Game Station 2.0
|Genre||Science fiction, Comedy|
|Created by||Mike Stoklasa|
|Opening theme||"Torn Jeans" by Apple Inc.|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||4 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||5-6 minutes|
|Picture format||16:9 720p (HDTV)|
|Original run||March 22, 2012– May 28, 2012|
|Related shows||Mr. Plinkett Reviews|
Half in the Bag
Game Station 2.0
Best of the Worst
Game Station 2.0 is an American review web series created by Mike Stoklasa, Rich Evans, and Jay Bauman, revolving around video games and geek culture. Hosted by Rich Evans, the series aired from March 22, 2012 to May 28, 2012 on Blip and YouTube and provided traditional gaming reviews, interspersed with scripted segments and a satirical opening sequence which lampooned internet review show clichés. Reviews were penned solely by Evans although episodes were edited by Stoklasa and Bauman.
The series follows a hapless gamer, Unit 603 Idiot, who finds himself bound in indentured servitude for a mysterious organization unconcerned with his well-being. Episodes focus on Unit 603's interactions with his co-workers as he reviews videos games for an unknown purpose. Due to the discontinuation of the series, Unit 603's fate and the reasons behind his confinement remain unresolved.
- Main article: Game Station 2.0#Episodes
Unit 603 Idiot, a gaming enthusiast and Spider-Man expert, is a new hire at the Game Station, where he is forced to review old games and other geek media for the mysterious Overlords. As time passes, he grows curious about the nature of the Game Station and the reasons behind his daily confinement to the game station pod.
- Unit 603 Idiot (Rich Evans) is a hapless gamer who finds himself confined to a room and forced to produce reviews without compensation under hazardous working conditions. He is despised and belittled by the coworkers he encounters, except Liz the Android.
- Tara the Gamer Girl (Tara Ketterer) acts as an extradiegetic narrator for the opening segments, where she introduces the subjects of each review and provides background information. She is an Omniscient Observer, watching Unit 603 Idiot with the audience. Tara only interacts with the audience, and it is uncertain if the other characters are aware of her existence.
- Overseer 913 (Mike Stoklasa) is Unit 603 Idiot's antagonistic overseer, manager of Unit 4 Subsection 600 to 609 of the Game Station. He micromanages the units but particularly enjoys inflicting physical harm to Unit 603.
- Android 221 "Liz" (Liz Shipe) is a sex and data robot, who sexually services the men of the Game Station and delivers data to all game station pods. She has a seemingly flirtatious exchange with Unit 603.
- Unit 609 Jay (Jay Bauman) is a fellow game reviewer, who bullies Unit 603 into reviewing for him. He enjoys greater freedoms than Unit 603, parties often, and is well paid for his work.
- The Game Station Overlords are the unseen, mysterious proprietors of the Game Station, who are harvesting reviews for an unknown reason. They have created a large organization with multiple levels of bureaucracy in order to generate reviews.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD release date|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 0|
|1||4||March 22, 2012||May 27, 2012||N/A|
Season 1 (2012)
The first season of Game Station 2.0 consists of four episodes, released from March 2012 to May 2012.
No. in series
No. in season
|Featured games||Airdate||Guest stars||Editor||Links|
Batman: Arkham City (2011, WB)
March 22, 2012
Rich Evans, Unit 603 Idiot, starts his first day of reviewing at the Game Station.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011, Nintendo)
April 5, 2012
Rich tries to figure out the true nature of the Game Station.
The Amazing Spiderman Trailer (2012, Sony)
April 26, 2012
The Game Station Overlords send Liz the Android to solicit Rich's opinion on the new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man.
Vanquish (2012, Sega)
May 27, 2012
Rich discovers he is being excluded from company outings.
Conception and development
Game Station 2.0 was originally conceived and developed by Mike Stoklasa, Jay Bauman, and Rich Evans as a video game review show that could provide traditional reviews of games and satirize the clichés of such shows. The driving force behind this endeavor was Stoklasa, who wanted to branch out from film reviews to other media and draw in a new audience.
In early 2011, viewer interest in Red Letter Media primarily came from Mr. Plinkett Reviews, which were lengthy and sporadic productions. Wanting to do something new, Stoklasa moved towards producing a weekly movie review series that "avoid[ed] the labor intensive process inherent in the earlier [Mr. Plinkett] reviews" and in March 2011, he and Bauman launched Half in the Bag. To get more exposure for the nascent series, they partnered with gaming and media website Machininma.com and granted the rights to distribute episodes of Half in the Bag on YouTube. The releases on Machinima were heavily edited and served as teasers for full episodes.
Through the partnership, Stoklasa also saw a chance to capture the gaming audience on Machinima, and he, Bauman, and Evans went ahead and shot four episodes of Game Station 2.0 "with the intention of giving it to Machinima." Evans came up with the title of the show without realizing a video game web show called The Game Station already existed.
Episodes are short, with running times between 5 to 6 minutes. Each episode includes an introduction monologue by a gamer girl named Tara and a one-man traditional game review by Rich Evans, interspersed with scripted comedy skits. Tara’s monologue, which breaks the fourth wall, serves as a lead-in for the main review, but is peppered with incorrect information and non-sequiturs throughout. The comedy skits feature a cast of supporting characters in the Game Station, portrayed by creators Mike Stoklasa and Jay Bauman and actress Liz Shipe.
Out of the three creators, Rich Evans was the only gamer, and the task of selecting games and scripting the reviews fell to him. Evans focused on AAA titles and releases he felt were overlooked. Although Evans had a hand in creating the Star Wars reviews for Mr. Plinkett Reviews and starred in Half in the Bag, Game Station 2.0 was the first Red Letter Media series to feature him prominently as a critic.
The title sequence of Game Station 2.0 is set in front of a starfield. Tara the Gamer Girl welcomes the viewer and animated texts flash across the screen, detailing the subjects that the episode intends to cover. Accompanied by the title music, "Torn Jeans" from the iMovie music library, the list gradually grows more absurd until the title card appears.
Filming of Game Station 2.0 took place at the Red Letter Media studio. While the Tara segments were filmed in front of a green screen, the framing skits were shot on a practical set, Unit 603’s one-room Game Station pod. The set itself lacked pod doors, but doors and a long hallway were digitally added in certain episodes. On-set audio was captured through wired lavalier microphones, except with The Overseer, whose audio is captured on a dynamic microphone. Early episodes had audio issues due to microphone pop, which were resolved by using a windscreen.
Scope and format issues
The episode length and content played a large role in shaping the scope and format of Game Station 2.0. Rich Evans, having little background in game design and production, felt he was not qualified to scrutinize these elements in a meaningful way, so he evaluated the games from the player's perspective and kept the reviews short. This was a stark contrast to other Red Letter Media review shows like Mr. Plinkett Reviews and Half in the Bag, where insight and extensive analysis were the main focus. In addition, neither Mike Stoklasa nor Jay Bauman were gamers, so group discussion of games was precluded. As such, fans of Mr. Plinkett Reviews and Half in the Bag expecting in-depth reviews or discussions with contributions from Stoklasa and Bauman were not satisfied with the new series.
Another issue for Game Station 2.0 was the content. Evans selected games for review, but in contrast to Half in the Bag, which features the most recent theatrical releases, Evans reviewed older games since he rarely bought and played AAA releases on a regular basis. Evans expressed dissatisfaction with the series, stating that if the show were to return, he would want to expand the concept beyond the one-man review. Game Station 2.0's focus on older releases diminished the show’s relevance to avid gamers, limiting the potential audience. The presentation of the review content was also a problem, because editing was usually left to Stoklasa and Bauman. Without a background in video games, the editors did not know what information was relevant or entertaining to the gaming audience.
In addition, Red Letter Media's partnership with Machininma.com brought in a new audience, which did not understand Half in the Bag and responded negatively to the show. One incident after the debut on Machininma.com was referenced in the Cowboys and Aliens episode of Half in the Bag. Stoklasa and Bauman suggested that the partnership might be "short-lived" due to the sensibilities of Machininma.com's primary audience. The final Half in the Bag episode released on Machininma.com was Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance on February 24, 2012.
Four Game Station 2.0 episodes were filmed prior to March 2012. However, after the dissolution of the partnership with Machinima.com, the episodes were released solely through the Red Letter Media web site.
After the four episodes were released, the series was not continued, despite Mike Stoklasa's intention to produce additional episodes. Unrealized ideas include the continuation of Unit 603's storyline as well as a Mass Effect 3 review, which was originally announced to tease the premiere of Game Station 2.0. Both Stoklasa and Rich Evans explained that work on other shows and movies preempted any further work on new Game Station 2.0 episodes.
No further announcements for Game Station 2.0 were made the next year, and by December 2013, the Game Station 2.0 set was disassembled. In April 2014, two years after the cancellation of Game Station 2.0, Red Letter Media launched a discussion-based game review show called Previously Recorded, featuring Rich Evans and his Best of the Worst co-star, Jack Packard.
- Previously Recorded, a discussion-based game review show.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 KMF (September 10, 2013). "„I hate the idea of self censoring”. Interview with Red Letter Media’s Mike Stoklasa". film.org.pl. KMF. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Bauman, Jay (April 4, 2012). "redletterjay: For those wondering, we shot four episodes of this all ...". RedLetterMedia.com. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Minor, Jordan (March 1, 2013). "Red Letter Media on B-Fest, Star Wars, and other Bad Movies". NUChronicle.com. Northwestern Chronicle. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Red Letter Media, LLC (March 22, 2012). "Game Station 2.0 – Batman: Arkham City (Pilot Episode)". RedLetterMedia.com. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Evans, Rich (June 10, 2012). "InvisionPB / CSunkyst: you could just make it ...". Retrieved Nov 17, 2014.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Packard, Jack (April 5, 2014). "Whatever happend to Game Station 2.0? : RedLetterMedia". Reddit.com. Reddit. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Red Letter Media, LLC (April 5, 2012). "Game Station 2.0: Legend of Zelda - Skyward Sword". Blip.tv. RedLetterMedia. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Stoklasa, Mike (March 21, 2012). "InvisionPB / Redlettermike: Hi friends, this was sort of ...". Retrieved Nov 17, 2014.
- ↑ Red Letter Media, LLC (July 24, 2011). "Twitter / redlettermedia: Hey guys! Machinima.com has ...". Twitter.com. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Red Letter Media, LLC (April 15, 2014). "Pre-Rec: Risk of Rain". RedLetterMedia.com. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Red Letter Media, LLC (March 22, 2012). "Twitter / redlettermedia: How much sarcasm can be crammed ...". Twitter.com. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Evans, Rich (February 21, 2013). "InvisionPB / CSunkyst: Actually, I had NO IDEA ...". Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- ↑ Red Letter Media, LLC (May 27, 2012). "Game Station 2.0 Episode 4". YouTube.com. RedLetterMedia. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- ↑ McKevitt, Brian (February 4, 2011). "Red Letter Media's Mike Stoklasa". geekpropaganda.com. Geek Propaganda. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Evans, Rich (February 20, 2013). "InvisionPB / CSunkyst: That "something" is that ...". Retrieved Nov 17, 2014.
- ↑ Wild, Matt (April 13, 2010). "The audience strikes back: Mike Stoklasa's very detailed (and very late) takedowns of Star Wars". avclub.com. A.V. Club Milwaukee. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Williams, David E. (June 26, 2012). "Mike Stoklasa: Not a Snarky, Complaining, Armchair Critic? Come On!". GeekExchange.com. Geek. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 The Comic Book Syndicate (May 27, 2012). "RED LETTER MEDIA's Mike Stoklasa, interviewed by THE SYNDICATE". YouTube.com. RedLetterMedia. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Evans, Rich (December 10, 2012). "InvisionPB / CSunkyst: Fuck no, I'm the ...". Retrieved Nov 17, 2014.
- ↑ Red Letter Media, LLC (March 29, 2012). "Red Letter Media on Twitter: "@GigaBoots Fair enough good sir, please do not watch any future episodes that come out. That seems the most likely solution to the problem."". RedLetterMedia.com. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Red Letter Media, LLC (May 28, 2012). "Twitter / redlettermedia: Game Station 2.0 - Vanquish: ...". Twitter.com. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Evans, Rich (June 24, 2013). "InvisionPB / CSunkyst: Between Half in the Bag, ...". Retrieved November 17, 2014.
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Evans, Rich (November 17, 2014). "InvisionPB / RedLetterRich: Basically this. Gamestation ended ...". Retrieved Nov 18, 2014.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Red Letter Media, LLC (August 6, 2011). "Cowboys and Aliens". RedLetterMedia.com. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- ↑ Red Letter Media, LLC (April 5, 2012). "Twitter / redlettermedia: Game Station 2.0 - Legend of ...". Twitter.com. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- ↑ Red Letter Media, LLC (April 26, 2012). "Twitter / redlettermedia: Game Station 2.0 - The Amazing ...". Twitter.com. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- ↑ Bauman, Jay (February 19, 2013). "InvisionPB / RedLetterJay: All the episodes that ...". Retrieved Nov 17, 2014.
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 Riley's Autographs (April 3, 2012). "Mike Stoklasa interview". RileysAutographs.com. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
- ↑ Red Letter Media, LLC (March 13, 2012). "Twitter / redlettermedia: @MariLetje Will will be doing ...". Twitter.com. Retrieved March 03, 2014.
- ↑ RedLetterMedia, LLC (December 9, 2013). "Twitter / redlettermedia: For those of you asking when ...". Twitter.com. Retrieved March 03, 2014.