BBC Three announced this morning that it’s going to be showing live coverage of the Gfinity Elite League, every weekend for the next six weeks. While games fans and media split our time roughly evenly between writing it ‘eSports’ and pointing out that it’s officially supposed to be ‘esports’ now, the das of the internet were riled. And it hasn’t even reached the Daily Mail yet.
Some of them aren’t even technically das, but the BBC spending our money on coverage of video games was enough to transform them all, momentarily, into middle-aged men who had been planning to mow the lawn today, but have in fact spent the last twenty minutes standing by the mower fretfully squinting up at the clouds. ‘It’s no good Pam, it’s going to come down in a minute,’ they say, en masse, returning the mower to the shed and swearing briefly as they trip over the tangled garden hose. Their afternoons thus freed up, they were able to offer opinions about esports online.
These fall, broadly, into three main categories (mostly, it should be noted, directed at the BBC Sports account, because the BBC Three account is already prone to this kind of nonsense anyway).
Not A Real Sport
This was, by far and away, the most common response (mingled with the subcategory of Why Aren’t You Covering Things I Like?, a subsection often aimed at the monolith of the BBC in general, and apparently under the assumption that the funding is just one big pot for all departments, with no regulation).
Some of the most yer da of them were based around specifically etymological complaints about the use of the word ‘sport’:
You can imagine your da getting increasingly red in the face as his extremely rational arguments fall on deaf ears. Your mum, concerned after what the doctor said about his cholesterol and his heart last time, tries to calm him down, but this only enrages him further. It’s just logic, these people won’t listen to – oh for god’s sake Pam!
Then there’s the hilarious rhetorical technique of comparing esports to other children’s games, thus showing how trivial and absurd it really is for the beeb to be covering it at all.
This particular account gets bonus points for use of ‘tiddlywinks’, because it’s a game that would only be mentioned by the kind of da from Ealing who wears corduroy trousers and whose wife just bought a small dog to replace their youngest child finally moving out, except the dog is a long hair (probably a King Charles that pants very loudly), and the fact that his trousers now constantly have white dog hairs on them is a source of constant, silent irritation to him. This irritation has now bubbled over into ‘tiddlywinks’. Redgio has been tweeting so much about this topic, in fact, that I think it may actually have ruined their day.
My kids ‘game’. I believe that’s what it’s called, anyway. Do you ””””game””””?
Ah, the exhortation to getting fresh air and exercise, a mainstay in the arsenal of yer da. We used to go camping on Exmoor. Didn’t have chemical toilets in those days, we had to shit in the bushes and use a dock leaf. Never did me any harm. My old man took me fishing once. It was the only time he said he was proud of me.
Scott is one of the peak yer da commenters because even though he is presented with mounting evidence that, in fact, esports is actually quite popular, he refuses to believe it possibly can be. It falls outside yer da’s purview, and therefore the people who like it aren’t really real, like that ale you get these days that’s flavoured like chocolate. I said chocolate ale, Pam! Yeah, I know. Ridiculous.
The License Fee
The Final Straw
This is my favourite one, because from context it’s obvious that Jill already lives with a da, and this latest transgression has now finally tipped her into da status herself. Jill was content to tweet about Spurs and make lasagne. Her other half complained, possibly about the license fee, possibly about the BBC going all PC and Doctor Who being a woman now, but Jill was a bulwark. Yet no more, says Jill, the words falling heavy like her foot, which is very much put down. This, this, the live coverage of an event in what is an extremely popular pastime all over the globe, on an online only channel, is a bridge too far.
My Actual Da
My actual da can be well yer da (he once told my friend to go swimming in the river — my da lives by a river — and when my friend protested that he didn’t have any trunks, my dad said ‘Ah you can go in in your shreddies, mate!’ and then went to walk his three dogs, all of which were trained to the whistle) and in the interests of fairness I asked for his opinion, which was disappointingly reasonable.