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Author Topic: Digitiser 2000!  (Read 13737 times)

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Offline James

Digitiser 2000!
« on: January 17, 2015, 05:14:06 AM »
Those of you in the UK who are old enough to recall Teletext will probably remember Digitiser, the quirky videogames pages of this pre-Internet information service available to read on your TV.

Digitiser was quite unlike anything else on Teletext (or indeed its rival service on BBC channels, Ceefax). Digi had a bizarre, abstract sense of humour that made reviews of even the dullest games worth reading every morning over your cornflakes.

Blocky cartoon characters like Angry Sow (a permanently peeved pig), the Rapping Shoe, Zombie Dave ("ffffrrrrggg rrrrrrffff") and a paranoid approximation of Mr T ("Stay AWAY from my BINS!") would offer their two cents between news stories, and readers who wrote in to the letters page would frequently have their names mocked and parodied for their trouble.

That was the Digi way, with its main writer Mr Biffo extending his underlying contempt for the games industry in all directions for the amusement of those who loved the actual games as much as he did. He was undoubtedly a big influence on my own attempts at written humour, much to the chagrin of work colleagues who must tolerate my emails today.

And so it was a travesty when Teletext, having tired of Biffo's tormenting of his subeditors with innuendo-laced content, shut down Digitiser in 2003 after a decade of inspiring a generation of British gamers. Here was its last ever page, referencing a kids' comic strip that Biffo had also been writing for them, Turner the Worm. Digi was replaced by GameCentral, at the time a dry, staid and sterile alternative by comparison (it improved with a new team who've continued running GC on the Metro website long after the demise of Teletext itself, but still in a rather straight laced format that's never attempted to compete with the memory of Mr Biffo).

Biffo, aka Paul Rose, continued writing columns for Edge magazine as well as various TV scripts (from EastEnders to My Parents Are Aliens, and a sadly unsuccessful pilot for a sketch show), a comedy book about pervy chat rooms, and Pudsey The Dog: The Movie. And all the while, across the UK, gamers of a certain age made ruefully nostalgic references to Mr T's bins in the hope of a glimmer of recognition from a kindred spirit across the (chat) room.

But now the nation's bins smell a little bit sweeter with the news that Digi is BACK, baby! Digitiser 2000 is the biggest return since Shenmue III, except this one actually happened, and you can check out its ugly baby steps right here:

It won't be everyone's cup of Earl Grey, but for those who want a different spin on videogames journalism, click-me-do on the beautifully rendered image above or I'll cuss you bad, daddy-o...

Offline jameswalker85

Re: Digitiser 2000!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 10:33:55 PM »

Offline tomlee80

Re: Digitiser 2000!
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 10:29:35 AM »
I loved Digitiser.  Read it almost daily and had a couple of letters published.  Also joined someone's newsletter on the Supervision through it!