Is there a Charlie Brooker fan club?

12 December 2009 at 22:29 Leave a comment

Charlie Brooker is having a great year.  I’ve read him for a while now, but recently he’s really hitting all the right notes.  And he makes you laugh out loud.  How nice is that?

Oh, and he’s a gamer:

If you’re a gamer, you’ll naturally want others to share the experience. So you try to introduce the game to your flatmate, your girlfriend, your boyfriend. But they’re wary and intimidated. From their perspective, even the joypad is daunting. To you it’s as warm and familiar as a third hand. To them it’s the control panel for an alien helicopter.

But you persevere, press the pad into their unenthusiastic hands, and offer to talk them through a few minutes of play. And almost immediately you have to bite your tongue to avoid screaming. They run into walls or hit pause by mistake. They swing the camera around until they can see nothing but their own feet, then forward-roll under a lorry. They try to put the controller down, complaining that they’re “no good at this”. You force them to have another go, but within minutes you’re behaving like a bad backseat driver.

“You’re in crouch mode,” you sigh, as their character waddles comically up the street. “Take it out of crouch mode.” Instead they throw a grenade at their own feet, killing themselves and several bystanders. They moan that it’s too hard. You force them to try again. Their character respawns. They run against a nearby door and jab at the buttons. “You can’t open that door,” you offer helpfully. “Why not?” they ask, “I opened another one a minute ago.” “That one’s just scenery,” you sigh. “How do you know?” they say, jabbing all the buttons again. “It just is. Stop it.” “Maybe it’ll open in a moment,” they suggest, jabbing. “It won’t.”

No, Charlie, it won’t.  Why won’t they just stop it?!


Entry filed under: reading.

Blogiversary a syllabus

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What I’ve been reading:

  • James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. (London, 14 King William Street, Strand: William P. Nimmo, 1876). 4 years ago
  • Marsilio Ficino, Letters of Marsilio Ficino, v. 3, trans. Language Dept. School of Economic Science, London (New York: Gingko Press, 1985). 4 years ago
  • Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988). 4 years ago
  • Stephanie Kallos, Broken for You (New York: Grove Press, 2004). 5 years ago
  • Marsilio Ficino, Letters of Marsilio Ficino, v. 2, trans. Language Dept. School of Economic Science, London (New York: Gingko Press, 1985) 5 years ago

T. Anderson Painter

I am a misanthrope. No one ever believes me, but this seems to prove my point.



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