Quote of the Moment

"Beep Industries currently has no openings. This is a good thing. Any number of career paths are better than game development. Lots of jobs are more lucrative and far less work. We hear marketing and animal husbandry are filled with potential."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Law and Order: SVU Takes on Second Life

Hilarity ensues.

I don't normally watch legal or police drama shows. They're too serious for my tastes, and those that aren't busy focusing on grisly crimes are usually too into the soap opera side of interpersonal relationships. Suffice to say, I'm not a regular watcher of NBC's Law and Order: SVU.

I did, however, tune in for Tuesday night's episode. The premise, about a woman kidnapped because of her virtual world avatar, was too good to pass up. One of my general rules is that Serious Drama + Technologically Illiterate Writers = Unintentional Hilarity.

I was not disappointed. The plot, such as it was, centered around a woman who's "Another Youniverse" (standing in for real game Second Life) underage prostitute alter-ego is convincing enough to earn her a real-world stalker (and eventual kidnapper). The hilarity ensues when the "crack" SVU team led by Ice-T goes into action.

First off, for a crack investigation unit, these people are amazingly incompetent. They corner and interrogate two different suspects with the line of "We know you kidnapped the girl, where is she", before having to let them go because they were innocent. Meanwhile, their second arrest attempt tips off the real kidnapper, and the second half of the episode is spent trying to find evidence that perp #3 actually did it. But the evidence is where the humor really lies.

Apparently, the Another Youniverse developer gives their CEO a giant video screen wall to gaze upon his creation, granted him superuser access with the ability to pull billing records, and has a server farm 20 acres long just to store the screenshots they automatically log on every player's activities. Also, in the climatic moment, when they turn the game from night to day in order to determine the relative position of a critical evidence location, reveals that the CEO's uber video wall is located IN the 20 acre server farm, and that switching the game from night to day requires a power increase sufficient enough to create an audible hum as the servers power up to full throttle.

Sometimes, a crime show can tackle a weird subject and get it right, or at least play it sufficiently humorous. CSI's episode about Furries is a perfect example. As for Law and Order: SVU, well, maybe they should hire someone who's actually PLAYED more than fifteen minutes of World of Warcraft before they do their next "Ripped from the Headlines" show.