By Chris Tabone
There were a lot of disappointed and angry people at the beginning of the year when the ABC decided not to renew the 10 year run of Good Game.
Now Channel 7 has capitalised on the gaping hole in Australian gaming coverage that was stupidly creates by the the ABC and have made it their own with ScreenPLAY – A show all about gaming and e-sports.
In a very smart move, which also shows how serious 7 are at making this work long term, they poached the highly popular Nich “Nichboy” Richardson and Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen – who now just go by Nich and Steph – to anchor the program of daily videos and a weekly show on 7Mate.
And when you stop and think about it, it’s a clever title. Gaming is such a diverse medium, especially with the rise of games like Dear Esther and That Dragon, Cancer that are story rich and have no gameplay mechanics besides an amazing narrative to tell. It includes all games and includes all people, not just gamers. Another great addition is the small “Other Screens” segment which includes the big tv and movie news of the day, which is a subject close to the heart of all gamers. So it’s not just about games, it’s about the screens we watch and play. ScreenPLAY. Get it? Nice one 7. Give your show titling department a pay rise. They earned it here.
After only two weeks if feels like the Good Game Pocket of old but with a more relaxed, fun and free feel. Nich and Steph flow really well and have great banter, and it’s the same old fun from their previous show but on a bigger, more exciting platform. Now it has more potential to keep up with the rapid growth of e-sports in Australia. It is also a good thing having the backing of some major sponsors to propel them forward rather than being dropped a budget by stuffy old Aunty who held gaming coverage in Australia in the palm of their hands and blew it all away. Why? We will never know.
If you haven’t seen ScreenPLAY yet, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s not for hardcore gamers, it’s also for casual gamers and is a very accessible and entertaining show to watch. I’d even recommend ScreenPLAY if you have no interest in gaming but just love good Australian banter.