July 14, 2009

Jackass for Gamers

The Boyfriend showed me the first episode of Life and Level, and I have to say, I'm merely hooked because of the sheer stupidity involved.

Let me explain.  Life and Level is a show where roommates Johnny and Josh compete against each other in video games.  But it's not just "who can kill the most zombies in RE5".  They are much more creative than that, and that creativity then results in a lot of bodily harm.  I think the safest example to show is the first episode.  Here the challenge is to play Call of Duty: World at War Multiplayer with no time, unlimited ammo, and unlimited lives.  The twist is that every time one of them dies, that player gets shocked by a dog shock collar.  If you want a sneak peek watch it below.

This kind of entertainment can only be fueled by pure stupidity and boredom.  I personally have no problem being entertained by other people's poor decisions.  This is how I'm able to watch as much reality television as I do in a given week.  I know a lot of people who cannot be entertained by this though, including The Boyfriend.  So if you're willing to lower your standards like I am, please feel free to partake!

The show gets grosser as time goes on.  There are now 9 episodes in the series, and I believe almost every easily obtained bodily fluid has been involved in each show.  It also gets increasingly violent.  There is one point where Johnny breaks his pinky finger, but he doesn't notice until he sees that it's pointing in the wrong direction.  You have to be tolerate of some sheer stupidity.

The dynamic between Josh and Johnny is really what makes this work.  Johnny is your stereotypical nerd, in the sense that he's got the look with the scrawny build, the glasses, and the lingo down.  He's just your average gamer guy who probably didn't have the best luck with chicks in high school.  Which is funny because he would be my type when I was in high school.  Moving on, Josh is best described as a lovable brute.  Stocky, big guy who is in it for the glory and the fun.  He's loud, in your face, and not afraid to dress the part for a competition.  He also plays stupid a lot while Johnny is there being (somewhat) reasonable.

This makes the duels interesting.  Whenever it's a physical bout, you kind of feel sorry for scrawny Johnny going up against the beast that is Josh.  But as the episodes continue Johnny's slow and steady strategy pays off, especially when he's going through a room of mouse traps trying to find a controller.  This also makes the conversations between them funnier.  Good character contrast.

At the end of each duel, the loser has to spin the N00b wheel to choose his fate.  For the episode linked here, it was snorting a line of yellow mustard.  Yuck.  I have to say, it gets much worse.  This is where a lot of the bodily fluids are released.  I usually just watch for the competition, and turn my head away from the screen when the punishment is dealt out.  

Sometimes you may feel sorry for one of them during an episode, you have to realize that they were both willing to do this in the first place.  They signed up to make themselves look ridiculous on the internet.  You don't feel so guilty watching after that.   

In the end, this show is hilarious if you don't mind seeing people make a fool of themselves on the internet, put themselves in bodily harm, and have it tangentially related to video games.  I suggest this view to people who enjoy shows where a guy embarrasses himself with injury and thus guarantees himself no sex for about a month. 

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