[MUD-Dev] G4 cable channel

John Bertoglio jb at co-laboratory.com
Wed Apr 17 15:05:16 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: "Koster, Raph" Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2002 6:39 PM


>>> This is a new launch of a cable TV channel that plans to be all
>>> about gaming. Most notable for this list, however, is that they
>>> are planning a show called "Portal," which is described as being
>>> solely about online worlds and massively multiplayer gaming. I
>>> don't know what they're planning on doing for episode five. :)

<much cut>

There may be some potential for content on this medium. My son (an
avid MtG card player) and I stumbled onto a Magic tournament on
ESPN2 when we were cable surfing in a hotel room on
vacation. (Apparently, they lost their dwarf hucking feed from
Australia and needed some content.) After we saw this, we talked
about what would happen if a Counter Strike (or other advanced
Half-Life variant) released a "directors console" that essentially
allowed a person on the server to view all players through their
eyes as well as the standard god mode available to dead
players. What the director could do is switch the video output to
one or more screens to watch the action. With a good "play by play"
commentary, this could have the potential to be fairly interesting
TV. With talented commentators it could be done live. If all the
feeds were recorded to disk as MPEGs and edited, you could produce a
pretty slick show. I would suggest that the visual quality is just
one generation away from acceptable broadcast quality in mass market
TV and already there for niche broadcasting.

The same thing could be done with big multi player games.  Imagine:
"We now switch to our correspondent Boffo Bits with exclusive
coverage of the siege of Midgard". With good editing and voice
overs, you could produce programs that could break out into the mass
market. (After all, cartoons were considered children's media, a
true niche product. They became prime time staples in the sixties
coincident with the rise of high penetration of households by color
TV.

The first online game that breaks out into mass market TV will
derive huge benefits. Will "The Everquest Rangers" replace the
"Power Rangers"? Weirder things have happened.

John A. Bertoglio
co-laboratory
503.781.3563
www.co-laboratory.com
jb at co-laboratory.com

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