Let me preface this article by stating emphatically that I am not a reality show person. Seriously! I mean it. I think most reality TV is dumb, fabricated, exploitative nonsense. However, my mom, who I live with at the moment, watches almost nothing but reality TV. Therefore, I absorbed the gamut of TLC's back catalog without even knowing it.
Since I have all this passive knowledge about reality TV floating around in my noggin, I had to put it to use somehow. So my imagination went to its weird place and thought up these bizarre reality TV-inspired video games. Who knows? Maybe you'll see one of these ideas turn up on Watch What Happens Live!
4 The Real Housewives Of New Jersey
If you thought reality TV was not gritty enough for gaming, you did not watch this season's Real Housewives Of New Jersey reunion special. First, Teresa Giudice deflected all the other housewives' concerns that her fiancé, Louis, is not the best of people. Then, after a commercial break, Teresa and Margaret continued to talk over each other (well, mostly Teresa because, of course, she did). And then, Andy Cohen, at the end of his fucking rope, lost his cool on live TV and yelled with gritted teeth, "SHUT! UP!"
It gets real on Real Housewives Of New Jersey. And that Andy Cohen outburst is only the tip of the iceberg. Let's not forget that the first season ended with the very same Teresa Giudice flipping a table over Danielle Staub's past, which gave birth to the iconic phrase:
Speaking of flipping tables, I'm picturing an RHONJ video game centered around just that. Think Mortal Kombat's Test Your Might, but with shady business dealings and Italian Americanisms. Perhaps each round ups the ante from flipping tables to flipping yachts, flipping mansions, and beyond! Also, I want a massive cast of playable characters, including my personal fave, the diplomatic Caroline Manzo.
And before you ask me, of course, Andy Cohen is the unlockable boss character.
3 Little People, Big World
There's a lot to love about Little People, Big World. First, the series broke misconceptions with its grounded, non-exploitative portrayal of the Roloffs, a family consisting of average height and LPs running a successful family farm. Furthermore, after over fifteen years, the series is still going strong, and the Roloff clan continues to grow. In fact, Zach and Tori Roloff welcomed their second child, Lilah Ray, into the world in 2019.
While the Roloffs are close, they're also a complicated family. For instance, Matt and Amy Roloff are managing an amicable divorce, which is easier said than done. This season, Matt turned down Zach and Tori's offer to buy half the farm because he felt their offer did not match the current real estate market value. In turn, Zach and Tori have decided to move their family out of their home state of Oregon to Washington. Obviously, these events are frustrating for Amy. She is already coping with leaving behind her family home after marrying Chris and watching her children leave the nest.
Yeah. The situation is a little strained. But it's also relatable for any family going through a divorce. I think a Stardew Valley-Esque farming game centered on these plot points would be a neat endeavor. Maybe it's a visual novel about changing family dynamics disguised as a farming sim. Now I could get into that!
2 Dr. Pimple Popper
Yeah, I'll say it. People love gross shit. And no reality show proves my statement more than TLC's Dr. Pimple Popper. This show centers on the private practice of Sandra Siew Pin Lee Rebish MD, a dermatologist who treats patients with unique facial and skin disorders. I'm talking goiters, lipomas, skin tags, cysts: you name it, she pops it.
While the show has a comfort-TV vibe due to the emotional journeys of her patients, Dr. Pimple Popper is best known for its graphic depiction of… I don't know the medical term for this, so I'm just going to say nasty-ass pus. Some people love watching Dr. Lee's procedures, describing it as a satisfying experience. Others cannot even watch the show without throwing up in their mouth a little bit. In fact, Dr. Pimple Popper is one of the few TV shows I know that has pixelated commercials for content that isn't nudity.
Considering its niche content, a Dr. Pimple Popper game would not be for everyone. For instance, I could not play a pimple popping simulator without a yeet bucket nearby. Still, a considerable chunk of people would absolutely love this. Furthermore, considering how much you could do with VR and motion controls, a Dr. Pimple Popper game makes a lot of sense.
1 Rupaul's Drag Race: Lip Sync For Your Life
From what I've researched, Rupaul's Drag Race already has a video game: Rupaul's Drag Race Superstar. This is a mobile game that emphasizes makeovers and werk room lewks. However, I'm not a lewk queen – not many people are. We need an RPDR game for those who are more performance-oriented. Then I wondered, what if there was a game that simulated the tantalizing experience of lip-syncing for your life?
Of course, once the initial idea came to me, the wheels started turning. We've seen singing video games in the past. For instance, there's Karaoke Revolution, Singstar, Let's Sing, and the legendary Rock Band series. However, all of these games judge pitch. I want to see a music game that judges lyrical accuracy and campy theatrics!
The game mechanics for my idea are still a little iffy. I know advanced lip tracking via Xbox Kinect/PS camera is essential. Still, that cannot measure personality and delivery. Perhaps the game could give out bonuses for death drops? Or maybe lip syncs could get recorded and submitted online for judgment by the masses. Again, I'm not sure how this would work, but I'm stoked to see it happen. Even if it's simply for the satisfying feeling of hearing Ru say those iconic words:
The time has come to lip sync for your life. Good luck, and don't fuck it up.
– RuPaul Charles
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