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Charlie Brooker: If videogames are to become as popular as TV they need to exploit our humblest fantasies

Stop picking your backside, you disgusting little pauper; you vile, impoverished speck with your moth-eaten trousers and your brittle, worn-out hair; stop floundering in your own muck for a moment to gawp in humble, awed astonishment at me and my jet-set lifestyle.

Last week, I spent the evening at a glittering Bafta awards ceremony in London's glamorous West End. On the face of it, this sounds like precisely the sort of thing your average Heat reader would willingly slice a thumb off (then fry it and eat it) to attend. Except it wasn't honouring movies or soaps or the Top 100 Baked Bean-Coloured Wags or anything like that. It was celebrating the videogames industry. At which point, your average Heat reader probably shrugs and turns the page. It might as well be celebrating the UK's foremost curtain rod manufacturers, for all they care.

The glitzy lifestyle mags don't cover the games industry, because there aren't any identifiable personalities to shake a narrative stick at. Sonic the Hedgehog and Lara Croft are never going to go through heartbreak hell together. The Tetris blocks don't get drunk and punch photographers. The most compelling character in any videogame is you, the player. And apart from you, who ultimately gives a toss about you anyway? Even God doesn't care. That's why he gave you that nose.

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guardian.co.uk
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