We've all sorts of types of people …people. This is the one thing about stand-up, right. There are people, mixed audiences, like there is tonight, right, and some people know some things and some people don't know other things. That's the bit that's always interesting about stand-up. You're kind of working around the fact that different people in the audience have experienced different things and you're trying to find a joke that they'll all know. For example , right, I love saying what I'm going to say next because, not just for the people that cheered in support of me but also those who will silently judge me for this, right, very simple : I love video games.
I enjoy saying that, as I said, because half the room are looking at me going, "Ah Jaysus, you're 38, right - isn't that a bit stupid, right"
You're not supposed to like video games. It's the largest entertainment industry in the world and we’re supposed to not enjoy it, right.
This is one of the weirdest things for me at all. I am a gamer and I'm very proud to be a gamer, right, although I understand it's embarrassing. If I'm at a dinner-party and somebody goes « Hey Dara, how do you relax after a gig?”, it's less embarrassing if I go,"I masturbate to hardcore pornography."
Particularly because once you've said that line, the rest of the conversation is exactly the same.
"Oh I've not done that since I was a teenager."
"Oh you should check it out, it's really moved on since then. I mean the graphics alone are unrecognizable. And you have to use all 10 fingers - it's quite incredible"
I love video games for this reason over all other art form. They do a thing that no other art form does, right. No other art form does.
You cannot be bad at watching a movie. You cannot be bad at listening to an album. But you can be bad at playing a video game, and the video game will punish you, and deny you access to the rest of the video game.
No other art form does this. You’ve never read a book and 3 chapters in, the book has gone, “What are the major themes of the book so far?”
You go “I, I, I don’t know, I wasn’t paying close enough att…”
And the book goes THOOMP.
“Aw, Jesus, come on “
You’ve never been listening to an album after 3 songs, the album has gone “Dance for me. Show me how good your dancing is.”
You’re dancing and going, “Is this good enough?”
And the album has gone “No,” and stopped. Games do this all the time.
I’ll give you an example. A very famous game, a very controversial game called Grand Theft Auto 4.
A very controversial game, ‘cause you could drag somebody to an alleyway and shoot them in the head. I never got to that bit. I got stuck on a bit where you had to steal a car and drive across the city and assassinate a guy in a train station. But he kept running away. So. And every time he did I had to steal another car, drive all the way back away but you couldn’t drive quickly ‘cause there’s a toll booth in the middle of the journey. You had to slow up at the toll booth and pay the guy or the police would chase you. Trust me, 6 or 7 attempts at this and you’re going “I’m commuting. I’m stuck in my pants in my front room on my day off. I’m in traffic. What kind of eejit am I?”
If I lived in Liberty City I’d buy a flat near the guy I had to assassinate and I’d walk to work.
|PAUSE 2.58 – 4.40]
How many of you have ever played with the Wii?
That doesn’t count. This is the Wii game: “Ooo, I’m stroking a pony.” That’s the Wii game. “Ooo, I’m feeding sugar cubes to a unicorn and it’s going to poo out rainbows that I can paint onto Mario’s house.”
That’s not gaming. This is gaming, “Oh my God, I’m in a gun battle. Which one of these buttons isn’t ‘crouch’.”
Every game involves crouching. You’re always crouching behind oil barrels, or conveniently placed little walls. You’re always crouching. But they put the crouch button in different places in different games. And you get panicked in the middle of a space marine laser battle and you’re pressing any button at all and suddenly you’re man is waddling around the battle field. Just staring up at you going, “Jesus, press anything. Not toggle maps.”
There’s a game called Metal Gear Solid where you play a character called Snake. And when Snake dies the camera pulls cinematically up from above him and the voice of the man Snake has been speaking to on his Coms unit goes “Snake? Snake? Snake!!!!” Every time he dies. When I’m playing Snake, he dies a lot. But the man’s sadness seems undiminished by the regularity with which he has to mourn Snake. You’d think once or twice he’d go, “Ah, Snake.” You’d think there’d be some kind of debriefing session in this international espionage organization where they’re going, “Jaysus, Mick, you were very disappointed about the death of Snake, weren’t you?” “
He was one of the best agents we ever …”
“He was not! Mick, we’ve looked back over the mission logs. His behavior in the field was erratic at best. He spent most of his time just waddling around the battlefield for no good reason. Just waddling around. He was toggling maps, then items, then weapons, then weapons, then items, then maps. He didn’t know where he was going. He had to get behind that – he couldn’t get behind it. He kept running at it. He’d run at it and then he’d try running at it again. He ran at it once, he missed. He had to run around in a little circle. He tried jumping at it, jumping. Then he tried touching it, touching it, then jump and touch, jump and touch, jump crouch and touch, jump crouch and touch. Then he looked up, then he looked down. Then he picked up a crowbar. Then he put the crowbar down. Then he looked up, then crouch, weapons, items, items, crouch, crouch, not crouch, crouch, weapons,items. A (Gekko) attached him – he gave him his rations. He’s the worst agent we’ve ever had”
[STOP 7.30 ]
Jesus Christ. Bloody hell. Do you know, most comedy routines have a natural finale, like a punch line. That one just ends when the comedian gets exhausted. Ranting at an imaginary piece of video game scenery. This kills me. Look look look look look! I have injuries, injuries just because of that routine. Particularly because 30% of the room, and I'm looking at you. I am looking at 30% of the room. Peter Shilton, I love your work, right?. Stephen, you're here as well, right, love your work more. Thank you very much, 1998, quality, right. Nothing less, right? But look, the two of you in particular, didn't have a notion of what I've been doing for the last five minutes. You should have seen Shilton's face! People around them were going "ah", he was like a meercat going "what the? The man's an idiot. He's talking to, what the, is this what passes for comedy? Jesus Christ."