Video Games High School – Season 2 launched via Rocket Jump Studios’ website on Friday 26th July, and it is clear that this time things are going to be bigger, badder, and full to the brim with experience points.
VGHS is a glossy web series that follows the lives of various high school students in a near future where competitive video game playing is now the most popular sport. Therefore normal student life is juxtaposed with a curriculum that teaches how to play video games; much like how college football operates today. In Season One, world champion, The Law (played by 5 Second Films founder, Brian Firenzi), was unexpectedly defeated during a live TV battle (within fictitious First Person Shooter game, Field of Fire) by total newcomer BrianD. Brian, our protagonist, finds himself sharing classes with The Law and their bitter and knowingly clichéd rivalry drove the plot onwards. And with over 8 million views for only 9 episodes (that varied between 15 – 30 minutes long), the show was a smash success.
VGHS is brought to us by Matt Arnold and the immensely popular YouTuber, Freddie Wong (it also stars Wong’s brother, Jimmy Wong, himself also a popular YouTuber). Wong is well known for prolifically creating comedy videos – usually based around video game culture and tropes; going some way to explaining how VGHS has managed to get in front of so many eyes so quickly. Both seasons have been funded by Kickstarter campaigns, with Season One raising $273,000 (only $75,000 was asked for) and Season Two raising an impressive $808,341: which amounted to $200,000 over target.
Each episode of Season Two will premier on Rocket Jump (Rocket Jump is a production company owned by Wong), becoming available on YouTube shortly after debut. This time round episodes are due to be between 30 – 40 minutes long and many more genres of gaming are going to be covered in addition to FPS; from driving; MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games); and Real Time Strategy. There will apparently also be a game designed where students can play other students within the Video Game High School itself, which sounds intriguing; not forgetting the addition of Cynthia Watros (best known for playing Libby in �?Lost’) as Mary Matrix, a major character with a hard-lined approach to FPS training.
With a bigger budget, bigger scope and pre-ready audience of 8 million on standby, I will be watching to see how Season Two unfurls. If the disappointing School of Thrones (which we have previously deconstructed in detail) proves anything it’s that simply dropping a popular pre-existing fiction into a �?high school’ setting doesn’t equal comedy gold by default. Season One suffered from being a little too reliant on the ordinary high school drama clichés so I will be curious to see how far Season Two pushes the formula. You can watch episode one now at Rocket Jump, follow VGHS on Twitter, Facebook, or catch up with Season One on YouTube
What do you think of VGHS Season Two so far? Has it upgraded? Or is the �?continue’ counter dropping to zero? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Video Game High School: Season Two – Episode One