OPINION

[OPINION] An Open Letter To The Usher Who Had Me Escorted Out Of ‘Play: A Videogame Symphony’

[The following is an Open Letter to the Usher who had me escorted out of ‘Play: A Videogame Symphony’, a night of orchestral video game music.]

Dear Sir,

I recently attended the National Symphony Orchestra’s performance of “Play: A Videogame Symphony.” Of course you already know this, as you are the overinflated jerk who had me escorted off the premises. I feel behooved at this juncture to perhaps explain my behavior on the night in question. You see, ‘Play’ purports itself to be a symphony of video game music, however I say it is more of a crap-phony of crap. The selection of music your orchestra selected was simply awful. I wasn’t the only one who noticed it either, I assure you. You are dealing with Gamers here, sir, and gamers are not the types to be made fools of. Let’s look at some of the songs in question, shall we? Sure, you played Mario, big shock, and some Sonic the Hedgehog, but the true gamers want the GOOD music. Songs from games they grew up with, like Boogerman, Bionic Commando, and Charles Barkley’s Shut Up and Jam! While the NSO was playing their seventeenth Final Fantasy song of the night, I know I was with the entire audience while I hankered for some music from Sunset Riders. However, unlike the audience, I was prepared to act. To incite some action and get some answers. Yes, I had consumed some alcohol – an entire cooler of Red Stripe beer – but that does not mean I was a ‘drunken asshole’ as you said, sir. Not in the least. I am nothing but a gamer with a voice and a stack of throwin’ bottles. However I feel now is not the time to replay the events of that fateful night, but time to redress some issues I had with you hereto forthwith. I shall point at them with bullets for your convenience.

-When I asked the NSO if they “Thought they [were] better than me,” that was a rhetorical question. I did not expect an answer from them, and I certainly did not appreciate the answer from you, mister smarty-pants.

-I did not loudly and constantly allege that there was no such game as Metal Gear Solid because I had consumed an entire cooler of Red Stripe beer, I loudly and constantly alleged that there was no such game as Metal Gear Solid because there IS no such game, sir. Just look at the title, I mean they didn’t even TRY to make up a believable sounding name! What’s solid, the metal? The Gear? Nice try, sir.

-My friends were not embarrassed at my behavior, but just astonished at the terrible song selection. That’s why they were hiding their heads, not ‘to avoid being associated with a loud, drunken deadbeat like me.’ I think YOU are the deadbeat, sir. Why do you keep picking on me and hitting me with things?

-I did not ‘Rush the Stage’ to steal NSO property, as you kept screaming at me after you maced me. The third chair violinist had been making eyes at me all night and I thought I had a chance. It’s not like she can’t get another bow. I still think you made too big a deal out of that one.

-I don’t know who you are trying to fool, but I know for a fact the only music in Halo was the sound of a man named Blind Pete tying his shoes with guitar strings. I know because I was there, mister.

-I do not see why everyone got so upset when I tried to get the D.K. Rap going. I realize it is not ‘the wave’, but everyone knows the words, and no one was listening to Aeris’ theme anyway!

-You said I’m not welcome at Wolf Trap any more? Well YOU sir are not welcome at my bi-annual Boogerman themed Bar B-Q (A.K.A. the Boogerman Baked Beans & Brat Burn)! And you know what else, sir? You won’t be missed!

Honestly sir, I don’t blame you for taking me out of there. In fact I should thank you. I went home and fell asleep listening to an oc-remix of music from Shaq-Fu. And that was much better than listening to a half-assed symphony play through music from Battlefield 2. The Play concert should be less about the mainstream and more about the niche gamer who will just stay home and download music anyway. Until such a change is made, there will be more like me, proud patriots who drink an amazing amount of alcohol and proceed to make asses of themselves in a public forum. In closing sir, I think you should play some GTA or maybe street fighter. It might decrease the violence you feel is appropriate in your day-to-day life.

Peace, sir.

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[OPINION] My 24 Hours With G4TV, Or, How I Learned To Stop Complaining And Start Bitching [PART 3]

[We all talk about how bad G4TV is and most of that is based on a minimal amount of viewing time. Take a trip with Michael Piercey as he spends an entire day, on his butt, watching G4TV to find out just how bad it is, and if the ‘bad’ is actually warranted. The last installment has Piercey breaking down into a crapstorm of petty criticism and has been posted in its entirety for all you crybabies.]

1pm Game Makers. This show used to be called Icons, but as part of their new ‘we’re a real TV station’ makeover, the title Icons NOW belongs to a show where they highlight people like Kevin Smith, Marc Ecko, and the Suicide Girls (I am dead serious, there was a show called ‘Icons – Suicide Girls’). So Game Makers, it’s a workable title since the show focuses on people and companies that make games. It’s not a bad show, but it commits the crime of taking itself seriously (even dramatically) and it’s usually boring. This episode focused on the Final Fantasy series, and Squaresoft’s evolution. Now I’m not a FF fan, but I’m sure some people would find it fascinating. Me, I was praying for commercial breaks. Yes, its nice, you rendered things, let’s have an interview with a Japanese guy, GOOD, now lets show game footage, WONDERFUL, now repeat that for a half hour, and we’ll get lunch.

1:30pm ‘Electric Playground’. Seriously. That sounds hazardous. This show is basically X-play with more interviews and no humor at all. In fact these people REALLY take their show seriously, and it’s boring as all f*ck. They had interviews left over from E3 about this PSP game and that DS game, but nothing interesting. They even showed the new Sonic X toyline, whooptie-sh*t. The host, Victor Lucas, would really benefit from the addition of a personality. It’s bad enough when people pretend to be interested in games – this guy has to pretend be a human being AND like video games. Rough. Also the show has apparently been on for 10 years. My only question: Where? Oh, wait, WHY, too. Also Why.

2pm God has smiled on me and given me another hour of Cinematech. And surprisingly it’s NOT a re-run of the 2 episodes that ran at 11! Why is this surprising? Stick around.

3pm Three PM means its time for Brainiac, a British pseudo-science children’s show. Now when I say ‘psuedo-science’ I mean that it claims to be a show about science gone mad, where they do experiments and things. I add pseudo because that’s a load of sh*t. They light things on fire, put explosives in the microwave, etc. It’s entertaining, but hardly scientific. Oh, and it’s for kids. They do things like lightly electrocute a girl while she tries to bake a cake. OOH she drops things, ha ha. They try to swing over the bar on a swingset, that kind of thing. At its best, it’s Mythbusters for kids. At its worst, its silly British children’s programming, and it really doesn’t fit into G4’s groove.

3:30pm Oh god, I didn’t think BRANIAC fit? 3:30 brings us a new show (I lucked out and didn’t have to watch Fastlane, but at what price, I ask you. AT WHAAT PRIIIICEEEE?). It’s a police-chase, home-video-injury type show called ‘Totally Outrageous Behavior’, which may be the dumbest title for anything I’ve ever heard ever. And I once watched a show called ‘You can seriously not have a dumber title than this’. It was on Telemundo. But back to T.O.B. Why is this on my GAMER network? It was like Fox made a special, threw it away, and Spike TV dug it out of the trash and farted on it. The videos weren’t funny, they were mostly stupid, and the show did the audience the wonderful service of INTERVIEWING some of the victims of the show. I didn’t care about these people when they were fighting in mascot costumes, I sure don’t give half a sh*t what they have to SAY 2 years later! The videos included a drunk redneck trying to skateboard, some naked women pulled over for drunk driving, and the one they saved for last, a man getting butt-complimented by a donkey. SOMEONE TAPED THAT, AND DID NOTHING TO HELP! Look, it HAS to be in the bible, thou shalt not let thy brother get butt-complimented by an animal! Seriously, if I was getting butt-complimented by, say, a kangaroo (just to spice things up) and someone stood there taping it, I would literally rip the mans jaw off and beat him with it until he died. Then I’d take his dead body, chop it up into cubes, take the cubes, chop those into slivers, and harden the slivers, then I’d visit everyone he knew or loved and SLIDE THE SLIVERS UNDER THEIR FINGERNAILS. Basically I think the guy shoulda helped out is what I’m sayin.

4pm means more X-play. The first episode is a newer episode, but still old. Tomb Raider Legends review, and all. The 4:30 episode is more familiar. That’s because it’s the same episode that ran at 12:30. I did make a note that at 4:50 I saw a Mountain Dew ad, and it was the most entertaining thing I’d seen in almost 2 hours. It’s only fair to point out here that I still think Morgan Webb is hot. Thank you.

5pm Time for more Cheat. This block from 4-7 is what G4 calls their ‘video game mash-up.’ I call it ‘2 hours of X-play and an hour of Cheat, and Mash-up is a popular term at present, so lets use it even though nothing is mashed up’. Theirs is catchier, I’ll give you that, but mine is more honest. So it’s obvious I didn’t like my 10am dose of Cheat, maybe I’ll like this one more. And perhaps I would have, if it weren’t the exact same 2 episodes. Now, they ran 4 episodes of Cinematech already without replaying one. We’ve seen 3 episodes of X-play, and that aint bad. G4 doesn’t have at least ONE other episode of Cheat they can bring out? Now you can say no one would sit around and watch all day, and re-running things is acceptable, and to that I say you don’t know dorks. Sedentary in nature, my experiment of spending an entire day planted in front of the sofa watching ONE channel, is common to a dork, what the latin called ‘Smallos Potatoes’. So boo to you G4. You made me watch the same sh*tty episode of a sh*tty show twice. And that’s a thing I like to call ‘Doublepoop.’

6pm As I stated, as part of the Mash-up, here we get 2 more episodes of X-play! One of the things I like about X-play is any time you want to watch it, it’s probably on. The 6pm episode is another unaired (for that day) episode, though again, a bit old. Adam was out that week, and they had the comic reviewer from Attack of the Show in, and even for X-play she wasn’t very good. It turns out that a bad performance on a mediocre show is as painful as a bad performance on a good show. Tough luck. The 6:30 episode was a re-run of the 4pm episode, and their Starr Jones jokes weren’t funny the first time.

7pm Aah, the nightly new episode of Attack of the Show. Live, and everything. Now I’d love to rant and rave against AotS, but it’s G4’s big dog for a reason. It really is quality. My only complaint is that it shoots too broadly, trying to capture all the audience it can, covering movies, tech, games, sports, comics, music, etc. Still, if they narrow their view, who knows. The real plus for the show is that it’s live, which means they can roll with what comes at them. All day I’d seen promos for the episode, which mentioned their round table would be discussing Movie Stars and their marketability. When the show aired they opted to talk about the rumor that Sony’s PS3 wont play used, rented, or borrowed games, because a new article had come out about it. The only downside of the show was the inclusion of the wanna-be well-known Seanbaby as a commentator. Still, he said nice things about the Wii, so he’ll be spared from my wrath. Another plus side is I just got to teach my Spell-check that yes, Wii is a word, and yes, it’s spectacular.

8pm Now dorks and dorkettes, its time for prime time. Prime DIRECTIVE time! Oh man that was a #1 joke. Oh, 8pm means its time for Star Trek, the Next Generation. Now I haven’t seen this show in years, and I was never too big a fan to start with, but it was nice to see some TNG. Now I’m no expert, but the inclusion of Tasha Yarr, a Riker whose face was as bald as Picard’s head, and a spunky young Wesley Crusher hinted to me that this was what the fans call an ‘early episode’. The plot was about some race of aliens who wanted to make sex all up on lieutenant Yarr (she would make an awesome pirate, by the way). The highlight for me was really the Wesley crusher scenes. Will Wheaton is my hero nerd, even though his nerd level is much, much higher than mine (It is a well known fact that Will is so nerdy that when he has sex, Math falls out. Look it up.) At 9pm another episode ran, and though this one was funnier, and better written, the lack of some good Crusher action left me wanting. Still, having TNG on a night is a good move, and I think this is another example of G4 knowing its audience. Wait, this is a negative article. What I mean to say is, G4 sucks and they smell.

10pm The Man Show. An entire hour of the damned man show. I was never a big fan when it was on Comedy Central. Not because it offended me, but because the humor was stupid, jokes about butts and boobs, and how women are dumb. It’s really not my cup of tea. Still, at least the episodes G4 runs are from the Adam and Jimmy days, and are therefore exponentially better than when butt-compliment and stupid took over. So, the hour of Man show was fairly funny, but I noticed around 8pm there was a shift in the ads G4 ran. They think that older folks tune in for the Man Show, ads for colleges stopped, and ads for hair-restoration and back pillows started. I would have guessed that the younger kids, who don’t know what a boobie looks like, and don’t know how to find them online YET, those would be the real audience. But what do I know?

11pm Star Trek 2.0. This show was a bit of a mystery to me. I liked the idea of running episodes of the Original Star Trek, but what was all this bullsh*t on the screen? At the sides of the screen is some kind of ticker, a ‘Spock Market’(get it?). On the bottom you get to see nerds answering questions live online, and at the top, trivia scrolls across. My good friend Shahin explained the Spock Market to me, saying that as things happen in the show, their ‘value’ goes up in the ‘market’. So if Kirk’s shirt gets torn, ‘Torn Shirt’ goes up in value. But what the f*ck does it mean? Why have it? What’s the point? And as Shahin points out, if you know what happens in an episode, you can just buy with foreknowledge and win big. So watching the episode, I took in the ‘experience’ of Trek 2.0. Here are my findings. The Spock Market is useless. It’s a stupid idea, and easily done away with. The chat screen at the bottom is seriously retarded. I use the internet, I see enough nerds arguing about trek and trying to be clever (key word ‘Trying’), and I get to see them CUSS when they do it! The way the chat screen works is, the show asks a question, like ‘What would YOUR transport box look like?’ I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing some of the answers:
‘Like a box filled with Doritos and Mountain Dew’
‘On Spocktopia my box would look like a hand doing the greeting sign’
‘boobs’
Also, the chat screen showed me that 99% of people ‘interacting’ with this show don’t know what the word ‘Acronym’ means. While ‘Video games, food, and chicken’ might be your personal philosophy, it’s NOT a f*cking ACRONYM! So the chat screen can go. Now the scrolling trivia at the top is mostly useless crap, and somehow it’s the best thing in the whole show. So what they need to do is scrap the f*cking tickers and scrolling garbage, destroy the chat window, and use a Pop-Up video style presentation and still deliver the useless trivia. That way I won’t hurt my eyes reading white text on black while trying to watch the show, too.

12m Lately G4 has been promoting their new ‘Midnight Spank’, their answer to Adult Swim. The programming changes for each night, and sometimes its Cinematech but with racier games (which is really quite smashing), and sometimes, like the night I watched, they run Brainiac again. Now I think Brainiac is a fine show, but what it isn’t is adult! It’s a f*cking KIDS show, and it really doesn’t belong in their ‘mature’ block! Also, if you take an explosive, wrap it in metal, and put it in the microwave, IT’S GONNA BLOW THE F*CK UP! That’s NOT SCIENCE! While it’s cool to see them blow up microwaves and cars and things, it still feels very out of place in their Midnight Spank lineup.

12:30 Ahh, now This is more like it, a show called Late Night Peep Show, a collection of short cartoons, much more fitted to their lineup. However, this is still no Adult Swim killer. It feels more like MTV’s awkward early-nineties Liquid Television. There’s a few Happy Tree Friends shorts, which I’ve never been a fan of, and the Fuccons (also known as ‘Oh, Mikey’ and some anime called Ninju that I remember seeing years ago. All in all a nice little block, but the Midnight Spank apparently only goes till 1am. Oh well.

1am The same hour of the Man Show that ran at 10. Seriously, the same hour. This experiment is becoming a lot less fun.

2am THE F*CKING CAMERA SHOW AGAIN. They re-run that damn behavior show again. At this point I’m less tired than I am really pissed off. Forget that I’ve been up since 7:30 yesterday, forget I’ve now sat through some 3 hours of X-play and 2 hours of Cheat and 2 hours of the Man show, etc, I had the hardest time sitting through this garbage again. And as you can guess, come

2:30am They show the same episode of Brainiac they showed 11 hours prior! Still for kids, still not really right on this network, has nothing to do with games, yadda yadda yadda.

3am Now we get to see tonight’s new Attack of the Show over again. It’s still a good show, but it’s late and I’m getting tired. I begin to go slightly insane, and draw Trogdor on the bottom of my foot.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4am X-play rounds out their programming day, with a double-dose of re-runs. We get the episodes from 6 and 6:30 again, and those Starr Jones jokes DO get kind of funny when you stir in some sleep deprivation. And then it went off. The network began running paid programming. My notes had turned to scribbles, I had eaten 5 hot pockets, and it was more than time for bed. Before I go into the results of my experiment, allow me to throw down and get into some things I tallied up during my 21 hours.

Number of ads for Colleges: 57. Fifty-Seven in the span of 21 hours. I only kept track of this because it’s seriously noticeable, and it adds to who they think they’re advertising TO.

Number of ads for the Army: 30. Again, noticeable since there’s one in almost every break.

Number of times they ran a Doritos Ad featuring the 1998 Godzilla: 14.
Now, that’s not that many in the span of 21 hours, I just bring it up because the ad bugs the crap out of me! Its 8 years old, why run it now? My girlfriend says they’re not referencing the movie, just using an ad where Godzilla wants to eat some f*ckin chips, and I say NO, we must NEVER reference the 98 Godzilla! There is no statute of limitations; we must lock all referencing ads, posters, etc away for all TIME!
But it could be that I am overreacting, I will think about it.

Number of times I forgot I’m (pretending to be) a professional Journalist and reached for the remote: 10

Number of times I felt happy/entertained: 8

Eight damn times.

Some other notes pertaining to the ads:

.Sprite’s new ad campaign makes me REALLY thirsty for a Dr Pepper.
.Apparently Car Insurance can get you women!
.A weight loss ad began ‘Are you sick of feeling Fat and Tired?’ Not only do they have G4’s demographic nailed, all their results, the people saying ‘I lost 40 pounds!’ had a disclaimer saying ‘Results not typical’. None of the results were typical. So…what ARE typical results? I mean you could have a dude who ate 30 big macs and lost 25 pounds, those results aren’t typical either. What’s my point? I don’t have one. (results typical)

Ok, so let’s look at the whole day, really drink in the mediocrity, and ask ourselves, who does G4 THINK their audience is? During the day there are a LOT of college ads, so the audience is in high school, or graduated and never went to college. However, they have shows like Kaiju and Brainiac that are clearly geared to children around 8-14. Hmm, that can’t be right though, because X-play often speaks to the 19-25 crowd, and those people wouldn’t watch kids shows. Same goes for Attack of the Show, they used a beer bong on their weekend show, and the banter tends to be overtly sexual, so they’re not for kids. Then there’s Star Trek and the Man show, which are supposed to garner a slightly older audience, but really don’t garner much of anyone at all. And of course Midnight Spank isn’t going to get anyone to quit on Cartoon Network. So their audience is men, ages 8-40, who sit at home all day playing video games, need soda and a college education, and have never used the internet. Fair enough.

However, who is their audience, REALLY? Well, the easy answer is ‘Me, and about 50 other people’, but that’s a bit cheap. Really, their audience is teen to adult men. That’s it. So what they need to do is quit with the stuff for kids, and pronto. They need to start marketing directly towards ME at all times, basically. That goes for every other TV station in the world, too. Honestly, what G4 needs to do is stop trying so hard to be relevant. Gamers are glad that we take up enough of the market to deserve a TV show, but we don’t want to be talked down to like we’re stupid. Kristin Holt I’m looking at you. However, at the end of the day, we’re probably going to keep getting our news, cheats, and reviews from the internet, so honestly we’re a sh*tty demographic to market to. That’s how it is! We’re flattered that you tried (if you’re trying, that is), but we can go ahead and call this a failed experiment – the station, that is, not me watching it, that experiment was f*ckin’ awesome. The bottom line, the main reason I think G4 failed, is they broke the cardinal rule of both gaming and cable television. THEY MADE ME WANT TO GO OUTSIDE. I had a strong desire to turn off the smart-box, put on pants and shoes, and crawl into the sunlight. Luckily I was able to fight the urge (who KNOWS what’s out there) but the fact that I felt it at all shook me to the very fiber of my being, which I’ll have you know is a very fine silk.

In closing, G4TV could be a great station. They could encapsulate the gaming experience, have really great shows, and truly understand their audience, but odds are we still wouldn’t watch. After my 21 hours, I know I won’t be turning G4 on any time soon. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I believe X-play is on. (I’ll be waiting, Morgan!)

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[OPINION] My 24 Hours With G4TV, Or, How I Learned To Stop Complaining And Start Bitching [PART 2]

[We all talk about how bad G4TV is and most of that is based on a minimal amount of viewing time. Take a trip with Michael Piercey as he spends an entire day, on his butt, watching G4TV to find out just how bad it is, and if the ‘bad’ is actually warranted. Part two has Michael watching some re-runs, being angry about badly titled shows and drooling over show hosts.]

8am. God it’s early. G4’s first hour of programming is something called ‘Kaiju Big Battel’. Yes, Spell-check, its spelled Battel, and no, I don’t know why. It’s an hour-long block with only 1 ad, and I tell you this, it’s weird. It’s reminiscent of shows like ‘Wake, Rattle and Roll’ from my childhood, wherein cartoons are surrounded by awkward live bits. In the case of ‘Kaiju Big Battel’, the awkward live stuff is some kind of fake wrestling with people dressed in stupid foam monster costumes. No, seriously. They wrestle in a ring with a bunch of cardboard boxes that, according to the 2 incredibly hammy and annoying announcers, are supposed to be buildings. Oh, they’re GIANT monsters! So…what about the human sized crowd…and the REF? Is he a monster too? There are also segments with a hot little number in a lab coat and glasses (yum) hawking Nerf crap. But the live stuff isn’t the point here, the cartoons are. The first half hour was taken up delightfully by classic G.I. Joe. The episode, which had something to do with the northern lights, was fantastic. By that I mean it was total crap, but I haven’t seen G.I. Joe in at least 15 years, so it was great to see the pap that used to make me sh*t myself. Also, as a fun note, the episode is centered around a rescue mission, 2 Joes and 6 UN Scientists. At the end the Joes get rescued, but not the scientists. They drown in arctic waters. No one says a damn thing about them either. No wonder the UN hates us. GO JOE! The second cartoon was an episode of the recent anime-ish Transformers Cybertron. Meanwhile a guy in a silver jumpsuit named The Silver Potato was fighting all of Dr Cube’s minions, or something, and the potato ended up losing to their foul play. Look, G4, you’re on the right track here. Cartoons from the 80’s are a great idea! But don’t wrap them in a tortilla shell of sh*t! Buy up the rights to Ninja Turtles, or He-man. Hell, even Jem is totally outrageous! Just throw those on from 8am-noon or so, and I guarantee you’ll get ratings. Take your big battel and shove it up your big asa (get it?).

9am. Now its time for a re-run of the weekend edition of Attack of the Show. Now, AotS is G4’s heavy hitter, and for good reason. It really is their main show, and the show they’d hold up and say ‘Look gamers this is the show to watch’ or whatever TV networks say when they hold things up, you get the idea. And for good reason, it’s one of the better shows they have, but I’ll get into that with the NEW episode at 7pm. The re-run in question wasn’t too bad. There was a roundtable discussion of Superman Returns featuring a fan in a superman costume (this is the kind of sh*t we need to see on Fox News), and a comic book round-up in which their comic girl recommended ‘Kingdom Come’. Really? The book’s 10 years old, woman! Well, anyhoot, not a bad hour. But oh god save me from what comes next.

10am. Cheat! My notes include an unsurprising ‘Aww, sh*t’. Cheat is one of, if not THE worst show on the network. Cheat started as a show that, surprisingly, gave out cheat codes. For the uninitiated or well-groomed, video gamers are cheating sons of bitches who cant finish a game using skill or talent, so they type in a bizarre series of buttons and letters and eventually they become gods. I know, its weird to me too. However, codes aren’t always in abundant supply, so ‘Cheat’ had to evolve into a broader format, which coincidentally no longer involves actual cheating, and became a show about walkthroughs and tips. So right off the bat there’s an immediate problem, and it ties back into that internet-thing I said earlier. There is nothing, seriously nothing, you can get from this show that you couldn’t find with a simple trip to your local neighborhood Gamefaqs.com. Nothing. And Strike two is the disgustingly cheerful host, Kristin Holt. My assumption is that G4 wanted to hire some attractive women, as that falls under the category of ‘things nerds like to look at’, but Miss Holt, in my professional opinion, has NEVER SEEN A VIDEO GAME IN HER LIFE. My assertion is that she has never touched a controller, never caressed a wavebird, never given her all to capture a 1-up mushroom, never misjudged a grapple shot and fallen to her death, and never, EVER, entered the fabled Konami Code. Everything this woman says, even when she says her NAME, sounds fake. She has an inherent falseness to her, to the point that one might call her a fakey-fakerpants (this is latin). And while watching her pretend to know what a ‘Ratchet and Clank’ is, I at first wondered if that could be, honestly, what her personality is like off-camera. Then I shuddered, and decided, HOPED, that it’s not. Because if she’s really like that in REAL LIFE (should such a thing exist), then she is a lonely, lonely woman. Who would spend time with someone so falsely enthusiastic and cheery? Yikes. I sat through 2 episodes of Cheat, each ending with her begging people to write in with requests. It was as if she was saying ‘PLEASE GOD WE NEED CONTENT, COME ON INTERNET, I’M A HOT GIRL!’. How was I able to catch all that pathos with my limited observational skills? Easy, I saw the same damn thing at 5pm.

11am. Cinematech. Oh, thank god. This is G4 getting something right, Cinematech is literally the best show on the network. For those not in the know (in other words, people who are ‘not virgins’) Cinematech is a collection of game videos, some trailers, some cutscenes, and some in-game footage, set to music. It’s surprisingly fun to watch, and I wish it were on more than it is. In one episode I got to see a trailer for Dead Rising, the 1 game I want for the 360, and it’s safe to say it increased some kind of frothing demand. Another episode on at 11:30 showed comparisons between the recent Bomberman DS, and the disgustingly weird Bomberman that’s coming to the 360. If G4 was nothing but this show, I’d be happy. But what are ya gonna do?

12 noon. Ahh, X-play, finally you come on to brighten my dull and unwashed life. For a while (this is the part where I reveal I watch G4 OH NO) X-play was a big deal for me. I really dug the show. Partially because I think Adam Sessler and I have a similar sense of humor, and partially due to a deep-seated belief that if I watch JUST ENOUGH episodes, Morgan Webb will appear at my door stark naked, lead me upstairs without a word, and make a man out of me. But let’s stray from that farcical fantasy (though a man can dream) and get to the show. X-play is a video game review show that injects a lot of humor, not much of it actually ‘funny,’ into their flow. The show IS entertaining, mostly because it knows what it is, and doesn’t take itself too seriously (the key to doing any good show on a bad network). Sessler and Webb do amusing sketches, and try to keep a comedic twinge in all their reviews. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I can’t really knock it (still trying to get laid here, people, give me a break). The problem with the show, basically, is that it’s on. A Lot. And new episodes don’t come down the line nearly as often as they should. For example, the episode on at noon was taped before their new makeover, which came right around E3. The second episode was post-makeover, but still old enough that I had seen it a few times. My friend Betsy’s wise comparison to Nick at Nite came back. I was in re-run city – population…well, re-runs and me, I guess.

[Next week: 1PM – 7PM]

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[OPINION] My 24 Hours With G4TV, Or, How I Learned To Stop Complaining And Start Bitching [PART 1]

[We all talk about how bad G4TV is and most of that is based on a minimal amount of viewing time. Take a trip with Michael Piercey as he spends an entire day, on his butt, watching G4TV to find out just how bad it is, and if the ‘bad’ is actually warranted. Part one finds him explaining why he chose to do this experience.]

First off, allow me to begin by saying that the title of this piece is a bit misleading. The bitching is there – the nit-picking, the insults etc. What’s misleading is I really only spent twenty-ONE hours with G4, as they run three hours of non-game related paid programming from 5am-8am, and I refused to watch any of that. Actually I asked my editor if I could trade an hour of paid programming for, say, an hour of Fastlane, but he said no, and seemed resolute, so I dropped it. With that disclaimer aside, prepare to become ensconced, as I was, by the tale of a man on his ass, for twenty-one grueling hours.

It occurs to me that some of you out there might not know exactly what G4TV is. Well sit on down and I’ll fill you in. G4TV is, as they say, Television for Gamers, that is people who spend their entire day playing video games, but don’t have the internet. I throw the internet thing in there because everything you hear or see on G4 can easily be found online, be it cheats, reviews, or dorks arguing about Star Trek. But beyond that, G4 is a cable channel that thinks they truly understand YOU, the 20-something virgin nerd (that is you, right?). Any sometimes-viewer (and I pray to every god I can think of that they’re the ONLY kind of viewer) will tell you that G4’s programming is all over the board, and they’re right. But let’s step away from that for now.

When the muse came upon me to spend an entire day with G4TV (I was in the car, bored, and I guess I was thinking of other things that bore me) I knew I had to have a reason to do it. I mean, without a good reason, like, ‘I’m writing an article about this,’ I’d just be a lonely man watching bad television all day. Thank God for The Game Rag! The reason I came up with is I wanted to see G4 in one big panoramic view – , an entire day of programming, – to try and pinpoint exactly WHO they think their audience is, and to bitch and whine when they miss the mark (and I’ll tell you now, they miss the mark a LOT. A real lot). When I would tell people I was going to be watching an entire day of G4 in one long sitting, they’d call me crazy, most asked why, and more asked, ‘What’s G4?’ My friend Betsy knew the network well enough to try and prepare me for what would be the most tedious part of my mission. “G4 plays more reruns than Nick at Nite.” But that couldn’t be the case…could it? *bum Bum BUMMMM*

So to really get this article down, I decided the environment had to be perfect. I had to watch G4 like its real audience does. So I went to the place where every day thousands of…ok, hundreds of nerds hunker down to enjoy some really mediocre programming: My Parents House. I gathered some microwave pizzas, some hot pockets, and other microwavable fare (couldn’t exactly leave to go to McDonalds, could I?) and got to bed early, because G4 waits for no man, and I’d have to wake up at the most ungodly of hours…7:30am.

What follows are my notes, in chronological order, from my Day with G4TV…

[Next week: 8AM – NOON]

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