If you’ve never heard of VGHS, don’t worry because most people haven’t. But since it’s Video Game month, I wanted to talk about this web series that I really enjoyed. VGHS stands for Video Game High School and follows a group of characters as they navigate a world where video games reign supreme and playing video games professionally is the ultimate sign that you’ve made it. Basically, like the world of the Watchmen where superheroes exist in our world, but with video gaming.
VGHS was created by the talented crew at Rocketjump which includes Matthew Arnold, Freddie Wong, Will Campos, and Brian Firenzi. This web series spanned 3 seasons where we follow the title character, Brian D., played by Josh Blaylock, on his journey to FPS greatness (FPS stands for First Person Shooter; for other gaming genres, check out my post here). The game that it revolves around is called Field of Fire and Brian D starts down this whirlwind of a story by killing the most famous FPS player in the world, The Law, in what they call a “Pub Stomp”. Things accelerate at light speed and he is invited to join the prestigious VGHS where things really get exciting.
At VGHS, Brian D meets a colorful set of characters as he tries to establish himself on the JV squad. Because his pwning of The Law went viral, everyone is expecting him to be super good and not just a lucky one-trick pony. The supporting cast that they introduce are all unique and propels the story forward from his crush, Jenny Matrix and FPS JV Captain, to his new best friend, Ted Wong, to a new student like him and daughter of a video game creator, Ki Swan, to even the insanely funny in an Epic Meal Time kind of way, Dean Ernie Calhoun who coined the phrase,
It’s all about the game.
The first season ends giving the audience a taste of things to come as Rocketjump continues to innovate it’s filming techniques to flesh out Brian D’s story for two more seasons.
What’s really cool about VGHS is that though the characters are sitting behind computers battling against each other, Rocketjump actually filmed them “in-game” meaning instead of the first person view, the audience gets to see the characters decked out in fatigues and actually battling it out behind structures, using RPGs, and displaying game tactics right in front of our eyes. It encompasses you within the action of the gameplay but also is a cool perspective that Freddie Wong is known for.
Freddie is a legend on YouTube for his comedic and video game-related content videos who pushes the envelope of storytelling. Him and his comrades at RocketJump have put together a classy yet modern take on the video game genre which plays out nicely as we follow these characters, essentially through their high school experience and beyond. And being known in the film industry has its perks because Freddie includes a ton of cameos from nerd and geek icons and celebs including Zachary Levi of NBC’s Chuck and Heroes Reborn fame, the comic legend himself, Stan Lee, and even Nathan Fillion, the star of Firefly and ABC’s Castle, pops in for a brief moment.
This show is one of my favorite web series to date and I have a lot of respect for Rocketjump for putting this large endeavor together. I still wear my VGHS hoodie proudly and often times have integrated some of the catch phrases into my everyday geek speak. If you are looking for an entertaining, gamer filled experience, then VGHS is for you. If you’re not a gamer, I still think this show would be something you’d enjoy because the writing is witty and the talented unknown actors are both funny and memorable. As a side note, the actress who plays Jenny Matrix, Johanna Braddy, is also in ABC’s Quantico which I checked out because she was in it and was pleasantly surprised after I binged watched the entire first season on abc.com. Great job, Johanna!
So check out VGHS! You can watch the entire three seasons on Netflix or purchase the limited edition box set at Rocketjump. Plus, if you’re feeling supportive, pick up a t-shirt or hoodie or even a VGHS ID card. And don’t forget Calhoun’s motto,
*all photos taken from google search