I could have been the classy 'Snooki', named FruzsiPosted: April 29, 2010
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)!
Casting took place on a Saturday, and when I arrived, there was hardly any one there. I made one of the casting directors excited, because I didn’t look like your typical gamer. Before I had a chance to sit down, I was whisked away and judged on my skills at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (a Frat-tastic game for Frat-tastic males?), Forza, a game I had never even heard of (I don’t know how to drive any thing except Mario Carts) and the newest Street Fighter. I got called back the next day, for an on-camera interview.
At callbacks, I met some people from the day before, and even though my callback time was at 2:15, I didn’t get interviewed until around 6pm. Sitting in the waiting room was relatively quiet, but interesting… after a while, the 4 females (myself included) gravitated towards each other. Some gamers came with their friends or parents, and those that didn’t come with a support network (myself included) quickly sat together and formed a pseudo-friendship group.
On Saturday, refreshments were set up at a back table…. but on Sunday’s callbacks, there was nothing. There was nothing in the waiting room to look at, or to eat or drink. People became hungry and thirsty, and frustrated. Despite waiting for hours, people were afraid to leave their seats in case a casting director came out of the double doors and called another person in. Eventually, a few wandered off to get a drink at a local bar, or do a coffee and snack run with utmost haste. At one point I advocated a riot, knocking a few chairs over…. but a male in my group straightened up the overturned chairs in such an anti-climatic way that I dropped the matter. Around 5pm, some guys ran to a nearby apartment, bringing back a monitor, Xbox and 4 controllers to pass the time…
As the minutes ticked by, everyone began sizing up each others skills… I couldn’t tell if people were just full of shit and pretending to know games they didn’t, or were pretending to not know a game but really did. Despite being friendly, did some have ulterior motives? How can Medic be your main class in Team Fortress 2, and you don’t have the Ubersaw? How can you play Call of Duty 4 and kill hundreds of terrorists, but think “Modern Warfare” is a completely different game? One guy claimed he hadn’t played a video game before in his life, but knew about video games because his friends were pro gamers… and his friends were somehow hooked up with the show, and already on it. The same non-gamer dude also told us that the casting directors had already picked out who would be on the show, which really pissed me off because then this whole “waiting around for my interview” was a waste of my time. If they’ve already picked the contestants, what’s the point of keeping us in this hotel?
Eventually I was called in, and I like to think I gave a good interview. The rebel in me didn’t want to tell them what they wanted to hear. I was honest… I didn’t say “I’m the best gamer at everything, man”… and in hindsight, maybe instead of saying “I want to be on the show to further my writing career” wasn’t the best move. Maybe I should have said “To prove to the world that females can be pro gamers too!” or something like that. Or, I really want the $100,000 so I can pay off my student loans.
TV people, if you’re reading this, I really want to be on a reality TV show… and not because of the fame, and fortune, and power it would bring, but because I want to experience this reality television phenomenon. Knowing that potentially, all of America would be watching you? It is one thing to monitor your actions because you believe “God is watching”, but what if the entire nation was watching? Could you even be yourself, or are you a character all the time? I did notice that the best footage from WCG Season 1 was not aired, but put up on youtube. (Who ever made that editing call, I hope isn’t back for this season.) So why bother being funny, or doing interesting things for the camera, if it is not going to be used?
Being on a reality TV show sounds exhausting. There is so much pressure, so much stress, and when you think of it this way, it makes sense that female contestants cry all the time. It makes sense that the bar is always fully stocked. I would love to be on reality TV show to study myself, and the contestants, in that weird sociology kind of way. Even living with strangers, and knowing that if you make drama you’ll probably be more remembered than other contestants must be a mind f*ck. Will any one remember you if you are a nice, polite, normal person? Do contestants work out ways to get around the film crews to have some sort of privacy? Or what about the fact that producers cut up audio and footage to make drama when there isn’t any? So many questions to investigate….
But maybe it is for the best… Do I really want to make a name for myself based of a reality TV stint?