Genuinely good TV shows about videogames are few and far between. Most shows that cover the games scene pander so much to the mainstream that any genuine enthusiasm for the games themselves is lost.
Luckily the internet provides an outlet for any gamer with the ideas and the drive to produce their own shows for a more hardcore audience.
One such gamer is Chris Johnson who has been producing Verticalslice, a smart and entertaining games show aimed squarely at gamers, since December last year. Each bite size show races through the week’s news with wit and a genuine love for videogame culture. Despite being a great show it’s been criminally ignored by many gamers so far.
I asked Chris about how the show is made and his plans to bring it to a wider audience.
Despite being produced for no money with a homemade green screen, a video camera and Final Cut Express, Chris has managed to gain the attention of some well-known names in the games industry. He’s already interviewed prolific game developers The Code Monkeys and a big name in British games TV shows is a fan. “I got a thumbs up from Violet Berlin recently – which made my inner 10 year old giddy!”, he says. Violet Berlin, for those out of the loop, presented legendary 90s UK games show Bad Influence.
Verticalslice is an entirely one-man production, with Chris writing, shooting, presenting and editing it all himself from his home in the north of England. Currently published weekly, Chris aims to ramp up production of Verticalslice to five shows per week. He’s also looking for someone to take over from him as presenter and to contribute to the writing. Cashflow is a problem though and Chris is investigating possible ways of generating revenue to fund this expansion.
“Once I’m moved into my new Sheffield location and I have a net connection, I’ll be scouring the area for someone to become the face of the show (and myself moving behind the scenes, although I will still be doing interviews) with the hope that it becomes a paid position once the show actually makes money”.
If that sounds like a dream job for you and you live in or around South Yorkshire then get in touch with Chris about getting involved via the website.
Anyway, enough words – here’s one of my favourite recent episodes which demonstrates perfectly why this is a show worth caring about.