Video games have been around for more than 50 years, and reality television for 30 years, so it is only natural that one day there would be a reality show about gamers. (Why it took so long for video games to become mainstream when cellphones became mainstream almost overnight, I don’t know.)
The only reality television show out there about gamers is WCG Ultimate Gamer, so being the gamer that I am, of course I would watch it. How could I not, when there is nothing else to watch on the internet?
My boyfriend refuses to watch it, calling it “WCG the biggest loser”. Harr di harr harr. His sentiments are tame compared to chat rooms and message boards. There is much hate for this show on the internet, and I am baffled by its existence. You’d think the nerds, freaks, and geeks would enjoy mainstream culture catering to them with a reality show.
I get a kick out of the show though, because I enjoy watching real people (or in this case competitive gamers) face challenges, come to self-realizations in front of cameras, deal with confrontation and stress, be drunk most of the time … and “be put to the ultimate test”. Here is a show about a group of people who think they are the best at my favorite form of entertainment (aww snap!). Watching this reality show is a no-brainer for me (WCG, and The Colony, baby).
WCG Ultimate Gamer is now in its second season, and as I write this, the 3rd episode aired days ago. I didn’t want to write about the show at first, because I tried out for it (you can read about that here), and became disillusioned when I was asked to perform only on an Xbox. I think some producers heard my complaints as this year, Tekken 6 (arcade style) and Mario Kart & Sports Resort for the Wii, were played this season. While the inclusion of other consoles perked me up, it also soured me since I absolutely own at those two games.
But enough exposition -
I have long been saying that Fallout 3 was an amazing game, if not one of the best ever made. From the story line, to the creatures, to the post-apocalyptic environment, the game play to the music (I cannot decide if “Mighty Mighty Man” is my favorite song, or if “I don’t want to set the world on fire” is ), to showing women have hair above their lip too… oh my lord, just talking about Fallout 3 gets me excited in a variety of ways. It’s not just me though, that adores this game in a borderline fanatical way. Check out this fan movie inspired by Fallout 3 titled “Desert Story”:
You may be wondering why at the end of the film the two females didn’t go with the male hero, off into the wilderness. The Fallout 3 universe includes people who are not cookie – cutter good or bad, or who think logically- these two females decide to stay in their home. Most likely they were raped, mistrust all people except for themselves (because how could you get by in that world looking like they do without becoming prostitutes or sex slaves?) , and figure they’d be better off without the male hero.
If you want to be good in Fallout 3, you have to accept that sometimes you will save bad people from bad people, or saving people doesn’t necessarily influence their decisions in any way. Even if you saved two females, that doesn’t mean they’d join your party. By staying with each other, the freed ”prostitutes” are unintentionally feminist, as opposed to the hero who is intentionally feminist by treating the hookers as people.
I now have a small writer crush on Tim Pape (why didn’t I think of this, dammit!). Wild Gunmen has an interview with the Papes here, where it is revealed there will be 2 more episodes in the same vein, and a feature length movie that is already “partially funded” titled Black Velvet. (oh, what would I do to be cast in this?!) For another interview with the Papes, check out Co-Optimus.com, where the Papes mention the next two short installments are inspired by Zelda and The Princess Bride (<3!!!!!).
I don’t want to rain on the good Steam press parade happening right now (Steam recently announced it would start distributing their games on Macs), but while I was moving this weekend, Steam let me down. I did not have internet access from Friday to Monday because I was moving. To someone addicted to Team Fortress 2, four days is a long time. I tried to fill my FPS void with Crysis, thinking it would still play without an internet connection. I don’t need an internet connection to play Crysis, right? Wrong!
Booting up Crysis in Steam’s offline mode couldn’t, and wouldn’t happen, because Steam didn’t believe that I had an authentic copy of Crysis, never mind that I had purchased it through Steam. How is this possible? I’ve played Crysis countless times before, and the game was authenticated when I first got it. How could Steam let me down, now, in my hour of need, when it is supposed to be the savior of PC gaming? At the time, I felt like I was being punished, maybe for not getting Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse. If only that were the truth!
Now that I have internet access, I did some googling, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Steam might be paranoid:
“In general, it seems DRM restrictions in gaming are becoming more intrusive and creating problems for genuine customers, rather than the pirates who happily bypass these measures every time,” Boyd said. “PC gaming should be about portability – what use are games you can’t play at the airport or on a train if you can’t get online?”
But wait, doesn’t Steam have digital technology that makes DRM obsolete? Then why I couldn’t play Crysis?
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I tried out for a reality TV show about two weeks ago. No, not Chicago’s version of Jersey Shore … but the World Cyber Games Ultimate Gamer Season 2.
Sadly, I did not make it. Combined with my nerves and limited play time on the console, my Xbox gameplay left much to be desired…and as I found out after the fact, Ultimate Gamer is really “Best Xbox Player” and not the “Best Gamer across all platforms”. The show shouldn’t call itself “Ultimate Gamer” if it doesn’t include games from all platforms.
I understand why the emphasis is on the Xbox because this show is created by World Cyber Games… and in all honesty, I don’t compete in tournaments (just a gaming columnist here) so maybe if I took a spot on the show it would have pissed off some “hardcore gamers”. I still think I’m a better gamer than some of the girls from last season, though (sans Ciji)!