Interview with @bajopants & @hexsteph (@GoodGameTV #GGTV)

Steph “Hex” Bendixsen and Stephen “Bajo” O’Donnell – host of ABC2’s Good Game and ABC3’s Good Game SP (Spawn Point) – are passionate people. Speaking with them you learn very quickly that they aren’t just “presenters” who turn up for filming and that’s it; they’re gamers of note in their own right and spend hours playing to review games thoroughly and log footage for the show, as well as editing and pre-recording for the show.

Bajo & Hex have become a very popular team, inundated with fans when they attended the EB Games Expo on the Gold Coast in 2011. They’ve worked hard to gain the support of the Australian gaming community and this is reflected in the show – it’s one of the strongest shows on ABC2 evenings and the show is the most downloaded/watched show via the ABC’s iview service.

The news sensibilities of Good Game executive producer Janet “Syd” Carr from years of producing news and current affairs for the ABC are paying off with the team – not only are Bajo & Hex becoming great story tellers in their own right, but Janet has drawn to the show a wider crew who are all gamers and skilled producers, editors, and special-effects wizards in their own right. All this for a ‘little gaming show’. I have to tell you, though – the set is tiny. Ahh, the magic of television.

With Good Game clicking over 200 episodes last week – no mean feat in itself – I was lucky enough to grab a few precious minutes with Bajo & Hex (and Janet, off camera), and we discussed the rise of gaming within the wider community, the product that is Good Game, the importance of Good Game SP, and how they both scored roles on Australia’s only television show solely dedicated to gaming. They’re very honest and open, and it led to a great interview.

If the video does not display, click here to view.

Good Game – Tue 8:30pm, ABC2.
Good Game Spawn Point (SP) – Sat 9:05am, ABC3.

Author: SteveMolk

I like TV. Have done since I was plonked down in front of Sesame Street & Play School as a kid in the 70's when we only had two channels. Now we have over 20 free to air channels so imagine how much time I spend on my fat arse. Keep up, people. You can contact me here or tweet me at: @MolksTVTalk

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    • Hi Boothy – the interview is a YouTube clip embedded at the bottom of the piece – can you not see it? I’ll add a link for those on iDevices in case it isn’d displaying…

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  1. Excellent interview. Absolutely can’t get enough of Bajo and Hex. Thanks for bringing this to the community!

    Much love from the states!

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  2. is there any sure fire way of contacting hex or bajo?

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    • Hi Tom – You can write or e-mail them, that will absolutely get to them. They’re also pretty good at responding to tweets.

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  3. Haven’t bothered watching the show since they punted Junglist. He was a guy who seriously knew his stuff, and he’d been there from there start, too. Neither of these two have — even though they talk about these 200 shows as if it’s been all their work. And, further, it actually makes me quite mad to see how many guys now say they now watch the show for Hex. I used to watch it because Junglist at least knew what he was talking about and I didn’t need “eye candy” to enjoy the show.

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    • You know, it’s a pity you stopped watching… I had the same thoughts when I first heard the news and I vowed never to watch it again…

      However, when the new season started, I decided to give it a go. The more I watched, the more I liked Hex and the energy that she brings as well as the combination she has with Bajo… Now, my daughter and I don’t miss either show, be it live or via iView on the Xbox. A

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      • I understand your point and, like I said in a comment below, I have nothing against Hex. I think the “dream team” would have been Baj and Jung on GG and Baj and Hex on SP. Double duties for Baj, sure, but I think it would have played to the strengths of both Jung and Hex to have both been there in those different roles. That way you’d have hardcore through to casual gaming covered, and use Baj as the glue between it all. I never saw it as a situation where Jung /had/ to go. Indeed, with regard to the rumours of what was happening off-screen, I thought, “Well, if it was as bad as all that, why is he on TV each week, presenting great reviews, knowing his lines, filming comedy skits, etc?” I think the comments on any lack of performance were kind of hard to believe in when the proof of his abilities was there on-screen every week.

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        • Why can’t Hex cover hardcore gaming? I didn’t like the axing of Junglist either, but it wasn’t a reason to stop watching the show.

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          • Erm, where did I say she couldn’t /cover/ hardcore gaming? I didn’t actually say that at all. READ what I said (and preferably UNDERSTAND it), before commenting, thanks. The point I made is that she’s not a hardcore gamer; she doesn’t bring that mindset to gaming or reviewing. Junglist did. Again, as it seems to be not getting through your grey matter, that doesn’t mean she can’t /cover/ hardcore gaming (if she was sent to a tournament, I’m sure she’d do a great job), but what it DOES mean is that she wouldn’t be reporting from the point of view, or mindset, of someone who had taken part in such things for years and years prior.

  4. Awesome interview with two people who definitely know their stuff. Congrats to Bajo & Hex for putting in so many hours and doing so much work to make the show as great as it is now. Bringing Hex to the show corrected the flaw of the original show – having two guys on the show didn’t correctly reflect the views of the gaming community, as a large amount of gamers are female. So Hex is definitely a welcome addition to the team and has brought much more to Good Game, making it the best show on television.

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    • Andy, many women I’ve spoken to since 2009 (wow, was it that long ago?) have said they felt Hex’s appointment was tokenism, at least to some degree, and they didn’t actually “need” a female on the TV to tell them if a game is good or not. Female gamers, I often find, don’t buy into the I’m-a-girl-and-I-game-so-I-need-some-black-rimmed-glasses-stat stereotype. I would also argue that the show’s balance was already right, insofar as you had two gamers with Junglist being more hardcore and Bajo being more casual in comparison. Remember “Midnight Zoo” the interactive TV show where they pulled Bajo from in the first place? He’s an actor first, gamer second. The show, as it stands today, is now two casual gamers and I greatly preferred when it was a hardcore and a casual gamer who could give different viewpoints instead. In an ideal world they would have retained Junglist on GG, and used Hex on Spawnpoint. That would have been pretty much perfect. See, I don’t have an issue with Hex — again, I’d be happy to see her on Spawnpoint — but I think they should have retained someone who /really/ knows games and the gaming community for the flagship program.

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      • To add to my comment, and to riff on Andy’s comment on it’s “flaw”, Good Game was probably “flawed” when Junglist and Kapowski presented it as they were BOTH hardcore gamers. Now, in mentioning that, I know I’ve probably drawn a collective, “Huh?” from a lot of people reading this, who might only know Good Game as being Bajo and Hex and not realise it has a history before both of them, but the point I’m trying to make is that two hardcore gamers was “flawed” (even though I liked it, personally), just the same as I feel the current format with two casual gamers (again, casual by comparison, I’m not doubting that these two put in some hours on the games they have to review), is also flawed.

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        • If you honestly think Hex and Bajo are casual gamers, you’re seriously deluded. You clearly don’t know how many hours they (and the crew behind the show) put into playing the games they review.

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          • And you’re seriously rude, mate. Try reading and comprehending what I said. Here’s your starter clue: the amount of hours they put in doesn’t automatically translate to being casual /or/ hardcore.

  5. Rob, how do you define “hardcore”? What do you have to do/play to be called this in your opinion?

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    • I think a big part of being hardcore is being involved in the local gaming community for starters. Junglist, to bring this back to the topic, was well-known in the local gaming community before he was on TV. And why? Because he was out there, competing in tournaments, and being active in the community to simply have fun. Was Bajo? Was Hex? Not to my knowledge. You might see them at events now, sure, but that’s a result of being on TV. They didn’t get on TV because of what they’d already done in gaming, if you can see the difference I’m highlighting here with Junglist? And that’s why the original GG with Junglist and Kapowski was a more hardcore offering, IMHO. But of course, hardcore isn’t everyone’s cup of tea; some folk like to go to their local EB and buy a new game and play it a few hours a night and tell someone at work about it the next day, and their perfectly satisfied. That, to me, is a more casual gamer. That’s the kind of gamer a Bajo or a Hex speaks to. But the world isn’t all casual, and the world isn’t all hardcore. Hence why I keep coming back to my lament that the show worked best with a more casual, and a more hardcore presenter.

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  6. Great interview and great to see you having so much fun with Bajo and Hex.

    I love Good Game because it allows me to keep abreast of the gaming industry in a quick entertaining way and I love that I can download the show via iTunes. I’m living abroad now in the UK and still watch it regularly.

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  7. Great interview, its great to see what goes on behind the scenes of the show, and learning so much from these two. I absolutely live the show and watch it every week.

    Thank you <3

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    • Thanks Hannah, and thanks for stopping by. The team at GG do such a great job, it was a complete honour to meet them.

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  8. nice interview. i like the show more now then when it was Junglist and Bajo. at the time i preferred that it was hardcore. but now that i don’t have as much time for gaming as i used to i like the current format that caters to the more casual gamer. i still consider myself a hardcore gamer, but it’s not because of the hours i put into gaming. but rather it’s the skills i have from when i used to put hundreds of hours into gaming that enables me to still enjoy the games i play even if it’s for only a few hours on the weekend.
    the personal opinions of Bajo and Hex is why i mainly watch the show. i can read any review online but you don’t get the sense of emotion on an opinion about a game from that. on GG you do which is a better way to decide if you want to buy a game or not. i like the Gamer News segment as i can catch up on anything i’ve missed or that i don’t know about.
    i mainly watch it on the internet via the live stream on the abc site but occasionally i’ll watch it on tv.
    it would be good if the live stream were at a larger resolution. it’s so small. needs to be at least 480p at the minimum. the compression used is a bit much as some details get all mushed up and pixelated.
    anyhow i think i have rambled for long enough. keep up the good work guys.

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