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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tightening Up the Graphics on Level Three

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If you read this website you might think I only play EQII but I do enjoy playing non-MMO games as well. I occasionally even watch G4 Tech TV (or whatever it's called these days, I can't keep up). X-Play is really the only show I can stand. But lately, I can't even watch that because for the past month the most absolutely annoying commercial in history is being shown during literally every commercial break. Trust me, if you have ever watched G4TV more than ten minutes you've seen it already.

It's a commercial for Westwood Online, some kind of technical school. I've been meaning to write about this for a while but I just got around to uploading the video for your viewing "pleasure." It is available

The commercial opens with two "cool" dudes in some bizarre 80's gear playing a video game. Of course, you get the Space Invaders sound effects every movie and TV show uses for video games. One of the dudes is furiously moving the analog stick on what looks like a PS1 controller while the other is just kind of shaking his.

The set-up is that you think they are two people with "regular jobs" goofing off. "Dude, the boss is coming?" Oh no! What will we do?!? "Dude, I almost got it!"

But wait, it turns out that these guys are really in the gaming business! Wow!

"Finish testing that game yet? I've got another one I need designed."

Ah, they just finished up level three and need to tighten up the graphics a little bit. Wait, are they testers? Game designers? Graphics artists? Are they really tightening up the graphics by shaking some controllers around?

Now, whenever someone asks me at work how a project is going I simply respond, "I just finished up level three and need to tighten up the graphics a little bit." It works well.

Boy, they have to design another whole game already, cut these guys a break. Maybe they're working on the sequel to Mourning.

When one of the dudes says, "I can't believe we got jobs doing this!" I'm not sure if he is referring to the game design job or the fact that someone hired these two as actual actors.

The absolute worst is when one screeches, "And my mother said I would never get anywhere with these games!" You really have to hear the murderous rage he delivers this line with as if he was going to beat his mother to death with an Xbox controller. I don't know what issues he has with his mother but I would guess they require years of intensive therapy.

The punchline to the whole thing is that when they show the number for the school there is a line underneath which reads, "Not intended for residents of Texas or Massachusetts." I couldn't make this stuff up. You know you're going to a prestigious school when it's banned in certain states.

The scary thing is, aside from being annoying these guys may be ripping off unsophisticated people. I have a friend who once said, "I like Halo 2 a lot. Can I get a job with that?" Sigh. I don't think it works that way but this commercial really targets that mentality. Work in the gaming industry and play games all day for lots of money! Yeah, right.

Of course, if I'm totally off-base and any successful Westwood Online alumni would like to write in and set me straight I'd be happy to post your comments.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I work there, and you've made a mockery of my entire company. Now how will I ever tighten up my graphics!!!!??? DIE DIE! FEEL THE WRATH OF MY BUTTON MASHING!

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Stezton said...

That commercial cracks me up everytime I see it. At least the "boss" is cute. ;-)

7:18 AM  
Blogger Anskiere said...

And the sad thing is there are people out there who believe it. >.<

Now if you excuse me, I need to go tighten up the graphics on level three.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous warm_machine said...

After G4 took over TechTV (similar to creature in "the Thing") I haven't watched it that much. When I did slip up and give them a chance to redeem themselves... that commercial came on. Needless to say that didn't win me over.

Oh well, back to work... I've got to tighten up the level three graphics before the boss gets mad.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Kindle said...

I was supposed to land Marines on the beaches of Kuwait, but I had to tighten up the graphics on level 3.

Consequently, the Marines never landed, and we all know about the famous land battle of Gulf War 1.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Neil said...

Thanks! I'd been looking for this clip everywhere!

By the way, this is EXACTLY how the game industry works...

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TechTV took a nose dive into the crapper when they merged with G4.

Hasn't been anything good on since then.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Awwwwwww hurry up man!"

Wow, great post! I must be one of the few that enjoys G4, and I get a kick out of that commercial every time I see it. "And my Mom said I'd never get ANYWHERE with these games." That high-pitched, girlish mini-shriek that he uses for "anywhere" just slays me.

I'd almost call it "recommended viewing", if for no other reason than to have the chance to see video game development through a truly bizarro-world, totally clueless perspective.

All right, I've got to get going... "I've got another one that needs to be designed."

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Tony said...

Man, this was good stuff. My vote for favorite entry of Carnival #3.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Joseph Valencia said...

"Can you believe we get payed for playing games?!?!"

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Trilby said...

TechTV took a nose dive into the crapper when they merged with G4.

Yeah, and it's gotten worse since G4 dropped TechTV back in February.


6:55 PM  
Anonymous Daystrom said...

Well, if you notice any college's commercial for video game development, all of it is psuedo-factual. All the 'screenshots' are pre-rendered, non-video game footage, along with the usual bad actors.

Every time I see that G4 commercial, I would think that directed it.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to make matters worse, this commerical is actually being aired places. I saw in on a plane flight even. you just want to look around and be like, "Uh, did anyone just see that??"

6:06 PM  
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11:07 PM  

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