FOCUS is a documentary about Mike Ross, an average 26-year-old African-American, unemployed college graduate, who happens to be one of the world's best video game players. The documentary ... See full summary »
Typically interesting stuff with the usual harsh, bitter and acerbic humour on point
Having escaped the pages of The Guardian's weekend Guide section, Brooker has done an excellent job of delivering several shows on BBC4 covering television, the news and now this extended special focusing particularly on video games. While I understand the subject may not interest everyone, it does have a special place in my heart since I grew up on Commodore 64, NES, SNES and N64 before being "mature" for a few years and not playing any more. Last year I got an Xbox360, discovered COD4 and online play and since then am back into the whole world of it again amazed by the leaps and bounds that the machines and the industry has made. So of course this show was going to appeal to me as a gamer and a fan of Brooker.
However this will also appeal to those who just like Brooker because Gameswipe does a great job of not only informing on the games industry in a general way but, more importantly, it does it with the usual acerbic wit, imaginative turn of phrase and his generally cruel and harsh sense of humour. All these are in place as he takes us through the types of games out there, the history of the media generally dealing with the games, the corresponding accepted public opinion on gamers and so on. Although he has his opinion, Brooker's presentation is fairly even and his often hilarious attacks are spread well across the games, the people and the opinions.
Other contributions are well done as well. In particular Graham Lineham does a good job while the two Scottish comedians are particularly funny, matching Brooker's acerbic approach perfectly. Mostly though the show is made well worth seeing by Brooker himself, who has good material to get his teeth into, presents it in an intelligent and engaging way while also managing for it to be wonderfully harsh, bitter and hilarious. Not sure how many subjects the "wipe" "franchise" can be extended onto but hopefully Screenwipe will continue for some time, with the occasional equally-good aside such as this with it.
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