Saturday, 5 June 2010

I Heart HAWP

Far too much theorising going on around these parts recently - let's cover something FUN. I've been watching "Hey Ash, Watcha Playing?" religiously since its first episode... Christ, this time two years ago. It's hilarious, smart and - amazingly for a games-based TV show - never cringeworthy.

I suppose a two year old show that's rocketed from being a one off bit of silliness between a Destructoid writer and his professionally inane sister to one of the most popular shows on the web isn't exactly news, but the latest show is so sharp it really deserves a bump, even if half of everyone is already watching it. The Ballad of Bullet Bill follows the tribulations of Mario's familiar foe, and is most certainly worth 1m52s of your time:
But the truth was soon clear, though I denied it with all my force,
I was worthless and pathetic: even goombas can turn course.
I've been through Zero Punctuation and Consolevania stages, both refreshingly cynical voices that ultimately fell to their own ruthlessness. HAWP has managed to be consistently relevant over the last two years, but most crucially - in an industry whose commentary is so often polarised by the toothless mainstream and the pretentious underground - it provides an essential middle ground that can poke fun at everyone.


  1. Consolevania always had an underlying bittersweetness and trafficked in a heartfelt love for games that dulled Rab and Ryan's attacks on the industry. Apparently, they got bored with their cynicism long before I was prepared to.

    Also, HAWP is good people.

  2. I know what you mean, but I'm glad they put a knot in it before it became old hat. I loved Zero Punctuation for some time, but mostly because it represented a really fresh, honest and cynical (if something can be all those things at once) perspective. It's great to see someone say "Yeah, it's another FPS. It's reasonably well made. Why the fuck should I care?" but I feel like now those reviews are being negative for the sake of it, rather than because a lot of games are very cynical themselves and deserve a beating.

  3. Agreed. I still drop in on Yahtzee occasionally and get a chuckle out of it, but find I pay more attention when he has something positive to say about a game.

    Gillen recently linked to a thoughtful article on the state of sarcasm:

    It made me think a bit about my own struggle to find the middle ground between being a constantly acid tit and being a dull, humorless tit.