Back before T3kd went down I wrote a post about the horrible mess of a show “Start-ups”. It was supposed to be a reality show about silicon valley type entrepreneurs who were trying to launch their startups. Except it was really about a bunch of beautiful idiots saying technology buzz words, getting into antics, jumping into pools and talking about love. Well after that massive failure came a real show about nerds this year. It’s called King of the Nerds and this one is the real deal.
Although there wasn’t a huge advertising effort for the King of the Nerds show it has been very popular. So popular that it has been picked up by the networks for a second season. I heard about it late so I haven’t been following it since the beginning but I love it. The show celebrates all of the things I love and some of the things I’m curious about like Cosplay. The show has two hosts, both actors, who appropriately were in the movie series Revenge of the nerds. A classic, but ofcourse if you’re in the younger generation you might not have heard of or seen the movies.
The King of the Nerds show follows 11 nerds who enter “Nerdvana” in pursuit of becoming the King of the nerds. After forming two teams they then compete against each other in nerdery based challenges on each epidsode. Things like creating a storyline for superheros and villains in Cosplay fashion, creating a nerd anthem and flying a quadcopter through obstacles with an iPad. After each challenge the losing team must chose a team member to enter the nerd wars. The opposing team gets to choose the second losing team member squaring off in the nerd war. The two nerds get to practice for the nerd war and then compete to earn the chance to stay in Nerdvana. The loser goes home, loses his chance to become king of the nerds and usually gets swallowed by a sink hole, flattened by an asteroid, struck by lightning or some other form of hilarious fate.
The winner of the King of the Nerds show will get $100K along with the chance to sit atop the throne of games a coveted spot. This season comprised of many different nerds. A master hacker(Virgil), comic fan(Alana), gamer(Celeste) who also happens to be Canadian, game reviewer(Danielle), Adult Fantasy writer(Genevieve), MIT grad student(Hendrik), Game developer(Ivan), Math and Physics lover(Jon), Host and producer of a geek themed web show(Joshua), and lastly a Planetary protection engineer from NASA(Moogega). The show revels in stereotypical nerdery and is a fun way to entertain. The hosts are perfect and add an element of comedy, dressing up each time they announce the challenges. A Cosplay woman who shows up at some of the challenges to add some nerd sexiness. The show brings the world a glimpse at how “nerds” live, interact and have fun, just like everyone else. I can’t wait for the second season but there are some changes I hope they make to the show. Like every tech product this is the 1.0 of the King of the Nerds show and there are bugs and glitches that need to be worked out.
King of the Nerds 2.0
When the two teams are formed one player should be made captain. The resulting nerd wars after the challenges should then be between the captains of the teams with the captain of the winning team getting an advantage in the challenge due to being the winners. This would give the captains more interest in winning the challenges since the captains are the ones that enter the nerd wars. The captains would also strive to win the nerd wars in order to remain in Nerdvana making the rivalry and competition more intense. It would also leave the captains with the most responsibility so not everyone will want to be the captain. When a captain is eliminated a new captain would be chosen from the remaining team members.
Alternately two contestants would be chosen from the losing team as it is now but instead of two random players the captain would automatically go to nerd wars since the challenge is his responsibillity. The opposing team would then choose his challenger from the losing team and they would battle in the nerd wars.
The challenges while interesting in the current show don’t use the talents of the players. It would both be more interesting to viewers and also to team members to have challenges that use a particular group of players capabilities. This would also show how well the teams were chosen because if the team doesn’t have a member with the capabilities it will become their weakness. So challanges like videogame off, hackathon, comic book trivia contest, etc. even the living chess competition was great but it was a nerd war event and not a challenge. Where are the pop culture references that will pull in viewers? A debate on gaming, a trivia on gaming, comic books, RPGs.
An awesome idea would be to have a game made with the players superheros and then the first game off can be team versus team.
TECHNOLOGY & GADGETRY
The show celebrates geeks, nerds and generally smart people. The smartphone, tablet devices and tech gadget industry is one facet that has long been the domain of nerds and is now starting to creep into the mainstream. It would be cool to see the show get more use out of the gadgets beyond the small use of the iPad. Perhaps have each team choose a smartphone then the challenge becomes tweaking and customizing it to have it perform a set of features tasked. I just want to see more involvement of tech gadgets.
One of the hosts constantly reads out the score of the battle even though it is clearly on the screen. The majority of people watching the show will most likely in some way classify themselves as nerds, geeks, technology literate or just generally smart. There will also be a large audience that are just entertained by it or by the use of Cosplay, comic book references and pop culture. So we all can read the score on the screen! Even the most challenged viewer can tell what the score is especially since it is plastered across the screen. We don’t need the host to tell us it’s 1 for team A and 2 for team B. Just say “the score is tied”, “team B is winning by one point”, etc.
The players all have superhero digital representations of themselves. When they leave Nerdvana in true gameplay fashion “Game Over” is splashed across the screen. Why not have a little more fun with it. If the player loses in the life sized chess have the digital player get sqaushed by a giant chess piece then game over.
If I have peaked your interest you can catch more info on the game show at the following links:
In the end I hope there is a lot of interest in the second season and going forward because this show is a fresh change from the usual Big Brother, Survivor, The Bachelor where muscle bound, athletically gifted, modelesque people endure the trials to come out the other end a winner. In time if there is overwhelming support there will likely be lots of copies until the new “it” becomes stale and milked to death but we’ll go down that warp pipe when we get there.