VGHS: Episode Five (2012)

What feels like the shortest episode yet, is the most intriguing as it removes itself from Brian’s world and places the focus on both Ted and Law. Each episode we delve into adds that extra layer of content to make this a firmly planted series, but this particularly was nice to see external characters grow, while still ultimately influencing Brian’s world.

To begin, Ted is that kid we all want to be, and that child to the parent that they fear. With the explicit explanation that Ted faces the same world as the short film Overdrift (below), it is nice to see the intertextual content of the series not to solely focus on mainstream video games, and films but rather include the medium that itself is based on.

The setup for Ted is great. We know who he is, who he is trying to be, and what he should be. That overlying feel that you really care about Ted even though it isn’t his story is excellent timing, and writing. This is aided by Jimmy Wong being the brother of Freddie (who plays himself) that creates that intimate feeling of relation.

Their dynamic interaction with one another is seamless, and is just default to their real life relationship, however, I can’t really imagine any other person playing the role and have that much conviction.

Now we move to Law, who we learn is really out to get Brian. Not for the initial global humiliation, but for getting into VGHS, gaining a support team, and making it into Jenny’s team – regardless if he wanted Brian there or not.

Prior to this episode, you really just felt against Law because he was framed that way, not because you really knew why. There was the whole global story, so you knew he was an important figure in the world, but the complete understanding was lacking to an audience understanding.

Yet, introduce the scrimmage – or even Brian’s warm up – and you learn that this guy, The Law, is really a sore loser. I began to question over the weeks what the plaque, “It’s all about the game” meant in the Dean’s office. Was it a mock on the society who play, a figment of this world’s (un)written laws, or something to teach us in both the series and life itself.

I like to think its the latter, and you can play video games for high ranking, prestige, and global recognition, but realistically its material that is useless. It won’t pay bills, it won’t forge through to support world peace, it won’t globally revolutionise teaching. It can help, but the main function of gaming is to have fun. And that’s what I think the plaque and Law represent – play, enjoy, and live (both physically and virtually) in an environment that is you, at your best not what is expected.