deja vu watching The Gamechangers

Last Tuesday BBC2 aired their new feature-length drama The Gamechangers, about the 2003 legal feud between Rockstar who make Grand Theft Auto and an evangelical moralising lawyer who believed that violent games were poisoning a generation of teens.

Writing in last weekend’s Sunday Times, Matt Rudd gave the drama a pretty rubbish review, with what he called a hilariously unrealistic script coming in for particular criticism.


Matt Rudd has clearly never worked in a creative / digital agency or start-up.  I really enjoyed The Gamechanges and found the script and set design scarily reflective of some of my experiences working in and for agencies, for example:

  • excessive use of the word ‘iterative’
  • going home ‘early’ at 11pm
  • glass walled offices that are not even slightly soundproof, resulting in all arguments being heard by the whole team
  • ‘whatever was on the bedroom floor this morning’ dress code
  • ping pong table in the office
  • Creatives throwing strops re: Artistic Integrity
  • getting into legal trouble because you pushed it too far (instead of an evangelical lawyer, thanks to booze brands I’ve been on damage-limitation duty vs. The Portman Group, the ASA and the BACC/Clearcast in the past)

Daniel Radcliffe (who played Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser) and his hipster beard could slot into any creative or digital department without anyone raising an eybrow.  And I can think of dozens of agencies whose offices could have doubled for Rockstar’s.

And how did Rockstar react to this less-than-entirely-flattering attention?  By behaving like a circa 2003 creative department of course.


(screengrab, the tweets were unsurprisingly later deleted)

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