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Sci-Fi Channel Merging TV Show with MMO 216

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
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Erik J writes "In a fairly bold (and quite possibly stupid) move, the Sci-Fi Channel has announced plans to use missions and campaigns of players in their own developed MMO to shape and guide a new 'ongoing' television show. They hope to have the project up and ready to air by 2010, as they work with game developer Trion World Network to create 'the ultimate merging of the TV and gaming mediums.'"
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Sci-Fi Channel Merging TV Show with MMO

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  • "A television show that is on once a week isn't enough. The fans today want the experience to go beyond that. For example, we can tell them that there will be an alien invasion at a certain place in the game, at a certain time, and to be there with all their friends and be ready. The outcome depends on them. And then that battle will be part of the universe in the show."
    Director: Ok, now this is the epic part of the battle where the character you play, PigBenis69, thrusts his cyberknife through the aliens throat so be very very passionate with the dialog.
    Actor 1: *makes stabbing motions* "Omg j00 g0t wtfpwnedbbq! I am teh quigley dpwn und3r! ..." I'm sorry, I'm having a really hard time pronouncing all of these ... symbols.
    Director: No no no, that was brilliant! Now let's get a take of the next line.
    Actor 2: "What are you talking about, Pig, I totally out DPS'd you. You act all 1337 but your gear is L7."
    Actor 1: "H4xx. Oh, go cry home to your mother, SirWankenstein, this phat lewt is mine!"
    Director: Cut, print, that's a wrap! Now everyone prepare for The Barrens chat scene where thousands herald the deeds of PigBenis69. Remember, this scene is crucial as the dialog is a roller coaster ride of intelligence and will earn us our coveted TV-MA rating.

    Could be worse I guess, they could have secured Uwe Boll to direct it ...
    • by weeboo0104 (644849) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:39PM (#23628997) Journal
      Fat chance. That dialog was far more coherent than anything Boll has ever directed.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:45PM (#23629079)
      During the alien invasion, half of the "defenders" turn and attack the other defenders. Maybe the aliens have mind-control powers?

      Meanwhile, other defenders are busy looting their fallen comrades.

      Still another group of defenders is busily arranging items to spell out the word "FUCK" on the battlefield.
    • No. (Score:5, Funny)

      by eclectro (227083) on Monday June 02, 2008 @01:04PM (#23629275)
      You complicate the dialog to much;

      Leeeerrooooy Jenkins!!!
    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      Could be worse I guess, they could have secured Uwe Boll to direct it ...

      Either this is EXACTLY the kind of material Uwe has been looking for... or he'll take it, produced one of cinema's all-time classics, and drive home the fact that all his other movies were intentionally done just to piss people off (the existance of this movie will send ripples throughout religious and philisophical circles who use it as a proof of the inverse relationship / duality of the natural order of things).

    • by Aerynlore (972358) <david AT rovani DOT net> on Monday June 02, 2008 @01:35PM (#23629607) Homepage
      Maybe it's just me, but it seems everyone is looking at the show as an extension of the game. RTFAing, it seems they are going for a game that's based on a television series. Is this really much different than making a game from a novel series (ie Lord of the Rings) or from a movie trilogy (ie Matrix Online and Star Wars Galaxies).

      And even if there is a reciprocal interaction where the players can give storyline feedback to the writers, there might (*gasp*just might) be some real aspiring writers with some really solid concepts that help feed the TV show storyline.

      Hell, even if they just had an advancing time-line in the game, that would go a long way to adding something to the MMO "standard" (why does it take 3 years for the inn in Westfall to get repaired?).
      • by ubrgeek (679399)
        why does it take 3 years for the inn in Westfall to get repaired?

        Because it's not on UPS's route [wowhead.com]? :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Saxerman (253676) *
        I still recall feeling a little crestfallen way back in the day when I first completed a major MUD quest. I had dethroned the pretender, restored the rightful price to power, and put the spirit fo the former king to rest... only to have everything undone when the area reset. Since then I've been waiting for a MUD (or MMORPG, as the kids call them today) to incorporate more of the player actions into the game world. This seems like a step in that direction, with a large dose of Dreampark [wikipedia.org] thrown into the m
    • by ajs (35943)
      I think it's safe to assume that the feedback loop from the players into the TV show will be minimal at best. Reasons for this are legion, but the simplest and most compelling is that there's a legal minefield that they'd have to navigate.

      No, you'll see "world events" like Warcraft's AQ gate opening or the opening event for Burning Crusade that provide elements of the TV show's plot as teasers, but the exploits of individual players will be very, very unlikely to appear in the show.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Tychon (771855)
        I'm not sure why. Many MMOs have it right in the EULA that anything you say or do in the game belongs to them. You're only renting access to data on their servers, they maintain all ownership of that data. They should be able to easily take whatever interesting bits they like.

        Granted, IANAL, so I could be hideously simplifying a decapitation into a flesh wound.
  • After all, we all know how often we fall in love with a games quests...

    "Next week on World of Bender! He gathers 9 rabbits while dodging the fearsome White wolf!"

    Actually.. when does this show premiere??

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:55PM (#23629199) Journal
      TBH, this sounds more like a PR stunt for the MMO than anything relevant to the Sci-Fi channel.

      I mean, think about it in the context of existing MMOs: sure, the quests are fun, but would you really want to see a TV show about most of them? Let's assume you're a SF fan, in fact a SW fan. (Role-play a bit, if you aren't;) Would you want to see SWG footage on TV?

      Or maybe you're into medieval fantasy? Well, exactly which of WoW's (or EQ2's, or whatever) quests would be great fun to watch on TV?

      This week we follow the adventures of grunt Horribly Polygonal and his trusty sidekick Tusked Girl, two simple hunter-gatherers, as they slaughter Durotar Tigers by the dozen, unaware (yet) that only 1 in 10 Tigers has a skin. And will they manage to pull voodoo trolls one at a time, while the rest of the tribe wanders obliviously 10 ft away from the fight? Or will Tusked Girl get impatient again and over-aggro? Watch them meet a new group member and enjoy the suspense of finding out: is he a n00b and gonna get them wiped? Is he going to leave the group immediately after he gets the last skin?

      And next week we can follow them through the Barrens, as they slaughter about 100 Zebras to get 4 hooves each. (You'd think that being asked to bring 4 hooves, would mean one zebra, right? Shows how much you pampered city-folk know about hunting.)

      Or watch Tamriel the wise druid preserve the balance and harmony of nature... by slaughtering bears wholesale and waiting for them to respawn. Then slaughtering them again. 'Cause he just got bored of alchemy and went leatherworking, so now he needs leather to grind it up. (Remember, kids: living in harmony with nature means taking all you want, but not more than that!)

      Don't get me wrong. In the game it's fun. But 99% of the stuff I did in MMO's, even _I_ wouldn't want to see it on TV.

      On the bright side, as a SF fan, I am looking forward to a new SF MMO. Nothing against medieval fantasy as such, but God knows there's no need for 99% of the market to be medieval fantasy. It's nice to have a choice. So I'll probably buy it anyway. But, still, just saying, I doubt that the whole Sci-Fi channel thing is more than a PR stunt.
      • With this model, you NEVER know if the hero is going to be killed or not. Will the boss monster win?

        On the other hand, who cares? The hero will get a rez and be back to fight the boss monster next week.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by techpawn (969834)

          The hero will get a rez and be back to fight the boss monster next week.
          If it's like any MMO I've ever played he'll be back to fight the boss next week. And the week after that and the week after that... until that boss stop giving exp... then on to the next boss... lather, rinse, repeat
          • In between boss monster fights, he hangs out at the local graveyard where various undead creatures appear at random for him to slay.

            Kind of like "Buffy" crossed with "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and "The Dog Whisperer". For the average skeleton, their appearance is usually preceded by a bone rattling sound. Which gives me enough time to switch weapons to my mace of undead slaying which gives me a +25 against skeletons. Ghosts are preceded by a howling wind type sound so I switch weapons to my silver scimitar of
        • >The hero will get a rez and be back to fight the boss monster next week.

          So it's like the old Flash Gordon serials, then? Or, given the state of the SCi-Fi Channel these days, Flesh Gordon.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Bat Country (829565)

      This actually might have worked with Ultima Online.

      Being an entirely player-driven world, there were some epic wars going on between player groups, some fairly crazy action sequences (despite the fact that all movement was kinda stilted), and some really novel abuses of power.

      As a result, the drama factor was pretty high, at least in a "drama queen" sense.

      Not to mention some amusing publicity stunts would come out of it, like the original Bob & Jim war on the Great Lakes shard, which raged on for weeks,

  • What A Waste (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Atomm (945911) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:27PM (#23628825) Homepage
    I would rather see them take that money and put it into a better Saturday Night SciFi Movie.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MBraynard (653724)
      However, the appeal of this kind of programming is that it costs almost no money.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        In fact, it would probably make money.. if they charged a monthly fee like the other MMO's

        I don't know if I would get involved though.. I managed to kick the MMO habit (after many years of EQ and WoW)... The last thing I need (or rather my wife would kill me) is another MMO to detract from family time... Sure we watch TV together, but there are limits, we prefer to interact with each other rather then with computers .. (that includes mind in gutter activities....)
  • by Tom90deg (1190691) <Tom90deg@yahoo.com> on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:27PM (#23628829) Homepage
    A large group kills a big monster. Then, in a shocking twist, goes back to do it again! As their leader said, "He's got a 10% Rare drop rate. Gotta get that full set."

    Next week, watch as people complain about the latest changes, and kill 10 of the local wildlife for a trader!
  • This annoys me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dj245 (732906) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:27PM (#23628835) Homepage
    about as much as quick and nasty History Channel specials that make liberal use of video game footage. TV and video games are completely different mediums. Trying to shove them together and hope it works out never does.
    • by Amouth (879122) on Monday June 02, 2008 @01:35PM (#23629599)
      i remember watching the news the day after Columbine - they had an "Expert" showing footage of how Doom was nothing but a murder simulator.. and how games destroy kids.. (all that lovely crap)..

      i pointed out to my parents that the eye's on the hud where gold.. meaning the guy was cheating and had godmode turnned on..

      they looked at me funny..
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jollyreaper (513215)

        i remember watching the news the day after Columbine - they had an "Expert" showing footage of how Doom was nothing but a murder simulator.. and how games destroy kids.. (all that lovely crap)..

        i pointed out to my parents that the eye's on the hud where gold.. meaning the guy was cheating and had godmode turnned on..

        they looked at me funny..

        My parents thought that Doom was worse than a murder simulator, it was a devil worship game. I was impressed by the game so much that I went and bought a real copy through the mail, even though I already had the pirated one -- I wanted to show my support. Since I was all of 14 at the time and didn't have a credit card or checking account, I had to go and get a money order and mail that off. The mail got delivered before I got home from school and of course my parents opened it. Just from looking at the box

  • by Vectronic (1221470) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:28PM (#23628845)
    Given that people in general love to feel "famous", and given the popularity of MMO, this could at least be highly lucrative as far as a business goes, however, the quallity of such a combination remains to be seen. Depending on the "plot" of the show and game, I could see this being quite entertaining, especially for those envolved or even if you know someone envolved.

    Combining the millions made on MMO's, and the millions made on stuff like 'American Idol'... i'd say the chance of this making money, is pretty high.
    • by aztektum (170569)
      You can still do something stupid and make money at the same time.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by foobsr (693224)
        You can still do something stupid and make money at the same time.

        I might sound overly pessimistic/cynical and my sample might be biased; nevertheless, I have the impression that you have to do something stupid to make money these days.

        CC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Arccot (1115809)

      Given that people in general love to feel "famous", and given the popularity of MMO, this could at least be highly lucrative as far as a business goes, however, the quallity of such a combination remains to be seen. Depending on the "plot" of the show and game, I could see this being quite entertaining, especially for those envolved or even if you know someone envolved.

      Agreed. As long as it's handled well, this could work out great. What is it modern MMOs are lacking?

      1. Plot - Actually having real plot writers write quests instead of setting up "Kill X of Y" would be a big help.

      2. Affect the game world - I'm sick of "you saved my family!" knowing the next schmuck coming along is going to do the exact same thing and save their family again. How about if I could make a more permanent change on the game world? Perhaps individuals can't, due to programming constraints,

      • What they should do in WoW is have a line of sick kids out the back of the hut. So after you kill the beasts to get the organs to bribe the shaman to give you the potion that you mix with the herbs you get from the carnivorous plants...[more stuff]...and finally lift the curse that's making the kid sick, he goes home* and the next kid goes in..

        *actually taking a circuitous route back to the end of the line when your back is turned.
        • by Arccot (1115809)

          What they should do in WoW is have a line of sick kids out the back of the hut. So after you kill the beasts to get the organs to bribe the shaman to give you the potion that you mix with the herbs you get from the carnivorous plants...[more stuff]...and finally lift the curse that's making the kid sick, he goes home* and the next kid goes in.. *actually taking a circuitous route back to the end of the line when your back is turned.

          Exactly! WoW actually has a little tiny bit of this. On very rare occasions, a quest will actually result in the quest giver going someplace and doing something interesting for a minute or so, and then coming back to where they started.

          I remember one in particular involving some Dwarves doing some target practice. It was a low level quest, and when I saw it, I was psyched up because I thought most of the game would show you results from the quest in an intersting way. But no, that was just about the onl

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      Yeah, this could be a good idea. When I was a kid there was a TV show where you could point your spacecraft at the TV and try to shoot it or get shot by it. I think it just read some broadcasted scan code and made sounds. A little googling tells me this toy was from Captain Power. [wikipedia.org]

      I could see this concept taken and turned into a sort of fame show and with produced bits that would advanced in-game quests and storyline.
      • "...would advanced in-game quests and storyline"

        Sort of like (forget the proper name) those book/novels...

        Turn To Page: 118 If You Want To Fight The Dragon

        Turn To Page 67 If You Want To Run Away.

        but envolving text messages, and other forms of voting, then the in-game player(s) have to abide by the vote, and fight the dragon, or not. This way the player, can make decisions, aswell as the audience to advance the game.

        (sort of a redundant explanation, but had to comment anyways)
  • Sci-Fi channel has really been inventive with programming. It takes balls to re-do Battlestar Galactica. Bring back "Dr. Who" to the U.S. audience. Eureka is kind of cool too.

    With "Big Bang Theory" on NBC, can anyone doubt its the year of the geek?
    • by nuzak (959558) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:35PM (#23628949) Journal
      Battlestar Galactica and Dr Who are proof that even a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut -- and notice how those are both remakes.

      The rest of the Sci-Fi channel's productions are just abysmal. They make Uwe Boll look like Martin Scorcese.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "Battlestar Galactica and Dr Who are proof that even a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut -- and notice how those are both remakes."

        Not to get all super nerdy on you, but Doctor Who is not a remake, it's a continuation. BSG is a remake. Doctor Who takes place with the history of all the previous shows intact (or, as intact as it's ever been).

        • by jedidiah (1196)
          Dr Who is also being produced by it's original production company.

          The fact that Sci-Fi channel has the half brain cell required to take
          whatever Dr. Who the BBC is offering them is no great achievement.

          If Sci-Fi got the classic episodes back on the air then I might be impressed.

          My PVR is primed and waiting. Those BBC DVDs are too damn expensive and incomplete
          anyways. I can get all of Bab5 for less than what it would cost me to incompletely
          re-create Tom Baker's first season.
          • Those BBC DVDs are too damn expensive and incomplete anyways.

            Many episodes of Doctor Who suffered a terrible fate [wikipedia.org]. The show was originally recorded on videotape, and those tapes were later wiped and reused. There are many episodes of the first three doctors that were either lost completely, or exist only as slide shows made from production stills. Many of the shows have sound, captured by fans who recorded the audio off of their TVs. Others have been pieced together out of footage used on other shows
      • by Rolgar (556636)
        The modern Galactica started as a mini-series for NBC. I don't know how much of the work was done by SciFi employees helping NBC out (since NBC and SciFi are both part of NBC Universal), or if this was all put together by NBC people and SciFi just managed to hold it all together during the transition.

        Unfortunately, the only programing worth watching on SciFi other than Galactica are A-list movies that they've bought the rights to air.
        • And B- and C- list movies that they've bought rights to.

          Unfortunately, they forgo this and instead air wrestling (as if wrestling is too big for USA, Spike, and WB(I mean CW)), ghost stories, and giant snake movie N: {more|bigger} giant snakes.

          Would it really kill them to sprinkle in a little Gamra now and again? Even Plan 9 from Outer Space is better than the stuff they keep showing. I'm down to one hour on friday nights of what was once my favorite channel.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Reivec (607341)
      Big bang theory is awful. How can you even clasify that in the catagory of geek? It is just lame.
      • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Monday June 02, 2008 @01:07PM (#23629311)
        "Big bang theory is awful. "

        Well, any show that can make funny jokes based on "The dopler effect, SchrÃdinger's cat, the original time machine, social ineptness of geeks, and so on is not so bad.

        I laugh at a lot of the jokes, while my wife just looks and asks "what????"
      • by D Ninja (825055)

        Big bang theory is awful.
        BBT is absolutely great. It's a sitcom, so I don't expect much more than that, but when I'm watching it with my friend and I laugh at the jokes and she just looks at me like I'm crazy ('cause she doesn't get it), it's all the better.

        Sheldon is my hero, too, I think.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by residieu (577863)
      Sci-Fi didn't have the courage to "Bring back" Doctor Who to the US until the new series had already proven to be successful in the UK. Despite large demand from fans, they initally passed on the series.
    • by kalirion (728907)
      With "Big Bang Theory" on NBC, can anyone doubt its the year of the geek?

      NBC? It's CBS over here.

      Still, it's the only current show with a laugh tract that I actually enjoy. Of course it would be tons better without the laugh tract....
  • by Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:30PM (#23628879)
    OMG, this is such a horrible idea. First they put effing wrestling on SciFi, now this unwatchable crap. Oh the humanity! When will the madness stop?
  • I say this could be rather cool. You have thousands of people who will be vying for the opportunity to tell their friends - "this was my mission." basically, you tap into an unlimited supply of writers, and all you have to do is cherry pick the best. Depending on who does the moderation, it could be a very inventive show.
  • Epic lulz (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stormguard2099 (1177733) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:36PM (#23628957)
    How many internet groups will get into this just to fuck it up for everyone else? I'm sure anonymous, SA, [insert other internet group] will fill the ranks just so they can make the game and hence the tv show an abomination to play/watch.

    I mean come on why would you give the hordes of gamers, who act a fool just to show off to 3 friends the chance to do the same on cable tv? the temptation is just too strong.

      Hell I'll probably do it too if I can sign up fast enough to get the name "Leroy Jenkins"
    • Re:Epic lulz (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Monday June 02, 2008 @01:03PM (#23629261)

      I mean come on why would you give the hordes of gamers, who act a fool just to show off to 3 friends the chance to do the same on cable tv? the temptation is just too strong.
      Well, they are not going to just record in-game activity and then play it on TV without edits. That would be stupid (and boring). From TFA, it sounds more like they are going to use the in-game events to alter the storyline of the show. For instance the players in the game enter into an epic battle. Whether they win or lose affects the TV show. (An episode about retreating to the mountains vs. an episode about what to do with all the POWs they have.)

      So, in principle even the actions of griefers could be intelligently woven into the storyline. Any GM worth his salt knows how to rationalize the actions of players, and make things fit into the storyline. A really good GM can even move the story in such a way that griefers will genuinely participate (or at least give up).

      So for instance disruptions could be attributed to 'rebels' or 'a virus that is making our men go insane' or whatever.

      Of course, that doesn't mean that this will be properly done. But I'm just saying it's certainly possible to implement this idea in a way that show-offs and griefers don't ruin the storytelling for everyone else.
      • Yep, that would be a great way to do it.

        The problem is that the most likely players will NOT be interested in furthering the plot in any reasonable fashion. They'll be out to be griefers. There's only so many times that the main objective can be lost because some group of players start attacking the other players.

        Lose the main battle because of mind-controlled "slaves" who turn on the rest ...

        Retreat to the mountains ...

        Where more mind-controlled slaves lead group after group of aliens to the camp ...

        Forcin
      • Finally, the first comment where someone actually thought how it could be done without sucking!

        This is actually a way to give people a way to interact with the storyline in a way to move engagement to the next level. People who didn't want to play could still just couch potato it.

        They could even do some kind of ranking system and popular or interesting MMO characters could get mentioned or pulled into the show. That would make people even more interested in the game side since there are plenty of fame
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Coryoth (254751)

      How many internet groups will get into this just to fuck it up for everyone else? I'm sure anonymous, SA, [insert other internet group] will fill the ranks just so they can make the game and hence the tv show an abomination to play/watch.

      If the show producers have even half a clue they can take care of this for the show, the game may suffer though... The key is that the game will "shape and guide" the show; i.e. add texture and events to the show's world. If some griefers come and make a horrible mess of some event then the show can demote it to something that gets a casual mention: e.g. "In other news, there was yet another skirmish with an as yet unidentified alien foe; back to you John" on a T.V. in the background of the show. If things

    • Or they could become a pivotal part of the show. I've always thought the GNAA [www.gnaa.us] would make a good supervillain. Might need a small namechange to make it through standards and practices.
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:37PM (#23628961)
    I, for one, would be very interested in watching The Leeroy Jenkins Chronicles. ^_^
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:39PM (#23629003)
    I don't see the TV show becoming popular. After all, if you're a MMOG fan, wouldn't you rather be playing a game yourself rather than watching a TV show about other people playing it?

    And that brings us to what will make this particular game better than the fifty bazillion other MMOGs on the market now: your character might get to be on TV. Except you won't care, because your character probably won't get to be on TV, and barring that, you'd rather be playing than watching.

    Why don't they drop this schtick and give us a sequel to that halfway-decent D&D movie they made a few years back? (And no, I'm not talking about the one with Jeremy Irons.)
    • because your character probably won't get to be on TV

      But your clan might. As for playing rather than watching, I'm sure if it was done well enough you'd love to sit down for a 30-60 minute program every week lionizing your otherwise pure time-wasting hours of gameplay. Hell I could see clans getting on teamspeak and watching the show together.

      Much like those old television and radio shows that encouraged their listeners to play along with their secret decoder rings, this is really the next evolution of that sort of participation. Hell we have full-grown m

  • Teabaging (Score:4, Funny)

    by grassy_knoll (412409) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:40PM (#23629009) Homepage
    Oh great.

    44 minutes of teabaging.

    Maybe tivo can skip the show and just show the 16 minutes of commercials?
  • by bennomatic (691188) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:41PM (#23629015) Homepage
    ...but the plural of "medium" is "media", not "mediums". I think the latter *might* be acceptable in some circles, if you are talking about a group of people who channel the spirits of the dead, but even then. It wouldn't be a big deal, except you'd think that the press person--assuming they were quoted correctly in TFA--for a MEDIA company would know that.
  • It's a gamble but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dragonshed (206590) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:41PM (#23629021)
    it could be great, as long as the TV crew and leadership can use the material to create something evocative. A TV show that can frame Leeroy Jenkins (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkCNJRfSZBU) and Gnome Vasion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxD7p0rcBVM) in some sort of context and retain the original humor/drama/etc would absolutely be worthy of note.
  • by xC0000005 (715810) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:42PM (#23629035) Homepage
    Next week we're going to run the infomercial dungeon. The Saladmaster's a bitch at the end but he tends to drop credit card numbers.
  • by bistromath007 (1253428) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:43PM (#23629057)
    When the Internet thinks it can leak into the TV, it will just put penises everywhere.
  • by davejenkins (99111) <slashdot@davejenkins. c o m> on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:44PM (#23629071) Homepage
    Fans cannot get enough of their fictional universes. I've seen the wikis for WoW and other MMOs grow larger than the wikipediae of several second-tier languages. The wikis for complex TV shows (BSG, Lost, 24, etc) are almost as big.

    Give these fans a place to 'play' inside a universe linked in with a TV show? Oh yeah-- there's nothing "stupid" about this idea at all.
    • by d3ac0n (715594)
      Until the game gets quietly invaded by the SA Forum Goons or Anonymous.

      Then, JUST at a critical junction in the plot, a massive chunk of the player base will suddenly start spamming the chat channels, or running dance emotes, or attacking the wrong side, or suiciding their spaceships into the wrong thing, or finding some way to take advantage of a game mechanic to introduce flying Dongs [somethingawful.com] into the scene.

      Basically, there isn't any reliable way to allow this to function in the stated manner and NOT get PWNED b
  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:47PM (#23629121)
    They could name the show "Last Virgin Standing"; during epic battles they could have hot babes attempt to seduce top scoring players away from fighting.
  • Ughhh! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sir_eccles (1235902)
    It's bad enough already with dozens of shows which seemingly make no sense unless you've also watched the podcasts, read the magazine, surfed through the website and decoded the clues to unlock secret sections, watched the spin off series where they explain the back plot, played the video game, watched the hidden features in the DVD, used the decoder ring in the special pack of Krusty-Os,... Can't we just have normal tv shows!!!!
    • by andphi (899406)
      Unfortunately, I don't think we can, at least where science fiction is concerned. It's probable that as a result of how Heroes, Lost, and Battlestar Galactica have been received and transmitted, companies will keep trying for "media convergence" whether they need it or not.

      I sort of understand that approach when it comes to Lost, given that from the outset they did some fairly unusual stuff with presenting the chronology to actors and audience alike. It can be frustrating and off-putting, but it's also sui
  • by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Monday June 02, 2008 @12:54PM (#23629173)
    I hit play too quickly while going through the commercials during last week's Battlestar and saw a commercial for EVE where they did it as a faux news cast about some star ship commander ramming a space station. It was a little cheesy but I suspect its the kind of premise they're going for here. The game that's played would have to follow the lines of EVE where the focus is PvP, and the "drama" comes from players attacking each other, coming up with scams, backstabbing, forming alliances, etc. I can't really see some pre-canned dungeon raid content making a good TV show.
  • Gives new meaning to LCD TV.
  • This has epic fail written all over it.

    Can you imagine? Instead of concentrating on what will make a good game, they will essentially drive game mechanics to boost ratings, decisions made by some corporate marketing "genius" who thinks they know what makes good TV. Pair this with the hordes of people desperate for their 15 minutes of fame and that's a recipe for one of two things.

    One, it could be the worst possible TV stunt ever produced, one that could leave some gamers in a lurch when they pull th
  • Seriously, can anyone name any smart move that the Sci-fi channel has ever made, with the notable exceptions of picking up MST3K and Battlestar Galactica?
  • This could (though I won't say will) be a chance to do something new and interesting with the genre-- something that is much closer to the "interactive movie" that gets buzzed around so much. It works like this:

    Make the game a living world. That is, events in-game end up changing the game world... the landscape, politics, society, etc. Except that MMOs can't seem to have a single server, right? Not a problem.

    The devs plan out world-changing quests/events/whatever. Except that they need to be designed

  • Portal [imdb.com].
  • Way 'back in the day', 1996, a group of us hard core gamers who owned a video production company and software development company, took this idea to the SCI-Fi channel . We put forward the idea of a weekly half hour news cast that would tie together the overall flow and development of the game story line with the exploits of both random and key players within the game. In addition it would explain game play new features and such. We did a sample game and news cast.

    They wrote us off as a bunch of fl

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Monday June 02, 2008 @01:41PM (#23629687)
    If you've ever seen an "open-ended" MMO with players in charge of creation (say, Second Life), you've probably seen little sparks of creativity in a sea of boring copies of trendy junk. 90% of everything is crap. And the little sparks of creativity don't tie together: one person's perfect recreation of the rebel base on Hoth is right next to another person's gothic revival castle, and they clash horribly.

    The same is true of TV shows with a large pool of authors (say, your average sitcom). Some episodes are good, some bad, but none of them mesh up together, and you're left with a mess.

    For both MMOs and TV shows, a dictatorial author is the only route to success. The best MMOs (say, World of Warcraft or EVE) allow roleplaying only within the tight rules of the game world. The best TV shows (say, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, or Firefly) have just one or two guys who call the shots for the layout of the whole show, and set firm boundaries for the writers.

    An open-ended MMO inspired by a TV show, and an authorless TV show inspired by the MMO? It's the blind leading the blind, a ship without a rudder, drifting off into banality.

    And if the show *does* get a visionary author to conduct the show, then the whole MMO / TV connection is pretty much irrelevant, it becomes, first and foremost, the author's story to tell.
  • I wonder how the legal rights to the on-line players having actors play them on the tv version of the game would pan out. I guess they might put in a disclaimer saying that you have no rights to the show if your character is chosen as one of the lead roles in the t.v. version, but i wonder if that type of disclaimer would hold up in court.
  • "In a fairly bold (and quite possibly stupid) move, the Sci-Fi Channel has announced plans..."

    I think that all "fairly bold" moves are also "possibly stupid", because nobody knows if they're going to work or fail spectacularly. That's sort of the nature of "fairly bold" moves.

    I bet we can all think of some of our favorite films, shows or games that could have easily become "stupid" if things had gone differently or mis-handled.

    The least we can do when an outfit tries something that has potential coolness i

  • What the hell is SciFi channel thinking? First they replace most of the decent shows they had with fake ghost hunter shows. Now they want the outcome of a game to dictate the major plot points in a TV show?

    Someone has not thought this through. People will force the game to go in directions that will make any kind of TV show look silly. It is pretty easy to get all of your team killed off either by letting the enemy through the lines or by fragging them your self.

    Time to pick up some books and turn
    • People will force the game to go in directions that will make any kind of TV show look silly.


      How does that differ from regular TV? :)
  • The SF channel puts the players in their new Fantasy MMO into a DEFENSIVE situation and the players go even more completely clueless than usual because NO RPG they have EVER played has forced them to DEFEND ANYTHING against ANYTHING!

    The player's minds melt down and are served as soup for at the next DragonCon - which is held by and for REAL dragons in the game!
  • The last time I played an interactive game along with a sci-fi TV show was Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future [wikipedia.org]. I suspect this one will be about as successful.
    • Captain Power was awesome. Probably because a good chunk of it was written by Babylon 5 guy, who's name I'm not going to even try to write, and can't be bothered to look up.

      Quite a few of the original stories could be refilmed today with very little change and still hold up.

      Captain Power was by no means a kid show.

  • I did a search of the page, and noone seemed to post what I thought of...

    Odd.

    Well, here's two words that seem to Apply to this. "Final Fantasy"

    Here is... I'm not sure what to call it... it is a series of games, an MMORPG, and a series of animated movies. Seems like movies were made from the major plot lines used in the games. Sure, you can fire up Final Fantasy XI and grind away, but if you are silly enough to think that TV producers would turn THAT material into a program... you aren't very imaginative.
  • art (a TV series) imitating art (an MMO) imitating art (MMO's imitate SF or Fantasy literature) imitating whatever it is SF imitates.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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