WCG Ultimate Gamer

Common Sense Media says

Games more fun to play than watch on humdrum reality series.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series promotes video gaming. The contestants are all expert gamers -- some are professionals -- who are hoping to win $100,000 and a contract to represent World Cyber Games as the best all-around gamer.

Violence

No actual violence, but some of the featured games include animated fight scenes.

Sex

Some mild flirting between cast members.

Language

Some words are bleeped.

Consumerism

The show is sponsored by World Cyber Games, which promotes professional video game tournaments and is mentioned frequently. The electronics company Samsung also gets called out as a sponsor, and its products appear on screen often, including lingering shots of its logo. The entire series promotes video gaming; each episode focuses on a single popular title that's mentioned by name repeatedly, and the contestants spend plenty of on-screen time playing the various games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality competition is designed to find the world's best video gamers. Twelve contestants vie in a series of challenges built around popular video games -- which are mentioned frequently by name -- and one is eliminated at the end of each episode.The series promotes gaming and game-related companies in addition to the specific featured titles.

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What's the story?

Twelve world-class video gamers compete for the title of best all-around player on this reality competition series. Each episode focuses on a single game, with a series of team and individual challenges based on aspects of the game; one player is booted at the end of the episode. The last person will be crowned the WCG ULTIMATE GAMER, earning $100,000 and a chance to become the \"face\" of World Cyber Games, a video game tournament promoter.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The most important rules of reality shows are casting, casting, and casting, and this show breaks them all. The contestants may be outstanding gamers, but for the most part they're dull to watch in real life. The group's communal loft lacks the petty bickering and other dramas of many other reality shows, but there's plenty of footage of people playing video games. "We were all freaking out," one character says during the standard confessional moment, but there was little onscreen evidence that any of them expressed any emotion at all.

In some ways, the show is held back by its format. A series about video games needs to include gaming, but watching other people play games just isn't that exciting. To get around this, the show introduces some non-gaming moments, such as the "Real Life Challenge," in which the players participate in live-action events based on video games. It's a concept that sounds interesting in theory but presents its own problems. In the "Real Life Challenge" based on the popular Rock Band 2 game, for example, the players are divided into groups and must perform a rock song onstage at a nightclub. With little musical background, the groups are predictably awful; even though it's far less exciting for viewers, these folks should just stick to video games.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about video games. The contestants on this show eat, sleep, and breathe games; some even make money as professional gamers. Is it healthy to be this obsessed with one thing, even if it's a career? Do you think competitive gaming should be considered a "sport"? What's your favorite game, and why?

TV details

Cast:Hannah Simone, Joel Gourdin
Network:Syfy
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of WCG Ultimate Gamer was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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