Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Age of Conan on the Big Bang Theory

I don't know why Monday night television is so crowded with good shows but I've been constantly keeping my DVR busy by recording shows on CBS, FOX, and NBC. Last night I decided to watch the CBS sitcoms live since with the way the economy has been going I needed a good laugh. Much to my surprise the very nerdy Big Bang Theory had an episode oriented entirely on Age of Conan. They have used MMOs before on the show for punchlines, but this was something different. The episode actually explored some of the underlying causes of game addiction without being overly preachy. It was also hilarious which is probably one of the reasons the Big Bang Theory is one of the better performing comedies this year.

It didn't have as much in-game footage as the touted "Make Love, Not Warcraft" episode of South Park. Still there were a couple good scenes involving in-game footage which were quite funny. At one point the neighbor Penny cuts off the head of a friend who was attempting to coax her out of the game. It didn't look like they used any special tools for the Machinima, but the graphics were still quite nice. I couldn't help, but wonder what kind of computer they had which could play Conan that well. Anyways, I'm sure this episode was filmed earlier in the summer when Age of Conan was still going through it's growth spurt. Despite it no longer being the most popular game it's still nice to see a MMO get some screen time on television.

I was a bit worried at first when the show went the MMO addiction route, but the writers didn't overly exaggerate the dangers of it. In fact if you compare it to the standard Dr. Phil drivel, they were pretty fair on the subject. Of course the fact they got most of the terminology and game mechanics correct probably means the writers are MMO players themselves. They pretty much nailed the common cause of MMO addiction being that it gives people a false sense of achievement. In the episode the neighbor Penny was depressed from getting booted from an audition and was feeling like she hadn't done anything with her life. It's a fair portrayal of something that might cause a person to fall into online gaming addiction. And I thought the humorous slant and the fact Penny quickly recovered kept it from being offensive to gamers.

P.S. Most likely CBS will make it available on their online site soon.

Episode: The Barbarian Sublimation


Thallian said...

I love that show. Its great, full of witty banter and overly complex sillyness.

Relmstein said...

I like it too. I swear I have a friend who is a little too much like Sheldon.

On the other hand I know some people hate it because they think it's filled with negative stereotypes of gamers and scientists.

Ethic said...

Watched it last night. My wife started the DVR and yelled to me, "You're going to want to see this!" and we laughed all the way through. It's a funny show, but this one was extra funny to me. Bonus points for them actually using places from inside the game. The gameplay clips were great too.

Openedge1 said...

The system they need to run it like that is as follows

E8400 3.0 Ghz Dual Core
4 gigs DDR2
ATI 4870 512mb
Vista x64 Ultimate

Smooth 60FPS (Vsync on)

And you can get that complete system for under a $1000.

I love my rig!

(PS: Patch 2.0 got rid of memory errors and speeded up performance, so this could explain performance being better as well)