A Reality Show about Gamers?

Family watching television, c. 1958

TV has come so far....

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 –

The TV show opens with a song by Kevin Rudolf (complete with tame trash talking lyrics) to get you in to the competitive mood. The show intro is typical reality TV flashy (MTV vetern producers), and features each contestant in a still pose. Twelve people are living in a house, and they must compete in real life challenges (like doing martial arts on wires) as well as video game challenges. Surprise,  these 12 people don’t always get along!

In the first two episodes, people went home who I didn’t expect. The show is a bit unpredictable. I was originally gunning for AJ but he ducked out in the second episode, which is probably for the best (he was falling awkwardly in love with the cute asian girl named Faye).  I am now rooting for Ryan, Jwong, Kat or Vanessa.

The first episode had some cat fighting (one gamer stole anothers boyfriend, apparently), and the third episode had some bro- betrayal. The elimination challenges in Samsung stadium have proven to be the most intense part of the show, however.

The chicks bitching on each other in the beginning of the season had me a little worried about the direction WCG was taking in portraying female gamers, but Kat and Vanessa have proven themselves as solid gamers. Kat came back from elimination – she was placed there rather than ranked there as the male gamers viewed her as a threat, and Vanessa has ranked first in both the NHL and Wii Sports Resort game challenge.

Faye has a nice voice, which she shows here when the cast sings the WCG Ultimate Gamer theme song, but she has consistently placed in bottom of the rankings, as has Rachel. When I was rooting for AJ, I was also rooting for Faye and Rachel – Rachel because she plays Team Fortress 2 competitively, something I dabbled in. Rachel is the second to last ranking female so far.

Rachel’s personality – which has yet to be seen on the show:

If you’ve noticed, all the girl gamers this season are attractive (last year it was 3, maybe). Episode 2 has everyone except the 2 fat gamers in their bathing suit (Vanessa stayed classy despite saying in her intro video she dresses trashy). In fact, the three fat, unattractive gamers have been eliminated by episode 3. Whoops.

The show has focused on the male gamers quite a bit more than I’d like. 5 males have proclaimed themselves “The Pentagon” and when talking about a certain male that gets eliminated in episode 3 (he was “holding people back” if someone was randomly teamed with him), a guy says: “if he’s not in the pentagon, he’s not in the pentagon”.

Some innocent-looking dude named Ryan has declared himself “the puppet master” with the other 4 men in the pentagon following him lock-step. Ryan is having a bro-mance with Jwong, as seen here:

Jake, seen in the bro-mance video, could possibly win Ultimate Gamer despite me wishing otherwise (he’s proven to be a little crazy aggressive, even if it is for show), but I can’t hate him because he reminds me of the scout from Team Fortress 2 . The animated scout is way hotter, don’t worry-

And the other man candy would have to be Caeser… a guy I didn’t find attractive until I watched him dance today:

Last season, the only man candy was Swoozie (eh, and maybe Prodigy X).

You can watch WCG Ultimate Gamer on Hulu here. Based on rankings and skill (and considering no female has gone home yet), my prediction is Faye will be eliminated next episode.

One Comment on “A Reality Show about Gamers?”

  1. Romant says:

    Gamers don’t want to watch TV, they want to game. They need to make a show about the significant others who feel “Neglected” by the gamers in their life. Then all the people who feel neglected by the gamer in their life will be drawn to the show. At least that’s how I feel.

    Great article by the way. Great original content.

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