Videogaming’s representation in the wider media is, as we all know, peculiar. But nowhere is it more strange than in the world of television. Those bonkers small screen writers seem to have somehow grown up in a society completely free of their existence, talking about them as if they’re an alien artefact on which no researchable information is available. Or another theory: all American dramas are written by my mum. The latest incident of her scripting a show is Season 8 Episode 16 of NCIS, which aired in the States last month. The moment is below, and it’s beautiful.
Now, I admit to never having seen NCIS. While I love crime procedurals, there’s a limit to how many I can fit in my week, and I tend to opt for those with a heavy sense of humour about themselves. NCIS, despite its name suggesting that it’s about naval crime, is the highest rated drama in America, and the second highest rated show of all (after American Idol – man the lifeboats). This particular episode, Kill Screen (see? SEE?!) guest-stars the fantastic Beth Riesgraf (who is stellar in the much underrated Leverage) as a top gamer. She… well, I’m not going to spoil the video for you – it’s best experienced for yourself:
It demonstrates a complete lack of care about the subject. And of course it’s not as if that’s unique to gaming – know anything about a subject and a TV show will drive you potty when it tries to make that the topic of the week. Oh, and try watching a medical drama with a nurse – insufferable. (Apart from the inevitable sci-fi convention episode of anything, of course – they always get those exactly right.) But it’s when their attention turns to our games that we prick up our ears.
There are so many more examples of this, in film and television. What we want you to do is let us know of any you know of, in the comments below. Ideally with a YouTube link. I’ll collect them all together and we can create The Screen’s Ultimate Guide To Those Videogames. It will be amazing, the internet will cheer.
Thanks to 10rdBen for the tip.