Video Game High-School, Episode 9 (spoiler alert)

I enjoyed the Video Game High-School web series. There first episode can be found here.

The series is 9 episodes long. The final one came out yesterday here. However, I don’t think that it ended as well as it could have.

To summarize what happened in the final episode (limiting myself to what I’m going to comment on), protagonist BrianD is back for FPS (first person shooter) tryouts and his chance to stay in VGHS. The game being played in the tryouts is a CTF (capture the flag) game. Antagonist, The Law, finds out that BrianD is playing and rushes into the auditorium and takes over a computer to try and humiliate and banish BrianD. BrianD and friends lay a trap where he appears to sacrifice himself to The Law, then he shoots the law and goes on to win the game.

Now, lets go back to the beginning. In episode 1, BrianD gets into VGHS because of The Law showing off (on national TV) while BrianD is AFK (away from keyboard). The Law spends a long time setting up a trick shot and BrianD gets back to his keyboard just in time to foil the trick shot, kill The Law, and embarass him on national TV.

In Episode 2, we meet the principle of VGHS, Dean Ernie Calhoun. Dean Calhoun says here “Its all about the game”. That is a line that he repeats throughout the series. In the final episode, BrianD says it back to the Dean while talking his way back into the tryouts.

In Episode 5, BrianD is in a CTF scrimmage on the JV team against varsity. He plays badly and loses the match because of he is trying endlessly to kill The Law rather than playing with the team at CTF.

So then, back to episode 9. We have a theme so far that BrianD needs to play the game rather than be distracted by personal conflict with the antagonist. This theme is repeated in this episode during Dean Calhoun and BrianD’s exchange, with BrianD indicating that he has gained insight.

Then in the game to claim victory from The Law, JV lays a trap. BrianD acts like he is going to sacrifice himself. At this point, the episode was setup for a great ending. Instead of killing The Law, BrianD could have just been stalling The Law while his teammates grabbed the flag and scored the winning point. That would have been playing the game. Instead, the trap is just to kill The Law. Killing The Law does clear an obstacle so that they can then win the game, but the way it was played out reeks of once again being distracted from the game in the way that he was supposed to have just gotten over.