Starting in March 2009, 12 gamers will compete both in games and in the real world in the Sci-Fi Channel's World Cyber Games: Ultimate Gamer - and if the new promo video is any indication, it will at least be entertaining.
Given that there are reality TV shows about everything under the sun, it's surprising that there hasn't really been one about games and gamers - until now. From the recently-released promo video available on the official site, WCG Ultimate Gamer feels somewhat like a cross between The Real World and American Idol (only with no voting and presumably a less arbitrary judging system). The 12 contestants will live together in one house (12 gamers in one house? Let's hope someone else is cleaning up, eh?) and will compete weekly with a different game per installment: some of the titles we see include Halo 3, Virtua Fighter 5, and Rock Band 2.
Interestingly enough, it looks like the contestants will be required to tackle real-world challenges as well, like playing a real guitar for Rock Band or playing a round of paintball for Halo. Am I wrong for thinking that these tasks are the one with the highest potential for entertainment? I mean, don't get me wrong, it's cool to see gaming - potentially professional gaming at that - consistently edging closer to the social mainstream in this way, but we know these guys are good at videogames. That's the entire premise. We don't know if they can drive stunt cars.
Honestly, now I'm just wondering what sort of real-life challenge they could possibly give them for a game like StarCraft. Somehow, though, I can't see a show like this that's apparently going for flash and glitter taking the time to play a game any older than four or so years.
But it would be awesome to watch a face-off in Super Mario Bros. 3, if only as a tip of the hat to The Wizard.