Helps if you’re in the UK though…
Following on from 2009’s Gameswipe special, acerbic critic and former PC Zone writer Charlie Brooker has delivered another excellent videogames program this time on Channel 4. How Videogames Changed the World is a two-hour special charting the lineage of videogames from Pong and Space Invaders to The Last of Us and Minecraft. Of course it helps if you’re in the UK and can just watch it on Channel 4’s on-demand site but if you’re somewhere else in the world, I’m sure you’ll have your own means of watching (*cough* YouTube).
If you’ve watched a Charlie Brooker program (or read his excellent TV Go Home) you’ll know it’s a mix of interviews, clips, and social commentary. The history of videogames is told over 25 notable titles with some interesting picks for the defining games that have shaped what we play today. There’s appearances from the likes of Tim Schafer, Nolan Bushnell, Will Wright, David Braben, and Peter Molyneux.
Personally speaking it was quite something to see Hover Bover, one of the first games I ever played on my parent’s Commodore 64, on a TV screen. I say “TV screen” I actually watched the program on my laptop today whilst hungover. Ooops.
Brooker recently gave an interview with The Guardian saying how hard it was to get someone to commission a show about videogames which seems a shame. Mind you, earlier this week Channel 4 also show a program about young Brits on holiday in the Mediterranean which involved them drinking each other’s vomit and urine so maybe videogames can do without TV.