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This Week in WebTV: Game On!

Felicia Day has done more for WebTV than most people will ever know. Her series The Guild became appointment online TV back when nobody even really knew what online TV was. The show was funny, poignant, fast paced, and full of nerd humor and references. Even for someone like me, who never really got into MMORPGs, The Guild was great fun to watch and I looked forward to each and every new episode as they came. Especially in later seasons where Wil Wheaton put in appearances, the gang split up and got back together, gaming conventions were crashed, and jobs in the gaming industry were attempted.

Felicia Day did that. And later she did even more, when she helped start the Geek and Sundry channel on YouTube, which is made up of all nerd/geek programming, all the time. And two of my fave shows from Geek and Sundry are what I’m going to wax poetical about today. After my long-winded introduction, of course (I don’t know how that happened actually. Sorry).

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Like to watch other people play old video games (wow, that sounded kind of pervy, didn’t it)? Then you should be watching Co-Optitude. Featuring adorable geek goddess Felicia Day and her brother Ryon (and sometimes Ryon’s mustache), the webseries is basically just the two of them playing through old video games they never got to play back in the day. It’s hilarious. Especially when the games are ultra difficult/frustrating/confusing.

Of course the holidays have thrown all new programming off but right now (this week even!) you can check out some of the newer episodes, such as Mario Party 4 featuring special guest George Takei. The first couple minutes are basically just Felicia and George joking about virgin experiences. If that doesn’t make you want to check it out I don’t know what is wrong with you. George also does voiceovers for the game instructions and it rocks. He honestly seems to be having a great time playing the games and learning new things and it makes it extra fun to watch.

There is actually a new episode this week as well, where Ryon and Felicia play Fighting Force and wear costumes and get confused and it’s fun to watch but not quite as fun as watching George Takei have his video game cherry popped. One of the nice things about this webseries is that it isn’t storyline based, so you can watch any episode and know what’s going on. I tend to watch based on the video games that sound interesting instead of the dates the episodes are posted. It hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

TableTop TableTop-Star-Fluxx TT_ForbiddenIsland

TableTop is another excellent gaming show from this Geek and Sundry channel. This one revolves around table top games (of course) and is hosted by Wil Wheaton. I like board games but I’ve never gotten into them to the extent real gamers have. It’s still fun to watch people play games on this show. Even if they aren’t something I have any interest in playing myself, it’s the interactions between Wil Wheaton and his guests that I really enjoy. In the latest episode the game was Carcassonne and the players included Jesse Cox, Nika Harper, and Kumail Nanjiani.

And in completely unrelated to gaming news (and before this week’s article gets too ridiculously long), I feel it necessary to make mention of one of last week’s webseries, at least briefly. Because this week on The Autobiography of Jane Eyre is when the proverbial poop began hitting the fan. Jane got some very VERY bad news and it totally crushed her.

The thing about this vlog interpretation of Jane Eyre is how real it feels. The actors are a little awkward and nervous (especially at first). They stare at the camera too much or not enough. They don’t wear tons of makeup, the camera goes in and out of focus or gets squiggly from technical problems, and the settings seem like someone’s actual house and not a staged scene. The whole thing looks like it was something made by a young woman out in the world for the first time and wanting to share her experiences with others.

So this week, when the show finally came back from hiatus at the holidays, it was twice as heartbreaking as I think it has ever been in a film version to watch Jane come apart upon learning about her one-and-only’s deep dark secret past. The way she stumbles into the room, wearing her wedding dress no less, and just crumbles onto the bed while gasping for breath was exceptionally difficult to watch. I know she is a fictional character living a fictional life who just had her fictional heart broken. But the way she curled in on herself, not even fully able to cry through the gasps, was so realistic I teared up right along with her.

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