So, now I’ve gotten the angry political satire out of my system, for at least the time being anyway, I thought this week we’d go back to old staples and talk about the state of video gaming today. Always good to have a routine back up, eh hypothetical audience? Anyway, this month gaming press luminary Joystiq declared that it was to stop issuing scored reviews of new games in favour of adding a summary of key points to the end of each piece. The logic behind this was to both do away with the awful “8.8” thing that blights gamer culture, but also to do away with their role in Metacritic-style aggregators. The response was mixed, to say the least, but has rather conveniently brought back to the forefront an issue I feel affects not just gaming reviews, but any form of media review that exists at the moment.
So this is Christmas, and what have you done? No, really, what have you done, hypothetical audience? Anyway, now that’s out the way, I thought I’d use the last blog of 2014 to talk about Christmas Songs, or more specifically Christmas Pop Song, since I don’t want to get into the tangled mess that is carols. Yes, every year from around about halfway through November until about Early January every publicly tuned audio system up to and including radio stations in the UK are saturated with pop songs that came out at, are about or even just loosely associate with the festival of Christmas. There is literally no escape, no matter how hard you try, so best hope you enjoy that kind of crap. I, as you can probably predict from the tone here, don’t (with a few caveats) and thought I’d go into why.
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Do you know what time it is, Hypothetical Audience? Well, as I write this it’s half two on Sunday, but that’s not what I’m getting at all. It’s actually that specific time of year, just past Halloween and Remembrance day, where the retail sector in the United Kingdom cranks into high gear with it’s marketing engines and bombard us, the consuming public, with christmas adverts until Boxing Day. It happens every year, obviously, and each company seems to try to out do both each other and themselves year on year. We get a whole cornucopia of thirty-seconds-to-a-couple-of-minutes films intended to sell us stuff, some directly by rubbing their products in our faces, others by desperately trying to pull at our heartstrings to make us forget it’s an advert. All in the name of crass commercialism, you see, for an event appropriated from Christian tradition that was likely appropriated from elsewhere ad infinitum. What fun!