Monday, March 12, 2012

Video Games in TV: Video Roundup

"Some TV shows just don't get it." Part of a periodical series: Video Games in TV.

Since I'm struggling a bit to find full-length episodes online (that I can watch for free), I figured maybe it's time to roundup a number of smaller clips that I caught on YouTube. They're each just a few minutes long -- not worth dedicating an entire article to, so instead we'll get several all at once. Embedded clips from Dexter, CSI: NY, The Big Bang Theory, and Seinfeld, with a special appearance from the movie Reign Over Me await in the full article with my brief commentary.

Here we've got Dexter playing Halo 3 on an office computer running Windows XP (by the looks of it). Halo 3 is not available on the PC, and even if it were, that computer is probably not going to be able to run it. Meanwhile, those sound effects sound like something from classic arcade games of the 70s. Then you've got the fact that he's playing with both hands on the keyboard. You're not going to be doing much "winning" like that, Dex.

This episode of CSI NY is all about Second Life. The detectives find out their crime is connected to the game, and so they take their investigation into cyberspace, instead of just asking the developers for help. This fight scene pops up at one point, inexplicably, where the dude controls the entire fight on some device resembling a calculator (with no mouse), and hurling a severed head at a golem and instantly vanquishing it. I wish actual games would program those kinds of physics options.

The nerds in Big Bang Theory have a gaming session of World of Warcraft. And of course, because they're gaming nerds, they all have "gaming laptops" (two Dell XPS, one Alienware, and one Mac Book) plastered with stickers, and they're all using headsets even though they're sitting in the same room with each other and not showing any signs of talking with anyone else in the game. Oh, and they're not using mice, and they're controlling the game by furiously mashing on the keyboard. Pros. (The video doesn't allow embedding, so click the image to watch it in a new tab.)

George reminisces of his youth spent playing a Frogger arcade set at a pizza parlor, that he has proudly kept the high score on ever since. When the parlor talks of going out of business, George finds himself wanting to preserve his high score, knowing that they'll be reset if the game remains unplugged for too long, and so he has to get it across the street in the middle of traffic, just like Frogger. (I haven't watched the full episode in years, that synopsis came from memory and might be a bit off in the details.)

And just for the hell of it, here's a scene from the movie (yeah I know it's not a television show) Reign Over Me, which features Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle playing Shadow of the Colossus. Except for the bizarre-looking wireless controller (which might just be a third-party PS2 controller), the scene actually isn't bad. 

And that's a wrap. Hopefully I'll have a full episode to review in the next installment.

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