It’s the oldest story in the teen fiction book – a pale geek teams up with a chiseled jock, with the geek helping to improve the jock’s failing grades in return for a crash course in social skills. It’s a fairly stereotypical mold for a plot, but it’s hard not to smile when the jock gets his first A or the geek finally lands a date with the hot girl.
Now, Machinima is using that tasty symbiosis as the basis for The Controller: Medal of Honor Warfighter, a new reality web series hosted on Machinima Prime. The series takes four competitive gamers – Spike Mouth, xJawz, FaZeTemperrr and H3CZ – and pairs each with a military combat expert. The soldiers must teach their respective gamers how to complete a live fire course without shooting their own faces off, while the gamers must instruct their soldier teammates how to make it through the Metal of Honor: Warfighter FPS without dying every five seconds. The result is a goofy, fish-out-of-water reality show about teamwork, firearms, and pwnage.
The live fire section is hosted by FPS Russia, who, with his ever-present sunglasses and snarky tone, is a natural at the critical, oh-so-cool personality of a reality host (think Simon Cowell, but more Russia). In contrast, the FPS section is hosted by three Machinima personalities: Sark, SlyFoxHound, and ProSyndicate, who play things a bit closer to the vest. Two episodes – one for each challenge type – have been released thus far, with the eventual winning team earning $50,000. The show’s use of Metal of Honor: Warfighter as the game of choice is a clever marketing tie-in; the game won’t be released until next month. The series was created and produced by the Bunim/Murray Productions team alongside Electronic Arts
The obvious key to the show is communication. The soldiers must be firm enough to convey proper firing technique without being too brusque. Meanwhile, the gamers must do enough to explain how to avoid being a n00b without using too much confusing jargon.
In the end, though, the entire show seems to come down to experience. The gamers who could confidently hold and fire a gun and the soldiers who knew their way around a controller excelled in the first challenges. As is usual with the jock/nerd partnership, the pairs who can best adapt to their new surroundings will ultimately win the day.