On The Verge: a Local TV Show About Video Gaming on Vuzu, With Pippa Tshabalala

One Sunday Afternoon, I turned on the TV, and went onto DSTV. I came across a channel that I’ve never really seen before, and that was channel 123- Vuzu. Intrigued, I carried on watching as they played a couple of The Simpsons episodes (currently they’re replaying old episodes that I haven’t ever seen which is cool).

The channel also has South Park, Robot Chicken as well as another show which reminds me a bit of an older show which was shown on regular TV: The Verge.

The Verge is a show about gaming and such that comes on almost every week day. It’s been running since December last year. From what I’ve seen so far, they have trailers of some of the latest games, or ones in development, like the other night they had one of the two (currently) Stalker: Call of Pripyat trailers playing.

I haven’t come across a show like this for a while. I’m not saying it’s that good; it’s rather short (only about 20-30 minutes total) and it has an annoying bar at the bottom which broadcasts SMSs (text messages) sent in by viewers, as well as a ticker at the top which broadcasts all the contact details for the show. It also appeals to a wide, sometimes casual (console) audience, and so I don’t always get to see something I like in amongst the other stuff that doesn’t interest me at all. But for a person who doesn’t want to download every new game trailer or other video that comes out, its okay. I’m quite conservative with my data bundles (coincidentally the show is sponsored by MTN - my cellular network provider). I’m not the only one who thinks like this: dial-up still has a big market out there, despite broadband being readily available, and expensive. The other alternative is waiting for a magazine like NAG (previously known as New Age Gaming) or PC Format, which comes with a coveted Cover DVD, which is usually stocked full of trailers from the past few months.

The show The Verge reminds me of was called Cybernet, an old show which was also about gaming and the latest news in the industry, which disappeared after a few years of being on SABC 2, I think, or else it was 1 or 3. That show was made in the UK though, and it’s a held belief that even though it still exists, from what I’ve read, when the narrator was switched from the smooth sounding Lucy Longhurst to several other narrators, the show went downhill from there.

The curiously named Pippa Tshabalala, who has hosted other shows on GO!, as well as having appeared on the cover of SACM (SA Computer Magazine) recently, is no Lucy Longhurst. Her high pitched voice grinds on the nerves a little and I have to turn the sound down on my speakers or headset- I usually watch it on my PC through my TV card while doing other stuff, like writing or reading, in the foreground during commercial breaks and boring bits. I find that she also muddles up her words and makes mistakes, probably due to nervousness or something. The show is broadcast live, not taped, and so they can’t edit it. Oh well, she’s relatively easy on the eyes, apart from the hairdo, so it’s not all bad.

For those wondering about her surname: she’s married- that’s why.

Anyhow, The Verge may not seem revolutionary, with similar programs on DSTV, like ESPN’s Game, or PlayR, as well as the aforementioned Cybernet, that exist out there. But this is a local show, with a “South African flavour”. I’m writing this and I’m not even the most patriotic person around; not by a mile (kilometre).

It may not be at its best, but it’s good, and hopefully it’ll get better. It’s still a new show by my standards; not even a year old yet. Pippa often communicates with fans online and they pull no punches when it comes to constructive criticism (whining), while pitifully trying to hit on her. One just hopes that the higher ups will listen and help the show grow.

  • The Verge broadcasts live, Monday to Thursday at 21:30 PM on DSTV, Channel 123 (Vuzu), with repeats at 00:30 and 15:30 the next day.

  • Update: as of 2011, The Verge broadcasts live, Monday and Wednesday at 22:30 PM on DSTV, Channel 123 (Vuzu), with PlayR on Friday at 22:30 PM.

The Verge's last episode was in late March, 2012. It ran for just over 3 years, from December 2008.

What do you think of The Verge?

  • 36% It's brilliant!
  • 45% It's good.
  • 0% It's okay.
  • 18% It sucks!
11 people have voted in this poll.

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