Can game journos be TV presenters?

Host: Stephen ‘Captain Excitable’ Hopper

Here’s one for the specialist market concerning a daffy gaming vest. Amazingly Hopper manages to deliver lines ranging from the practical ("You can adjust the straps on the front.") to the excited ("The sensation is very surprising") in exactly the same, lifeless monotone drawl. This man is barely alive.

In this video you’ll see a device that prods your body continually during a shooting game. Every time you get shot, ping, you’ll get a tweak. And yet our host hardly seems to register it. Perhaps like Renard in the Bond flick The World Is Not Enough he can't feel pain. Or maybe he's a cyborg. He certainly delivers his lines like one.

God this is dull. The video would actually be less dull if he weren’t in it. Just that air compressor humming away, and that useless gaming vest, just lying on the chair, twitching. See, sounds better already.

Host: Some Scottish lads

Both de-rez and Zero Punctuation are hosted on The Escapist. Both de-rez and Zero Punctuation are about games. Both de-rez and Zero Punctuation are watched online in a video format. One of them is funny and one of them isn’t, can you guess which?

Yep, this is the one that isn’t Zero Punctuation. And that’s pretty much all most people seem to know about de-rez.

Clearly these guys are fans of UK satirist Chris Morris, The Day Today and Brass Eye. The news anchor tries his hardest to ape Morris’ pseudo-serious delivery and they’ve actually nicked one of Morris’ character names, Ted Maul. Their own attempts at naming characters (Norman Felchwhistle) smack of the old ‘put two funny sounding words together’ school of thought. Weakness.

At one point one of the ‘actors’ makes a gag about people only going to The Escapist to watch Zero Punctuation, thus they can get away with “any old shite.” It is of course convenient that they can jokingly excuse the failings of the content through the joke-within-a-joke, news-parody format. But the withering truth is that it comes down to ability. You can only laugh at your ineptitude once, and then you’ve actually got to start delivering real laughs.

May 1, 2008