Five years ago this week... Digitiser was reborn. Well... sort of. To be honest, I never really saw this site as the actual continuation of Digitiser. It was always going to end up as a sort of hybrid between my old blog and Digi's reviews. What it gave me, at first, was an outlet for all the stuff that had been forced to stayed cooped up in my brain for the best part of a decade - and once the cork was off the bottle... well... you only have to look at the insane, three posts-a-day, schedule I was managing when I first started. I had a lot of itches to scratch. I did, in the early days, hope Digitiser2000 might take off in its own way, but I realised relatively early on that the site existed in a completely different media landscape to the one the original Digitiser launched in, back in 1993. To stand a chance of breaking through would've required me to kind of compromise on what I wrote, and I fast became aware that I didn't want to do that. Truthfully... we don't really get a lot of people reading these days, barring the occasional article which gets some interest outside of the core audience, though any disappointment over that has long since dissipated.I've tried, on and off, experimenting, but ultimately I had to conclude that I needed to write what I wanted to write, and to hell with trying to compete for clicks, or making the entire point of this site in any way coherent and consistent. There have been times - even relatively recently - where I've wondered why I continue in the face of widespread apathy (blunt I know, but there's no real way of dressing it up as anything else), but I think I enjoy the structure it gives me. I like having a schedule to keep to, and I like the mental workout of having to think of what to write. And I like that there are at least some people who appreciate it.
FAIL BLOGIt might seem strange to 'celebrate' an anniversary by saying that the thing you're 'celebrating' hasn't lived up to initial expectations, but success can be measured in lots of different ways. Digitiser2000 has become a kind of centre of gravity, around which has orbited stuff like Mr Biffo's Found Footage, Digitiser the Show, the Digi Minis, Digifest and Digitiser Live. And, hopefully, next year... something new.Heck, there are solid signs that the Digi YouTube channel has finally found a foothold, and is arguably now more popular than this site has ever been, even if it's still a long way from the heady days of my 1990s prime. In the last five years I've met and worked with so many interesting people, and made friends with many I admire, and had so many experiences and opportunities that I could never have anticipated; fannying around on a speedboat to shoot Manorak, hanging out for two days in an old nuclear bunker, putting on a live comedy show that was, if you don't mind me saying, spectacularly shambolic... None of that would've happened if I hadn't launched Digitiser2000 first, and - along with a lot of what I've written on this site - the last five years represent a body of work I'm immensely proud of. More significant still to me... on this day five years ago I could never have imagined a time when I'd have been comfortable being on camera.That's happened because of Digitiser2000, but I've also learned to edit video, direct, organise big events - I've even learned to enjoy performing in front of an audience. That alone isn't so much something that's new, more something that I've rediscovered I enjoy.Frankly, I was a horrible little show-off growing up.
AN OLD CLICHEOf course it's a customary cliche at times like this to thank the supporters, but in this instance I mean it entirely sincerely when I say none of it would happen without you lot.It was the audience - via Twitter - that encouraged me to set up a Patreon to fund a new site, and then risk a crowdfunding campaign for Found Footage. Some of you have been backing me ever since, and a lot of you have joined along the way. More than anyone, I do this for you.Plus, it was everyone who came to Digifest, the Found Footage premiere, and Digitiser Live, everyone who has left an encouraging comment somewhere, who has taken the time to watch, or read, or share, what I've written - all of that is the sort of encouragement I could never have dreamed of this time five years ago. Without it, what would be the point?Back then, I felt like nobody would be interested in what could be offered some washed-up games journalist, whose last public outing was a pretty unpleasant fall-out with members of his own message board.In light of all that, the support I've received has been so unexpected, and so positive, that I've become confident enough to push myself further and further out of my comfort zone. All of the things I've done in the last five years, as Mr Biffo, is because of you lot. There's no way of understating that. I feel utterly blessed by it.On an entirely personal level, it has been incredibly, profoundly, healing. Five years ago, I was scared and anxious at the thought of putting myself out there again. Actually, scared doesn't even come close to conveying it; I was terrified. The night I went live on Twitter I more or less had a full-on panic attack. Yet at the same time, not having an outlet for my weird sense of humour, and my writing, was kind of stifling me. I felt trapped and claustrophobic, and I missed it so much. Once I started, I couldn't stop.I'm glad I took the risk. I'm glad so many of you have encouraged me to continue taking risks. And I'm very glad that I've reached a point where I feel pretty much fearless about life, and am comfortable just being me. Again, thank you.
THANK USo, Digitiser2000 isn't Digitiser. I know the original Digi is my Beatles; I don't expect ever to top it, in terms of creating something that means as much to people.That happened by accident anyway. It was just a job, that took on a life of its own. But... it meant as much to me as I know it did to many of you. Why else would I have bought the trademark, and still be doing stuff under the Digi banner? I realise now it'll be with me forever. It's a weird thing, to feel like I'm one of you, despite being the co-creator of the thing we all love... but it does feel like it's a shared history we all have, and a journey we've gone on - and continue to go on - together. Sorry if that all sounds a bit overly sincere, but if you can't do it for anniversaries, when can you do it? So, a few further thanks to some of those who have been instrumental over the past five years:Larry, Octav1us and Gameplay Jenny for being part of Digitiser The Show. Everyone else who was in Digitiser The Show and Mr Biffo's Found Footage, especially those celeb cameos, and everyone who worked so ridiculously hard behind the scenes.Dan Farrimond, who was the very first person - other than my wife and Mr Hairs - who I told about Digitiser coming back. He helped to organise that first Digifest, along with Carl Attrill, Steve Horsley for keeping the Teletext flag flying, and being an important part of Found Footage and Digitiser the Show.Stuart Ashen and the Barshens crew - Eli, Barry, Chris, Izzie - for inviting me into their orbit. The brilliant Chris Jerden-Cooke, my musical partner-in-crime for Digi and Found Footage.The organisers of Play Expo and Retro Revival, for thinking I'm interesting enough to be on a panel.Everyone who has invited me onto a podcast, for thinking I'm interesting enough to be on a podcast.Darran at Retro Gamer for letting me write a column for them every month.Tim "Mr Hairs" Moore, Adam "Mr Cheese" Keeble, and Gavin "Mr Udders" Lambert, for building the foundation of all this with me. The superlative Super Bad Advice, who has written many, many excellent articles, in a style that fits seamlessly. Chris Bell, keeper of the Super Page 58 flame, and all the people who have donated tapes to help with Jason Robertson's ongoing heroic efforts to recover the entire history of Digi.Paul Gannon, for being my co-pilot on the Digitiser Minis. Long may that continue, because I love doing arsing around with him as much as I did writing Digi with Tim back in the day. Everyone who has been patient with me in getting the Digi Kickstarter rewards sent out, and everyone who has been patient with me replying to emails and DMs. I do get around to responding eventually. I just get a bit overwhelmed. Lastly, of course, my wife, who was the one who encouraged Mr Biffo out of retirement in the first place, because she thought he was funny, and who is incredibly protective of him, especially when people are dicks. She has tirelessly kept the Digi ship running behind the scenes for the past five years, encourages me to be true to myself, and I couldn't have done any of it without her. It's Digi Friday Letters Page day tomorrow, so it'd be nice if we could continue the celebrating with some Digitiser2000-themed letters.Email those things to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.orgRead now: THE TERRIBLE BEST OF DIGITISER2000
Has it really been five years since this site began? Well yes. Yes it has. No need to answer. It's a rhetorical question. Frankly, it even feels like five years.Anyhow, to mark this arbitrary anniversary, and because I wasn't prepared enough to do anything more significant, it's time for a special letters page, in which I gave you all an opportunity to blow smoke up my cracksie - because who doesn't like that?Ironically... Bert the chimneysweep doesn't like it. He doesn't like it at all.If you'd like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, or you've got a picture of a bin you wish to share, please send your filthy emails to this place here: email@example.com
A PISSY EMAILDo you have any idea why there's been no significant advances in the field of pithless oranges? We were gifted seedless grapes many years ago but there doesn't seem to be much happening with satsumas, tangerines, oranges et al.Realistically no one wants to eat that stuff, using a knife makes the orange far less portable; you're safe when the transparent skin encases the juiciness but if you cut it, your hands are going to get covered in orange juice. I just wish there was a way of removing this white stuff quickly and thoroughly, if not via genetic modification, then with some kind of device to facilitate easy removal at home.Paul KnightPS. You can title this something like 'A Pithy Email' or something like that, I've done that part of your job for you.
Personally, I like the pith. I like the peeling it off, and flinging it away. I prefer my food to have an interactive element, like an edible fidgetcube.
PAIN O' CHOCOLATEWriting to register my pain that Disney+ is not as yet available in the UK, and that I can’t even pay to watch The Mandalorian. Isn’t it a shitter?I am old and foolish and don’t know how to watch things illegally any more - if any of your more savvy correspondents can explain how obliquely in the comments, without incriminating themselves, I would be much obliged.On the subject, we’re all aware that George Lucas has once again amended the Han/Greedo cantina exchange. I can confirm that I have represented myself as your attorney to Disney, advising them that Beanus will be available to be CG’ed into the scene.My vision is that he takes Greedo’s shot in the chest while screaming ‘BEEEEEEEEEANSSSS! I love ‘em, I really do.”. I understand James Cameron is available to direct.I’ll await my share of the profits.Richard Morrison
I would be eternally indebted to anybody who could seamlessly integrate Beanus into that scene, Safeway. I'd even be tempted to pay for a course which taught me how to do it, even though I hate people teaching me things; THAT'S how much I want to see it.
BOHEMIAN CRHAPSODYMama, I just killed a man,I put my bum against his head,I did a fart and now he's dead.Yours sincerely,The Pink Oboe
You took time to write that and send it. Reconsider your life choices. Press reveal:
TAKING STOCK CUBEHello!Five years! That's a long time! In the past five years...1) What's your favourite thing you've made creatively?2) What's your favourite written piece on the Digi website?3) What achievements and accomplishments have you made in your personal life? (If this is too personal a question, many apologies, please ignore me)For context, five years ago, the 14th of November 2014, I was in Year 10 at school. I'd never heard of Mr Biffo, Digitiser or any related ilk. It was 1/4 of my life ago!Happy 5 years to the Digi site! May there be many more good years to come :)Chai xxx
1) For a long time it was Biffovision. Now... it might be The Trojan Arse Protocol, but I've also loved some of the Digi Minis over the past couple of months. As an entire body of stuff... Found Footage.2) That's tough, as I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of it. The Dino Dini article I linked to yesterday probably made me laugh more than anything else I've written on here, because it was so utterly childish and mean-spirited, and I knew he wouldn't see the funny side. Not that it's necessarily the best thing I wrote, but the long piece I did, very early on, addressing the fact I wrote Pudsey The Dog The Movie felt important to me.When I came back, Pudsey was a bit of an elephant in the room, and I knew I couldn't go forwards without mentioning it. It felt like that article performed a valuable service, and it spread beyond the usual core audience, and - in a small way - seemed to change attitudes towards the film. A bit.3) Oh, it has been a properly important and life-changing five years for me. The big one is marrying my best friend. The other one, almost as significant, is kind of reaching a place of balance and happiness, and learning to be comforable being me. It wasn't the first time in my life; I mean, I was pretty secure in myself in my 20s, then some... stuff happened which threw me off-course.Plus I had a lot of baggage left over from when 'Mr Biffo' disappeared, and bringing him back put all of that to rest. Feels like ancient history now.
B&M BARGAINSHello everyone at Biffo Towers,Congratulations on the anniversary! I remember when this site first came back and it was all done in the teletext style, I think? That seems such a long time ago. It might not even have been this site.Anyway, keep on doing the things. We'll be supporting you!And now a question. Is there anything you'd like to bring back from the Teletext Digi days that you haven't? Perhaps a Phoning Honey video? Or would that be a bit Wrong. I don't know!Take care best wishes kind regards,N&BPS. The next payment for retweeting our YouTube stuff is on its way.
Hey, everyone: it's Nibbin & Bantuda! Go subscribe to them on YouTube, as they're excellent. I would love to do Phoning Honey as a video, but I think the law has changed on prank calls, and recording somebody without their knowledge. You need their consent to use the recording. It's a faff, basically.I do toy with bringing back Man Diary, but as a Twitter account, though I'm quite aware that he wasn't exactly Digi's most popular character, so it'd probably just be a waste of my time. One thing that always strikes me about those original Man Diaries is how unfunny they were.I mean, there are no jokes in any of them; it's usually just a load of weird stuff. I can see why people hated them, and maybe that's as good a reason as any to bring him back...
A MILESTONE AROUND OUR NECKSCongratulations on making it to 5 years, a good milestone for any creative operation, and one that a certain set of Sea Monkeys won't make. Possible shrimpian genocide aside, when Digitiser hits the 10-year mark, how would you mark the occasion? If money was absolutely no object.Johnny Blanchard
Given a choice, I'd mark any occasion with a holiday. But that's just for me. I dunno... I'd ideally have a bit more time to plan it, as this five-year anniversary sort of took me by surprise. Actually, you know what? I'd like to do some sort of in-real-life event... a two-day convention-type thing, with a live show. That was proper special last time. I love that.
#BEANUSLIVESJust wanted to pop by and wish you a happy anniversary with a little image of the newest alumni, Beanus! Here’s to many more years of mirth!Luke Adams
Oh, Beanus! He'll be back very soon on Digi. With some very exciting special guests...
BIG EYESWell as the the cat with the huge pupils in your photo is obviously on some sort of substance (I suspect you've been too generous with the Catnip Beanus) I will take this opportunity to just say no.Jon "The Anti-Amstrad Loon" Clay, Taunton, Somerset
Catnip is awesome. Getting any sort of affection out of my cats is near impossible - the boy, at least, feigns affection when he wants his dinner - so I do sometimes resort to spraying catnip on my duvet. That's not a euphemism.
THE SHOE DROPSHas it really been five years yesterday since Digitiser 2000 began? No, because the Rapping Shoe reappeared on the 10th of November 2014, four days before Cyber X.I thought about writing a retrospective of length inversely proportional to the number of people who would read it, then decided to choose one word: ephemeral. Digi isn't quite like it was on Teletext, but news and views still generate a fuss for a few days, then almost get forgotten.What endures are the fond memories of meeting the intimate Digi & teletext crowd in real life. Also, your terrible throwaway one-dimensional characters, either because they are a blank canvas on which to project or own thoughts and desires, or because they are funny.Only on this special occasion do I have the courage to ask you about something in the Digitiser 25th anniversary image, which has troubled me even more for only spotting it a few months ago.You know, that green thing. On the right.Is... does that wig belong to Danny Taurus?David W
Yeah, date-wise... it was the 10th, technically. I class the Cyber-X post as the real start of Digitiser2000, as it was actually the first thing I wrote for the site. No idea why I chose to launch with a poxy Rapping Shoe post. But thanks anyway, David, for your ongoing back-handed compliments...And I know, I know, I still haven't put up those Chunky Fringe videos.
THE ONE AND ONLYHAPPY ANNIVERSARY! I bet this is the ONLY email you've had saying this too. Keep up the surreal work!Kris Carter
Ta, Aaron. Press reveal to see something surreal:
JV ON THE TVWell done for reaching five years of D2K, Biffo. I can't believe it's that long already.Digitiser coming back in the form of Digitiser 2000 changed my life, although I didn't realise this until recently.I lived and breathed Digi-on-Teletext back in the day. I was devastated when it ended, although Biffovision, both on TV and the Edge column, kept the dream alive for a bit longer. Somehow I missed the Board of Biffo and various other blogs that you did, so the dark years were very long.When Digi2000 started, I almost couldn't believe it. It was like the second coming. Like Monty Python reforming or new material from The Beatles. But it was there and it was real. It was a different thing from the old Digi, but just as good. It was glorious.Digifest in 2016 was an absolute joy and an early highlight. No one knew what was going to happen, and the videos and Quiz-Me-Do blew everyone there away. I was so pleased to witness the start of what later morphed into both Found Footage and Digitiser The Show.One thing that was very valuable when you came back as Mr Biffo is that we could speak to you eg. via Twitter, and you responded! I had to pinch myself several times. Here was actual Mr Biffo again, walking amongst us! I never thought I'd see that day.And things just got better. I could not only talk with you, I was privileged to work with you, first with the proofreading thing on D2K, and then in Found Footage/Trojan Arse Protocol. I will never forget that day in the tunnels, the bonds that were formed and the things that have followed as a result of that day.During this time, of course, we had met. And, although you are still a hero of mine, it turns out you are a Real Person too. A lovely person. A friend.Speaking of friends, the community you have created and nurtured surrounding Digi/FF is an extremely valuable thing. It contains the nicest people.I hardly had any friends after leaving University. I thought I was OK with this, but it turns out I was missing a tribe.I found my tribe in Digi. I have been changed for the better due to the Digi community. I have come out of my shell, done things I have never done before, and gained many friends who I love and who are important to me.There have been many projects that have been started by people that have met or grown closer in the Digi community, including ones that I have been blessed to have participated in. I don't know if I can overestimate the impact of this on myself and on others.I have had a few personal problems this year. Many individuals in the Digi community, including you Paul, and Sanja, and Steve Horsley, have been immeasurably helpful to me. This is not just a community, but a family. The best family.Paul, please continue to do what you do. I support all of your work, in any form. Written, audio, video, live, whatever you want.I love you, Biffo. I love Digitiser. I love the community. Long may it continue.John Veness
Aw, man. I've said it before, but the best thing about bringing Digi back is the community that orbits around it. As some have said, it feels like we've found our tribe.For the most part... there have been precious few dramas over the past five years, and that's rare in any community. I think it's testament to the fact that we're all a bit older, a bit wiser, and... dare I say it... a collective of like-minded people who see the value in what they've gained.I mean it sincerely when I say I can't take credit for this. It's something that has happened by accident, as a by-product, because of individuals other than me. It means a lot to me, and I think I'm going to try to find a way to get everyone together again next year, even if it's just a gathering somewhere (though let's face it, it'll be in Harrow most likely).
HAWAII 5-0Congratulations on fifty glorious years! A celebration must be had … Or must have been had (since I am writing this on Thursday, and if it is published then it will be seen on a Friday).I wanted to say something here about being glad Digi is still alive, but I get the impression that many others will be able to put it into far better words than myself. So I'll mostly shut up, except to say thanks for making me laugh over the past fifty years. It has most certainly been a pleasure.…Upon typing out the above, it turns out that Digitiser2000 is only five years old, and that I had hideously misread. It also explains why I am not in a retirement home nor incontinent.To make up for my piss-poor mistake, I will now reel off my TOP FIVE FIVE PLAYER GAMES.5. Dynablaster4. Who's The Bravest (That game where everyone holds their thumb over a lighter, and whomever keeps theirs over it the longest wins)3. Texas Hold'Em Poker2. Communist Monopoly1. Extreme IroningDishonourable mentions go to:- Summon The Dragon (Where your group of five people make nasty comments to get the attention of known internet personalities until one of them gets their attention, more a spectator sport than anything else).- Competitive Origami.- Blank DVD Frisbee CombatCHEERS BIFFO AND COMPANY, KEEP THE MIRTH COMING!Pepsiman
Thanks, Pepsis. Press reveal:
BIG WITH THE YOUTHCongratulations on making it to 5 years Mr Biffo! I'm 35 now so Digitiser really was a big part of my youth and was a daily destination on Teletext for me. I can't even remember how I stumbled across the website, but I was very happy I did. Every time you talk about scaling things back on here I get sad but I'm glad that hasn't come to pass yet. Here's to at least another 5!Niall Maguire
Thanks, Sean. The scaling back... isn't really happening. It's more a scaling up of the YouTube channel that's going to be happening. Glad you're sticking around.
YOUNG BLOODFirst off, happy 5th birthday Digi! Here's to another 5 years of Digitiser madness!The first time I heard about Digi was last year, during the Kickstarter campaign for Digitiser the Show (after seeing Gannon retweet the campaign link). After reading the Kickstarter, I wasn't sure if it would be for me, as it were, as at the time, I knew next-to-nothing about retro games (me being what they call, a "young'un") but I was still intrigued, so decided to back it. Fast forward to the end of 2018, and the first episode of Digitiser the Show. It's safe to say, I loved it! I had no idea what was going on, and most of what was discussed went over my head (again, due to my age) but it, along with the rest of the series, made what was a very stressful time of the year (exams looming, plus organising the CheapShow awards) that little bit more bearable. Fast forward again, to Digitiser Live. As much as I wanted to be able to go, at the time, I wasn't sure how able it would be, considering I was working nights and the fact that London is on the opposite side of the country to Skye, literally. However, I managed to get the 2 days off work (plus an extra 2 days, due to HIAL going on strike the day after the show, meaning I was stuck in London an extra day) and thanks to some lovely members of the community, my bank account wasn't hit too hard either. The day itself was incredible. Everything I expected and more, even though a lot of the references went over my head, and the fact I was slightly sleep deprived at the time too. I had *that* song stuck in my head for weeks afterwards!Another reason why that day is one of my highlights of 2019, is that I met so many of the amazing people I knew from Twitter, some for the first time. Living where I do, not only makes going to events like this (whilst being at home) a bit of a rarity, but living so far away from others, means that I'll only get to see people at events like these; making them that even more special. Speaking of the community, I don't think I've ever been part of a community that is as welcoming and kind as the Digi (and CS) community has been. They are some of the most caring, kind, and funny bunch of people I've gotten to know over the last couple of years. I'm really lucky that I can call these people friends of mine.I guess what I'm trying to say, is thank you, and everyone else who's been involved with Digi, for all the laughs, and memories over the last year. They mean a hell of a lot to me.Here's to many many more! Rhianan (@skyegirl1998)
Thanking you, Rhianan. Glad you found us. We're all lucky that there are so many kind and caring people in the community. Let's see if we can get something organised for 2020. And to everyone who hasn't dived in yet: risk it. Look at all these weirdoes: clearly we accept all sorts!
BRUTALIST DELUXEOutside the Queensway shopping arcade, a brutalist concrete monstrosity that fell on hard times when C&A closed down; there was a man selling gas lighters.After repeating his mantra all day, about how many gas lighters one could purchase in exchange for coin, his mind had wandered somewhat from an accurate trading position."Gas lighters, three for a pound of gas lighters."I approached him, smirking and flipping a nickel. "I'll take one pound of gas lighters please. my good Sir, and here is what I owe you...(I snatched the nickel into my closed fist) precisely nothing!"His brow furrowed. "What do you mean mate?I put my hands on my hips and stood tall before him "It is free for a pound, a lub (I pronounced lb as 'lub' to rub his nose in his error guffaw) of gas lighters is it not, for that is what you are saying loud and proud outside this rain streaked shopping emporium!?"A look of crestfallen world weariness befell his tired fizzog. "Mate. Look. Just p*ss off yeah! Just trying to make a living yeah!"Do you remember? Do you? This was 5 years ago! After this conversation, you packed up your cardboard store, with the Biro scrawled sign, and reclaimed your identity as Mr. Biffo. Dealing with the likes of me, in my spit-shined shoes and Italian suit, poking holes in your grammar; had just about done your nut. So you swore vengeance on all who crossed you during your bric-a-brac and tat days.Regards and here's to the next 5.Dave G
I wondered where that was going... and now I'm just embarrassed that my secret is out.
DIGI2K VIRUSDear Old Mcdonald had a farm, B-I-F-F-O.Well congratulations on five glorious years of Digi2k. It must have been around its first birthday that I found the site and submitted my first letter, and like a urology inpatient, it was the start of an irregular stream. Anyway at this point I was going to meander about Found Footage, Digitiser The Show and Digitiser Live but realised that essentially what I wanted to say was that, despite all the stresses and demands placed upon you, you always take time to acknowledge and interact with people (even after Digi Live when you looked like all you wanted to do was hibernate for a year), and just be a generally nice person, which makes you the topest of bananas. Here's to the next five years. All love and kissy.TreaclePS. How did the return of the rental van go?
The rental van, if it's the one I think you're talking about, that I hired for Digi Live... stung me for £1.5k. I should never have told them about the dent, because it was only small and I doubt they'd have noticed, but apparently the repairs cost exactly the eyewatering amount of excess they charged me on the day. Who'd have thought?The upshot is... because I hadn't taken out the extra insurance that time, I made sure I did when I rented a car on my recent honeymoon. Consequently, when that car was completely trashed in the middle of the desert... I was covered. Yeah - in BITS OF GLASS, BLOOD, AND SAND!!!!!
MANY PITHY RETURNSI mean, look at this, it's the picture of horror.Paul Knight
Okay. That is too much pith. Eat satsumas instead. Oranges are too much hassle anyway. Bloated citrus scum.
SOWING THE SEEDS OF LOVEDear Mr Biffo,Congratulations in another milestone in the epic Digitiser saga. Having been a fan since the early 90s I feel I should point out that I had no idea you even went away, due to my inability to remember at least 15 years of my life.Tell Fat Sow I love her style.Lee McCormick
To be honest, you didn't miss much while I was away.
BELLSTON CHECKS INDear Biffo,Well, now. Five years since Digi returned - what a landmark. Who ever saw that coming? Who ever knew we needed it as much as we do?Huge congratulations to you - what you’ve achieved in that time has been truly remarkable.Congratulations on not just continuing and honouring the Digi legacy, but expanding it, growing it well beyond any reasonable expectations, and welcoming a whole new generation of fans into the family.I’m so grateful that you decided to reclaim the Mr Biffo mantle, because it’s brought so much joy and so many excellent memories. I’m always catching myself laughing at something Digi-related that’s popped into my head, or singing the Found Footage songs out of nowhere.And apart from anything else, it’s truly gladdening to know it brings you so much satisfaction and fulfilment.When Digi 2000 debuted I was in the middle of a 4-years long break from Twitter, so wasn’t aware of your return until I started to see things being shared elsewhere. I remember it was the news of Digifest that alerted me - and subsequently cursing my luck that it clashed with an already-booked holiday that meant I couldn’t be there. But from then on, and especially when the announcement of the Found Footage Kickstarter came along, I was hooked.It was reading Scripts of my Years, and then going back and diving head first into Games of my Years, that was the real turning point for me. The whole story laid out so brilliantly, all the revelations, expertly told. That’s when I started to think I had a responsibility to relaunch Super Page 58 to help document everything that had been discovered and revealed - and somehow, original teletext magically recovered - in the intervening years.Your example motivated me, and I wanted it to be back up and running to help support your new endeavours and give the new community the resource it deserved.It also coincided with a tough period at work, and gave me the outlet and sense of achievement I wasn’t getting in my job. So thank you for inadvertently helping my wellbeing in that way! These last few years have been so happy for me because of it - being welcomed back, invited onto the backer episode of Digitiser The Show, which I was blown away by - and culminating in the glorious show-stopper that was Digitiser Live, and my stagefright-defying turn at Chunky Fringe. Real, genuine personal highlights for me, with all-new Digi memories to hold onto along with all the classic ones.This has been the best time. The laughter and the warmth that you bring us are to be cherished, and you should be proud of what you’ve done. Creatively, and on a human level as well. I’ll be around to cheer you on in all you do for as long as I’m physically able - you’re a special talent, and this beautiful community is lucky to have you. It’s full of incredible human beings, and there is so much remarkable talent in this diverse crowd. I’m in awe of them all in some way or another. And you brought us together.So here’s to another five years, and whatever manifests from your superlative imagination next. Congratulations once again. And sincerely - thank you.Forza Digi!Chris Bell
Aw man. You're too kind, Bellston, but thank you. And thank you for playing such an important part in keeping Digi's legacy alive. I love seeing the updates on Super Page 58 - stuff I half-remember, or had forgotten entirely. Just the other day, you triggered a memory, of Tim and I writing the bit about "Your father, Father Christmas"... and laughing too hard. Incidentally, I note that we appear to have given away a lot of Drugstore records on Digi in the early days. This is no doubt because Dave Hunter, who used to write the music pages - and was a mate - had been the original guitarist in Drugstore. So there's some trivia for you.
TOP OF THE POPSDear Mr. Biffo and GangA very happy 5th Birthday to Digitiser2000, I remember the original Digitiser well, but it was Found Footage's/Digitiser The Show's Associate Producer Matthew Long who told me about it, and I remembered how good it was. So I donated to both ventures. I'll be going all in for whatever you do next, another series of Digitiser or another Found Footage thingie!! Bring it on!! As a birthday present, I was in Newcastle on Saturday, and I went into a shop on Westgate Road called Vinyl Guru, and they have a section of Video Game Vinyl, (one for Gannon, as he showed Octav1us his vinyl), and there's a big selection, I was able to get a few photos.Very rushed, as there was a man on the till looking at us like a strict librarian. So, for you. Here's a quick Gaming Vinyl Rundown!! (One will look familiar.) *Cue the Top of the Pops music*
Keep up the good work!! Here's to the next 5 years and beyond!!
Thanks, Cartman. What a lot of pictures!!!!
50 Qs OF WHYTE461) I sometimes believe that one issue with supporters of left-wing politics is that they (and I usually include myself as one of them) spend a lot of time hoping for a revolution but disliking the kind that actually turns up e.g. Brexit. On that theme, I feel that Death Stranding is the sort of game that many players and journalists have claimed to have wanted for a long time: a genuinely big-budget game that is original and pays no heed to current trends. The response so far seems to be that the game is the wrong sort of revolution. I am enjoying it so far but worry it might become boring. What is your opinion so far, if any and is its originality important? Also, not that anyone asked nor will care, but Edge's stance on the game is extremely churlish and highlights why they have the reputation they do. 462) What is the best on-rails shooting game ever? 463) After your illuminating outsourced review of Disney+ and the Mandalorian, what is the best Disney game ever? To make it interesting, I'll allow anything that Disney currently own the rights to. 464) It is well-known that cheats don't exist any more, mostly thanks to micro-transactions. This has also led to 'funny' cheats like big head mode and so on disappearing, too. What was your favorite funny cheat mode. I'll pick turning your head into a dog in PES 3 (I think), which really did work well. 465) Could you please give the top 5 games of the last 5 years of Digitiser 2000?John Whyte
461) I'm probably going to do a full review of Death Stranding next week. It's a really interesting game. I expected to hate it, and so far... I haven't. I appreciate that it is completely its own thing. But at the same time... it is quite dull. And I don't necessarily mean it's dull as a negative; it's more like that thing in music about the spaces between notes being as important as the notes themselves. And yet, it is quite repetitive, the constant falling over is annoying, and the cutscenes go on forever. So, I'll let you know.It gets extra points for the stupid character names. Die-Hardman!462) Pokemon Snap!463) I've got a massive soft spot for Castle of Illusion on the Mega Drive. I also liked all the historical Disney references in Epic Mickey.464) NBA Jam was great for cheats; take your pick there. Also 'Dog Mode' in Rise of the Triad, which turned your character into a killer dog. I think you could also change all the referees and linesmen in International Superstar Soccer into dogs.465) Blimey. That's tough. Superhot... Mr Shifty... Titanfall 2... Red Dead Redemption 2... and maybe Breath of the Wild (though I had such a horrible time on one section that it has rather coloured my feelings).
BOATBRICK BOULEVARDHi Mr. Biffo,I thought i'd share a recent experience where I was trying to balance some bricks on the side of the boat for some reason or other. This involved standing precariously on a 3" wide ledge with just a crap grabrail to cling on to, and a short sharp drop into some dangerously waist high water awaiting should you fall...Whilst carrying out this perilous task, I was required to pivot 180 degrees to face the opposite direction, and had the terrifying experience of being confronted by a pair of hostile and hissing swans! I had no idea what I'd done to offend them; could it have been my jaunty attire? Envy of my brick balancing skills? Perhaps they just disagreed with my existence - after all, most swans are generally disagreeable by nature, and often pissed off about something almost all the time anyway.As my attempts to shoo them away whilst avoiding a soaking were not going well, a passing boater had spotted the grumpy not-geese in the distance, and had bread ready to throw for them (btw I only ever throw bread AT watery birds, it's much more fun).I do not know if he was aware of my plight at the time, or if he just intended to give the savage creatures a treat - but he shouted to me he'd leave a trail to lure them away, and as expected the feathery fiends took the literal bait and swanned off. While I got lucky this time, I dread to think what the real life Angry Birds™ may have caused to happen. If that man who drove past had eaten a few extra slices of toast for breakfast that day, who knows?
My problem now, is that I fear in future I may have nightmares about the vile beasts - i've attached an image of how this could possibly look, should I ever have the misfortune to fall 'a fowl' of the foul fowls in dreamworld.
Why were you balancing bricks on one side of the boat, Mr S? Is there so little to do on a boat that this is all there is to pass the time? At least throw the bricks into the water. They'd make a fun splash!
THE HANGING MANHola Mr Biffo!!!!!!!How are you “hanging”? I am “Hanging” Rad or whatever. Just a quick line to say I’m loving the new Digi focusing not solely on the video games (VG), but fillums and the telly too! Keep it up and I’ll probably write one of them funny letters or summat.Subscribed to that Britbox for the 30 Day free trial the other day. I cancelled after 8 minutes it was so shit! Megalolz! Have you tried it? It’s proper rubbish! Haha! Anyways keep fighting the man and all that,Hadooooooooken!!!!!James Walker
I didn't even know Britbox had launched. Having now gone and had a look, there's not much on there that interests me, though I note that they have all of The Young Ones... and I might be tempted once the whole of classic-era Doctor Who arrives. Press reveal to see an episode of Doctor Who:
500 THOUGHTS OF WHYTESome thoughts on 5 years of Digitiser 2000.Wikipedia has led to some important moments in my life. These range from learning some things that managed to get me out of a (false) gun-running charge to proof that you can spend too much time online - reading about Bruno Brooks is a good time to stop.The world's free encyclopaedia was also where I learned that Mr Paul Rose was back writing in the style of Digitiser. I suspect many others will provide hagiographies of the original site, but since I told you its impact on me at Digitiser Live so I won't repeat that here. Needless to say this caught my interest. To be honest I visited the Digitiser2000 site with excitement and trepidation. As much as I wanted it to be after school in 1997 again, I was sure that if all you were doing was reeling off the catchphrases and classic characters then it would be fun nostalgia and would end soon after. I was instead genuinely delighted to see that the content and, importantly, you had moved on. The extra breathing room gave rise to some brilliant articles with piercing insight. There is enough of old Digitiser to provide familiarity and a foundation for those of us who remember, but it has never felt like you are playing to the crowd. After seeing this, I felt determined to help. Obviously I couldn't write for the site so I looked into Patreon, which I had not heard of before. Digitiser2000 remains the only thing that I have signed up for and I have done so since the day I read that Wikipedia entry. While many others give more, £25 per month is a lot of money for me, especially since I moved to Cambridge. But believe me when I say that every penny over the last 4 years has been worth it, and I only wish that I could give more. The site has also had a positive impact on me. In that, again, initially to try to help, I started writing in with my questions. Really, you only have yourself to blame for those. It also gave me the chance to meet you and Miss Kitten in person, which was a great moment for me. Recently a fellow reader said that Digitiser was never about games and it was all about the humour. I must respectfully disagree with that. The humour that you and Mr Moore created is essential to what makes Digitiser 2000 great, but what is even more important is the quality of your writing and that is demonstrated better on Digitiser2000 than anywhere else. I enjoy almost all of your work, and while I feel that your best comes from having roots in games, I feel that your 'serious' writing is genuinely underrated. You are a writer who understands how to think rather than what to think, and this is sadly rare these days. Your articles are well-argued, beautifully constructed, and always consider different viewpoints. As great as old Digitiser was, we needed 2000 to understand Paul Rose the writer, as I said to Chris Bell, whom I was fortunate enough to meet this year. The site is changing, I know, and it might not be recognisable in 1 year, let alone another 5, but it is important to express just how good Digitiser 2000 has been, not for what came before it, but for what it is. I thank you for it all and much respect to all those who make it happen that we don't hear about. John Whyte
Thank you, John. Them's some very sweet words. I wouldn't worry about the site changing too much. For me it's more about a shift of energy. It's still going to be me writing or doing whatever I want to write about - and where it's at now is where it'll be going forwards for the forseeable. I think me having wobbles about the site were the result of an extremely exhausting year; I worked harder than I've ever done before, not only on Digi-related things, but the day job was... well, it was like I worked four full-time jobs simultaneously, and I hit a brick wall over the summer. We took the kids away in August, and I couldn't even relax enough to enjoy it. My mistake; I took on too much, but it's telling about where my loyalties lie that I still wanted to offer stuff on this site. Doing more writing after spending all year writing wasn't getting me excited, whereas doing the videos was. Most importantly, though, I seem to have found a balance now, where I no longer feel beholden to having a written article on here every single day, and that seems to be helping. So, rest assured... I'm going into these next five years with a clearer sense of where to put my energies. And that's it. That's all the celebrations. Bye, everyone! See you in another five years! Okay, bye.
Sun Nov 17 19:54:49 +0000 2019
@Pionir please check email - I have quick question for you about quiz. If you are around? If not lets follow each other and I will dm it.
Sun Nov 17 02:36:41 +0000 2019
Sun Nov 17 01:52:12 +0000 2019
@adamwalton And the video via YouTube https://t.co/iTVP1a1ORE
Sun Nov 17 01:50:23 +0000 2019
@adamwalton Here's the Spotify link https://t.co/keJqwvNgYR
Sun Nov 17 00:35:50 +0000 2019
RT @adamwalton: playing TYCHO 'Scrolling' #BBCIntroducingOnRadioWales
Fri Nov 15 09:29:29 +0000 2019
@clayinteractive @AntPearson Ooooo the pharmacy sounds intriguing. Will certainly go.
Thu Nov 14 11:30:43 +0000 2019
@jjsanderson @elinoroberts I realise it's the first one that burnt down, and you got married in a later one, so I um could have phrased that better!
Thu Nov 14 11:24:40 +0000 2019
@elinoroberts @jjsanderson I'm thinking today's Google doodle could also be used for your wedding anniversary ...
Wed Nov 13 13:41:27 +0000 2019
@Geeooorge @britishlibrary @TrafalgarEnt @TrafStudios Wonderful idea. Looking forward to it.
Wed Nov 13 13:35:40 +0000 2019
@AdenaHollington "... a shape-shifting beat which boasts a bed of crisp electronics that blends the worlds of trap and hip hop and is topped off by a sprinkling of piano chords, ‘Scrolling’ showcases Tycho’s playful songwriting and delivery." ColorXstudios
Wed Nov 13 10:48:59 +0000 2019
RT @alfitude: New Music: Tycho Jones https://t.co/pt3QzEDPmK https://t.co/MJTcK2ua3K
Tue Nov 12 17:33:06 +0000 2019
@NerdPirates @K_Samantha1 @tamcgarrigan @Ruby_Roar @MessagelabComms @jilladamsartist @jameelajamil @leveluplauren @samroach0305 @harinder_sangha 🙏😊 this made my day -- and in such good company 💜
Tue Nov 12 17:15:49 +0000 2019
RT @davidvitty: This is my friend’s son’s new single and video. Remember the name, Tycho Jones!
I think you’ll agree, it’s very very good!…
Tue Nov 12 17:13:05 +0000 2019
RT @NotionMagazine: The latest track 'Scrolling' from @tychokluid calls us to look up and have your head in the clouds rather than trapped…
Mon Nov 11 14:55:55 +0000 2019
RT @Contemporary_BL: Congratulations to @Notagoth for winning the 2019 @BL_Labs Artistic Award! She created a wonderful collection of inter…