Games Britannia

07Dec09

Yep, December’s here in full force. Bonhomie, mince pies, and the feeling of being slightly pissed for a month. I quite like Christmas, but what with my addled attention span, by mid-December I’ve pretty much lost my flavour for it. And the prospect of having to sit through a slew of Christmas TV makes me nauseous.

So it’s lucky that we live in an age where we can choose what we want to watch and when we want to watch it. When I need to escape the party crowd, I don’t have to sit through prawn-ring adverts or repeats of Keeping Up Appearances. Just plug myself into iplayer or 4OD (or in the States, Hulu) and I’m away.

Tonight BBC4 kicks off its ‘Play Season‘, a series of programmes celebrating the act of play. First up is Games Britannia, looking at games and gambling through the ages. Tomorrow features a documentary about children’s play, what it calls ‘a secret world of adventure and imagination that blossomed in the nation’s streets, back alleys and playgrounds.’ And there’s a couple of things about how to win at chess and solve cryptic crosswords (very BBC4).

It sounds a touch intellectual if you just want something mindless, but if you want to avoid the cheer while pretending that you’re still a social animal, examining the social aspects of games could be just the thing. And if even that’s too much for your booze-soaked brain to handle, there’s always Father Ted.

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