It was sad news this week when ABC announced the cancellation of one of their highest rated shows, Good Game. For the past 10 years Bajo, Hex and crew updated us on latest releases, gave honest reviews and gave gamers a mainstream face. Now with Hex and Nichboy off to channel 7 to pursue a career in, you guessed it, a show about games for gamers, the ABC decided to end the show on a high note, 2 weeks before filming the 2017 season.
There hasn’t been a show quite like Good Game on Australian television before. Usually games were a bit piece in kids shows, which turned out as an advertisement and competition for the latest game and console. It created a cultural norm that games were just for kids and shut-ins. The cynic suggests in me that this is what is in store for Hex and Nichboy as they move towards commercial television. Good Game challenged that stereotype, and the older gamers came out of their respective caves, blinked and went back in to play the latest reviewed title. Good Game created a face and personality that to the ‘gamer’ that was relatable to the non-gamer public. and, in turn, was rewarded with a cult following of long time watchers, first time gamers.
I must admit that not every review was accurate. Then again reviews are just opinions of who is doing the reviewing and there were a few times during Good Games’ history where it missed the mark (such as the feminist ranting of Hex relating to objectification and sexualisation of women NPC’s and protagonists in games).
In this recent week, a view of solidarity from the gaming community, a twitter feed was created #putoutyourcontrollers, sincere farewells from any gaming companies who, over the years of reviews, console releases and scandals were all sorry to see a non-biased programme leave our screen for the great big television in the sky.
What does that mean now for the adult gaming community? Reviews are opinions and ultimately it is up to the consumer to make their mind up as to what to purchase. There is a lot of websites, magazines, you tube channels and other means to get information for the adult gamer but it doesn’t provide the human element that Good Game did.
From experience, reading gaming reviews and watching Good Game for nearly a decade there seems to be some singularly repeated viewpoints in almost every game review. PC games will always have better graphics than consoles but not the best or easiest control system to master. PlayStation will always have better graphics than the Xbox, and the developer platform is easier to work with than Xbox, but the controller is hit and miss with some reviewers, the games are mostly indie and the user interface just doesn’t cut it. The Xbox has a lot of AAA titles under their belt, but the graphics aren’t as good as either the PC or the PlayStation, the controller is friendlier for reviews but it’s also a difficult platform for developers to work on. And whatever happened to all those other promising consoles?
The gaming industry is an ever-changing moving feast or famine. Good Game provided the stability that gamers needed to make informed consumer choices with their hard-earned money. On a more personal note, I respectfully object to ABC’s decision to cancel Good Game and wish to say a hearty thank you to the remaining cast and crew for producing a AAA consumer based show and for your amazing effort over the past decade. I would also like to wish Hex and Nichboy all the best for their future endeavour.
“May all your games be good ones”