back to article Twitter: It's JUST LIKE Elder Scrolls (no it's not)

Life is a game. This is what I learnt from the swishy-haired man on the TV in the early hours over Christmas. Society has become so saturated with computer gaming conventions that everyday existence is played out across social media apps like so many levels of Pong. Charlie Brooker, for it was he, was delivering the closing …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Syed
    Trollface

    Mr Dabbs, do I spot a little bit of green eyed monster?!

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      >> Mr Dabbs, do I spot a little bit of green eyed monster?!

      Sorry about that. I have been having trouble with my zip.

      1. Psyx

        Re: >> Mr Dabbs, do I spot a little bit of green eyed monster?!

        I wasn't aware that I used social media to score points and level up based on the number of likes and followers I had; I thought I was just talking shit with friends!

        Either Mr. Brooker is a sociopath, or... well, everyone except me is!

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: >> Mr Dabbs, do I spot a little bit of green eyed monster?!

          "This relationship between action and reward isn’t like a computer game, Mr B. It’s what we call "life" and it has always been thus. You do something well, you get showered with goodies. You cock it up, you get a bucket of holes."

          It's like a computer game because it's done on a computer. Twitter is very far from real life. And you get more than one life.

          1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

            Re: >> Mr Dabbs, do I spot a little bit of green eyed monster?!

            What TRT said above and Amorous Cowherder said below. Also you can choose whether or not to start playing, how long you play for, when and for how long to take a break etc. Your only choice about life is to stop or continue 'playing'. If you choose to stop then you don't get to start again later. The only computer game I play these days is El Reg commentard.

        2. Erroneous Howard

          Re: >> Mr Dabbs, do I spot a little bit of green eyed monster?!

          @Psyx

          But you have to admit, there are quite a fair proportion of attention whores who DO treat social media as you described. You don't have to look very far to find a "Oh my god, somebody LIKE me" sort of post (unless you quickly remove this sort of person like I do). So perhaps it's less about our individual perception of these sites, but more about how adding the ability to "like", "+1", "retweet" acts as a sort of reward to those who crave them.

          I saw the latter half of this programme and have to admit that I thought exactly the same thing when it started trying to claim that Twitter was like a video game. Complete bollocks and had the wrong comparison in place. All it does is prove that some people will do anything if there is some sort of "reward" at the end, even if that is a high "like" count.

          1. Psyx

            Re: >> Mr Dabbs, do I spot a little bit of green eyed monster?!

            I'd agree that some people do measure their self-worth in clicks received. And at the extreme end of the scale are awards for models, authors, artists or whatever which are based on votes or 'likes'. They aren't about the artistic or creative medium at all, but are instead popularity contests. Competitors don't write "Please look at the competition entrants and vote for the best one" on their pages, but instead "Vote for me here!".

            However, it's a minority activity, on the whole. Most of us aren't narcissists and are social creatures. And even narcissists don't 'game' the system to the point of having league tables or bragging about their most liked posts. So, I see the documentary's statement as fallacious.

      2. Natalie Gritpants

        Re: >> Mr Dabbs, do I spot a little bit of green eyed monster?!

        Yikes, I though it was called the one-eyed trouser snake. If yours is a green eyed monster you should see a doctor

  2. Valeyard

    The "Twitter is th ebest computer game ever to have been created" irked me too, i liked this article

    1. Jedit
      Boffin

      The "Twitter is th ebest computer game ever to have been created" irked me too

      I don't know, arguably internet forums are the Microsoft Word MMO.

      1. Valeyard

        Re: The "Twitter is th ebest computer game ever to have been created" irked me too

        haha that uses pretty much the me logic. multiplayer notepad!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    most of them looking younger than the apps on my iPhone ?

    Please no ! that would give them the excuse of infantile innocence and absolve them in front of the almighty....

    The level of inanity displayed by these characters should be a major offense - (Molestation of Good-Taste? Conspiracy to accelerate neuronal death in the UK population? ) - and should be immediately and severely punished....mmmm what about 3 years of study in classics and theology at oxford for a first offense?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: most of them looking younger than the apps on my iPhone ?

      The level of inanity displayed by these characters should be a major offense - (Molestation of Good-Taste? Conspiracy to accelerate neuronal death in the UK population? )

      I read Molestation as Mole Station...in the vein of Babe Station, glad I'm leavingwork soon, my brain has clearly melted

      1. cosymart

        Re: most of them looking younger than the apps on my iPhone ?

        If it is not Mole Station then what is it?

    2. Oh Homer
      Childcatcher

      Playing with sheep

      Welcome to the Randian era of gamification.

  4. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    I saw the CB games documentary ( CB is always a good watch! ) and it was a bit of a bombshell to see Twitter as the number 1 game, but he has a point. FB, PInterest, Twitter, they're are just about point scoring for most people, boasting rights about how many other mindless people they can convince to join them on the social-networking ride of despair. I use FB for sharing and discussing photography with like minded people but that's where it ends.

    People who come begging for friends? I'll come and look at your work, if I like it I'll tag you else I'm not interested in being your "friend" just so you can boast about how great a photographer you are 'cos you have 1,000 people watching you. Show me some decent work, then I'll decide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Amorous Cowherder 12:27

      "I use FB for sharing and discussing photography with like minded people but that's where it ends."

      That puts you above most Facebook users then. Point to Amorous Cowherder! Kudos! You should brag on a forum or something.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Christ, it's not just people. Saw 12 foot high letter along the side of an "intu" the other day demanding I "friend" a shopping centre. WTF? Why? Am I going to invite it out for a drink one evening? Is it going to turn up on my doorstep one day, unexpectedly but welcome?

      Social media? I'll leave that for others, thanks. The Internet; used to be OK once upon a time, before all the people.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        If a shopping centre drops round to my place unexpectedly, but brings an entire off-licence (or supermarket!) full of booze and crisps with it, then it's welcome to be my friend anytime!

  5. GlenP Silver badge

    Larry wasn't that bad - but I'd acquired a colour monitor! :)

    1. Rob

      *Raises hand*

      I'll admit to liking Larry when I was younger as well, not just Larry though, I was a bit of a fan of most of the Sierra games, probably for the same reasons why I was a fan of the LucasArt point and click adventures as well.

      My Dad was a computer consultant, so not only did we have a colour monitor but he'd also built a 5inch floppy drive so our household was probably cutting edge ;-)

  6. monkeyfish

    Troll

    Sounds like CB pulled an almighty troll.

    1. Jack Faust meets Mephistopheles

      Re: Troll

      I wish I could pull a troll as pretty as his wife :/

  7. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    I think your sarcasm detector was malfunctioning whilst watching the program. Anyone half familiar with Mr Brooker's work will appreciate the level of irony that he liberally pumps into everything he says.

    Comparing Twitter to a computer game neatly illustrated to me that it bears the hallmarks of such - being on the whole childish and pointless, and making us wonder whether the gamification of social interaction that it leads towards, where having more followers appears to be the goal of some, is a good thing or not.

    Now get out of my comment.

    1. Psyx

      "..."a computer game... being on the whole childish and pointless..."

      Get out.

    2. NumptyScrub
      Trollface

      quote: "Comparing Twitter to a computer game neatly illustrated to me that it bears the hallmarks of such - being on the whole childish and pointless, and making us wonder whether the gamification of social interaction that it leads towards, where having more followers appears to be the goal of some, is a good thing or not."

      If you can't see actual real life society for the game it already is (and has been for thousands of years) then you've obviously not applied enough critical thinking to the concepts of "money", "power", "ownership" or "social status".

      Games use a set of rules to process and determine success (or failure) of the participants; those participants are bound to act within the rules whilst in the game. In some cases, games also have a set of rules to cover those participants who choose to ignore one or more of those rules (some games even assume or encourage the breaking of rules during play).

      If you can't see the parallels between how "games" work and how "real life" processes like legislature, governments, and economics work, then I would suggest the studious application of more critical thinking may be in order. "Society" is an entirely fabricated game we play, and one where we also change the rules when it suits.

      You'll note that shoals of fish seem to be capable of surviving without needing a strong market economy, defined ruling classes or indeed an organised militia. These are all concepts we've invented, like we also invented "Likes" and "Followers" on Twitter.

      I completely agree that Twitter is a total waste of time, but worrying about the "gamification of social interaction that it leads towards" is too late by several centuries I'm afraid. Twitter is just the latest in a long line of us making a game out of the whole thing ;)

    3. Alistair Dabbs

      >> the level of irony

      So, when he criticised the murder-porn (literal) cut scene in the latest Mortal Kombat, slicing a woman in half lengthways with a circular saw... he was just being "ironic" then as well? I hope not.

  8. Toby Rose

    I played Twitter and got bored with very quickly.

    If you wrote something like this documentary for your homework at school, you'd get an "F" and be told to write it again.

  9. Madeye

    Twitter is a game == life is a game

    If anyone asks, Ken sent me

    1. Dig

      Games are generally used to escape actual life. Nowadays some people use twitter and Facebook to escape real life after all you can troll, bulshit and bully in perfect anonimity, if it all goes wrong then create a new account and start the game again.

  10. G Watty What?
    Happy

    Golden Handshake

    "You do something well, you get showered with goodies. You cock it up, you get a bucket of holes"

    Mr Dabbs has obviously never held a senior management role where "Cock it up" == Loadsa cash + an extended holiday.

    If life's a game surely this deal means you've won.

  11. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coat

    Twitter is a game

    Worst text adventrue game ever, you say go to the room to the right and you get the response of "What are you on about" and "OMG LOLZ"

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Twitter is a game

      I've never played twitter. I heard a review from my wife once and she said it was mostly people telling the world that they'd had a shit and that it stank, and then loads of other people would come on and say 'me too - and mine was full of peanuts'.

      I'm not sure I get the point, but these are apparently the same people that used to take the piss out of me for playing computer games such as Elite, or LCP (tough MF who went green and took ages to die!).

      Life is a funny old place.

  12. IHateWearingATie

    Did you see his interview in the Guardian about the programme?

    Interesting insight in the line he tried to tread between knowledgeable viewers and people who think Atari is a brand of perfume:

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/29/charlie-brooker-video-game-television

  13. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    The history of earth according to computer games...

    I was kinda agreeing with it until it got to CrRapper the Rapper.

    1. Tachikoma

      Re: The history of earth according to computer games...

      Yeah, Guitaroo Man was far superior.

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: The history of earth according to computer games...

      The Dabbsies were also surprised - nay, amazed - to see Parappa mentioned in the programme, let alone praised to the skies. The kids adored Parappa when they were smaller (now aged 21 and 17, they actually played Parappa 2 for a laugh last week - pure coincidence) but we had no idea that anyone outside Japan, other than cultists, had heard of it.

      I could be wrong but I wonder if its inclusion in CB's history had anything to do with Labrinth trying to get him to play a bit of one of his videos.

  14. We're with Steve

    Take solace Mr Dabbs...

    While reading your article I did hear it in the voice of Charlie Brooker. Perhaps this is because you are both misanthropic forty something men. As am I, which is possibly why I like both of your offerings so much.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Take solace Mr Dabbs...

      My maths may be a bit off but Charlie Brooker is a man and so am I, so that makes two men, not forty something men.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Take solace Mr Dabbs...

        Forty men, strangely alliterate for a forty a day man.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "IT bloggers pontificating about the golden age of gaming as if they'd been there, despite most of them looking younger than the apps on my iPhone."

    You're still using iPhone? As a tech journo I'd have expected you to have moved on to bigger and better things. How last decade of you!

  16. IsJustabloke Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I don't always agree with your POV Mr Dabbs

    but in this instance I think you're absolutely spot on.

  17. Stevie Silver badge
    Trollface

    Bah!

    In the beginning that ASCII Enterprise would have had close parentheses at the front of its engine nacelles.

  18. mark 63 Silver badge

    If you want more in depth mr dabbs, theres a hour long i think documentary on utube about the making of elite. its pretty cool.

    "If we spent a night up till 4am and managed to save 4 bits of space thats a night well spent"

    lol! bits!

  19. ITSysAdmin

    Larry

    You're absolutely not alone in remembering Leisure Suit Larry - I can still whistle the theme tune!

    Ahhh, those were the days: hiding the floppies and sneaking down to play on the family computer in the dead of night with headphones...

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Larry

      I was disappointed at not seeing Thing on a Spring, that music is instantly in my head the moment someone says 'spring' or 'thing' but oddly not 'on a'. I'm having an odd day,

  20. MJI Silver badge

    Games

    Well I like mine like the Box Set and sometimes the blockbuster.

    It was good to see developers I have heard and read about for years.

    Could be a series if they looked at more games.

    Nice to see TLOU mentioned near the end before socail networking reared its ugly head.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Life is indeed a game.

    Albeit one that is heavily skewed towards those who have amassed, or started the game with, large amounts of in-game credits.

    A game server or two need rebooted somewhere.

    1. Psyx

      And depending on what continent you're on, you might get a cripplingly disadvantageous amount of lag.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Life sucks

      as a game

      Ok the GFX and sound are good, but theres no plotline, theres no guide, and no save points/respawns

      It is a nice sandbox world though.. but then if you want to live /visit the nicer parts you have to do this pointless boring activity called 'work' for 8 hrs a day, sometimes even more.

      gimme a team fortress 2 match anyday, best hat wins!

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Life sucks

        "you have to do this pointless boring activity called 'work' for 8 hrs a day,"

        Show me a sand-box game that doesn't have grind.

    3. Vociferous

      > Life is indeed a game.

      Probably an open beta, considering the number of asshats and the lack of instructions regarding what to do or where to go.

      1. Psyx
        Pint

        <straight face>

        All the instructions you ever need are in The Bible.

        </straight face>

        One could argue that the number of asshats in life is WAY less than the average round of MW.

        Life running slowly is nature's way of telling you that your CPU is getting old.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Vociferous

    You can't say "Arse".

    It's simply one of those words which must be shouted: ARSE!

  24. dickiedyce

    Misty Eyed...

    Dabbsy - went a bit misty eyed there at the end. Down in the labs, getting slaughtered by your good self, Banksie, Todge, and Herr Smith. Them were the days...

  25. Bubb_Stubbley

    Ouch, Hit Home I take it

    If you think twitter is reality, I bet your one of those people who prefer to stare at their fondle slab instead of the person next to them. You mad bro?

  26. Crisp Silver badge

    Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

    It's had a reboot and the new version evoked a lot of nostalgia in me when I played it.

    It's even got the age verification questions at the start!

  27. Zot

    If been telling people that FB and Twitter were games for ages.

    The people most likely to disagree about Twitter being a massive social game, are the people that use it.

    The gaming parallels are in there for a reason - they make it addictive. So all the same design criteria for games are used, and beautifully, it's all user created content, people make their own game environment. They enjoy it because all the same psychological techniques are used to make games.

    Games are cleverer than you think, and that they exploit brain chemistry far more than initially expected to those not in the industry.

    Of course it's a game, and yes CB likes being a troll and it's funny, but as always he was making a an alternative view point, and pressing it home. It's what he does well.

    In the end, why does it matter if it's a game, does it hurt you to call it that? Why? Does it make you feel you've wasted a large part of your life on it, and you want to lash out at Brooker for offending you?

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Disgruntled Grunt
    WTF?

    Sadly...

    Social media amongst our youths appears to be more important than game scoring.

    I coach an under 15's football team and during a recent game the usual swinging of hand bags event took place after a poorly timed tackle. I nearly subbed our own player who in a supposed put down to his nemesis actually shouted at him "Shutit, I have 2000 followers on Instagram!"

    What have we done to kids of today when they cant have a proper fight and insult each others mothers?!

  30. Marvin the Martian

    "the level of detail you’d get with the History Channel" !?!

    The Channel-Formerly-Known-As-The-History-Channel (now it's branded "History" tout court, since at least 5years) is known for its shoddy documentaries, and presentation of away-with-the-fairies stuff as fact.

    Case in point: My wife thought she bought the "Rome" series (as seen on BBC). Not so, it was similarly titles and from History. After a good fistful of strong drinks it becomes funny to watch. Apparently, the famous legions AND their opponents, throughout Roman history, consisted of the same two dozen of Baltic reenactors; Rome's enemies wore over time three different hats, shields and swords (so, using all combinations, 27 different enemy armies can be made). Similar for the locals, the same five people with varying hats and dresses. Every battle was lead by the XX Legion, even as the voiceover says e.g. only the VI and VIII were involved (I'm making up numbers here -- I only remember the XX as that was what I saw). They only fought in three different locations: A clearing in a forest, a forest path along a stream, and a village. And so on.

  31. Rhiakath Flanders
    Thumb Up

    What do you mean, you're alone, liking Larry?

    Have you got any idea how much time in my life i "lost" playing that game?

    Thanks to that game, i learned quite early in my life to always using a condom for sex . ( and to remove it later , obviously ).

    If life were like that, it'd be awesome.

    I'd "give rose to woman", "give wine to woman", "kiss woman", and i'd be all set ! :)

    Ahhh, the time where you could lose yourself in a videogame... Where you used imagination as a graphics card...

    I miss those. Computer games nowadays are so shallow...

    "Hey, look! great graphics!"

    "what are you supposed to do in the game?"

    "point and shoot"

    "ok, what's the story?"

    "uhhhh. there are aliens/nazis/bad-guys/something that want to hurt you. you shoot them"

    I think someone must have written a template for games and movies. You just have to replace all the tags with character names, and a small number of characteristics, and the movie/game is made...

    Like for example... Avatar being blue pocahontas....

  32. Rhiakath Flanders

    most wanted aspect from gaming in real life.

    for me? saving and loading.

    you met that girl that made you feel wonderful? save it! you said something inappropriate or missed your shot?

    reload... keep trying...

    big decision coming? save! if it goes south, just reload...

    i wish that were possible...

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019