From 1 June 2014 I am economics editor of Channel 4 News, replacing Faisal Islam who has gone to Sky News. I’ve been Culture & Digital editor at Channel 4 since September 2013.
Some of it’s to do with the Glasers, some to do with the Old Trafford football culture, some just to do with English football’s perennial malaise of kick, rush and “whoa, what’s that round thing doing near my feet?” After tonight’s defeat by Bayern, when they played decently and were worthy quarter finalists, as a lifelong fan and born within a bus-ride of Old Trafford, I offer my totally gratuitous advice.
- If you’re going to sack Moyes, and you probably are, then do so in time to get a manager who can spend the £100m transfer money wisely. But the problem is not Moyes…
My excuse here is that I am “digital editor” of a major TV programme and must experience the highs and lows of the digital generation first hand…
For the past month I’ve been a Beta tester in Elder Scrolls Online. Five million people apparently registered to do this so it’s not as sad as it sounds.
ESO is a massively multiplayer online game that launches tonight. They’ve spent millions of dollars on it, and I’ve reviewed it before on my C4 blog. So here I just offer some musings and tips in case you are logging on tonight.
1) There are two completely different modes: a) leisurely progression through the quests, picking flowers, all the while listening to the spaced out, at-one-with nature music and interacting with characters played by famous actors and; b) rushing around in a post-human tide in the player-v-player zone (PvP), Cyrodiil, which you can only enter if you’ve done about 2 days worth of questing.
2) It’s visually very engaging: games always are. The art-world of ESO is quite a dull, brownish, natural world in which everything that is supernatural and/or magical sparkles. One player who spent a bit longer than me in there told me they came out into real life and immediately noticed everything that was sparkly. Another told me they had an urge to “collect” the lighted sign of a London taxicab, which is the same colour as a vital Runestone in the game.
3) Hmmm. (I remember people trying to “fly” in real life after spending too much time in Second Life when it first came out).
4) If you are going in I can only offer advice on how to become a Redguard Nightblade archer (there are about 40,000 combinations of race, skill and weapons possible). This is what follows.
5) Get a bow early and start collecting wood and making your own bows. Start deconstructing things to learn their secrets. Assemble the kind of skills that will make your bow useful at long range instead of effectively being a thing you bash werewolves with when they come too close.
6) Armour: get loads of it.
7) If only I’d developed my healing and self-healing skills (called restoration powers and “soul gems” in the game) I would not now be lying “dead” so many times in the player-v-player arena. When it comes to PvP groups, healers are very popular.
8) In PvP the horde is truly spectacular. The individual finger skills and willpower of maybe 100 human beings collaborating online, from all over Europe but on a server in the USA, leads to a kind of lemming like rushing around. But if you’re a bow person, don’t think you’re going to be able to keep the enemy at a distance for long: the pattern of play is such that you are nearly always overwhelmed by a mass of people armed with things that bash you over the head.
9) If you are reading this and thinking - what’s he on about? - fine, but remember the industry that produces these games is financially as big as Hollywood now, and the number of people who play ESO in the next few days may be bigger than the number who go to a major movie on the weekend of its release.
10) Other games are available. Also real life.
See you there… I’m in a campaign called Auriel’s Bow and I’m in the Daggerfall Covenant. My horse is called Gomez and my character appears as above. Not sure how long he’ll be there, but while it lasts…