A reader explores the way video games have been portrayed in the three biggest UK soaps over the years, from 2000 to the present day.
Coronation Street, the iconic British soap opera, has been a beloved fixture on television screens for decades. While it primarily revolves around the lives of its diverse characters in Weatherfield, the show has also incorporated elements of contemporary culture, including the world of gaming.
Over the years, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and EastEnders has cleverly integrated gaming into its storylines, reflecting the increasing importance of gaming in modern society. In this feature, we’ll explore some notable instances where gaming made its presence felt in the cobbled streets of Weatherfield, Albert Square, and, of course, Emmerdale Farm itself.
We’ll start with Coronation Street, which has been featuring relatable video game related scenes and storylines since at least the turn of the century.
The PlayStation battle (2000)
In a memorable episode from the year 2000, Toyah Battersby and Leanne Tilsley engaged in a sibling rivalry that many gamers could relate to. The sisters fiercely competed on a PlayStation console, illustrating the universality of gaming’s appeal, even among soap opera characters. Their gaming session added a relatable layer to their on-screen relationship.
Tyrone’s gaming confession (2015)
In a more recent storyline, Tyrone Dobbs confessed his gaming addiction to Fiz Stape. This arc shed light on the darker aspects of gaming, when taken to an extreme. It highlighted the importance of balance in one’s life, resonating with viewers who may have experienced similar challenges in managing their gaming habits.
Bethany’s esports ambitions (2018)
Coronation Street introduced a forward-looking narrative when Bethany Platt expressed her desire to become a professional gamer. Her ambition to make a career out of esports was a nod to the growing popularity and recognition of competitive gaming worldwide. This storyline showcased how gaming could be a legitimate and aspirational career path.
Simon’s gaming escape (2021)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people turned to video games as a means of entertainment and connection. Coronation Street mirrored this trend by showing Simon Barlow embracing gaming to cope with the challenges of lockdown. His experience resonated with viewers who sought solace in gaming during a difficult time.
Steve McDonald’s retro gaming (various)
Steve McDonald’s love for retro gaming has been a recurring theme throughout the show’s history. His collection of classic games and consoles, including the iconic Commodore 64, has been featured on several occasions. Steve’s passion for retro gaming serves as a charming reminder of the nostalgia associated with video games.
EastEnders, one of the UK’s most beloved soap operas, has been a fixture on television screens since 1985, chronicling the lives and stories of the residents of Albert Square. While the show is primarily known for its dramatic twists and turns, it hasn’t shied away from incorporating gaming into its narratives over the years.
Billy Mitchell’s gaming passion (2009)
One of the most consistent gaming references in EastEnders is the character Billy Mitchell’s love for video games. From classic arcades to modern gaming consoles, Billy’s enthusiasm for gaming has been a recurring theme on the show. His passion for gaming not only adds depth to his character but also highlights the universality of gaming as a form of entertainment.
The gaming addiction of Bobby Beale (2016)
EastEnders delved into the darker side of gaming when Bobby Beale, a young character, developed a gaming addiction. This storyline shed light on the potential consequences of excessive gaming and its impact on relationships and mental health. It was a timely exploration of a real-world issue that resonated with viewers.
The Walford online poker game (2020)
In a more recent storyline, the residents of Albert Square found themselves entangled in an online poker game. The introduction of online gaming demonstrated how technology has become an integral part of modern life, even in the fictional world of EastEnders. The poker game added an element of suspense and intrigue to the plot.
Tiffany and Keegan’s gaming bond (2021)
Tiffany Butcher and Keegan Butcher-Baker, a young couple on the show, have often been seen bonding over video games. Their gaming sessions provide viewers with a glimpse into the dynamics of a contemporary relationship, where shared interests, including gaming, can strengthen their connection.
Mick’s arcade adventures (various)
Mick Carter, the landlord of the Queen Victoria pub, has been shown enjoying arcade games at the local Walford East tube station. These moments of arcade fun highlight the nostalgia associated with classic gaming and provide a light-hearted contrast to the show’s dramatic storylines.
Emmerdale, the beloved British soap opera, has been captivating audiences since 1972, with its compelling characters and dramatic storylines. While the show primarily revolves around the lives of the residents of the fictional Yorkshire village, it has occasionally embraced elements of contemporary culture, including the world of gaming. Here are some notable instances where gaming made an appearance in the picturesque landscapes of Emmerdale.
Jacob’s gaming obsession (2019)
One of the most significant portrayals of gaming in Emmerdale came through Jacob Gallagher’s storyline. Jacob, a young character, became engrossed in online gaming, particularly a fictional game called Titan that closely resembled popular online multiplayer titles. This storyline highlighted the challenges of balancing gaming with real-life responsibilities and relationships, illustrating the potential consequences of gaming addiction.
Vic’s console connection (2020)
Victoria Barton, another character on the show, has been shown enjoying gaming as a leisure activity. Her gaming moments provided viewers with relatable scenes of unwinding through video games, demonstrating how gaming serves as an escape from life’s daily stresses, even in the world of soap operas.
Dotty’s gaming gift (2021)
In a heartwarming moment, April Windsor received a handheld gaming console as a gift. This gesture not only showcased the thoughtful nature of the characters but also highlighted the role of gaming in modern entertainment, especially among the younger generation. April’s delight at receiving the gift resonated with viewers familiar with the joy of gaming.
Cain and Aaron’s video game challenge (various)
Cain Dingle and Aaron Livesy-Dingle, a fan-favourite couple, have engaged in friendly video game competitions in multiple episodes. These moments added depth to their relationship and demonstrated how gaming can be a shared activity that strengthens bonds between characters.
Community fundraising through gaming (2021)
Emmerdale incorporated gaming into a community event when characters organised a charity gaming tournament. This storyline showcased how gaming can be used as a tool for fundraising and social engagement, highlighting its potential for positive impact beyond entertainment.
By reader gaz be rotten (gamertag)
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