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Why games will replace TV

The Olympics

The TV experience

We watch major sporting events to marvel 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-old FPS. Q3A's physics are deep enough that with a bit of experimentation, creativity and 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 as any sport currently 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 more time to enjoy them before they’re cruelly snatched  away from you.


 
 TV video game shows: Have they always sucked ass?
The accepted wisdom is that TV just doesn't 'get' games, but is that really true?


Movie directors who seriously should be making games
Forget making Blox go boom; here's what we really want


 Videogame music makes Teletubbies better
VIDEO: Creepy kids' TV takes a 16-bit sonic blasting

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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

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