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Video Game High School

Video Game High School (often abbreviated VGHS) is an action comedy web series from Rocket Jump Studios that was also edited into a two hour long movie. It was written by Matthew Arnold, Will Campos and Brian Firenzi and directed by Matthew Arnold, Brandon Laatsch and Freddie Wong. The series sta...

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There is little more in the world that I would love to see than competitive video gaming being the most important facet of our society. Enter 'VGHS', a high school that caters exclusively to budding professional video gamers from first-person shooters to rhythm games. Protagonist BrianD is accepted that the prestigious institution after he, by a stroke of luck, manages to kill celebrity gamer The Law in a Call of Duty-esque game called Field of Fire.

What I liked most about 'VGHS' was its references to classic video games, some subtle and some plainly obvious. For instance, one scene finds BrianD's student ID hoisted to the top of a flagpole. He has to climb a red structure reminiscent of the ending sequences of old Mario SNES games and jump to collect it, with the classic Mario sound effects and victory music. References to Dance Dance Revolution, the Call of Duty series, Pong, and other games pepper the dialogue and plot while still able to focus on the character development and depth.

Especially notable in 'VGHS' is the quality of the game scenes. Rather than having to watch the characters sit in front of a computer monitor the whole time, the filmmakers opted instead to act out every video game scene in live-action. I couldn't agree more with this decision. They were so well done, from the fast-paced shooting action of the Field of Fire to a one-on-one drift race in a couple of ridiculously nice cars. The actors also did an excellent job of blending their real-world and game-world personalities, essentially becoming themselves infused with years of battlefield knowledge or driving experience, which has little to no presence in their real-world counterparts.

Actually an Internet webseries, 'VGHS' blurs the line between coming-of-age romance and action movies like 'Gamer' and 'Tron'. It is presented in four episodes, which all flow together very well, despite each episode being released about a month or so apart. Continuity does not suffer in the face of its other aspects, much to my surprise. It is difficult to adapt a serial program to a film, but clever editing on the part of the creators made it possible.

Also, the guy from EpicMealtime plays the principal. If you don't know who that is, I recommend googling it.

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