The Secret to Trashy TV – Use it for Good.
Most gaming television shows are rather trashy, but I have recently discovered a new low, the gaming competition reality show. I realize that I’m a bit late to the party as these shows have been around for a while, but realty TV is something I usually avoid like the plague, so bear with me.
I learned about them when I was looking up information on pro female gamers and these shows have quite a few lady gamers participating each season. Since I’m always interested in seeing more ladies gaming, I couldn’t help checking them out.
The WCG Ultimate Gamer show is divided into three challenges. First is a real life challenge based on a video game followed by a competition on said video game. The person with the lowest overall score is automatically selected for the elimination round. The really nasty part is how their opponent is chosen. The person with the highest overall rank that week gets to pick the opponent. Whoever looses the final challenge is then eliminated. Which means only the top ranked player each week is ‘safe’.
The prize money is $100k and the chance to work for World Cyber Games for a year. Needless to say the infighting and backstabbing is heinous.
The Tester is basically the most horrific interview you have ever had, every single week. While there are no actual video game battles, each week the contestants compete in real life challenges that are based on a video game. They are then judged by a panel, which dismisses one person each week.
The prize is a job at a Sony studio as a game tester, a small cash bonus, and some gear. The best part about this show is that is has no commercial breaks, just rampant product placement and name-dropping.
What they both have in common is the combined maturity level of a two year old. I am mortified at the lengths these folks go to for what they like to call a ‘chance’. What ever happened to sending in your resume and working hard? And don’t even get me started on the appalling light that it casts on female gamers. The whole thing is quite sickening.
Then again it is reality TV, which seems to only want one thing: drama. To achieve that, the players are essentially thrown to the wolves. They are constantly pitted against each other and it seems to bring out the worst in them. It’s difficult to like or respect any of the players as they are shown to be incredibly selfish and lack even common human decency.
The backstabbing and gossiping is definitely worse on Ultimate Gamer. They are given almost no reason to be nice, while on The Tester the contestants seem to have much more camaraderie. I’m not sure if this is due to editing choices or simply because the way the shows are set up.
I have to say that I lay the most blame at the feet of the sponsors. Neither of these shows is endearing me to them. In fact it’s making me less likely to support the WCG or Sony. This is a terrible way to treat your fans.
But for some reason I can’t seem to stop watching. I like to think that I am waiting to find just a tiny bit of humanity, but it’s probably more that the shows are like a train wreck, the bloody tragic disaster draws ones attention.
Bright side is, the shows seem to be magic for exercising, which is why I have limited myself to watching them only while I work out. Today I watched two episodes, ran 50 minutes and didn’t even look at the clock. All that indignation is getting me in shape. Thus I’m having a little love/hate relationship with these shows.
ps. I do not endorse either of these shows. Really!