Google+

Why games will replace TV

Lost

The TV experience 

A bunch of disparate characters is thrown together at random by a catastrophe of unknown origin and forced to make sense of an unknown, alien environment, while under the manipulation of an unknown other with an unknown agenda. Every vague answer they discover comes with three or four new, much bigger questions and the whole thing is dragged out at a nigh comatose pace over countless episodes in order to maximise intrigue and keep the audience frantic for new information, to the point of potentially losing several viewers a week to cardiac arrest.

 

In reality, the audience is split between those who adore it and those turned off by what they see as a cynical prick-tease with no rewarding payoff.

The better, video game alternative 

The Half-Life series, in which a bunch of disparate characters is thrown together at random by a catastrophe of unknown origin and forced to make sense of an unknown, alien environment, while under the manipulation of an unknown other with an unknown agenda. Every vague answer they discover comes with three or four new, much bigger questions and the whole thing is dragged out at a nigh comatose pace via the use of snack-size, frequently delayed episodic content intended to increase the frequency of updates, but which actually slows the pace of instalments to the point that at least one full-sized game could have been released during the same period.

 

In reality, the audience is split between those who adore its immaculately-designed gameplay, stunningly-realised world, perfect pacing and scary level of character attachment, and those turned off by what they see as a cynical prick-tease with no rewarding payoff and not enough shaven-headed space marines making things go boom. The latter group is wrong.

Also, Lost does not have gravity guns.



America’s Funniest Home Videos,
You’ve Been Framed

The TV experience 

Above: Nurse! Our sides! 

Viewers submit their humorous home videos with the hope of winning some money for the perceived comedy value of their clips. We watch these clips, which invariably consist of people falling over. And other people falling over. And other people falling over. The comedy of other people getting hurt wears thin after the fourth predictable icy driveway-based laugh riot in a row and we all switch over wondering why we even bothered in the first place. The entire concept has been made obsolete by Youtube, but no-one seems to have noticed.

The better, video game alternative 

With the fully searchable internet providing fast access to much more amusing schadenfreude nourishment for all, and the content of these TV shows so generally lame, tame and predictable anyway, the PSN’s Pain provides a much more worthwhile replacement in the old comedy injury department.

Above: Nurse! Our everything! 

With wince generation en masse via the eternal wonder that is ragdoll animation and a whole city centre of chain reaction mutilation to link together, it’s Burnout’s Crash mode with a soft, fleshy embodiment of human suffering instead of a car. It’s brutal, it’s ludicrous, it’s never the same twice, and because you’re customising the damage yourself, it’s very very satisfying. And hilarious. With no real people involved, the injuries can be far in excess of anything TV would run, and the whole thing is totally free of idiot pseudo-parents making a quick buck out of exploiting their kids’ pain.

29 comments

  • SandroTheMaster - August 11, 2009 9:06 p.m.

    TV is still useful. It is a nice distraction to look at during load times. Seriously, I multitask playing, using the internet and watching TV at the same time. Surely, no single act goes as fulfilled as if it was focused, but the sum of the parts is that I'm doing more in less time. Sometimes I hear some music at too.
  • disturbedanomaly36 - August 8, 2009 9:50 p.m.

    my folks say TV will replace VIDEOGAMES! dumbasses. VIDEOGAMES have ALL READY replaced TV. and they love Lost and Big Brother and they watch American Idol for all the wrong reasons too
  • StealthMaster86 - August 8, 2009 5:48 a.m.

    Love Lost, Arrested Development, and Pushing Dasies. I know that once Lost and 24 ends next year I WILL not be watching any more TV. So Video Games for all time.
  • Conman93 - August 7, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    I laughed so hard at the trauma center rip off
  • lovinmyps3 - August 7, 2009 2:56 a.m.

    I agree. Most shows nowadays suck big time.
  • Johnny6Gun - August 7, 2009 2:21 a.m.

    Are you having a laff?! Anyhoo, the 360's version of 1 VS 100 has already usurped the traditional tV gameshow in my mind. Extended Play is good enough for a quiz game, but the live segments are top shelf, complete with a live announcer, real prizes and the chance that any of the players can actually win a prize! It truly is the next big thing in gaming, although most haven't even tried it.
  • Vagrant - August 7, 2009 1:57 a.m.

    Hah. Half-Life and Lost is a pretty good comparison. Also another reason for me not to like Half-Life. >_<
  • Xeacons - August 7, 2009 12:58 a.m.

    A-freakin'-men! I don't watch TV. That thing is nothing more than a monitor for my systems. They're not lying: TV rots the brain!
  • slapdatass - August 6, 2009 10:09 p.m.

    Also, Firefly MMO. If it ever gets made. Which it won't.
  • Architek9 - August 6, 2009 9:40 p.m.

    The most intelligent and interesting article I have read in awhile
  • Jellyjiggler29 - August 6, 2009 9:38 p.m.

    Surprised Heavy Rain wasn't here, seems like the ultimate example for this whole article.
  • kubes - August 6, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    i miss u arrested development :*{
  • killerwhalen - August 6, 2009 3:07 p.m.

    I never evenconsidered that games would replace tv, but this makes alot of sense. Thanks for brightening up my day!
  • MW3M - August 6, 2009 12:32 p.m.

    You absolutely TORE into Big Brother and I applaud you for it..
  • Auron - August 6, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    Nice article!
  • dweller - August 11, 2009 3:12 p.m.

    Half-life Episode 3 you mock me!!!!
  • MrHollywood360 - August 7, 2009 6:24 p.m.

    I dont have cable so videogames have replaced tv for me
  • 4fromK - August 7, 2009 9:42 a.m.

    that quake jumping video was epic. it made me feel thoroughly inadequte
  • EmmaXII - August 7, 2009 9:38 a.m.

    lol, good article. i already prefer games to tv. i forgot how much fun killing sims was, :L
  • KHfan - August 6, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    lolz to the 2 and a half men bit

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000

OR…

Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.