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MMR: Is MTV\'s Gaming Effort a Sign of the Apocalypse?

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August 14, 2006 2:52:11 PM

MTV acquired Atom Entertainment last week to strengthen its play in the video game world. After adding Xfire earlier this year and now Atom\'s casual online game sites, MTV and parent company Viacom are making a deep push into the gaming world. But considering the state of MTV\'s network, can this possibly be a good thing?
August 14, 2006 3:07:43 PM

Spot on. There was a point though in which Pimp my Ride was watchable though, sometimes it was interesting to see what some of the jack***es out there are driving around. But when they start putting lcd screens in the glove compartment AND under the seats AND in the wheel wells AND on the intake manifold AND micro ones on each lug nut in between each of them acting like a complete moron, its time to turn it off.

Cribs makes me want to vomit.
All those dating shows are pretty bad too though I had no idea about some of the ones you have mentioned.
ALL of the "reality" shows are pre-scripted, every single one of them.

Regardless of how the company is run and what crap they produce, the generally intelligence-challenged gen-y will eat it up, for the most part. Although a celebrity death match video game could be a good idea. Maybe Run's kid could take his anger out on the backstreet boys instead of learning some BS McDojo "karate" crap. :)  There would be something kind of soothing in taking a David Lee Roth or other "classically ebullient" celebrity and dropping a power bomb on someone like Justin Timberlake.
August 14, 2006 5:05:05 PM

I agree....

I gave up on MTV about 10 years ago, about the time of "Puck" (I am sure any watchers of that time, or up to 5 years later, will know who I am talking about).

I grew up on MTV, from the commercial showing a woman sawing a TV with a chainsaw, to the latest Aerosmith vid, to even Beavis and Butthead I was watching.

Then they started doing little things here and there, like The Real World, and the videos got pushed out of prime time. They also did demographic studies and started putting all rap on during daytime hours (I will NOT say why!!!!). It started being less and less alternative/behind the scenes "Kool" stuff, and more and more commercial.

Now I can't STAND it. 30 seconds on the channel and it is hard to tell the programs from infomercials. They REEK of connections with the record companies, marketing, and hell even people like the RIAA and MPAA (who complain about falling profits due to piracy right after a hear-tugging piece like "cribs" lets you know how the people of the industry are suffering).

A bunch of pretty people bouncing around, whether it be in the studio in Times Square, or on a beach where the cameras do not show the "Do not come in if you are ugly" signs for their concerts and other events during Spring Break.

The only thing that was new and welcomed in the past 10 years was their series of "Unplugged" concerts which must have been canceled shortly after they realized that 3/4 of the bands to day CAN'T play unplugged, or that rappers that come on stage without their shirt should really wear clear anti-perspirant (No, thank YOU LL.....).

Ah, anyway. It is funny that an entire day was spent watching MTV to learn this. I think the content for each of these shows would have probably been just as easily, and quite fully contained in the mini-paragraph summaries that are included in your local TV-Guide.

Now if you will excuse me, I will be sitting down with my fiancée later tonight watching "Bridezilla" and repeatedly telling her that she is nothing like those women.

And yes, I hid my shoelaces in the other room as well. ;) 
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August 14, 2006 6:27:35 PM

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Now if you'll excuse, it's time for me to watch VH-1.


Have you watched VH-1 lately? It's a bunch of crap just like MTV. The only good stuff used to be on MTV2, which actually showed a lot of videos at one point, but it now just like MTV. VH1 Classics shows lots of videos. The article's author should have continued watching. MTV usually shows video late at night or early morning.

Sadly, I do know who Puck is. MTV should have stopped after the first Real World.

As for making video games, if they can hire decent talent and let the talent be creative, then they might produce some winners.
August 14, 2006 7:04:29 PM

Decent article. I don't live in the US, but here in Canada we have MuchMusic, which is almost (but not quite) as bad as MTV. I have come to loathe any "Reality" tv show. I hear enough people whining and complaining in real life, I do no want to spend my free time listening to the same thing on tv.
August 14, 2006 7:42:54 PM

Puck is the street-luge-er that was in RW 1 or 2.

He was the "Rebel to the world, friend of noone" knid of guy.

I believe that was the season the gay-guy died of AIDS. And the producers loved every minute of it.
August 14, 2006 9:57:57 PM

MTV throught the 80's was a phenomenon we will never experience again. It was the place to find out what were the newest and hottest new tunes.

Overall good job with the article. Although I have to strongly disagree with one or two points:

Quote:
Somewhere around the early 1990s, the network began to stray, which is odd since the music industry as a whole was revived by alternative, grunge and punk acts that killed off the cheesy hair bands.


First off record sales did rise during the mid 90's. However it was not because of grunge and punk rock acts. If you look at the percentage of albums that were sold during the 1990's, country music was arguably more of a factor in helping raise record sales.

In 1989 Rock albums comprised of 41.7% of sales while country 7.3. In 1993 rock accounted for 30.2% while country rose to 18.7%. Towards the end of the decade in 1998 rock fell to 25.7% of sales while country was steady at 14.1%. The link to these numbers can be found at Riaa.com here:

http://www.riaa.com/news/marketingdata/pdf/1998consumerprofile.pdf

I would argue that Kurt Cobain and 90's grunge acts is what killed off what once was Rock and Roll. The baby boomers and even some generation Xers could see right through the talentless acts that arrived in the 90's. MTV had no choice but to radically change their format and show "puck".

Quote:
Even as the quality and budgets for music videos increased during the decade, the programming began moving swiftly away from videos.


Budget did increase...but did quality? 1980's vidoes (as cheesy as alot of them were) had character and substance that most 90's vidoes couldn't have dreamed of. I found it interesting that the author easily points out some of his favorite 80's vidoes. On top of thriller you also had classics like Peter Gabriels "Sledgehammer." Dire Straits "I want my MTV." Weird Al Yankovics "Eat It." Twisted Sisters "We're not going to take it." etc. etc. etc. I could go on forever.

If 90's music vidoes were so great go out and ask people what their favorite videos from the decade were. I bet anyone would have a real hard time doing it. Why? Because they were all cookie cutter, looked and sounded the same.

Having said that yeah...MTV sucks. But it's because there are no hair bands, cheesy videos and all the great stuff. It's all about the money and ipod generation now.

One thing that MTV still hasn't figured out is we are waiting for a true "classic" channel. All old 80's MTV all the time. Just like the good old days. Now that would be aweosme dude!!!
August 14, 2006 10:30:05 PM

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One thing that MTV still hasn't figured out is we are waiting for a true "classic" channel. All old 80's MTV all the time. Just like the good old days. Now that would be aweosme dude!!!


I have to disagree with you on that one. We don't need an oldies tv station. We have those on the radio, and they already piss me off when I hear them (usually either in a store or restaurant). I don't like most of the crap on MTV, but the answer is not to go back and play the 80s crap over again. The 80s was arguably THE WORST decade for music and culture in general.

I also have to disagree with your point about 90s grunge and album sales. I don't doubt the sales figures, but (however much the corporate cultural wishes us to believe it) album sales are not indicative of musical creativity and quality. Album sales are much more about marketing than any actual musical ability. Grunge was bucking the system of corporate rock (80s metal included). Eventually the industry imbraced the grunge movement, which killed it, hence the poor sales.

I do agree with your points about the quality of videos going down. I also attribute that the the commercialization of the industry.

As far as MTV is concerned, I think that the people who don't really care about music will listen to their R&B, Rap, and Country (not meaning to knock those genres, thats just where the money is) and the rest of us that really love music, will switch off the TV, log on our computers and listen to our favorite tunes, watch homemade music videos on youtube, read forums to hear about new bands, myspace to hear about upcoming shows.

In my opinion, in short, INTERNET KILLED THE VIDEO STAR.

http://www.poptix.net/funny/videostar.swf
August 15, 2006 2:21:10 AM

I pretty much totally agree with the author of this article. IMHO most new music is crap across the board. I listen to metal classic rock regular rock rap and electronice music. And for the most part the only music I buy is from already existing bands that I like. The problem with MTV, VH1, etc. is that it is no longer about the music and music videos. As sad is it is to say music videos dont bring the viewers like they used to. People would rather watch spoiled kids/adults (Im looking at you real world and road rules) than watch videos anymore. Some of the shows I do kind of like such as cribs, pimp my ride, jackass and viva la bam. (I understand some of your dislike of these shows) What happened is that along time ago the corporate rulers of MTV realized they could get more viewers showing "shows" if ou can call them that instead of videos. About the only time you can see acutal honest to goodness videos (weather or not you like the "bands") is in the middle of the night for a few hours that is they usually stop "normal programming at 2 or 3am here in Texas and start back up at 8 or 9ish.

MTV2 started out promising, granted I never saw much of it didn't have it in cable, but it again just like MTV lost its way. What we need now is a channel that only show videos, maybe a couple, one for pop/rap (total crap IMO) and one for all kinds of rock (again mostly crap IMO) including less mainstream things like metal. The only problem is that channels like that wont bring in viewers in the numbers MTV and VH1 would, which are both owned by Viacom as in Nikeleodian (I totaly misspelled that one) Unfortunately I venture to guess we will NEVER see a station like MTV as it was in the golden days showing mostly videos are gone and will NEVER return. We will be stuck with cheesy pseudo pop and rock that for the most part won't last, in 10 years we will be seeing them on where are they now on vh1 if they still have that show. The main point the golden years "our" golden years of music television are gone with the exception of country format channels and for some part the hip/hop channel"s" like BET that is really the only refuge left for people actually wanting to see music videos again weather or not you like the format country vs rap hiphop that is.

On an off shoot free radio is beginning that same turn. Granted you cant really have "shows" like you would on tv but most of the radio I listen to, a local station Candy 95 (mostly MTV type music across the board rock, rap and pop etc. and the only rap station which actually just switched to latino) is running ALOT more commercials on the old rap station you were lucky to catch 2 or 3 songs an hour inbetween radio talkshow type programming and commercials, the Candy 95 if much better but still alot of commercials.

For those of us who love music what ever your tastes may be the choices are steadiliy drying up to the point where your only option is the internet, cds or mp3 players.
August 15, 2006 2:00:36 PM

Don't get me started on NYC radio.

They were bought out YEARS ago.

R.I.P. WNEW 102.7... :( 
August 15, 2006 5:18:18 PM

I have to disagree with you on one point biohazard. I think that there is A LOT of good new music. Back when I was younger, and listened to the radio, and watched music videos on TV, my musical world was quite limited and I would only listen to a new band every month or so. Now that I use the internet to explore my musical interests, I can easily find 5-10 decent bands that I have never heard of in a a few hours of searching. I usually end up with so many different bands to listen to, that I don't actually have time to explore each band fully, so I just download a few mp3s from their website and file them away to listen to later.

A note to the RIAA and the music industry in general: before I used the internet to find music (pre-napster days), I used to buy a CD every 2-3 months. Now, I will buy at least 2-3 CDs every month. I own 200+ CDs now. I often end up downloading huge quantities of music via bittorrent or p2p, but the stuff that I like I will go out and buy.
August 15, 2006 11:45:15 PM

Quote:
I have to disagree with you on one point biohazard. I think that there is A LOT of good new music. Back when I was younger, and listened to the radio, and watched music videos on TV, my musical world was quite limited and I would only listen to a new band every month or so. Now that I use the internet to explore my musical interests, I can easily find 5-10 decent bands that I have never heard of in a a few hours of searching. I usually end up with so many different bands to listen to, that I don't actually have time to explore each band fully, so I just download a few mp3s from their website and file them away to listen to later.

A note to the RIAA and the music industry in general: before I used the internet to find music (pre-napster days), I used to buy a CD every 2-3 months. Now, I will buy at least 2-3 CDs every month. I own 200+ CDs now. I often end up downloading huge quantities of music via bittorrent or p2p, but the stuff that I like I will go out and buy.


I can agree with you it just most new music is just not my taste, I guess was the point. And yes everyones tastes musically are different. I just tend to find it hard to find something different out there today. I dont buy as many cds as I used to I have over 300 but that is mainly because of money for me bieng tighter. I download lots and I mean LOTS I have over 120 gigs of music somewhere around 12500 songs at the moment, granted the biggest portion GB wise of that is electronic music you just cant buy in stores.

And if I hear a new band I like to go download some of their stuff and if I like it I will buy it but for the most part the cds coming out today again IMO are only worth the 2 or 3 decent songs on the album then you are stuck paying for alot of music you really care not to listen to at least thats the way it is in my case. And I am sorry but I refuse to pay for a cd to only listen to 2 or 3 songs, thats just the way I feel. I generally have 2 sets of music, the 300+ cds in my car that I carry with me and the 12000+ songs on my pc which for the most part do not overlap with the cds I own for the simple fact that those are songs that I realy only want to listen to when I am using my pc. And no I dont listen to them all I have 1700 hours of music and only listen to maybe .5% of it. But keep all the rest of them around for that off chance I dont want to listen to X song I know I have it. LOL
August 21, 2006 6:51:20 AM

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Yes, we're going to hell in a hand basket. We are now somewhere in the Fourth Circle of Hell, and our guide today is Chelsi. She's turning 16 years old, she's incredibly self-centered and she utters things like:

"It's really important that I'm remembered forever;"
"My party's real exclusive and, like, not everyone is invited;"
"We're going to look so pretty, everyone's going to be jealous of us!"
"If I don't get a new car, I'm going to be really pissed off;"
"I think my friends feel jealous that I'm wearing this beautiful dress and they're wearing these togas;"
"I AM empress Chelsi!"
Amazing, MTV's show "My Super Sweet 16" revolves around finding the world's most spoiled and out-of-touch brats and documenting their sweet 16 birthday bashes. Why Viacom would think that highlighting the future Paris Hilton's of America is compelling television, I have no idea. The best part of this half hours comes when Chelsi's mom, who's apparently the only human being on this show, tells her daughter that she's "being a snot" a mere five minutes into the episode. She later tells Chelsi that she's "being evil," which seems even more accurate. Hooray Mom! I'm not sure what's become of America's Youth, but this surely is not a good sign. But the scene where a couple of idiots knocked over the $800 birthday cake and ate it off the floor, which sent Chelsi into a bleep-filled tirade, was pretty much the highlight of the day so far.

And yes, Chelsi got an expensive convertible for her birthday. Like I said, we're all going to hell. Save Chelsi and her beamer a seat, please.


People like Chelsi are the reason why scientists haven't cured cancer yet.
May 15, 2007 11:47:17 PM

My memory is hazy but I remember seeing an interview with what I think was the president of VIACOM about two or three years ago. Shoking to me at the time, he out right stated that they deliberately moved away from playing videos because they could not successfully package them with commercials. Short attention span viewers would change the channel as soon as a commercial came on or a video was playing the viewer didn't want to see. They had to "hook" the viewer into watching beyond the commercial and videos never had that hook.

The explanation made sense to me but all their replacement garbage never hooked me at all. The videos did have some hook value to me (even if I did change channels exactly like he said... at least I came back occasionally...). It all ended for me not long after they started the unecessary rotating and zooming by the cracked out camera man.

My favorite show was liquid television (and no I wasn't on drugs). It had that cool mix of part video and part story to get the hook set. Kinda like that movie "The Cell" (part art part story).
November 26, 2008 2:56:33 AM

IMHO hip hop killed MTV. Hip Hop appealed to a younger and smaller (during the late 80s) audience. It drove off the loyal fan base that made MTV great.

I understand that MTV was trying to be cutting edge by embracing hip hop but you can only package ho's and b-tches so many ways. After the initial shock effect it doesn't make for good music video.

There might be a chance for success for a foray into the gaming industry but I have my doubts. To be really successful in gaming you have to appeal to more then the penniless teeny boppers. I'm not sure the people at MTV can manage it.
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