 Falls under 2.2 as well due to factual inaccuracy and the disregarding of official government reports to pander to base instincts while disregarding factual analysis.

    I’m not saying you should go to ofcoms website which has a handy online complaints section located at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/progs/specific/ and make a complaint while you are browsing there but I cant really stop anyone can I?

    • H says:

      Fantastic, thanks, I’ve amended my letter accordingly. I hadn’t sent it yet :)

    • TeeJay says:

      It is however even *more* disappointing that there has been next to zero discussion on RPS about the new laws being proposed regarding video game age ratings in the UK.

      Up till now in the UK the BBFC only ever rated a few games and PEGI was ‘advisory’. New clauses in the proposed Digital Economy Bill are going to give the Video Standards Council the power to ban games and determine ratings (based mainly – but not always 100% – on PEGI).

      To me it is not clear if indie developers, mod makers or people making online flash games etc are now going to be legaly required to get a PEGI rating, nor is it clear to me exactly what rules are goin to be used to rate games, or if some kinds of games will be banned outright.

      Of course we can all complained about some shitty day-time TV show that just happened to feature a CVG person (member of the gaming community) getting booed, but given the tabloid-esque low-borw nature of daytime TV I am not surpirsed.

      I am however surprised and disappointed that dedicated PC gaming websites and forums are not discussing those parts of the Digital Economy Bill relating to videogame censorship (the only real discussion on RPS has been about the the parts relating to downloading).

    • TeeJay says:

      I’ve started a thread in the “PC Gaming” forum:

      Censorship and control of videogames in the UK?
      http://rockpapershotgun.com/rpsforum/topic.php?id=2177

      Anyone who can explain how the current – and the newly proposed system – works would be very welcome. :)

  28. Ravenger says:

    We’ll know that games have been accepted by the mainstream media as a legitimate form of entertainment when games stories are shown on websites such as the BBC under the ‘Entertainment’ category, rather than the ‘Technology’ category.

  29. Dave Westwood says:

    In referencing the recent Anderson et al (2010) paper – Julie
    Peasgood failed to acknowledge a recently published paper by Ferguson and Kilburn (2010) – http://www.tamiu.edu/~CFERGUSON/Much%20Ado.pdf. This paper quite nicely questions the validity of the claims and ‘ affects’ within the alluded to Anderson paper. The Peasgood rant is unfortunatly not a-typical of either ‘lay’ debate or that which is published within academic publications. Persons will unfortunatly always use statistics – to show ‘facts’ in light of prior concieved beliefs – however misguided. The intelligent minds must therefore learn to be critical of such claims and in turn question the motivation of those making them… If interested i suggest persons read the Ferguson paper.

  30. Shazbut says:

    What the fucking Christ is this?

    I’ve sent a complaint. But no real need, this type of television can’t last much longer.

    • Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

      The numbers people sitting around with nothing much to do and an unwillingness to think are probably only going to go up in the future.

      Maybe in a few years’ time the audience will be full of us, jeering at some poor soul trying to argue that console games do provide valuable interactive experiences?

  31. Psychopomp says:

    His name is Tit Marsh.

  32. ChaosSmurf says:

    Got to “Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare” before I thought “yeah, no.” and turned it off. I thought we were done with this kind of bollocks?

    And really, pulling stats out of thin air on _national TV_? I remember when I had faith.

  33. Risingson says:

    Hey! Martian Gothic wasn’t that bad!

  34. Tom says:

    Hats off to Tim. I completely subscribe to his point of view. I’m impressed he kept his calm whilst sitting next to one of the most ignorant people I’ve ever seen,

  35. Dan says:

    This is probably not even worth complaining about. It’s clearly an unbalanced discussion, but I doubt the arguments will have whipped up an anti-games feeling. It’s worthless TV, and I’d prefer it was shunned into obsurity than brought into wider conscience by giving it further airtime.

    It does show that there perhaps is a need for a balanced debate though, so my thoughts would be that rather than sending angry emails, why not request an alternative. Get well-educated outspoken individuals onto the show – Tanya Byron, Tom Watson, Ian Livingstone – people who know about the psychology or business. Put them up against people like Peasgood.

    Also, a new rule should be made – as soon as anyone utters the words “and do you have children?” in an argument, they’ve lost by default.

    • Jimmy says:

      Here, here. This a trash show for sofa-bores, presented by a Tit and directed towards the least plugged-in members of society. While the prejudices may be reflective of some, it’s not worth dwelling on. I mean, it’s on ITV, the channel that killed the South Bank Show.

  36. Kid B says:

    MacKenzie is pure scum, how he still has a voice in the media I will never know. Some of the stuff he printed when he was editor of the Sun was shameful. No wonder nobody buys the paper in Liverpool anymore.

    I wouldn’t worry about the The Alan Titchmarsh Show, this is the same show that use to employ that cunt Jon Gaunt as a panelist.

    It has a history of having debates with ill informed people about topics they don’t understand.

  37. rongwrong says:

    Why the hell does Alan Titchmarsh even assume he’s qualified for intelligent cultural debate? Get back to mulching the compost you stupid, arrogant, pretentious little man.

  38. terry says:

    Disappointed this article didn’t come with authentic Staring Glue-Crazed Titchmarsh Eyes.

  39. RobotRocker says:

    Hopefully you sent it to OFCOM as well as ITV as ITV will probably fob you off with a form letter.

    By the way, anyone contact Tom Watson? I would imagine he is a bit busy fighting the good fight for the Digital Economy bill to be redrawn but since he is pushing for games industry recognition to integrate it into the economy. I cant imagine this sort of sanctimonious tabloid clap-trap would help his cause.

  40. Oozo says:

    @Veret
    What’s the problem? That the talking-heads are the ones a certain clientele tends to listen to, which not so accidentely seems to be the same clientele that takes political decisions. As a citizen of Switzerland, a country which due to some sad developments in the last few weeks is only two steps away of getting a ridiculously draconic anti-videogame-law based on nothing but a stomachful of unreflected fears and the crudest accusations you could think of, I am sad to report:
    There actually IS a problem, and we should not do them the favour of underestimating it.

  41. FlashRogers says:

    You have to love the way they keep dodging the point he keeps making, that it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure children don’t play these games. The same way it is a parent’s responsibility to stop them watching horror or porn. I have stood in line countless times and watched a mother or father buy an 18 rated game for a child. I remember one instance where a woman bought her son GTA4 and he looked no older than 10. The only question she asked was, “is this the one you really want?” Whose fault is it if he is influenced by it? It’s the same bad parenting as the McCann’s who left their kids alone and in harms way….how many people do that and yet they all go berserk when a girl goes missing and say I would never do that. But in truth they do and we all see the same level of neglect in our society everyday. Whether it be a parent letting their children run around a shopping centre, who knows who is lurking around the corner waiting to do the unthinkable? Or run down a busy street near on coming traffic, whose fault would it be if they ran out and got run over? The maker of the car? The driver? No. The fault lies with the irresponsible parent. Some people just need someone to blame for their failings as a parent. I feel sorry for these people.

  42. Insectecutor says:

    He doesn’t. This programme isn’t targeted at an audience that demands intelligent cultural debate. It’s aimed at pensioners who, dismayed by their own cultural irrelevance seek out comfortable things like flowery sofas and Alan Titchmarsh, and see anything they don’t recognise as a threat.

    • Insectecutor says:

      Damn, that was meant to be aimed @rongwrong above. Curse you reply button, I am undone.

  43. po says:

    I am tempted to ask Grandma of http://oghc.blogspot.com/ what she thinks of this show and Alan Titchmarsh ;)

  44. Tornik says:

    That must be the most irritating and frustrating seven minutes and eighteen seconds of my life in quite some time. While I’m disappointed and saddened, unfortunately I can’t say that I’m surprised.

    On the up-side, I now have a new hero. Tim Imgham, you just might be my role model in video games journalism.

  45. l1ddl3monkey says:

    My first question woul dhave to be: what the fuck sort of debate was anyone expecting on a daytime TV show hosted by a celebrity gardener and crap novellist?

    This is the sort of TV that is, by definition, watched by the sort of people who’s opinions are given to them by the media (heaven forbid they should start formulating their own – what sort of state would the world be in if everyone made their own mind up about stuff?) and you can’t expect anything other than a braying horde of knee jerk censorship apologists making hooting noises like the semi-literate monkeys that they so clearly are.

    Personally I think gamers should just ignore them; there is no point in trying to engage people in debate when they are patently incapable of, and utterly unwilling to, understand the subject matter. These people just want their confirmation bias approved. These people, in short, are not capable of understanding gamers or gaming because the very concept of challenge is anathemic to them.

    Just tell ‘em to fuck off and ignore them.

  46. Doggy says:

    At the point where Alan asked Tim “whats the thrill in them for you?” you could almost see him flinch and consider an answer that wouldn’t result in the audience moaning annoyingly. Imagine if he had answered with “I love violence, combat, killing, having the power to choose if someone lives or dies”. :D

    Very frustrating.

  47. clive dunn says:

    This is such a lovely forum post i just had to share it with you lot. It’s from AT’s forum.

    ‘Personally I love to sit down with my children/grandchildren and talk about the day and what the future may hold for us all , you just can,t get that quality out of a game ,
    but some of the anwsers out of a conversation are just priceless

    have a lovely afternoon

    Rosy’

    I love games and gaming but i’m with lovely Rosy on this subject.

  48. Scott says:

    This sort of stuff is what gets shows cancelled. Titchmarsh has signed his own death warrant with this. Anyone remember Trevor’s ‘Tonight’ programme when they ran a piece on videogames that was horribly inaccurate? The amount of complaints that stemmed from that was enough for the producers to turn around and go ‘hang on, this show is turning a bit shit’. Three months later it disappeared from our screens.

    Of course that single piece wasn’t the sole cause of the programme’s demise, but when you start running pieces on videogame violence, you know you’re on the way out.

  49. Drug Crazed Dropkick says:

    Apologies for the shameless plug, but I wrote a piece on the DEBill for my Monday post. Feel free to read it by clicking the link in my name.

    In other news, the damn annoying thing about this is that it won’t stop. Ever. Because people are convinced that this is right.

    • Dan says:

      I’m not so sure, I think it’ll die out, and it’ll just take a generation or two for that to happen. If you think about it, the Titchmarsh/ Peasgood/ McKenzie generation didn’t grow up with video games, I’m sure none of them have experienced a proper exposure to the medium. In twenty to thirty years time, that won’t be the case, especially with the way social games are so ubiquitous at the moment.

  50. Novotny says:

    Gah. I’m sorry to report that the Daily Mail is running a story about how a Chinese gamer got stabbed in the head whilst playing Counterstrike, apparently in a row about hacking in-game. Shite. We could really do without this sort of thing happening. (As, I imagine, the chap with the knife in his head felt too).