Games
PwnZwn – If only it was real! (Video Game Highschool Season 1)

This show … well I’ll be honest this show when I first watched it I was actually quite surprised that it’s live-action and not Anime.  It’s one that would have made a perfect Anime and would have definitely been included in my list of the top 5 Anime shows. I would’ve thought it would’ve been or could have been very similar to Sword Art Online (SAO) which is already on my list or some of the other Japanese cartoon shows that you can often find. It’s just really, really well done and something that you would really enjoy watching.

In Videogame High School the world is completely enamored of video gamers. It very much reminds me of that episode on another old Sci Fi show called Sliders when they were on a parallel Earth where everybody was interested in brain games like chess and jeopardy and that was the most important thing with geniuses appearing on magazine covers instead of celebrities and athletes.

In fact in Video Game High School (VGHS) the similarities are very evident in the fictional talk show called PwnZwn which is very similar to the real life show, Sportscenter and ESPN Zone – you can actually quite an amazing similarity in the logos!

Brian D and the others at the school play a first person shooter regularly but the way that this game is portrayed on the TV show is actually quite good as instead of trying to be animated or anything like that they actually appear as characters in the game with their own bodies.  During a clan match, Brian’s game was reset, when world famous amateur gaming celebrity The Law intervened to showcase his skills whilst on live television. Brian, who was away from his keyboard, quickly became the last man standing as The Law single-handedly massacred both teams. Intending to humiliate Brian, The Law placed a grenade on Brian’s head, planning to detonate it with a bullet from a distance without looking, however Brian returned just in time to slip the grenade off his head, swerve out of The Law’s line of fire, and, in the process of doing so, knocked the grenade in mid-air with the butt of his assault rifle, and detonated it on The Law, killing him instantly. Brian gets an invite to the prestigious VGHS after this event is publicized worldwide.

At VGHS however, The Law is the Captain of the varsity team and as his death was in the middle of a live television interview he is understandably embarrassed and has blamed Brian ever since.  The Law basically makes Brian’s life at the school hell constantly harrasing him and while Brian makes a couple of good friends – Ted Wong and Ki Swan – his love interest is Jenny Matrix … unfortunately Jenny (the Captain of the Junior Varsity team) also happens to the be The Laws girlfriend and it looks like Brian’s chances are pretty slim.

The first season of VGHS is only 5 episodes long so similar to Agent Carter, lots of different things happen in each episode as they don’t really have the time to drag things out which is really good.  In the course of the initial four episodes we see The Law defeat Brian in many different competitions and in fact in one game between the Varsity team and the Junior Varsity team, he beats him so badly that Brian almost gets expelled from the school.

However when Brian actually physically fights The Law he is in fact thrown out of the school prior his hoped for redemption in the final battle of the season.  Brian goes to work at a local arcade and in the fifth and final episode we see that this place is now called Brian’s.  When Brian learns that because he registered for the final match he’s still eligible to play even though he’s been expelled from the school he decides that he will return in a last and final effort to live his dream.

In the final episode Brian finally manages to defeat The Law this time not by seeming accident but in a very carefully calculated plan as well as in some quite awesome action.  During the course of this episode Brian actually earns enough points to get admitted back to the school and with the breakup between The Law and Jenny Matrix, Brian finally gets everything he always wanted.

I guess the one thing I would say with this show is I really wish it was real! It is such a cool concept and idea and if you could actually do something like that it would be just awesome. Its a great show with lots of humor and while the acting might not be Oscar worthy its still really good and enjoyable.  The caricatures of the different types of games and gamers are spot on and I laughed out loud more than once while watching.  The graphics are really good I mean not just the computer graphics which are kept to a minimum, but more just some of the ideas and technology that they kind of show almost in passing.  I can’t recommend this show enough – its a good laugh and a lot of fun.

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I'm a geek! I love all things SciFi and Fantasy and have done since I first read LOTR as a kid. Escapism to fantastic worlds filled with weird and wonderful creatures initially for me was via books and comics, but with the recent surge in popularity of this fare in film and television also - I'm in a state of bliss! As the editor of Zone Six, I've been lucky to meet some other awesome authors and writers that share this love and passion. The great Ray Bradbury said - "Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn't exist yet, but soon will .. it will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again."

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