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Digital games

Mark Popescu | 12:56 UK time, Thursday, 27 September 2007

The launch of the Halo 3 video game earlier this week was one of those moments that a subject which does not normally make it on to the television news becomes a big deal. But as has been pointed out, we showed some footage of a Sony game when we were talking about the new Microsoft product.

Rory Cellan-Jones, our technology correspondent, explains how the mix-up occurred. He writes:

    "This, I'll admit, was a bad mistake. Naturally I'm usually an enthusiast for digital technology, but this time it's really caught me out.
    "In the days before we went digital tapes used to arrive in the building properly labelled and then make their way into our video library, where they would be viewed and their contents logged accurately.
    "Now the pictures end up in digital form on our 'Jupiter' server. On this occasion a cameraman went out in August and shot some material about Halo 3 - but also shot footage of Sony's Killzone. He then loaded it into Jupiter.
    "Spool forward a month - and after editing a story for the One O'Clock news which only featured Halo 3 material, a video editor and I were looking for some fresh shots for our Six O'Clock piece. He searched the Jupiter system and found something marked simply "lib(library) Halo 3". That was the footage uploaded in August - which also included Killzone and we ended up choosing that, not realising it was the wrong game. Result - disaster, and one replicated in the Ten O'Clock version of the story.
    "What was impressive to me was the speed with which bloggers spotted the mistake. So the latest technology can lead you down the wrong path - but it can also bring any foul-ups under the spotlight of the eagle-eyed web generation.
    "Sorry - we'll try to be more careful in future."


Just goes to show that the BBC doesn't have enough staff that know what they are talking about. Surely the report should have been edited by someone who knows something about computer games? If not, what are they doing reporting on them?

  • 2.
  • At 05:13 PM on 27 Sep 2007,
  • Madeup wrote:

Please explain to me how "covering the launch" of a computer game is different from advertising it.

I was always under the impression that the BBC tried to avoid blatant product placement. After seeing this, and the tenuous "news" story about a new Monopoly set, I'm beginning to think I must have been wrong.

  • 3.
  • At 02:39 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • BW wrote:

"Please explain to me how "covering the launch" of a computer game is different from advertising it."

I would suggest it's about the same as the difference between reporting from the Labour conference and screening a party political broadcast. Although quite how it could be advertising when they don't even show the correct game, I don't know.

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