28 May, 2011

Track notes

There are many stories with a gulf between the way they're reported and the actual truth but one that still continues to endure is the idea that console or computer gaming is a niche or for kids, the popular culture's geeky step-child. Jesus Christ! Gaming is so mainstream it really doesn't need saying does it? More popular, interesting and creative than Hollywood and the revenues are larger too.

I'm part of that loose first generation that can be described as growing up with gaming, through Spectrums and Acorns, Commodores to Playstation and beyond and I'm middle aged now. Judges, politicians, policemen, chefs they're all gamers. It's over. We won. One can only presume that it will take the current crop of newspaper editors and TV execs to die off before this ridiculous false image of gaming finally disappears, about two decades late.

Which is why I think the BBC F1 coverage is really missing a trick. There's several generations of Grand Prix fans now who enjoy driving the circuits in a virtual environment. An environment so accurate that the teams themselves use similar systems for testing. Why aren't the broadcasters using the unique opportunity every fortnight to talk in detail about driving these specific tracks and the settings that will make the difference to shaving tenths of a second here and there. In-game cars are almost as adjustable as the real thing but the average gamer hasn't risen through the motorsport ranks learning about the delicate interplay of suspension settings, tyre pressure and aero tweakage so it would be a really compelling portion of the coverage to get expert tips from the drivers on how to go fast. The time has long gone past when a serious piece to camera about console gaming should be something to be ashamed of.

The alternative is to keep hearing from Eddie Irvine as he makes another assault on the English language and the viewer's sanity, and that is something the BBC should be embarrassed about.


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Anonymous Aled shout your mess

Well said Mr Chris. I think you mean Eddie Jordan at the end.

The one slight problem is that we don't get the current spec F1 car on the PS3 until about September of each season. F1 2010 is still the current version.

But the set-up info would be really cool. Especially if they were using F1 2010 or GT5 (less relevant to F1 because of the lack of real world tracks) to do their setups and could show us how to improve those.

Great idea BTW.

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