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 –

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The 'Dance Central' Work Out

A remix of "Your Rain" was used in K...

GTFO DDR!!!! Image via Wikipedia

I knew about the “Portal 2” announcement and the newest Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer before E3, so I wasn’t expecting anything to come out of the convention that would shatter my hum-drum gaming existence.

But then I saw “Dance Central“.

I think it was love at first sight.

I tried to resist. Dance Central? Please, Fruzs, have some gaming class.  I can’t buy an Xbox and Kinect just for “Dance Central”. I am part of the “Glorious PC Gaming Master Race” – not some ninny scum “Dirty Console Gaming Peasant”. But then I remembered how much I love dancing.  And then I noticed this game actually teaches you different dance moves – moves I’ve never attempted before.

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This isn’t DDR, where I jump around pressing buttons to the beat with my feet, and nothing happens with my upper body (DDR is no  “glorified tap dancing“).  And I do like this idea of making “working out” a game. Sure, marathon running or sprinting is a great skill to have if I needed to worry about the impeding Apocalypse, but I’ll take my dancing in my home with weights over running on pavement every 6am any day.

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I never got into the Wii Fit, with its balance board, or yoga  in general, because I much prefer high impact workouts, like jump roping, or dancing in my apartment with weights. Why not just play this game with some light 2 – 3 pound weights around your wrists?   (psst, “gamer girls”, if you post videos of yourself playing this game with weights come November, you must link here, or I will get very mad.)

I would to take this moment to challenge you,  Kristen from GameMeetsGirl, to a Dance  Off.


Video game industry still doesn't understand women

Alison Carroll, the official Lara Croft model ...

Image via Wikipedia

I just read this article over on G4tv.com by Kevin Kelly titled “Sex in the City 2: Gaming with the Girls“. I think the article was aiming to be a list of games you can get your girlfriend, who is a Sex in the City fanatic (hence the title). The games listed in the article aren’t half bad, except for the “soulless” Imagine: Fashion Designer, and Kelly wrote the article in an attempt to be humorous but happened to fail miserably. I know I shouldn’t get offended at Kelly’s attempt at humor, but Kelly wrote in exactly the way the gaming industry views women, a view that is insanely offensive considering  we now make up more than 40% of the gaming population.

Any female I know that happens to like Sex in the City already plays video games. What video games do they play? At least some sort of web- based puzzle game when they are at work,  and another normal game on their Wii, Xbox, DS or PC. The rest of the women I know that like Sex in the City are 40 and above, and are already playing some Bejeweled-type game online, which is, surprise, also A PUZZLE GAME.

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Woman claims Nintendo Wii made her a sex addict

A woman tries the Wii Fit, Japanese game conso...

Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

Amanda Flowers, a catering worker in Manchester, needs 10 sex sessions a day – courtesy a fall from her Wii Fit board which turned her into a sex addict.

Even the slightest of vibrations, from mobile phones to food processors, turns her on, reports The Daily Star.

She said: “It began as a twinge down below before surging through my body. Sometimes it built up into a trembling orgasm.”

A doctor diagnosed her with persistent sexual arousal syndrome due to a damaged nerve.

Single Amanda, 24, from Harpurhey, said: “With no cure I just have to try to control my passion by breathing deeply. Hopefully one day I’ll find a superstud who can satisfy me.”

via Yahoo News “Wii Fit Injury Turns Woman into a Sex Addict

This has to be a hoax, from a silly tabloid! If the name Amanda Flowers doesn’t rub you the wrong way, her quote should ring some bells:  “Hopefully one day I’ll find a superstud who can satisfy me”. If this isn’t a hoax, this is a very clever marketing ploy by Nintendo Wii…that happens to be working, because now I want to buy a Wii Fit balance board.

The Huffington Post rehash of the same article links to a 2008 article from Fox News about people injuring themselves on the Wii, and passes it off as if the injuries are related solely to the Wii board. It’s not like those same people would hurt themselves walking down some stairs, or stepping off a curb now, would they? Their clumsiness is all on the Wii.

…And just for shits and giggles, some folks on the internet have begun a “Orgasm Warning Labels for the Wii Balance Board” petition.


Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Theater: Time Traveling Geek (video)

Sigh.  I guess we ladies ruined everything …  😦

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Also! Everyone is obsessed with cats because of this.


Gaming industry targets women with 'Project Runway' game

Victoria's Secret supermodel Heidi Klum waves ...

"give me moar money!" says Heidi Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

Last Friday saw the unveiling of Nintendo’s newest game for the Wii console titled “Project Runway”.  The game is a collaborative effort between Nintendo, Atari, The Weinstein Co (producers of the Project Runway TV show) and Tornado Studios. I don’t know whether to be insulted by this development, or pleased, as this game is clearly just for the girls.  It doesn’t help when other media outlets say “This could be the future of gaming for women“. A fashion game based off of a reality show? Please! 40% of gamers are girls, and we were doing just fine before this game came along. If anything, this game ruins our cred as gamers.

First off, I am a little bit offended that this game is about fashion considering this will be “the future of gaming for women”. This game is clearly trying to get new girl gamers, and ignoring the already established gals that game. If any gaming company were to look at the games most popular with females, they would see that we like puzzle games. Just look at the  casual gamers that like internet based games like Text Twist, Bejeweled and Mahjong Tiles, to DS games like Professor Layton. Did anyone in the industry stop to think about why the horror shooting games with puzzles (Tomb Raider series, Resident Evil series, Bioshock series) are more popular with girls than those that do not have puzzles?

Second, I am a little offended that this game is being marketed to 6 – 12 year old girls, and that this game is all about fashion  and models on runways (Super model Heidi Klum is also in the game). Do we really need to make little girls that play video games feel bad about their weight? Do we need to start giving them body image problems when they are 6 years old (if we don’t already)? It is the 21st century…. why are we still boxing our genders? (Down with the system I say, quietly….)

Jonathan Anastas, Atari VP, was quoted telling the press:

“We really believe the core target audience is girls 6-12. Girls are starting to buy their own clothes around 13 and 14 and as they are learning to make their own fashion choices this is a way for them to interact and participate with style.”

via Victoria’s Secret “Angel”, Heidi Klum, to be in Wii game

Third, if I were to be one of those people that would use video games as a scapegoat, I could blame this game, and other games like it, for the vapid consumer society we live in and for the whole American way of living beyond our means.  If I could say that shooting games are responsible for all those school shootings, why wouldn’t a game like this be responsible for Confessions of a Shopaholic and our recession?

Fourth: Think about it. The reality TV show “Project Runway” has drama and suspense. Contestants don’t like each other. The judges are cruel. Does this game have any of the qualities that make a reality series good? No.

As for playing this game, of course I will play it  (will I buy it? No…). For the record, I love games that let you design costumes  or have amazing character customization (and I will admit I spend hours on designing clothes/characters within those games), but for a game that is only about clothes and fashion?  It will get boring and repetitive…. just like any ol’ shooting game.