This weeks play: Left 4 Dead 2 and.... Rome : Total War -!?

After taking a long weekend in Rome, I felt inspired - and I fired up Rome : Total War again - I've been playnig the single player campaign off and on for several years now, it's such a long, long game to play but it really is brilliant! No other strategy game seems to have the depth and realism of Total War, and Rome is a great title in the series. I might even actually beat it this year! I took Rome last night, and need only 14 territories over the next hundred years to win the game -

I also had a quick bash on scavenger mode Left 4 Dead 2, on No Mercy - all I can say is, there's a reason No Mercy is a popular scavenger map - the reason is it's brilliant for scavenge and can make for some of the most exciting scavenge matches you can imagine.

Still no further with Expert Realism, I can get through the first part of most campaigns solo now - but I still think you need an excellent team and good communication to clear a full campaign.

Read more detail on my main blog : - http://gamescomputergames.blogspot.com/2011/09/rome-total-war-more-left-4-dead-2.html

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'Dark Carnival' Expert Realism : Easy first section.

I've written a short guide on how to get through the first part of 'Dark Carnival' on Expert Realism in my Games Computer Games blog.

Rather than re-create the entire thing here I'll summarize:-

1. You can get through Normal and Lower difficulties with little effort - but you need good tactics as well as being a good player to get through on Expert Realism.

2. You need to have places in mind where you should hole up, and stand your ground during hoard attacks, finding them when playing an easier difficulty level where you probably don't need them is probably easier than trying to find them when you're being pounded into the ground by infected and the only need 5 hits to kill you...

3. Know the levels, know the best route! It's possible to get to the Motel in Dark Carnival without going under the under-pass, and it's much easier.

More details are on the main blog.

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Getting back into the swing of things...

Again the lengthy version of my musings is on me games computer games blog.

I've been finding my enjoyment again, and it's not been by buying some latest greatest new title - it's been by digging through my collection and knocking dust off something old before firing it up. Namely Left 4 Dead 2, it's got some really fun multi player games and it's overall an incredibly polished product. The production isn't what makes it though - it's the design of the game mechanics. The whole concept was built around the focus of 'co-operative fun' and that shines though when you play it.

I ought to fire up LA Noire some time too, it's been sitting on the shelf since June, having hardly scratched the surface of it... Partly because I think I'm genuinely rubbish at it - all the questioning people and identifying clues and stuf... Well, maybe I'll get better at it once I've played a bit longer...

It's good to be back, and it's actually nice to have a sort of 'gaming focus' namely the Left 4 Dead 2 Scavenger Mode and Expert Realism...

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Moving Blog, but finding the enjoyment in gaming again.

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To keep it short and sweet, I'm moving my lengthy blog posts to my gaming computer gaming blog mainly so I don't get complained at for writing long posts here.
 
I'll still post on this blog - but only short summaries, to prevent the complaints about too much to read.
 
Basically I've finally manged to find some enjoyment in gaming again, I've found it in an unusual place - in the form of Left 4 Dead 2.  Which is brilliant.  A really amazing game.
 
Anyway this got me to comparing how people play games to how people play sports.  We all tend to play a game for a week or two, or six months - then move on to the latest and greatest... In sport you tend to try a few sports, find your favourite and then stick at it - building practice into your routine.  That got me wondering what it would be like to allocate a set time to playing a game in the way that you would to playing a sport.
 
So my short term project is to treat Friday nights as Left 4 Dead 2 versus mode practice night.
 
I'll be reporting on the experience and my comparisons to trying to play a sport on regular basis here in summary and on my blogspot blog in lengthy detail.
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Duke Nukem Forever knocked the gaming out of me... (+ Trade in's)

I finally managed to trade it in this weekend having finished the campaign on the normal difficulty setting.
 
I've found it such a chore to play, at times it's cringeworthy to even watch, the motion sickness was crippling, the story poor and uninteresting, the gameplay not much better... I actually think some of the earlier aborted games showcased in the history section of the special features looked more fun.
 
So is my love of gaming revived? 
 
No... Not quite.  I can't really be bothered to attack LA Noire at the moment, I guess I'll try later... When I went to Trade-in I thought ah, Dukes only a few weeks old, bit of a blockbuster - must be worth £15 at least £10 so I took my £15 game gift voucher, and DNF, and picked up a Sonic Title my little girl wanted to play, and Dungeon Seige 3 because a break from FPS might be just the ticket - particularly if that ticket is swords and sorcery RPG.
 
I get to the counter and ask the bearded git behind the counter what I get for DNF... The answer?  A paltry £5... A fiver... For a 3 month old £40 blockbuster.  Now it's a while since I traded anything in - I used to think CEX were best, then Gamestation and Game last - this was at Game.   The trouble is I really couldn't be bothered to go trapsing around trying to find a better price, and I wanted to use my game gift card, so I put Dungeon Seige 3 back, as I still have LA Noire and can't even be bothered to play that - and got the Sonic game my 4 year old wanted.
 
I mean is £5 fair?  Is that the current norm?  Have I been stitched?  I expected GAME to be a bit low on the trade in values, but a fiver ?!  If playing the stupid game hadn't been such a collectively painful yet pointless exercise I would have kept it... I almost kept it to use as a cup coaster, I have no intention of playing it again...
 
What I think I'd like to see, (It might exist, I will have to check next time I want to trade in.) is a website where you type in the title and the platform and it tells you what all the various trade in values are - so you know where to go to get the best price.  It might not have helped me on this occasion, but I tend to find trade-ins are generally dissapointing, I don't think I've ever walked away thinking I got a fair deal.  I could have sold it on Ebay I suppose - but I didn't fancy the hassle...
 
Anyway - so yeah, I have LA Noire to play, and some Token 3D Sonic Game, I didn't pay much attention to it - it was what my 4 year old little girl wanted, (She loves Sonic, she was in tears when I executed an epic fail at winning her a cuddly shadow the fox at the Alton Towers crockery smash.) I booted it up and it already seems more fun than DNF... It's just a pity my cowardly 4 year old is terrified of it.  It is a PEGI 12, but I have no idea why... And I can't imagine what she saw that worried her - I guess the minds of 4 year olds are as mysterious as the minds of the people who work out trade-in prices on games :P

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A follow on to 'losing interest in video games'

Thanks for all the comments on yesterdays post.  The fact is I am getting, old I'm 35 nearly now, I've been gaming since about 1981 at a guess... More or less none-stop... 
 
But I never thought I'd stop playing games, I could never have imagined it, I swapped from Spectrum, to Atari ST to Consoles, to PC and back to Consoles... I've never actually stopped gaming for any length of time... Apart from a brief period when all I did was smoke pot, watch anime and listen to music... Did that really happen or was it a wierd dream?  I don't know...
 
I'm finding myself drawn to more sedate activities at the moment, not just Lego, but reading and even writing, I'm back spending more time on the star wars roleplaying board which I'ev been a member of since 2003... I like writing star wars fanfic because everything happens exactly as you want it to, the only limit is your imagination.  I'm still hoping I'll get at least a small portion of my inclination to play back after I've got through the debacle 'DNF'...

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Losing interest in video games....

Well, I suppose it had to happen one day, I just never expected it to happen in the fashion it did.  I am losing interest in games...
 
It's partly because following a recent trip to a distant friends house and sitting building Star Wars Lego for a couple of hours - I decided Lego was a lot of fun...
 
I've actually started designing and building my own custom Lego set, which while it might seem frivolous, is a technically challenging and interesting activity - if you're going order it as a set, you don't just need it to look good, you want it to be solid when completed and stable and have an accessible interior.  I'm blogging about the experience in my Lego Design by me blog now...
 
I don't think it's really just that though, I think it's partly having been on holiday and spent some time away from gaming, and spending more time with my wife and kids.  Going back to gaming after a break particularly to the games I have been playing lately just isn't that much fun, in fact it's more annoying than fun.  I tried to play Duke Nukem Forever for an hour last night, I want to finish it so can get rid of it... It's just not that much fun, it's frustrating, with walk in the park difficulty with occasional random silly challenges... The level design is poor in general, it gives me motion sickness and there are parts of the game which are trying tio re-kindle classic Duke humour but in 2011 are just cringeworthy.... I find it really hard to motivate myself to finish it.  
 
Then there's my other current game LA Noire, which again, is brilliant in some ways - but just isn't that much fun... The most fun I have at the moment is playing Lego Star Wars the Classic Trilogy with my 4 year old daughter, and it's mainly fun because I'm playing co-op with my daughter.
 
I still want to play Gears 3 at some point, I'm burned out of music games, most other games I'm fairly bored of... I think Gears 3 will be the last chance saloon for my XBOX 360 playing, and if it doesn't live up to my increasingly high expectations - I'll be allowing the 360 to gather dust, while doing more adult activities such as gardening, cleaning cars and sorting through paper work (I never thought it would happen, not even 3 months ago.) and then sitting down at night with a cup of tea to build a Lego set....

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Final thoughts on Duke Nukem Forever... [MINOR SPOILERS WARNING!]

I told myself time and time again, I would not write my final thoughts on DNF until I'd finished it.  However, I am finding it so laborious to finish - it would be so old hat by the time I get around to finishing it that nobody would be interested.  You're probably not that interested anyway - but frankly, I feel like exercising my 'right to rant' on this topic.
 
First of all, off the bat - I really WANTED to like DNF.  I hoped it would have captured some of the magic of the groundbreaking Duke Nukem 3D - unfortunately it hasn't.  I almost get the feeling that the developers felt a bit like the player in the game, in that the further they got into it - the less bothered they could be to finish it.  Now I don't think I can honestly tout DNF as an awful game, it's not that bad really - but my personal experience has been marred by near vomit inducing motion sickness, so I've only been able to play in small chunks, otherwise there may have been small chunks on the living room carpet... Could it be the 40" television?  Old age?  I don't know... The last time I experienced this sensation was trying to play Wolfenstein 3D on a Pentium 3 733 Mhz... The worse level for this was the second level, the hive or whatever when you are always underground and it's dark.  All in all though, I don't think the lack of this problem would have left me with much more of a better impression.
 
I suppose Duke Nukem Forever is a franchise, it's quite a naf franchise as they go in that it all stemmed from a thrown together shareware platform game that in honesty was pretty unremarkable, as what it's sequel.  The game that built Duke as a franchise was Duke Nukem 3D, it was well designed, humorous, innovative... It was everything DNF should have been, but I now doubt could ever have been.
 
So what are all these criticisms of DNF?  Firstly, the two gun thing - it just gets annoying.  I suspect the reason it's there is at least partly because there is often little arguement to use certain weapons and if you could pick up everything, you'd end up using the same two or three weapons over and over again.   Secondly, it's widely touted that you can 'interract with the environment' and this is sort of true, in the first few levels there are lots of amusing or interesting things to do, but gradually the developers seem to start omitting these as the game goes on - maybe they think (Probably quite rightly) that people will get bored of using drinking fountains or whatever?  Either way, seeing as it's something the publishers have tried to sell the game on - it's really not that big a deal.  
 
The graphics and sound and stuff is okay, and some of the humour is decent enough to be worth a rental... But some of it is really cringeworthy.  I mean, the jokes about keycards and power armour and funny the first time, throughout the game there are these little moments that make you smile - but the bits in between are generally a pain.  And some of the 'adult' material, like the deam sequence in the lapdancing club is just... It's not funny, it's not sexy, it's not even very 'Duke' it just makes you hope and pray that nobody walks in and sees the embarresing purile nonsense you are playing... I mean lets think about Duke for a second, does he really seem like the sort of bloke who goes running around looking for a dildo, and popcorn so he can have sex?  Probably not - he'd probably slap her, tell her to fetch it herself - the go find someone less annoying and more willing to molest.... Okay that's not very politcally correct, but it's more 'Duke' personally I found that sequence a waste of 15 minutes of my life in every way.
 
My next gripe is the level design, Duke Nukem 3D was full of big, interesting, non-linear levels.  DNF feels very penned it, almost like you are on rails, there's very little freedom of movement.  Occasionally they try to give you a false illusion of openness and freedom by showing you glimpses of a huge rendered world - but you can never explore it.  I know it's a difficult decision to make, the cost of producing content that the player might not see has to be taken into consideration, this is the reason we don't see many fold-back or branching narratives in games - maybe even less so now, given the cost of rendering modernly acceptable levels.  Duke 3D was super easy to make levels in, for DNF there is going to be mountains of 3D sculpting, texture aligning, lighting and sound effects adding - then mountains of pointless items to interract with... So I can understand why it feels a bit like it's on rails - but it still spoils the experience.  It does make me wonder whether what the industry needs is a really cleverly designed environment renderer where you create elements and elements of elements and it will auto render a large playing area for you, which you can then go back and tweak and twiddle/...
 
So to sum up, it makes me feel sick playing for more than 20 minutes at a time, the 2 weapons idea sucks eggs, the levels are too restrictive and... Well, the one special item and only 4 pipe bombs or laser trip mines is annoying too.... In some respects it's like they took some of the things that made Duke 3D great and basically ruined them.  The shrunk sequences aren't generally very interesting, the shrink ray is rare, the driving sequences are so easy they might as well have done a cutscene... And they aren't even that fun... There's not enough variety in the enemies either - particularly the bosses.
 
So all in all, I think DNF is worth a 6/10 or so, maybe a 7 if you love the franchise.  However I'm sort of glad it's come out, it's been too long in development, and I don't know if it could really have been done much better Duke Nukem 3D was right for the time, but DNF isn't.  We've all moved on.  A reboot like this is always going to be hard Doom 3 got some flak for not capturing the orignals magic, but I thought it was an infinitely better game all in all.  The story was solid, the hell sequence was one of the best representations of hell I've ever seen in  a game...
 
I think, maybe the thing that really kills DNF is that it feels a bit like a corporate exercise in game making.  It has all the elements, the design fundamentals have been followed, but there isn't the spark, the magic that sets out generally game that were crafted with passion.
 
The interesting thing is that is something which DNF should have had - it was that passion for making a truly great game that is often cited as why it took so long.  I bought a new game at the weekend.  Partly because I've sick of my ears burning from my wifes complaints about mature video games, and partly because I wanted something new I could play with my 4 year old little girl - I bought Lego Star Wars 2 : The Classic Trilogy.  She loves it, but I do too!  It is sooooooooooo much more fun that Duke Nukem, but here we have a game that's been commissioned by a megacorp, in fact arguably two megacorps, Lego and Lucas Arts... It should suck, it should be a cynical attempt to extract money of the poor vulnerable customer.
 
The levels are well thought, the game mechanics and interesting and individual and there's built in replayability for the levels you've completed, it feels really polished, it's like a diamond next to a stool when comparing it to DNF.  It has the magic, but it really shouldn't.  It'll be interesting to see how discerning the gaming public will be.  A good indicator can be the used title availability.  Already DNF is readily available used - there was only 1 copy of Leg Star Wars 2, but then Batman Arkham Asylum was fantastic, but readily available?  I suppose in that case it was because once you'd finished it, you'd finished it.... Maybe a look at the number of people on Giantbomb who played it vs those who finished it using the achievement stats would be an indicator?  The franchise will sell it, the hype will sell it - people will buy DNF in droves, but how many will finish it?  
 
I will, then I will trade it in / cash it in... I'm not enjoying it, but I sort of want to finish it mildly for the story and a bit because I sort of want my money's worth even though it was a birthday gift.  The bizarre thing is I spent more  time recently on DNF to get it out of the way than LA Noire, which though annoying to play isn't as annoying to play as DNF....
 
It sort of makes me wonder whether I'm finally getting 'old' in that so many games I pick up I just don't enjoy the way I used to / should. 
 
Maybe I'm regressing to a child-like state, seeing as the games I've preferred lately are the simple ones, Minecraft and Lego : Star Wars 2.... Hmmm, and actually, following a recent visit to Poole and spending a night with a friend and her consultant peadeatrician huspand... Building Star Wars Lego (For their 5 year old son allegedly...) I'm even thinking about buying some Star Wars Lego myself... I might not even bother faking the 'Oh it's for me kid' thing and buy the UCS Super Star Destroyer... £300 on a Lego set?  It's a lot - but the Super Star Destroyer was my favourite ship, and you get 'Bossk' with it and Bossk rules... The big kid in me wants to buy it... 
 
The adult in me thinks ' Hmmm, it's not to minifigure scale, it's only 124 cm long completed, and going on the size of minifigures the scale for lego is about 100:1 so that means the SSD to scale of minifigure should really be about 20 Metres long... Hmmm, I don't fancy buying a quarter of a million pound Lego set that takes thirteen years to build...'
 
So forget it, I'll play Lego Star Wars instead... I might even let my little girl have a go!

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A double bill - Star Wars Galaxies and Violence in games...

I want to talk about two topics today, two news items firstly this: Star Wars Galaxies shuts down
 
Well... It had to happen, my favourite MMORPG of all time limps off into the sunset to die quietly.  It was the most ambitious MMORPG of it's time and in some ways still is.  The article skirts over the issues as if they were minor.  However really Star Wars Galaxies is a detailed account of 'How not to run an MMORPG' so many aspects of the development cycle, the testing, the design, the promotion, the community - were wrong.  World of Warcraft - as much as I hate the game, is likewise a detailed account of how to do it 'right'.  The result SOE are closing down servers due to lack of subscribers, and WoW is grossing millions of dollars a year with the highest subscription rates of any MMORPG outside of Korea by far.
 
It's sad, but it needed to happen, my only hope is that some kind soul will leak the Jump to Lightspeed code over to my friends at SWGEMU so we can start flying starships again...
 
The second article that caught my eye was this : US Court rejects California ban on violent games 
 
And so the debate rolls on, I followed another link from that article here: -  Games 'don't lead to violene'
 
Now I think this is an interesting article, it suggests that maybe the lower youth crime rates are partly down to violent video game playing - as these games are fulfilling a need for competition and being able to instll respect on their peers by a show of strength (Or skill if it's a game).  And that makes a certain amount of sense to me.  The California ban is important because in the US the only system for game classfication is PEGI which isn't legally binding - it's voluntary and there are loads of kids playing games over there which we can't play until we are 18 because mature games recieve BBFC ratings too - which are legally binding.  The trouble is I think young children shouldn't play violent games for a myriad of reasons... But I'm not convinced games are remotely responsible for violence, and if the anti-gaming lobby wants to persist it's stupid campaign they need to start looking for other reasons because the violence debate holds less water than erm, a thing which doesn't actually hold any water...
 
I was thinking about this debate whilst watching the television with my wife a few nights ago - a man multi-tasking?! W00t! 
 
Well, I say watching, my wife was watching more than me, some 'Real A & E ' Programme based in a deprived part of London... And glancing across at the programme, a few times something occured to me, there were basically two groups of people being treated on this particular programme, people who were drunk or black gang members who had been stabbed.... In fact amazingly there were two young men who had been stabbed and two respective gangs prowling the hospital hoping to finish the other gangs member off.... Damn it must be stressful to work in these places!
 
A previous week, they were patching up a guy who'd downed a bottle of Vodka, then decided to 'teach' himself BMX stunts on a half-pipe... 
 
Not one of the mutitide of people being patched up are ever quoted as having being 'Hadoken'd' or Dragon Punched... And I didn't see one claim to have been jumped on by an italian plumber in red dungarees... Likewise there were no rifle wielding, camoflage wearing soldiers moaning complaining about being griefed, ganked or people using aimbots.... 
 
It struck me that actually in a cost to the NHS and hence the government point of view gaming is actually incredibly safe and it's very hard to spot evidence of it causing physical harm to people... In fact it might actually cost the country less to furnish said black gang members with a PC, an internet connection and a copy of Counter Strike or Modern Warfare and get them to kill each other from the comfort of their bedrooms rather than doing it for real on the streets... And the dude who mashed his face in after a bottle Voddie... Well, perhaps an XBOX and a copy of Shaun White would be a better, safer bet?  The drunk drivers having had car accidents?  A copy of Forza and a Driving ban effective until they've 100%'d the achievements list...
 
The net end result is that actually, as the article says, violence begets violence, gaming begets gaming... And lets face it - there are a certain demographic of people who's lives would be much safer and much better if they actually spent MORE time gaming...
 
More resources: - Violence in Games 
GameFace : Violence in Games You tube violence in games 1 Chris Cleveland : Violence in Video Games

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Gaming and the Media : Ginx TV

Recently I've been establishing a complex plutonic relationship with an entity known as 'Ginx TV' this may mean nothing to some of you, but those whom it doesn't - these are the people responsible for Gameface and Ginx Files that was recently airing on Challenge TV, on a Saturday night, shortly before 'the witching hour'.  Currently these two 30 minute shows have been replaced by an hour long episode of  'The Blurb' a more humor orientated show with guest challenges, industry interviews and whacky little quasi-gaming related sections just to break things up a bit. 
 
There've been attempts to bring video games into the mainstream media before.  Most notably 'GamesMaster' of the nineties - which I for one enjoyed... Not sure Sir Patrick Moore will look back on it so fondly though - I don't think it' a genre he intends to associate himself with anymore... If he ever did...  The thing is though, really - it's people like Sir Patrick Moore who we DO want promoting video games culture as a normal socially acceptable inoffensive pastime.  Gaming as a hobby is under constant attack, the attacks often come from the main-stream media and currently we as a community have little in the way of defence against the juggernauts that are known as 'The BBC', 'ITV'. 'Channel 4' and 'Five'... To which end we are somewhat at their mercy.  You may argue that here in Britain we have a long and glorious history of freedom of speech and expression or whatever, but that's something that is under attack as well.  The laws which govern our country are constantly changing and there is a risk that we will fall down the black-hole of censorship, like the poor Germans or Australians, who in several occasions have been denied access to certain games or forced to play a dumbed down, artistically incorrect version which didn't represent the developers vision. 
 
I always muse at the controversy over the 'Hot Coffee' mod for GTA3: San Andreas, here we have a game where the protagonist can burgle, mug, car-jack, murder, vandalize... And at many times is actively encouraged to - even forced to if you want to see all the content.  No controversy.  But wait, here comes a patch that allows said protagonist to start dating a girl and have sexual relationships with her!  Woah!   Thats taking things a little far - BAN! BAN! BAN!  Our children are being corrupted! 
 
I mean it was ridiculous - the mini-game was stupid, it was hassle to unlock and the only one I could ever get a successful date out of was the weird chick who was into BDSM and you had to take her over your knee and spank her silly instead of having sex... I mean, on the scale of things, sex between two consenting adults seems a less sinister thing to portray than all the blowing up, robbing and killing... Having tried it - I actually think they left it out because it was rubbish and a bit cheesy rather than because they thought it would cause some controversy. 
 
The way we play games has changed since the days of the Gamesmaster TV show, the games we play have changed, the people who play the games have changed.  Current demographics suggest that adolescents and children are vastly outnumbered by the 22 + demographic of young adults, in fact the average last time I read through the statistics, the average gamer is a 37 year old male.  Gaming needs a voice, a voice that can stand up and express an opinion on game related controversy, a spokesperson who can speak on behalf of the gaming community debunking these arguments that games should be banned. 
 
I don't know if anyone has seen the Ginx programs, if you have you might not have been that impressed.  Personally I like them, even if I think they recycle some footage a bit more than I'd like.  I still like them, and I'd still watch them if I didn't like them.  Ginx's goal is launch a UK gaming based TV channel, an entire schedule of programmes related to games.  If people don't watch their shows, this is less likely to happen - and that would be a bad thing for gaming.  Some people criticize 'The Blurb' for it's 'whacky'ness' and silly bits... But this is one show, I personally can see what they are trying to do - intentionally or not they are following the Top Gear model, when Top Gear stopped just reviewing cars and started having fun - it broadened their audience, it got non-petrolheads watching, and that's what Ginx is aiming for I think - which would be a good thing for gaming.  I don't think it's quite right yet, but it's a work in progress and the producers and presenters of the show are very willing to engage with the gaming community. 
 
If you visit the Ginx Television Facebook Page you can see how they are engaging with the community, questions, extra content, user submitted content, competitions.  They do air the views of their fanbase.  The crew are gamers, and care about gaming culture.  When Games Master first aired we were all sitting in our bedrooms, probably playing on Megadrives or Commadore Amiga's.  Gaming has moved from the bedroom into the living room, it's becoming more social, it's catering to casual gamers.  I think now is the time for gaming to break into the mainstream media and to answer it's critics. 
 
As for the channel, I think it can work - it's been tried 'sort of' before with G4 TV from the US.  I also think it's incredibly difficult to get right, in programming about gaming you are trying to draw people away from the hobby they are interested in to watch and listen about it.  It's not like Golf, Fishing or Martial Arts - the time to sit down and game  is probably about the same time to sit down and watch some gaming TV.  It's also got to get enough fresh, innovative ideas to fill a schedule, it's got to cater to the hardcore, the casual and the retro gamer at least. 
 
Looking at the planned schedule of programmes, the biggest gap I can see is also the most important one, and that is for a show which talks about gaming culture seriously, without the jokes and silliness, with a more academic, and financial business model perspective view of the gaming industry.  It warrants it, Video Games and parts (Art and Code) are huge exports from the UK, at a time when we need all the exports we can muster. 
 
No Ginx TV isn't perfect, but it wants to be, and it's trying to be and it's improving all the time.  So if you finish Duke Nukem Forvever on before Saturday night, or your internet connection dies preventing your planned World of Warcraft 'Raid' tune in... Even if you don't like what you see - you are serving gaming culture and helping to promote video games culture as a serious, socially acceptable hobby.   
 
Am I worried that over commercialisation of the video games industry can damage it?  No, modern blockbuster games have bigger budgets than hollywood blockbusters and make a better return, and the independant games sector is thriving, it's at an all time high.  As a matter of fact, I'm quite addicted to Minecraft at the moment.. In fact, I think I'll go play it now... 

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