Why games will replace TV

The idiot box has had its time. These games do its job better

The Olympics

The TV experience

We watch major sporting events tomarvel at the abilities of those more physically adept than us. We do it to live vicarious victories through those who could actually be bothered to put that doughnut down and get out in the sun instead of closing the curtains a little tighter and putting in that second Aqua Teen Hunger Force disc. And we also do it to band together under the umbrella of our collective nation for a semi-delusional moment of unity against the fabricated threat of an imagined rival 'other'. It's all the fun of a turf war, only without the guns, rape and pillage.

Above: Epic soundtrack emphasises un-epic jumping

But for every amazing feat of nigh-superhuman athleticism in an international sporting event, there's hours of sitting around waiting, be it 3am boredom while waiting for global viewing schedules to synch up,or listening to fairly dull men bumble out cliches to describe something you've already seen for yourself. We need something more consistent. We need something more breathless. Something more immediate and thrilling.

The better, video game alternative

We need Quake 3 Arena. Forget the fact that it's a 10-year-oldFPS. Q3A's physics are deep enough that with a bit of experimentation, creativityand some top-flight precision play, spellbinding feats of audacious agility are possible.

Above: More epic jumping than six tons of scratched vinyl

Forget the fact that you're not literally watching real people do all that supersonic leaping and vaulting. In an indirect way you are. As maligned as the old "e-sports" term is in some circles, in Quake 3's case it's the only description appropriate. It takes dedication and personal flair to succeed at. It's cooler, faster and more thrilling than the real-world high jump any day of the week. Clan play brings together tight co-operative partnerships as well asany sportcurrently on TV. And on top of all that, you get railguns.


Firefly, Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies


The TV experience

Above: The title is now sickeningly ironic

Brilliant, groundbreaking, amazingly written, original and ambitious shows which are adored by their fiercely loyal fanbases but which were cruelly cancelled long before they had any right to disappear. While utter pap continues to ride high in audience numbers, season after throat-slitting season.

The better, video game alternative

Shenmue and Shenmue 2. Okay, so maybe they’re not strictly better, but at 40 - 50 hours combined you do get moretime to enjoy them before they’recruelly snatched away from you.



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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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