Game Studs: Episode 8

July 17, 2009 at 12:21 am (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  This was the end of Game Studs for the time being.  More recently, we’ve been looking at ways to bring it back, but we just can’t figure it out with time management.  So we ended it in the most drastic way I know how:  Ridiculously.


Game Studs Episode 8

“The Minus World”


Setting:  Fade in from white.  The four are all sitting in the J school lounge, looking confused.


Ben:  (Looks around).  Huh?  The door of light just lead us here?


Alexa:  It sure seems that way.  Oh well, at least we’re not dead.


Topher:  Something’s still not right…


Danny:  (He starts deeply laughing from behind everyone.  They move out of the way for the camera to see Danny laughing.  His voice is now much deeper and more confident).  Hahaha…you are correct.


Alexa:  Danny?


Danny:  In one sense of the word, yes.  I am who you’ve always known as Danny.  (Begins pacing).  However, I am so much more than that.  If only you knew who I am.


Ben:  Then who am you?


Danny:  I am the Game Master!


Topher:  (The three are all stone faced and unimpressed).  What?


Danny:  Yes, I’ve been following you all around these past months, carefully setting things in motion.


Ben:  So it was you who burnt the game store down!


Danny:  Precisely.  It began with the simple hiring of this pawn, and every step of the way I’ve pushed us one step closer to our destiny.


Topher:  That sounds needlessly complicated.


Danny:  Incredibly!  But enough, there are more important things to be dealt with.  There is a great evil in this world.


Topher:  What world?


Danny:  This world!


Topher:  The real world?


Danny:  No, the Minus World!


Topher:  It looks just like the boring version of our world.


Danny:  It’s not!  Shut up!


Alexa:  So can we cut to the important things?  I’ve never been a fan of opening cinematics.


Danny:  Ah, yes, the reason I’ve brought you all here is because it is your destiny to collect 7…items of somewhat importance.


Topher:  Always seven…


Alexa:  What sort of items?


Danny:  Of somewhat importance.


Ben:  Yeah, but what do they look like?


Danny:  They look like something important.  (Pulls out a map).  Here is a map that shows the item’s locations.  You three heroes of destiny must collect them within the time limit or else it’s game over…for some reason!


Ben:  Lame.


Alexa:  Alright, let’s split up and get them.  Come on guys.  (The three walk out of the room).


Time for a montage of the three gathering the items.  First we see Topher grabbing an item from off of a tree.  Then, Alexa picks one up from the center of the EMU amphitheatre.  Then, Ben picks the lock of a car, opens the door, and takes another one.  Then Topher is seen chasing after a squirrel.  Then Alexa randomly finds one in her pocket.  Finally, Ben is seen buying a hot dog.  As he opens the wrapper, he finds another item.  The three meet up again outside the J School.


Topher:  (The three are counting up their totals).  We’re still one short.


Ben:  It’s not on the map anywhere.


Alexa:  Ten to one the map’s the last item.


Topher:  (He and Ben look at each other and then Alexa).  Yeah I’ll take that bet.


Danny:  Aha!  You have found all the items!


Topher:  The map was an item?


Danny:  Yes yes, the map was an item.


Alexa:  You owe me a Coke.


Topher:  Damn.


Ben:  Now what?


Danny:  (Evil laugher).  You fools walked right into my trap.  It was all too easy!


Topher:  (Realizes what’s happened).  Uh…ahhhhh…


Ben:  What?


Topher:  We fell for the most basic cliché in games and collected the items for the villain thinking he was someone else.


Alexa:  Man we’re stupid.


Topher:  Sometimes I hate us.


Danny:  And now, my items please.  (Snaps his fingers.  Freeze on the three holding the items, instantly the items are gone.  Cut to Danny who is now holding all the items).  Hahaha, and now the end has come!  (He hugs the items close, the camera begins to shake like an earthquake.  “Crack!” sound effect goes off, screen starts flashing white.  It fades back in and the items that Danny were holding are gone, although he is dressed in a badass outfit and looks ready to kill).  Prepare for the Eleventh Hour!


Ben:  What’s the Eleventh Hour?


Topher:  The time right before the villain wins where you either have to step up or get killed.


Ben:  Ah.


Alexa:  Well then, let’s step up!  (The three nod and pull weapons out from behind their backs).


Danny:  Hahaha, futile.  (The three rush Danny, with Topher swinging his sword down first.  It stops above Danny’s head via telekinesis.  Danny throws him back.  Alexa runs up next, slashing at Danny with her sword, although Danny dodges easily out of the way, finally pushing her aside via telekinesis again).


Ben:  (Looks down at his sword and then over at Danny.  He just drops his sword).  Nah.


Danny:  (Begins laughing again).  Well then, it looks as if I have won!


Ben:  (The three join up again, with Alexa in between the two guys).  If we have to die, then I get to make out with Alexa.


Topher:  What?!  No way, I call dibs.


Alexa:  (Ear thwips both guys at once).  Excuse me, but I’m taken.


JT:  (Cut to JT randomly sitting at a chair.  He swivels around and nods).  M’why yes indeed!


Danny:  And now the end comes!  (He hold his hands above his head, charging an energy ball of some sort).


Topher:  Well we’re certainly screwed.


Danny:  Hahaha, let’s see you catch this one!  (Shotgun sound effect is heard.  Danny instantly stops laughing, his ball disappears, and he falls over.  Frank is behind him holding a shotgun).


Frank:  Yippie ka-yai motha fucka.


Topher:  Who the hell are you?


Frank:  (Sets down his shotgun and picks up his guitar).  Me?  I’m just a humble ol’ camera man.  (Begins playing the same song from the end of Channel 70 and walks away).


Topher:  Meh, works for me.


Alexa:  Well now what?


Topher:  I don’t know.  The end credits should roll and then maybe some bonus features are unlocked.


Ben:  Well yeah but can’t we go home?


Topher:  I don’t really know…  (Scene starts to fade out, instantly the screen goes all fuzzy ala NES games).


JT:  (Pull back and we see JT at a TV holding an NES cartridge).  This game sucks.  Where’d I put Sponge Bob?  (Game Studs logo flashes on the screen).



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Game Studs: Episode 7

July 17, 2009 at 12:15 am (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  The owner of Big City Gaming had officially pushed us too far, so we dropped the store’s use from the segment.  It wouldn’t have been possible to do another episode outside the store anyway, so we were forced to do the only classy thing: Burn the store down.  Not literally, but in the script.  Needless to say, I was angry.


Game Studs: Episode 7



Setting:  Danny and Topher are walking down the street, talking.  I don’t know which street, but trust me, it’ll definitely be a street of some sort.  Unless it’s a sidewalk.


Topher:  So you’ve got a date huh?


Danny:  Yes, I have finally succeeded in wooing one of these “women” I’ve heard so much about.


Topher:  What’s her name?


Danny:  Erin.


Topher:  Aaron with an E or Aaron with two A’s?


Danny:  Um…with an E.  (Shoots Topher a look).  Wait a minute…why?


Topher:  No reason.  You can’t be too careful though.  (Pats Danny on the back).  Well good work on the girl.  Just don’t screw it up.


Danny:  Haha, unlikely.  She really seems to love my personality and admires that I have a job.  (Realizes something).  In fact she’s said that I’d be a loser if I didn’t have money…but no matter!


Topher:  (Ring ring ring).  Hold up.  (Answer).  Hello?  Yeah Ben, what’s up?  What?!  We’ll be right there!


Danny:  What’s going on?


Topher:  Shut up and let’s go!  (They run off).


Setting:  Outside on a busy street.  Ben is standing in shock at something off camera.


Topher:  (He runs into the frame up to Ben).  Ben, is it true?  (He looks off at the thing off camera).


Ben:  Yep, I really wasn’t kidding.  The game store burnt down.


Topher:  Faulty 360?


Ben:  Yes.  (Chokes back tears).


Topher:  I didn’t know this place meant so much to you.


Ben:  (Cracks).  I wanted to be the one who burned it down!  Damn you Microsoft!  Damn you to Hades!


Danny:  (Runs into the shot).  So what’s-  (Sees the store off camera).  NO!  My job!  I’m unemployed!  Without a good source of money my love life shall crumble!  (Recovers quickly).  No matter, at least I’ve invested well in high-return stock.  (Ben grabs a newspaper and quickly gives it to Danny.  Danny opens it to the business page quickly and breaks again).  NO!  My stocks!  I’m ruined and alone again!  (Cries).


Alexa:  (Walks up, seeing the group all mourning the loss of the store).  Hey everyone, is there a parade today or something.


Topher:  Nope, the store burned down.


Alexa:  Oh bummer.  (Just fine).  Oh well, I had better things to do with my time than working.  Who wants to go buy jet skis?


Ben:  (All better).  I’m down.


Topher:  (Still shocked).  This has all got to be a bad dream.  Wait!  I know!  (Turns to Alexa and tries to use his mind powers to get her naked again).


Alexa:  No, I’m not getting naked.


Topher:  Dammit.  Okay, so we’re not in another one of my dreams then.


Danny:  I suppose the only thing left to do is find new jobs my good chaps.


Ben:  I ain’t your chap.  And I don’t want a new job, I want my old job back.


Topher:  I thought you hated it there.


Ben:  I did, but I had a 401K through a computer error that Steve never found out about, and now it’s gone.


Topher:  Gone.


Danny:  (Breaks and cries again).  Gone!


Alexa:  So, we might as well rummage through the ashes and see if anything good turns up.


Topher:  I wonder if Steve was in the building when it went down?


Ben:  We can only hope.


Danny:  (Turns to Alexa).  I can’t take it anymore!  Alexa, I’ve always loved you!


Alexa:  (Not looking at him).  Cool cool.


Danny:  That’s it?


Topher:  Dude, she’s on her iPod.  She can’t hear you in funkytown.  (Camera shifts to Alexa breaking into a funky dance).


Alexa:  (Looks up and sees everyone looking at her.  She stops dancing and takes her headphones off).  Huh?  Was someone talking to me?


Danny:  Yes, Alexa I- (Both Ben and Topher ear whip him).  Bwa good God!


Topher:  (Looks down).  Hey…what’s that?


Ben:  (Lazily looks down to where Topher points).  I can’t tell from this distance.


Topher:  It’s at your feet dude.


Ben:  Who knows how far that could be.


Topher:  (Bends down and picks up the item, an NES controller).  What do you make of it?


Alexa:  (Danny is about to speak but Alexa starts talking first).  It looks like a controller from the Nintendo Entertainment System made between 1985 and 1991.  (The others look at her confusedly).  Yeah, that’s right, I actually know things about video games.


Danny:  (Grows excited).  Which is your favorite game?


Alexa:  I don’t know, maybe Halo or something, I don’t care.  (Starts filing her nails).


Danny:  (Crushed).  But…but…you were supposed to understand!


Topher:  So how’d this NES controller survive the fire if nothing else did?


Ben:  (Grabs it and begins pacing, talking in a high-brow voice).  Hmm, perhaps the ancients have placed a spell upon it.


Alexa:  A spell?


Ben:  Or…a curse!  (Tosses it to Danny).


Danny:  This is most peculiar.  (Walks over to Topher).


Topher:  Well, gimmie the controller back.  (Danny hands him the controller).  There’s only one way to find out.  (Everyone scrunches together as Topher presses the “Start” button on the controller.  Instantly everything goes black and a siren starts going off).


Ben:  Oh God!  I know that siren!  We’re all gonna die!


Danny:  I’ve never known the touch of a woman!


Topher:  Everyone calm down!  Hurry, run towards the light!  (They all run off towards a doorway with light emanating from it).


Alexa:  Are you sure about this?


Topher:  There’s only one way to find out.  (They all walk through the door.  “To Be Continued” pops up as they fade out).


End of Episode

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Game Studs: Episode 6

July 17, 2009 at 12:10 am (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  Yet another episode that was shelved, which is unfortunate since this was the episode Mike and I both wanted to do the most since it was one of the first concepts we’d come up with, brining JT’s character full circl,e setting up Steve’s romance with the Micosoft Rep, and possibly putting Danny and Alexa together in a twist, plus forming the alliance between Topher and Ben.  However, we were forced to have a fill-in episode since we couldn’t film at the store again.  Thus, the actual Episode 5 is the Mario-Dream episode, though the script has been lost to me.


Game Studs: Episode 6

“The Delivery”


Setting:  Big City Gamin’.  Steve’s at the counter, Topher and Ben are walking by arguing about something.


Topher:  No, Superman cannot beat Jesus in a royal rumble!  That’s ridiculous!


Ben:  Whatever newb.  Superman’s got the skills for a beatdown.


Topher:  But Jesus’ is the Son of God!


Ben:  So?  Superman’s the last son of Krypton.


Steve:  Hey!  Come over here my niggas.  (Naturally we’re bleeping the word.  Both Ben and Topher are stunned).  No wait, I meant to say you’s guys.  Whatever, just come here.


Topher:  What’s up Steve?


Steve:  I need you guys to go on a delivery run for me.


Ben:  Since when do we deliver?


Steve:  Since we got a high profile customer.  The guy’s loaded.  Looooooooadeeeeeeeeed.


Ben:  So why do we have to deliver a game to him?  Can’t he just get someone to drive him here?


Steve:  If we go this extra mile then he’ll be more likely to buy stuff from us.  He has deep pockets.  DEEP!  (Begins to daydream about the money he could make).


Topher:  (Picks the game up off the counter).  Steve, this is a player’s choice game.  It’s only $20.  This guy may have money but he’s cheap.


Steve:  (Snaps out of his money daydream).  What?  Come on guys, I’m the boss and you listen to me.  ME.  Now go make this sale.  Now.  Go go go!  (Ben and Topher leave the store.  Waits until they’re gone, looks around to make sure no one else is around, then takes off his jacket, revealing himself to be wearing a nice shirt and tie).  Good, they’re gone.  I can’t have anyone screwing this up.


Ben:  (Both he and Topher are outside walking down the street).  So newb, where’s this delivery at?


Topher:  (Looking at the note attached to the game).  Somewhere in the north hills.  Sounds like we’ll be hoofin’ it pretty far.


Ben:  So let’s drive then.  Get your car.


Topher:  I don’t drive.


Ben:  And you think I do?  (Looks around).  Okay, go steal that car.


Topher:  What?  No, I’m not gonna steal a car.  Besides, I don’t know how.


Ben:  Pff, watch and learn rookie.  (Walks up to the car, grabs the handle and starts reefing on it.  Suddenly a flashing star appears in the upper right corner of the screen, ala “Grand theft Auto”.  Ben looks up and panics).  Damn!  My wanted meter’s going up!  Flee!  (He and Topher book it).


Steve:  (Back in the store.  He’s walking around, dusting a bit, dancing about and singing to himself as he does).  Caaaaan’t you feel the looove tonight~


Ben:  (He and Topher are once more walking, this time in a secluded street on their way up a steep hill).  How far have we been walking?


Topher:  Not long.  Maybe a mile or two?


Ben:  Race you there!  (Takes off running).


Topher:  I’m not racing you!


Ben:  That’s because you know you’ll lose!


Topher:  (Takes off racing).  Hey hey hey, that’s a lie!  (They run neck-and-neck for a bit).


Ben:  Hey, this is stupid, you realize that?


Topher:  Yeah, I know what you mean.


Ben:  Yep, so see ya!  (Trips Topher and runs off laughing).


Steve:  (Standing in front of the door waiting).  Any second now…


Lenore:  (Walks into the store with her notebook looking annoyed).  Okay, we’ll give this another try.  You’re the manager, right?


Steve:  (Unusually smooth).  Yeah.  How you doin’?  (Gives her a seductive look.  She just looks confused).


Ben:  (He and Topher are trudging up the hill now exhausted).  What time is it?


Topher:  (Checks his watch).  6:50.


Ben:  What time’d we leave?


Topher:  6:37.


Ben:  Dammit.  Okay, I say we set up base camp here and make for the summit tomorrow.


Topher:  Nah, we gotta press on.


Danny:  (He and Alexa drive by, with Alexa driving).  Hi guys!  How’re you doing?


Ben:  Damn, my mind’s playing tricks on me.  It’s an illusion.


Topher:  Nah I think it’s real.


Ben:  You’re real.


Alexa:  Go Ben go!  I believe in you!


Topher:  Nope, you’re right, it’s an illusion.


Ben:  (Waves his hand at the car and tries to take a swing at it, missing horribly).  Be gone cruel visions.  (Danny and Alexa look confusedly at each other, then drive off).  Yeah, you better run.  (He pulls a half pendant out of his shirt).  Okay, we need power.


Topher:  (Pulls the other half out of his shirt).  Yeah.


Both:  Double Dragon powers…ho.  (Pause).


Topher:  Nothing happened.


Ben:  You did it wrong.  (Tired smack).


Steve:  (Back at the store).  My dear sweet Lenore, how can I help you today?


Lenore:  For starters I need you to put up more Microsoft product on your counters.  (Pulls a flyer out from her notebook).  Also, here’s a flyer for why the 360 Elite is the “best” system ever.  (Walks over to a Mario hanging on the wall).  No.  (Takes it off).  Do you have any questions for me while I’m here?


Steve:  How ‘bout you and I make like a banana and have intercourse?


Lenore:  What?


Steve:  Dinner?


Lenore:  (Rolls her eyes).  Fine.


Steve:  (Dances around excitedly, I’ll show him how).  Yeeeeeeah!


Topher:  (He and Ben finally walk up to a door, both still extremely tired).  I think we made it.


Ben:  You sure?


Topher:  (Checks his note).  Yeah, this’ the place.  (Knock knock knock).


JT:  (Opens the door, acting quite dignified with a pipe and a robe).  Hello?  Who is calling?  (Sees the game and grabs it.  His dignified attitude crumbles back to his usual self).  My darling!  (Caresses the game).


Ben:  (He and Topher look at each other, stunned and pissed).  We’ve been had!


Topher:  Steve must pay.


Ben:  It is settled.  Let the unholy alliance be made!  (They both pull out their pendants halves again and connect them, making a “kah-ching” sound effect and lighting up the screen.  Camera fades out on this happening).


End of Episode

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Game Studs: Episode 5

July 17, 2009 at 12:00 am (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  This episode never got aired, sadly.  To begin, the character named Visenberg is actually Jason Visenberg, an uo and coming stand-up comedian we went to college with.  I had agreed to write in a cameo for him, but it didn’t go through as we’d hoped.  JT’s character was also somewhat of a cameo, taking place from Episode 2 where he’s set up as a customer who always fawns over a Sponge Bob game.  In terms of the store, scheduling conflicts became a problem and we were forced to put this episode off for a while, eventually having to shelf it completely, for reasons I’ll explain a bit later.


Game Studs: Episode 5

“If It Ain’t Broke…”


Setting:  Seriously, do I even need to remind everyone where we’re at?  Big City Gamin’ as usual, main counter.  Ben is standing unusually quiet and emotionally saddened as Danny goes about working once more.


Danny:  (Looks around as he’s working and finally worriedly walks up to Ben).  Hey there buddy…  How’re you doing?


Ben:  (Slowly turning to look at Danny).  Huh?  Oh, hi Ny, I’m doing fine.


Danny:  (Smiling and slightly happy again).  Well that’s good and-  (Stops and becomes worried again).  Wait a minute…you never call me Ny.  (Turns from Ben and begins walking towards the door, thinking to himself).  Something is definitely wrong…


Alexa:  (Walks in and sees Danny).  Hey Danny, how’s the place doing today?


Danny:  Something is odd with Ben.


Alexa:  Really?  (Looks over Danny’s shoulder and sees Ben cradling a teddy bear and rocking back and forth in place).  Yeah, I see what you mean.


Danny:  I think Topher broke him.


Alexa:  No way, Ben’ll snap outta it fast enough.  Watch this.  (Looks over Danny’s shoulder towards Ben and tries to seduce him).  Hey Ben, I’m moving this weekend and I need a big strong man to help me with my bed.  Oh where oh where could I find one…?


Ben:  (Sadly responds, totally broken).  I’ll tell Topher when he gets in that you were looking for him then…


Alexa:  He…he didn’t fawn all over me?  What’s going on?  (Turns back to Danny).  Okay, you’ve got to fix this.


Danny:  Me?  Why me?


Alexa:  (Starting to fake cry a bit).  Because I’m just a little emotional, that’s all.  I mean, if I don’t have control over Ben, then maybe I’m losing my touch, and I just don’t know what to do with myself!  (Grabs Danny and shakes him).  You don’t know what it’s like!  (Runs off whimpering).


Visenberg:  (Visenberg walks up to the counter to talk to Ben).  Yo, you’re lookin’ down.  How can that be?


Ben:  The mighty hath fallen…that is all.


Visenberg:  You know what you could use more in your life?


Ben:  Meaning?


Visenberg:  No, Madden.


Danny:  (Walking over).  Wait just a minute now.  How is Madden going to do anyone any good?


Visenberg:  Madden is the greatest video game franchise ever formed.


Danny:  Hah!  Football games are amateur and dull, and the Madden series is at the core of the problem.


Visenberg:  What?!  No way man, Madden is LIFE!  (Turns to Ben).  Right man?


Ben:  Huh?  Yeah.


Danny:  No Ben no!  What has happened to you?!  (Weeps and runs towards the door).


Topher:  (Walks in and runs into Danny).  Hey, what’s up?


Danny:  You did this to Ben!  You fix him!


Visenberg:  Fix him?  He seems fine.  (Turns back to Ben).  Yo man, I’ll be needin’ some of the new Madden games then.  I’m talkin’ Madden o-10.


Topher:  What?


Visenberg:  That’s right, they’re skipping the next few years and getting ahead in the seasons.  (Turns to Ben).  I’ll take a copy for the Playstation, maybe one for the Wii, a few for the 360, and any that you can find for the Atari 2600.


Topher:  They don’t make Atari 2600 games anymore.


Ben:  (Pulls an Atari cartridge out from under the counter and looks at it confusedly).  Huh.  Apparently they still do.


Topher:  Ben, I’m sorry for breaking you, but we need you to be a dick to everyone again.  Please?


Ben:  No, I have no power.  Nothing matters anymore.  I’ll never smile again.


Topher:  Oh come on.  You sound like you’re a band member of My Chemical Romance now.


Ben:  (Sadly turns to Topher).  Their music speaks to me.


Topher:  (Now also very worried).  No…it’s worse than I thought.


Steve:  (Walks in).  Bling-blang-bloom, y’all makin’ some shiggidy-sales in my fibbidy-flobbidy-floo?


Ben:  Yes sir.  (Bagging Visenberg’s games).


Visenberg:  Yeah man, I’ve got Madden on lockdown.


Topher:  (Looking around for a solution).  Um…um…(Sees JT looking over his game again).  Bingo!  (Turns to Visenberg).  Hey Madden boy!  That guy’s got the last copy of Madden o-Infinity!


Visenberg:  What?!  It’s out already?!  I must have it!  (Runs over to JT, who’s massaging his usual Sponge Bob game).  Gimmie that!


JT:  (Stunned and heartbroken).  What…?  (Looks around his empty hands).  But…but…  (Flips out).  NOOOOOOOO~!


Visenberg:  Huh?  (JT rushes him and picks him up, screaming and shaking him about).


Ben:  (A slight grin comes across his face).  Ehee…heehee…MWAHAHAHAHA!  (Points and laughs at the scene unfolding.  He begins dancing about and pointing).  Take that Madden boy!


Steve:  (Also panicking).  AHARG!  My sales!  Stop it!  Stop it right now!


Ben:  (Back to his old self).  Hah, you can do it yourself boss man.  (Walks out from behind the counter).  Now if you’ll excuse me I’m taking a six-hour lunch break.


Steve:  But you can’t-


Ben:  Ta ta.  (Walks out, whipping Danny’s ear on the way by).


Steve:  (Flabbergasted.  Turns to Topher).  What did you do?


Topher:  I had to balance the world.  It was necessary or else the universe would have imploded.


Steve:  What?


Topher:  Sad Ben bad for business.


Steve:  Oh, I get ya brosive.


JT:  (Walks by holding his game again, snuggling it).  Teehee, Sponge Bob, don’t ever leave me again.


Visenberg:  (Gets up wobbling).  Madden…bring me life…  (Falls over again).


Steve:  (Steve bends down, takes the wallet from Visenberg’s pocket, takes all the money in it, then puts the Atari 2600 cartridge back in Visneberg’s pocket).  Okay, no harm no foul.  Jerry Maguire, do something with…this.  (Points at Visenberg).


Topher:  But it’s my day off.


Steve:  Your point?


Topher:  (Sigh).  Alright.  (Starts dragging Visenberg off).


End of Episode

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Game Studs: Episode 4

July 16, 2009 at 11:50 pm (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  Sadly, this was my one big reference to a piece of English literature, obviously taking lines from Poe’s “The Raven.”  However, during filming it became apparent that we weren’t going to be able to squeeze the whole script into the time we had alotted for the segment, so we started to rush our lines.  Even worse, we found that the footage was still longer than we were allowed, even after cutting literally everything except story lines.  We bled the episode dry, but slipped it in just a few seconds over time.  Also, the Microsoft Rep was played by the actor who plays Steve’s wife.  It was one of the conditions to get access to the store: work in a part for the owner’s wife.  Done and done, though my heart was broken when everyone asked me, “What kind of name is Lenore?”  Shameful.


Game Studs Episode 4



Setting:  Big City Gamin’, as usual, with Topher going about busy work behind the counter as Danny walks up to the counter.


Danny:  Good afternoon Topher!  How are you on this glorious day?


Topher:  (Generally pissed).  This day sucks.  We aren’t even getting any sun today.


Danny:  That’s the downside to living in Alaska.  We only get sun every so often during the day.  (Snaps out of his contemplative thought).  But anyway, you seem perturbed.  What are you up to that has gotten you so weak and weary?


Topher:  Ben.


Danny:  Ben?


Topher:  Ben.  He is the bane of my existence and I must bring him down.


Danny:  What has he done now?


Topher:  You remember last week when he tricked Steve into thinking I wronged an Italian guy?


Danny:  (Trying to remember but can’t).  Somewhat…


Topher:  Well as my punishment, Steve is making me play test every single Disney Channel related game in the store.


Danny:  That’s harsh.


Topher:  I have never wanted to harm Raven Symone more than this moment in my life.


Ben:  (Walks by, generally acting like a douche).  What’s up peons?  (He shoots his hand up before they can answer).  What?  Who said you can speak to me?  I must take my leave.  (Walks off again).


Topher:  There goes my Raven.  (Turns to Danny).  Rapping, rapping, gently rapping at the chamber door of my soul.  Death is in his near future, I swear it.


Steve:  (Walks over).  Howdy y’all.  What’s the haps over here?


Danny:  (Nervous and covering up what they were talking about).  Well certainly not planning the deaths of anyone, I can tell ya that!


Steve:  Well good.  Death is bad for business, and I don’t like that kind of thing.  (Calls the crew around).  Hey, everyone front and center!  (Ben and Alexa come up to the front where the others are.  Steve turns back to Topher and Danny).  But no, more importantly we’ve got the official rep from Microsoft coming in today.


Topher:  The Microsoft rep?


Danny:  (Turns to Topher to explain it to him).  Hah.  The Microsoft representative is the person that the company has sent out to make deals with our smaller company.  They send them by every once in a while.


Steve:  Yeah, and we’ve got a new one this time.


Alexa:  (Annoyed).  Fantastic, who did they send?


Steve:  I don’t know, but I already know that I’ll hate ‘em.  They’re all the same, with their beady little eyes, and their notepads and their official documentation.


Ben:  (Chimes in).  I HATE documentation!


Steve:  Yeah, always trying to tell me how to run my store, like I don’t know how to run my own store.  The nerve!  Bunch of brown-nosin’, elitist, sacks of worthless space.


Ben:  (Chimes in again).  Worthless!


Steve:  That’s all, just tell me when the rep shows up.  (Walks off again, Alexa walks over to the shelves to do some actual work as Ben looks at Topher).


Ben:  Hey newb, those Kim Possible games aren’t gonna play themselves!  Mwahahaha!  (Begins walking off again, checks Alexa out as he passes by).


Topher:  Damn my Raven.  I hate him soooo much.  (Grabs Danny).  You!  You shall help me destroy him.  Do you understand?


Danny:  (Very worried).  Nevermore?


Topher:  (Evil grin).  Exactly.  (Looks around crazily).  We must strike the beast at the heart.  The heart dammit!  (Sees Alexa).  AHA!


Danny:  Eep…


Topher:  (Looks Danny directly in the eyes).  We must act fast and you must do exactly as I say.  Go, find Ben and bring him here.  Go now!  Go monkey go!  (Danny shuffles off to find Ben).


Danny:  Um…Ben?!


Topher:  (Points over towards Alexa).  Alexa!  Come here!


Alexa:  (Walks over somewhat annoyed).  Oh come on, I was actually doing some work and you’re breaking my groove?  What do you want?


Topher:  I need you to play along with whatever I’m about to do.


Alexa:  (Looks him up and down before throwing her checklist away).  Thank god, I was sick of putting any effort into this job.  So what do you need me to do?


Topher:  Just sit here and look pretty for a second.


Alexa:  I was already doing that, did you really have to give me instructions?


Topher:  (Sees Ben and Danny walking over).  It’s Ben!  (Alexa about looks over at him).  No don’t look at him!


Alexa:  Why can’t I…?


Topher:  Play along…(Begins laughing as if he’s in the middle of a conversation).  Ahahaha!  I know!  What was up with that waiter during dinner last night?  Oh, it’s soooo funny that we’re dating now.


Alexa:  (Quietly to Topher).  What the-(Topher casually slides a $20 to her.  She instantly takes it and begins playing along).  Oh I know!  I mean, after the movie getting cancelled and then our server forgetting our order I thought the night would have sucked but it’s sooooo cool that we’re kinda into each other.  (Topher slips her another $20).  I mean in love!


Topher:  (Turns around to see Ben).  Hahaha, oh, Ben!  I didn’t see you over there.  How are you doing?


Ben:  (About to tweak out and kill someone).  Where am I right now?


Topher:  Haha…(Grabs Danny and whispers close to him very quickly).  Quick, save yourself and the girl.  Go now!  (Danny nods, grabs Alexa and the two rush out of the scene).  So Ben, how are you today?


Ben:  How did you do that?


Topher:  Well simple, I’m better than you.


Ben:  Lies!


Topher:  I’ve only been here a month and already I’m a better employee than you.


Ben:  (Blows a gasket).  You dare to challenge the mighty Ben?!


Topher:  Yep.  What are you gonna do about it?


Steve:  (Walks by).  Where the heck is that tool of a rep?  (Keeps walking).


Ben:  (Sees an opportunity).  I know!  They should have been here by now, but I guess they’re too busy stepping on the little guys to care.


Topher:  (Plays along with the challenge).  Or maybe they think we’re so insignificant that they went to another store instead.


Ben:  Yeah, and on weekends they probably visit their dad, by which I mean Satan!


Topher:  Right before high-fiving Hitler!


Ben:  (Leans in close and whispers to Topher).  You’re not going to win this, I’ve always been better at hating random strangers.


Topher:  We’ll see.


Microsoft Rep:  (Walks in with utmost grace and poise in slow motion, rocking the scene with her presence.  Steve instantly sees her and does a double take, being dumb-struck and hopelessly in love suddenly.  Literally his mouth snaps open as the Rep shakes her head about, her hair dancing wistfully and the writer of this script becoming increasingly mad at the amount of sappy description he’s giving).  Hello, my name is Lenore.  I’m the representative from Microsoft.  I’m looking for the manager.  Where can I find him?


Ben:  (Both Topher and Ben are about to rip into her to prove who’s the better and more loyal employee, although Topher has seen Steve’s reaction to Lenore.  Ben and Topher about advance on her, although Topher shuts up and crosses his arms, allowing Ben to do what he’s about to do).  You can just take your frankfurtered, obtuse, misconceptualized self and mumbo dog-faced outta our banana patch, you devious succubus!


Steve:  (Completely losses it as Lenore looks mindlessly offended).  YOU FOOOOOOL!!!!  (Freaks out on Ben).  I hate so much of you right now!  That’s a Top Gun mistake!  In fact, you’re our new Top Gun!  (Turns to Topher).  Top Gun, you’re now Jerry Maguire or something!  I’ll figure it out later!


Ben:  (Flabbergasted as he turns to Topher).  But…I’m the mighty Ben!


Topher:  Nevermore.


End of Episode

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Game Studs: Episode 3

July 16, 2009 at 11:42 pm (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  This was actually the first concept for the show that Michael Waymire and myself worked on together.  We sat in a Subway eating sandwiches and laughing about how ridiculous it’d be fore Ben to pretend to be an 8-year-old to try and fool Tohper.  However, trouble came the night we were supposed to film as the store was closed, (we filmed after hours), but the manager, (who placed Steve), was gone.  This was the first problem we faced with Big City Gaming, but it wouldn’t be the last.  After some tense hours filming on a Sunday, everything worked out great in the end.


Game Studs: Episode 3

The Circular Logic


Setting:  Once more at Big City Gamin’, Topher and Danny are behind the counter with Topher playing a DS and Danny supposedly writing a letter.


Danny:  (Thinking to himself but basically talking to anyone who’ll listen).  “Dear president of Capcom.  I would like to extend to you a chance for a bright new age of video gaming in the form of a brand new game created by the quintessential enthusiast.”  (Looks up at Topher).  How’s that sound?


Topher:  Tell him that his reading the letter honors our ancestors.  I bet he’ll love it.


Danny:  You really think so?


Topher:  I don’t know, I’ve got problems of my own to deal with.


Danny:  Such as…?


Topher:  Can’t you see that I’m trying to become the next Pokemon Master here?


Danny:  So what’s the problem?


Topher:  What’s the problem?  I’m just starting out and I can’t decide on which starter Pokemon to choose.


Danny:  (Genuinely concerned).  Well what options do you have?


Topher:  I’ve got the choices between a fire monkey, a plant turtle, and a penguin.


Alexa:  (Walks up at about this point from the back room).  Hey all, what’s happening?


Danny:  Alexa!  Can’t you see that we’re in the middle of something serious?


Alexa:  And what exactly is this serious thing that you’re in the middle of?


Topher:  Choosing a starter Pokemon.


Alexa:  (Pauses for a second to try and figure out what the hell was just said).  What the hell’s a Pokemon?


Danny and Topher both:  Oh my God!


Danny:  Pokemon, despite its simplistic natures, is arguably the most successful franchise ever created, partly due to its wildly ingenuous marketing technique.


Topher:  Yeah, you can’t just catch some or as many as possible; you’ve gotta catch them ALL.


Danny:  All!


Topher:  And the next generation of Pokemon have surfaced and I can’t decide which starter to choose between an eventually beastly penguin, a flaming monkey, and a turtle plant.


Alexa:  (Deadpan looks from one to the other).  Yeah, I’m gonna just forget I came over here and head into the backroom again…  (Starts to walk away).


Topher:  You can’t hide from them forever!  They demand that you catch ‘em all!


Alexa:  (Still walking away).  Well tell me how that works out for ya.


Danny:  (Turns back to Topher).  Forget her, we need to make a decision here!


Topher:  Yeah, I’m leaning towards penguin, just because penguins are awesome, but-


Ben:  (Voice from off camera).  Ahem!


Topher:  (Looks around).  The hell?


Ben:  Ahem!  (Camera shows Ben.  He’s on his knees with shoes on his knees and talking in a higher, squeakier voice).  Excuse me, but I’d like to buy a game!


Topher:  Ben, what are you doing?


Ben:  I’m not Ben!  I’m only 8 years old!  And I’d like to buy a game!


Topher:  Okay…what game would you like…young man?


Ben:  I’d like that one!  (Points at a game).  And remember I’m 8!


Topher:  Um…(Picks up the game Ben pointed at).  I can’t sell you this game because it’s rated M.


Ben:  But I want it!


Topher:  I’m sorry, you have to be 18 to buy M rated games.


Ben:  (Switches back to his normal voice as he pulls out a driver’s license).  No problem bro, here’s my ID.


Topher:  (Takes the ID).  Um…okay then.  I guess there’s no problem then.  (Nearly starts the transaction).


Ben:  (Jumps up).  Aha!  It was I, Ben, the whole time!


Topher:  We know.


Ben:  I can’t believe you were about to sell a Mature rated game to a child!


Topher:  But it wasn’t a child, it was you.


Ben:  But you didn’t know that!  You thought I was 8!


Topher:  You gave me a driver’s license that said you were 21!


Ben:  Obviously it was a fake!


Topher:  How do you figure?!


Ben:  Because what would an 8 year old be doing with a diver’s license?


Topher:  (Still holding the ID).  But it’s a real driver’s license!


Steve:  (Yells at Topher from the gaming chairs set up near the back of the store).  Hey, what’s going on over there?


Ben:  Steve, you’ll never believe it, but Topher was trying to sell Mature rated games to an 8 year old!


Steve:  WHAT?!  Do you realize how illegal that is?!


Topher:  I didn’t try any of that!  Ben tricked me!


Steve:  If the parents of the child decide to sue us our company will be fined over a million dollars!  Do you have that kind of money?!


Topher:  No I don’t have that kind of money!


Ben:  It’s true, I mean look how he’s dressed.  (Begins sneaking out at this point).


Steve:  I know you’ve heard this before, but this kinda stuff just doesn’t fly ‘round here!  You’re in the danger zone Top Gun, and you’d better watch yourself.


Topher:  But I didn’t-


Steve:  (Cuts him off and gives him the “zip-it” motion).  AH!  No more outta you unless it’s a sales pitch.  (Points at him).  I’m watching you…(Turns around and goes back to playing whatever).


Danny:  Don’t worry about it so much, Ben gets all the new guys with something or other.  I know you wouldn’t believe it, but he even got me with something like that when I first started.  I’m still afraid of sock puppets because of it…


Topher:  Sock puppets?  Really?


Danny:  (Tweaks out a little).  NYAH!  Shut up!  You don’t know the things I’ve seen!


Topher:  Okay…I guess I don’t.


Ben:  (Of camera again).  Ahem.


Topher:  (Rolls his eyes and looks down again).  What?


Ben:  (Ben is once more on the ground with shoes on his knees.  He is also wearing a mustache.  He begins speaking in a pseudo-Italian accent).  Goodevening!  I am-a in need of-a some assistance!


Topher:  Ben, that’s just you in a mustache.


Ben:  Who is-a Ben?  My name-a Luigi!  How dare you insult-a my heritage!




Ben:  Manager!  Manager!  I need help!  I’m being discriminated against!


Steve:  (Turns around again and yells Little John-style).  WHAAAAAT?!


Chris:  (Points down at Ben).  This isn’t over…  (Fade out).


End of Episode

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Game Studs: Episode 2

July 16, 2009 at 11:36 pm (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  A few interesting things to mention about the transition from script to film here:  First, Danny’s pop-in line regarding homosexuality will look odd on film, but is correct here.  There was some confusion during filming and either myself or the actor playing Danny, (Dennis Pak), botched a line, making it seem even more out of place.  Less terrible, (interesting really), is that the actor playing Ben, (Michael Waymire), decided to drink a Slurpee for the shoot.  Somehow, we kept continuity consistant for the shoot, though it does look like Ben is draining the cup extremely fast.


Game Studs: Episode 2

“The Commandments”


Setting:  Typical day at the store.  Ben and Topher are walking around the store as Ben begins to explain the details of the store.  Danny is also there, going about what looks like price changes.


Ben:  Okay, so here’s the deal Newb; today I’m going to impart to you every bit of knowledge that you’ll need to know to get by around here.


Topher:  Good, it’s about time someone around here told me anything about my job.


Ben:  Yes, I’m going to teach you everything, and I do mean everything.


Danny:  (Turns around to listen to what’s going on).  You want any help teaching him Ben?


Ben:  The first, and possibly most important commandment.  (Thwips Danny’s ear).  Danny should not be.


Danny:  Arg?!  Why do you do such things?!


Ben:  Sorry, you’re in violation of the first commandment.  Oh, and second commandment.  (Whispers to Topher).  Don’t say this is madness.


Topher:  Why can’t I say this is madness?


Danny:  (As if in a trance Danny spins around and screams at Topher).  Madness?!  THIS IS SPARTAAAA!!!  (Boots Topher in the chest).


Ben:  He liked 300 just a bit too much.


Topher:  Good to know.


Ben:  (Takes Topher and moves him along).  Third commandment.  (Points at Topher’s shirt).  Zelda’s gay.


Topher:  What?  That’s just stupid.


Ben:  Well then you’re gay.


Topher:  Says the man with his arm around me.  (Quick pause, they look at each other.  Ben thwips his ear).


Ben:  Moving on.


Alexa:  (Walks into the store).  Hello everyone.


Ben:  (Instantly throws Topher aside and appears cool, as if he didn’t even see Alexa walking in).  Huh?  Oh my!  Alexa!  I didn’t see you come in.


Alexa:  Sure you didn’t.


Ben:  Topher’s gay you know.


Alexa:  (Sincere, as if congratulating him).  Well good for him then.


Topher:  I’m not by the way, not that it matters of course.


Danny:  (Almost appears out of nowhere).  Nor should it!


Alexa:  Alright, well I’ll be in the backroom texting if any of you close-minded idiots need me.  (Passes Ben and demonstrates her power over him by pretending to come on to him).


Topher:  What’s all this then?  Is the mighty Ben smitten by an attractive female?


Ben:  (Snaps out of it and thwips Topher’s ear).  Commandment number 4: Thou shalt not look upon Ben’s woman with feelings of lust.


Topher:  Fair enough.  (Looks over and sees a customer fawning over a single game).  What’s his story?


Ben:  (Grabs Topher and pulls him away).  Careful you fool!  Next rule-


Topher:  Commandment.


Ben:  Whatever.  Leave that customer alone.  He comes in every day and never buys anything; he just looks over that game day in and day out.  (Dead serious).  Do not risk anything with that man.


Steve:  (Walks in, looking tired and uninterested).  Hey all y’all.  What’s crack-a-lackin’?


Topher:  Not a whole lot really.  I thought it was your day off.


Steve:  It is.  I’m just stoppin’ in to grab some chow-chow.  (Grabs some candy and a soda).  A’ight.  I wanna see you guys make some sales today.  Up those numbers and such.  Git er done.  (Walks out again).


Topher:  Oh my dear sweet God.


Ben:  This rule should be obvious, but Steve is an idiot.


Steve:  (Pops his head back in and yells).  Hey!  Sales!  (Leaves again).


Topher:  (Waves).  Goooot it.


Ben:  Okay, rule numero…um…seven:  Customers are also idiots.


Customer:  (Saed playing the customer again turns around and looks annoyed).  Excuse me, I don’t appreciate that one bit!


Ben:  Aw, isn’t that cute?  He thinks he’s people.


Customer:  I’d like to speak to your manager!


Ben:  (Points to Topher).  This guy right here.


Customer:  You’re the manager?  And you just let this happen?  I am outraged!  (Flips out and rabbles all the way out the store).


Steve:  (Pops out from under the main counters like magic).  What have we here?!  More unhappy customers?!


Topher:  How does he do that?


Ben:  (Very quickly).  Rule 8: Steve is magic.


Steve:  You guys are both instigating customers now?!


Ben:  Mainly Topher.


Steve:  Oh, OH!  And now I’m outraged!  If this wasn’t my day off I’d fire you Top Gun!  (Walks out again after grabbing more product from the store).


Ben:  (Is very pleased with himself).  Heh heh hah.


Topher:  (Relatively calm).  Really now?  I’m frustrated, but I just can’t think of the right word choice for what this is.  Confusing?  Insanity?


Ben:  This is madness?


Danny:  (Turns again from far away).  Madness?!


Ben:  (Topher smiles to himself).  Oh I hate you.


(Fade to black as we hear a boot-kicking noise).

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Game Studs: Bonus Material

July 16, 2009 at 11:26 pm (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  During auditions for the show, I needed something to have the actors read for the character of Danny/Jenny.  At the time, I wasn’t even entirely sure if Danny would be a boy or a girl, with my initial decision leaning towards a female.  However, I had used up all my female-bashing credits with Channel 70 News only one term previous, so Danny became a male for Game Studs.


Danny/Jenny:  Well personally I feel that Nintendo’s overrated in today’s market.  They may make quality games, but they’re nothing compared to the masterpieces that Konami or Capcom have painstakingly brought to life over the years.  I mean seriously, Mega Man, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil?  Has Nintendo created any truly lasting characters?  Mario has become pedestrian in the market and the Zelda series has hit a wall, while Konami and Capcom are forced to keep Nintendo afloat.  If not for their third party assistance, Nintendo would have capsized years ago and then we’d have to suffer through Microsoft attempting to dominate the market, which is highly unlikely at best.


Ben:  What in the hell are you talking about?


Danny/Jenny:  I…I thought we were having an impromptu debate about the industry.


Ben:  No, we weren’t.  You were; I was thinking of all the ways that I could make your life even more depressing than it already is.


Danny/Jenny:  But surely you have to agree with my argument.


Ben:  No, Shirley is a name best used in pornography.  I don’t know what you just said, but all I heard was “Wank wank wankity wank.”


Danny/Jenny:  (Rolls their eyes and smiles).  Ah, you kidder you.  I get ya.  You’re too devoted to your own companies to listen to reason.


Ben:  No, I’m too devoted to not looking like a complete jackass whenever I speak, but at least I make a conscious effort to just be a raging asshole instead of being naïve to my own self-jackassery.  You savy?


Danny/Jenny:  Um…are we still talking about video games anymore?


Ben:  Yes.  I’m obviously referring to Halo.


Danny/Jenny:  Hah, well then of course it’s overrated.  Don’t even get me started on how Halo’s damaged the credibility of the industry.

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Game Studs: Episode 1

July 16, 2009 at 11:22 pm (Game Studs) ()

*Author’s note:  My original concept for Game Studs definitely wouldn’t have translated directly to what I needed for Duck U, therefore some revisions were made.  First, Amy’s character changed drastically.  In fact, she’s completely different, a somewhat regretable sacrifice.  Ben’s character also became far more of a villain-type than just another worker.  It’s tough to know which version of the characters I like better, but this is what we have.  Also, a new character was needed, hence Danny showing up as the nerdlinger he was built to play.


Game Studs

Written by Chris Pranger


Episode 1: Welcome to the CrazyStop Game Store


Setting:  The CrazyStop Game Store, actually Big City Gamin’.  A few customers are going about their business in the store, looking around or playing games, whatever.  A single employee, Ben, is behind the counter staring off into nothingness.  Steve, the boss, and Topher, the new guy, walk through the front door.  Ben doesn’t react whatsoever.


Steve:  Alright then new recruit, since I spent almost an entire hour yesterday teaching you the basics, you think you’re set up for the real thing?


Topher:  Um…(Pulls up a notepad and a pen).  Steve, can you…can you tell me how to work the computers again?


Steve:  Sure I can…(Looks at his watch).  Oop, but look at that, I’m off in about a minute.  You’ll be fine.  Remember to fill out the paperwork when you get a chance.  (Puts on his shades).  And make some sales.


Topher:  How do I do that again?


Steve:  Just remember the tips I gave you.  Peace out yo.  (Walks out and leaves Topher standing with his pathetic notepad).


Topher:  (Puts his notepad away).  Okay, no worries, I can do this.  (Looks around, finally seeing Ben).  Hi there.  (Ben doesn’t respond at all).  Hello?  (Nothing).  I’m the new guy, Topher.  You think you could help me out a bit today?


Ben:  Shush.


Topher:  Huh?


Ben:  No, shush.  Don’t break my concentration.


Topher:  (Looks around confused).  What’re you doing…?


Ben:  I am in the middle of breaking the record for doing absolutely nothing for the longest time.  (Loses it).  Dammit, and now I’ve talked to you.  Thanks a lot Newb.


Topher:  Sorry about that.  Well my name’s Topher in case you didn’t get it the first time.  And you are…?


Ben:  You may give your name away like it’s candy, but I make people have to earn the right to know mine.


Topher:  (Points at Ben’s nametag).  Your nametag says your name’s Ben.


Ben:  (Stops and looks down at his nametag and back at Topher).  …No it doesn’t.


Topher:  Yes it does.


Ben:  You may just be a worthy opponent…HOWEVER!  (Points skyward).  However, I am your superior and as acting superior…(Turns around and grabs a stack of papers, then slams them down on the counter in front of Topher).  I demand that you finish your paperwork.


Topher:  (Starts looking through the stack).  This isn’t even regarding the store.  These are just your cable bills.


Ben:  Critical for the store.


Topher:  (Picks up another paper).  And this one’s a death threat to the UN.


Ben:  Yeah, could you sign that for me?  (Nods).  Critical for the store.


Topher:  How?


Ben:  Trust me.  (Nods again).  Critical.


(Time passes.  Topher is busy filling out paperwork as Ben plays with a paddle-ball game.  Danny walks in).


Danny:  Salutations fellow employee!


Ben:  Keep walkin’.


Topher:  (Looks up and sees Danny, stands up to shake his hand).  Hi, I’m Topher, the new guy.


Danny:  Aha!  A new member of our happy family!  (Shakes his hand, very excitedly).  I am Danny, although I tend to go by the moniker Ny for short.  Everyone just calls me Ny.


Ben:  No we don’t.


Danny:  Haha, no they don’t, but it’ll be a fun name when it catches on.


Ben:  No it won’t.


Danny:  Haha, probably not, but maybe.


Alexa:  (Walks in looking annoyed).  Oh my gosh, who’s scooter is parked in my spot?


Danny:  Ooh, sorry Lexie, that’s mine.  I’ll go move it right away.  (Rushes out).


Alexa:  You’d better.  (Sees Ben, somewhat bored of him at it seems).  Hello Ben.


Ben:  (Acts much smoother all of a sudden).  Alexa my dear, how are you on this…(searches for a big word)…spontaneous day?


Alexa:  Psh, I’m fine.  (Sees Topher).  Oh, who’s this cute one?


Topher:  (Giggles like an idiot).  Heh, I’m Topher, the new guy.


Alexa:  Hmm.  (Looks him up and down).  I’d have to give you an 8 for looks, but fashion sense drops you to a 6.  Sorry.  (Pats his face).  With some work I could make you great, but for now you’re just average.


Ben:  Yeah average man!  Avert your eyes!  Doooo it~!  (Alexa walks towards the back room).


Topher:  Well she’s hot.


Ben:  She’s mine!  We’re destined for marriage some day, maybe even tomorrow, so stay away from her.


Customer:  (Waves as he leaves the store).  Thanks.  See ya guys later.


Topher:  See ya.


Steve:  (Walks in).  Why was that customer leaving the store empty-handed?


Ben:  (Points at Topher).  His fault.  Topher told him to screw off.  I tried to stop the whole thing, but it was too late.


Steve:  That’s profit walking out my door!  I should fire you right now!


Ben:  Ya should.


Steve:  Do you have anything to say?


Topher:  Um…I tried everything you taught me about sales?


Steve:  (Pauses).  Oh well then there was nothing we could have done.  Sorry to bother you all, forgot my cell phone.  (Grabs it from the counter).  Keep up those sales techniques Top Gun.  (Points at Topher and walks out again).


Topher:  (Waves to Steve, then turns to Ben).  Why did you just totally blame me for that?!  The hell?


Ben:  Sorry, fair business.  You looked at my woman and as the rules say, paragraph 16, line 4, “Those who look upon Ben’s woman with lust shall payith by appearing to be a jerk at an inopportune time.”  You would have known that if you’d have finished your paperwork.  (The two pause, Topher somewhat stunned).  Back to your work Newb!  (Points again.  Topher begrudgingly goes back to his work.  Ben laughs manically as we transition to a fade out).


End of Episode 1

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Game Studs: Original Concept

June 14, 2009 at 12:07 am (Game Studs) (, )

*Author’s Note:  Originally, I wrote out the concept for Game Studs with the intnet of following instances that happened to me while I worked at Game Crazy, with characters being identical, names included.  However, the concept evolved when I developed it for TV on Duck U, thus why the episodes following this original differs so greatly.


Game Studs


By Topher Pranger

Based off his experiences at Game Crazy


Premise and Setting:  The series follows the exploits of the newer employee at a video game store called Crazy Stop.  The entire series takes place within the store or the parking lot in front of it.  Every episode deals with one or two problems that video game store employees must deal with on a daily basis.




Topher:  Optimistic about life.  Worked hard to get his job, but realizes that it was a mixed blessing at best.  Still holds out hope for customers and the job.  Loves Nintendo to death and thinks that it’s awesome no matter what they do.  Basically still labeled as the new guy.


Ben:  Pessimistic and aggravated about everything.  Hates customers, hates his job, hates everything.  Lots of rage but has tons of experience.  Neurotic at times.


Amy:  She is the token female of the store but has the most experience than everyone there, their boss included.  She’s pretty indifferent about everything in general and knows the store and the customers like the back of her hand.


Steve:  The boss of the store.  He used to work in a much larger store and expects the current store to be capable of making more money despite the lack of customers.  He’s very into rap and thinks that he is capable of rapping himself.  Hypocritical and a douche in general.


Episode Overview:


Episode 1:  Welcome to Crazy Stop:  Introduction to the characters.  Typical weekend afternoon shift with an unhappy customer, the boss complaining relentlessly, and the new guy still learning the ropes.


Episode 2:  Children Who Have No Lives:  Ben and Topher begin discussing games in general and keep getting interrupted by customers who think they know what they’re talking about, despite the fact that they don’t.


Episode 3:  Hell Hath No Fury Like a Stupid Woman:  After being told by his boss to up the store’s number of memberships, Topher ends up selling a kid a membership, only to encounter his angry mother after he is unable to give her a refund.


Episode 4:  The Morning Shift:  Follows Topher on a typical morning shift where the store is absolutely dead.  After finishing his daily tasks he finds himself hallucinating that the video game characters are coming to life and harassing him.


Episode 5:  Upgrades for Them; Headaches for Us:  Topher finally gets the hang of the computer system, only to have corporate send down a memo announcing a complete change to the computer system.  It’s a benefit to Corporate, but makes the job increasingly difficult for the store.


Episode 6:  Good Luck Clocking Out:  After an already stressful morning shift, Topher keeps finding himself getting pulled back to work for hours and hours, finally resulting in him staying the entire day at work without overtime benefits.


Episode 7:  Pleasing the Company Reps:  The representative from Nintendo makes an appearance one day during Topher’s shift, making him become ecstatic.  Unfortunately, luck would have it that both the Sony and Microsoft reps show up at the same time.  Now the staff must keep the reps from killing each other and find ways to compromise to their liking about how the store is set up.


Episode 8:  The New Release That Released Hell:  A popular game is finally coming out after being delayed for months and now the customers are ready to get it.  The only problem is the employees weren’t aware of it being released as it randomly shows up one day, much to their horror.


Episode 9:  This is Why You’re the New Guy:  Topher does his best to prove that he is no longer the new guy but as a result, nearly gets himself fired by making numerous large mistakes all within a single day.



Episode 1:  Welcome to Crazy Stop


Setting:  Inside a video game store.  Behind the counter are four employees, Ben, Amy, Steve, (the boss), and Topher, (the new guy).  The store has about four or five customers in it wandering aimlessly, playing the game demos, or looking at random things.  Steve is currently talking to Topher off to the side, Amy is talking to a customer, and Ben is staring blankly into space with boredom.


Steve:  (To Topher).  And that is basically how to receive a package into the system.


Topher:  (Looking at a small notepad that he’s holding, very confused).  Um…what, what was the step after sorting the games into alphabetical order?


Steve:  Just watch Ben or Amy do it once or twice; that should teach you well enough how to git ‘er done.


Topher:  (Scribbles in his notepad).  “Git ‘er done”…check.


Steve:  Any more questions?


Topher:  Nope, I think I’m good for the day.


Steve:  Okay.  Listen up everyone.  I’m taking off for the day.  If you need to get a hold of me call the cell.  Remember guys, I wanna see those numbers boosted. I’m out.  (Puts on his shades and walks out).


Topher:  (Looking quite sad as he holds his pathetic notepad).  Um…what was his cell number?


Customer 1:  (Walks up to Topher).  ‘Scuse me; do you have that new samurai game for PS2?


Topher:  (Hurriedly puts his notepad away).  Which one?


Customer 1:  You know, that one with the samurai who’s trying to fight for his honor back, the one with all the hacking and slashing?


Topher:  Um…(Looks over to Ben).  Hey Ben, do we have that new samurai game?


Ben:  (Staring blankly while he scans his forehead with the item scanner).  Don’t know.  Look it up in the computer.


Topher:  How do I do that again?


Ben:  You’re kidding me.  Come here.  (Topher walks over to the computer).  Okay, let’s see if you can do this.


Topher:  Let’s see…Steve told me to use control F5 and…(Types something into the computer), crap, what did I just do?


Ben:  You crashed the computer.


Topher:  How?


Ben:  You overloaded its memory.


Topher:  But that’s how Steve trained me to do it.


Ben:  And that would be why you failed.  Here, this is what you’re supposed to do.  (Types something).  There, now search.


Topher:  Okay, so “samurai”, and search.  (Looks at the screen).  Okay, there are 98 new release titles for PS2 that have the keyword “samurai” in their title.  Can you remember the exact title?


Customer 1:  What?  No man!  What kind of game store is this where you don’t even know the names of your own games?


Ben:  To be fair he is the new guy.


Topher:  I’ve been here for almost a week now, alright.


Ben:  Have you even worked a shift by yourself yet?


Topher:  No.


Ben:  Then you have got a ways to go new guy.


Topher:  Amy, do you know what game this guy is talking about?


Amy:  (Walks over to the group assembling at the computer).  Which one?


Topher:  Tell her what game you’re looking for.


Customer 1:  That new samurai game for PS2.  The one with-


Amy:  With trying to gain redemption for honor?


Customer 1:  Yeah, that one!


Amy:  You just described half of the titles on Playstation.


Customer 1:  Oh.


Amy:  I think I know the one you want.  Follow me.  (Leads the customer away as she helps him find the game).


Topher:  How does she always know what they’re talking about?


Ben:  She’s been here for over 2 years.  She’s good at what she does.


Topher:  So why didn’t you know what game he was talking about?  You’ve been here for at least half that long.


Ben:  Hey, I knew what that guy was talking about.  Hah, of course I knew exactly what he wanted, but he didn’t know what he wanted.  Who the hell wants a samurai game for PS2?  Idiots Topher, that’s who.  I was saving himself from himself by forcing him to rethink what he wanted and you destroyed my plan.  My God Topher, what have you done?


Topher:  I had no idea that it was that complex.  I thought you were just lazy.


Ben:  That, too.


Amy:  (Walks over holding a game).  This is the one he was talking about.


Topher:  (Amy hands him the game and he looks at it).  This is the game he was talking about?  Does he know this game sucks?


Ben:  (Turns to the customer).  Do you know this game sucks?


Customer 1:  I heard good things about it.


Ben:  Well you heard wrong.


Customer 1:  Oh well, I’m here now, I might as well buy it.


Amy:  Go ahead Topher; this is a good chance to practice making a transaction on the computer.


Topher:  Sure.  (Nervously looks down at the computer).  Control…F2…?  No, no…


Customer 1:  C’mon man, I’ve got places to go.


Ben:  He’s new, alright?


Topher:  (Begins very, very slowly typing commands into the computer, mumbling to himself as he goes along.  Finally he picks up the game and scans it).  Okay, and scan the game and…crap, what’d I do?


Amy:  (Looks at the screen).  You crashed the system.


Topher:  Ah man, how do I keep doing that?


Ben:  Steve trained you.


Amy:  Yeah, Steve doesn’t know what he’s doing.  It’s alright, just restart the computer and try again.


Customer 1:  Jeez, this is taking too long.


Ben:  Hey man, just be patient.  New guy.


Topher:  (Slowly types things in and scans the game again).  Okay, and your total is…fifty bucks.


Customer 1:  What?  Fifty bucks, for this piece of crap game?  That is a rip off dude.


Topher:  I’m sorry, I don’t set the prices.


Customer 1:  Man, I’ll find it cheaper somewhere else.


Ben:  Good luck with that.  (Customer 1 walks out in a huff).


Amy:  Meh, don’t worry about that guy.  (Steve walks back in the door).


Steve:  Was that a customer leaving empty-handed just now?


Ben:  Didn’t you go home?


Steve:  I forgot my cell.  Why’d he leave?   That’s a sale walking out the door.  That’s profit lost.


Topher:  Well, I tried to sell him a game and the computer crashed and-


Amy:  Topher handled his first transaction well.


Steve:  (Gets a big grin on his face).  Oh?  Did you use the tips I gave you?


Topher:  I used a few, yes.


Steve:  Well then I guess there was nothing we could do for that guy then.  Keep up the good work.  We should give you a nick name.


Ben:  Newb.


Topher:  I’m fine with “new guy” for now.


Steve:  Nah, you’re a hard worker with something to prove.  I’ll call you “Top Gun”.  Besides, you kinda look like Tom Cruise.


Topher:  (Smiles, kinda).  Well I don’t really know about that.


Amy:  I like it.  It’s a good nick name.


Topher:  (Becomes very serious).  I fly through the danger zone baby.


Steve:  Haha, then Top Gun it is.  I’m out again!  Remember guys, git ‘er done.  (Leaves).


Topher:  Does he know that he forgot his cell again?


Ben:  It’s Steve.  He doesn’t know anything.


Amy:  (Pats Topher on the shoulder).  A good rule of thumb: if Steve told you something, it’s wrong.


Topher:  Crap.  Then this past week has been wasted.


Amy:  You still got paid though.


Ben:  Stick with us.  We’ll teach you how it’s done right.


Topher:  No worries then.


Ben:  (Mumbles off to himself).  Top Gun is a stupid name…


Topher:  Hey!


End of Episode 1



Episode 2:  Children Who Have No Lives


Setting:  The Crazy Stop game store.  Only Topher and Ben are working today and the store is rather slow with only two kids walking around, basically doing nothing but wasting time.  Ben is twirling his nametag around while Topher is pricing games and putting them back up on the wall.


Topher:  So, best game ever?


Ben:  Has to be Final Fantasy 7.


Topher:  Typical.  That game is overrated.


Ben:  Oh yeah?  What game were you thinking?


Topher:  Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  Hands down best game ever.


Ben:  Oh, and that’s not a little bit over-loved?


Topher:  It is the best game ever.


Ben:  I’ll give you that, but it’s too bad Nintendo hasn’t come out with anything good since that.


Topher:  (Puts down his price gun).  Surely you jest?


Ben:  Nah, Nintendo sucks now.


Topher: I won’t hear of it!  They still release great games, all the time!


Ben:  Oh right, name one.


Topher:  Metroid Prime.


Ben:  Not a fan.  (One of the kids walks over and starts listening to the conversation).


Topher:  Regardless, one of the best games ever.


Ben:  They’re nothing but kiddy games now.


Kid 1:  Yeah, kiddy games.


Ben:  (Looks down at the kid and then back to the conversation).  Anyway, they’ve gotten themselves stuck with childish games and a kiddy label.


Topher:  Oh brother.  There are dozens of excellent mature-type games for the Cube.


Ben:  Such as?


Topher:  Resident Evil 4, for one.  Possibly the new best game ever.


Ben:  Came out on PS2, not a good enough argument.


Kid 1:  Yeah, not good enough.


Ben:  (Looks down at the kid this time).  Is there something I can help you with?


Kid 1:  Nah.  I’m fine.


Ben:  (Turns back to Topher).  Even if I will agree with you that RE4 was awesome, it’s too late to save the system’s image.


Topher:  No way!  The Cube got a bad reputation for being family oriented, every game comes out and people just think that it’s all about kiddy games.  Let me tell you, a bunch of the games that are kiddy games that sell well come out on all systems.  Nintendo just has really good exclusive games that everyone can enjoy regardless of age.  Can you even name any kid oriented exclusive games for other systems?


Ben:  No.


Topher:  Of course not, because they all suck.  Xbox and PS2 get tons of games for kids all the time, all of which suck.


Kid 1:  Yeah, suck.


Ben:  I thought you were on my side of this.


Kid 1:  He had a good argument.


Ben:  Hey, either buy something or get out of my store.


Kid 1:  I’m just waiting for my mom to get here with my money.


Ben:  If she has to give it to you then it’s not really your money, or else you’d already have it.


Kid 1:  That’s a stupid argument.


Ben:  Get, get, go on.  (The kid walks over to the corner and looks at random things).  There, dealt with him.


Kid 2:  (Walks up).  What a dork, huh?


Topher:  Nah, just young and impressionable.


Ben:  So yes, a dork.


Topher:  Can I help you find anything?


Kid 2:  Nope, I’m good.


Ben:  So, on the subject, worst games ever?


Topher:  Hmm…


Ben:  And I mean large titles that some people think are great, not some obscure game that no one played.


Topher:  I’d have to say-


Kid 2:  Halo was a terrible game.


Topher:  Actually I have to agree.


Ben:  Well of course you would.


Topher:  The game just-


Kid 2:  The game, although groundbreaking to the first-person shooter genre of gaming, was a decent game at best.  It gets waaaay too much credit for what it was: a game with poor graphics and a weak plotline.


Topher:  Okay, I think I can argue for myself, thanks.


Kid 2:  Furthermore, the sequel was worse than the original in that-


Ben:  Okay, heard enough.  Out of my store.


Kid 2:  This isn’t your store.


Ben:  I’ve been here the longest of the two people working here; it’s my store.  Out with you.


Kid 2:  Jerk…  (Walks off to the other side of the store).


Ben:  Hey, hey.  I heard that.  (Turns back to Topher).  Little punk kids.  Always wanting Yu-Gi-Oh cards.  (Begins impersonating high-voiced kids).  “Excuse me, oh, do you have any Yu-Gi-Oh cards?  I was looking for Yu-Gi-Oh cards.  My, my blue eyes, dragon knight and um-“


Guy:  (Middle-aged guy, has to be in his late-thirties, walks up to Ben).  Excuse me, it’s called a “Blue-eyes White Dragon.”


Ben:  Oh, my bad.


Guy:  Yu-Gi-Oh is a pretty complicated show.  Did you know that they decided to release a new series that takes place after the first series?


Ben:  (Already extremely bored with the guy, just indifferently humoring him).  No, I had no idea.


Guy:  I also heard that Yu-Gi isn’t in this one.


Ben:  Uh-huh.


Guy:  Do you think that they’ll be able to pull off a new series of Yu-Gi-Oh without Yu-Gi?


Ben:  I don’t know.


Topher:  Actually, the word Yu-Gi-Oh means “King of Games” and…I shouldn’t know that…


Guy:  I was even more excited about the movie…


(Time passes).


Guy:  And I thought I had lost the match!  Good thing I had the Blue-eyes on the top of my deck, or I’d have been a goner!


Ben:  (Now with his face smashed against the glass counter.  Topher has gone back to pricing things, having escaped from the conversation).  You don’t say…


Guy:  Well I’d better get going.  It was good talking with you guys.  (Walks out, finally).


Topher:  (Begins laughing).  Oh my God!  That guy had to be almost forty!


Ben:  He, he wouldn’t stop talking.  (Imitating the guy).  Oh, Yu-Gi-Oh this, Yu-Gi-Oh that, do you think Yu-Gi-Oh would, my God!  I want to kill that man.  No, I must kill that man, and everyone that heard him talk, including you and me.


Topher:  That’s harsh but fair.


Ben:  I can’t speak with another stupid kid today.  Not a one.


Kid 3:  (Walks up).  Excuse me but do you guys sell Yu-Gi-Oh cards here?


Ben:  (Turns around and stares at the kid completely deadpan).  Get out of my store.


End of Episode 2



Episode 3:  Hell Hath No Fury Like a Stupid Woman


Setting:  Crazy Stop.  Topher and Steve are working together this time.  Only one kid is in the store and he’s looking intently at the used games.  Steve is coaching Topher while Topher goes about putting price stickers on games that have just been traded in.  Side note:  all cursing will be replaced with video game-related noises.


Steve:  My boss has been calling with complaints about the store.


Topher:  I’m sorry to hear that.  Anything I can do?


Steve:  Yeah, you need to be selling more memberships.


Topher:  I just don’t like pushing the membership on other people, though.


Steve:  You don’t have to push it, just offer it.  You know, the store I used to work at in Washington was the busiest store in the company.  I’d have to sell at least 15 memberships every day and my boss wasn’t anywhere near as understanding as I am.


Topher:  But we can’t sell memberships to people who don’t exist.


Steve:  I know that, just try harder.


Topher:  Okay.  (Kid walks up to the counter).  You all set to go?


Kid:  Yes.


Topher:  Alright, let me help you down here at the register.  (Walks over to the register, the kid hands him a game).  Ooh, good choice in games.


Kid:  Thanks.


Steve:  Don’t forget what we talked about…


Topher:  Oh, right.  (Rolls his eyes, takes a deep breath and turns to the kid).  Do you know about our membership?  Saves you ten percent on used game purchases.  Costs twenty bucks and lasts for a year, plus you get a free magazine subscription.


Kid:  That sounds cool.  Sure, I’ll take it!


Topher:  (Baffled).  Wha?  You actually want to buy a membership card?


Kid:  Yeah!


Topher:  (Steve smiles at Topher as Topher begins smiling himself).  Well okay then.  (Reaches under the counter and grabs a card and a magazine).  So this will be twenty dollars in addition to the purchase of the game.


Kid:  Okay.


Topher:  And the card is non-refundable, so once I finish the transaction there is no way to return it.


Kid:  Alright.


Topher:  Okay, so I need to do two transactions, the first for the card.  That’ll be twenty bucks.  (Kid hands him a twenty).  And you’re sure you want this?


Kid:  Yes.


Topher:  Positive?


Kid:  Yes.


Topher:  Alright then.  (Presses the finish transaction button).  The deed is done.  Okay, here’s your card and magazine.  And now I’ll need another fourteen dollars for the game.


Kid:  What?


Topher:  The..the game.  The game that you want costs fourteen dollars.  I know the price tag says more but you just saved ten percent, so it’s only fourteen dollars.


Kid:  But I only had twenty.


Topher:  Oh.  Well…sorry?


Kid:  I’ll just have to return this then.  (Hands him back the card and magazine).


Topher:  I can’t return that.  I told you that it’s non-refundable.


Kid:  Oh, that’s okay.  I just need my money back.


Topher:  But…I can’t do that, I just told you that.  The system doesn’t allow returns of memberships.  There is no option in the computer.


Steve:  (Comes over and stares down at the kid).  Sorry bud, you agreed to the membership, he asked you more than once and you agreed.  Nothing we can do.


Kid:  Oh.  Okay, I’ll be back with my mom.  (Walks out).


Topher:  Oh crap.


(Amy walks in, ready for her shift).


Steve:  Alright, Amy’s here.  You’re an hour late.


Amy:  I told you before Steve, you can’t schedule me for 1 because my flight lessons end at 1.  There is no possible way for me to get here instantly after they end.


Steve:  Well just get here earlier.  I however am going to clock off now that you’re here.  You guys need anything, call the cell.  Peace.  (Gives the peace sign and walks out the door).


Amy:  So, anything fun and exciting happen today?


Topher:  Nope.  Got a motivational speech from Steve about his Washington store, then I sold a kid a membership and he tried to return it.  That’s about it.


Amy:  Sounds like a hoot.


(The kid comes back in with his mother.  She looks pissed).


Amy:  Hello.  What can I do for you?


Mother:  Yeah, my kid just came in and bought this and he needs his money back.


Amy:  Oh, this must have been the customer you were talking about Topher.


Topher:  (Genuinely apologetic).  Yeah, I’m sorry but we already explained to your son that the memberships can’t be returned.  The system won’t allow it.  There’s nothing we can do about it.


Mother:  What?  That’s bull(sound of Mario jumping).  My kid bought this here and he can get a refund here!


Amy:  Ma’am, I’m sorry but we have already explained to him that he can’t return it.


Mother:  Who sold him this?


Topher:  (Raises his hand).  That would be me, ma’am.


Mother:  Who the (sound of Mario collecting a coin) do you think you are?!  You’re a (sound of Mario spitting a fireball) con artist!  Taking advantage of a ten year old boy!


Topher:  (Worriedly unsure of how to respond to this).  I, I didn’t take advantage of him, I just offered him the membership and he accepted.


Mother:  You tricked him!  He obviously didn’t want it and you pushed it on him!


Topher:  (Still remaining very calm).  No, I asked him multiple times and explained that it couldn’t be returned and he still wanted it.


Mother:  You’re just a smooth talker!  You (sound of Link swinging his sword) conned my son, that’s what you did!


Topher:  (Becoming really offended).  Hey, I didn’t con anyone here.  You’re taking my personal character into question and I don’t appreciate that.


Mother:  Well I’m sorry but you’ve got a (Sound of Koopa shell being stepped on) terrible character if you’d take advantage a ten year old boy.  I’m (sound of Mario gaining a power-up) pissed.


Amy:  Ma’am, could you please not use language like that?


Mother:  I will say whatever the (sound of Mario breaking a brick) I want!  Young man, how old are you?


Topher:  (Now pissed).  I’m 18.


Mother:  You need to grow up and grow some (sound of Link getting a heart) balls and just reach in that register and give me my kid’s money back!


Topher:  What?!  No, you’re not making any sense at all.  If I was to grow up and get some balls then I wouldn’t give in and give you the money back.  Do you realize how stupid you sound?  You’re angrily attacking me, the new guy, the guy who can barely finish a transaction on the computer without it crashing, to somehow magically refund a non-refundable item in our system.  Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?


Mother:  Well I want the (sound of Mario riding a flagpole) money back!


Amy:  Ma’am, I’m sorry, we can’t refund it.


Kid:  Don’t talk to my mother that way!


Mother:  (Turns to the kid).  You watch your mouth!  (Turns back to Topher and Amy).  I want my money back and I’m not leaving here until I get it!


Topher:  Let me call my manager.  (Picks up the phone and dials).  Hey Steve.  Yeah, this is Topher.  Hey, you remember the kid who wanted a refund?  His mother is here and is demanding the refund.


Steve:  (From the phone).  Tell her we can’t give the refund.


Topher:  I told her.  You tell her.


Steve:  I’d just be telling her we can’t do it.


Topher:  She doesn’t want to hear it from me, how soon can you get down here?


Steve:  (Sigh).  I’ll be down there in half an hour.  (Click).


Topher:  Okay, my manager will be here in half and hour to help you out personally.


Mother:  Fine, I’ll go wait outside the front of your store and wait for him then and I’ll tell everyone that comes by not to shop here until he shows up!  (Storms out with her kid).


Topher:  Why is she so pissed?  She acts like I should have been able to pull Steve out of my pocket or like the “like I give a damn” fairy could magically return her money is she yelled loud enough.


Amy:  (Laughs).  Yeah, I was about ready to kick her in the face if she talked back about you any more.  You handled that well.  Good job.


Topher:  I know, I just feel guilty regardless.  I’m gonna go sit down in the back for a bit.  (Walks off to the back of the store and sits down).


(Time passes and Steve’s voice can be heard coming through the door with the woman’s trailing beside him).


Steve:  I’m sorry this all had to happen like this.


Mother:  That’s okay.


(Topher looks out from the back).


Steve:  (Reaches into the register, grabs a twenty and gives it to the woman).  Here ya go.  Hope this doesn’t effect your business with our store.  We really don’t want to lose you as a customer.


Topher:  (To himself).  What?!


Mother:  Oh that’s alright, I don’t think we’ll be back at this store though.  (Walks out).


Steve:  There. Gave her a refund and erased her account.  I’m out.  (Leaves again).


Topher:  (Walks out from the back looking extremely pissed).  He gave her money back?


Amy:  You okay?


Topher:  HE GAVE THE MONEY BACK!  (Flips out).  THAT (sound of Mario dying and getting a game over as Topher rants about Steve)!


End of Episode 3



Episode 4:  The Morning Shift


Setting:  The Crazy Stop game store.  It is the morning and the store is completely dead.  The only person there is Topher, and he is pacing back and forth with his notepad.


Topher:  (Checking things off as he goes).  Okay, this is my first shift alone, gotta make sure it’s going well.  Deposited money at bank?  Check.  Counted the till?  Check.  Filled holes in game wall?  (Looks up at it).  Check.  Trade-ins, done.  New releases, out.  Used game wall alphabetized.  I’m already done with all my jobs for the day.  (Puts his notepad away).  What time is it?  (Looks at the clock).  It’s only 10:30?  I got everything done and we’ve only been open for half an hour?!  Well now what do I do?  (Sits and watches a person walk by the front door).  Is this a…?  (The person continues on).  Nah.  Guess not.  (Another person walks by).  How ‘bout this one…?  (They also pass by).  Ah, darn it.  I need something to do.  (Looks around).  Nothing to do. I guess I could play some game demos?  (Walks over to the Cube demo).  Hmm…the new Madden, eh?  (Picks up the controller).  But…I hate sports games.  Dang it. (Drops the controller).  Could play the PS2 demo…?  (Walks over to it).  Aha!  Need For Speed…(starts playing it), sucks apparently.  Xbox?  (Walks over to it).  Don’t fail me now…(Looks at the screen).  What?!  Path of Neo?!  Forget you Microsoft, you have failed to redeem yourself in mine eyes!  (Walks back to the counter, crosses his arms, and leans back with a huff).  Well shoot, there is nothing to do.  (The phone rings).  Holy crap I’ll get it!  (Dives over the counter and picks up the phone).  Hello, thank you for calling the Crazy Stop game store, this is Topher speaking!


Steve:  (From the phone).  Hey, it’s Steve.


Topher:  (Thoroughly disappointed).  Oh.  Hey Steve, what’s up?


Steve:  Just checkin’ on ya.  How’s the store going?


Topher:  Going just fine.  It’s pretty slow, though.


Steve:  You remember to go to the bank?


Topher:  Yes.


Steve:  Count the till?


Topher:  Yep.


Steve:  Did you-


Topher:  Did the trade-ins, put out the new releases, alphabetized the used games, everything’s done.


Steve:  Did you…take out the garbage?


Topher:  (Looks down at the trash can.  It is mildly filled.  He gets excited).  Oh my God no!  I forgot!  Gotta go Steve.


Steve:  Remember, sell, sell, se-  (Topher hangs up).


Topher:  I completely forgot to dump the trash.  (Picks it up).  Doesn’t really need to be dumped, but… (Skips out the door.  Comes back in within seconds with an empty trash can).  Well, that was briefly entertaining.  And now I am bored again.  When’s Ben come in?  (Checks the schedule).  Ah, 1, I figured as much.  And what time is it now?!  (Looks at the clock).  10:32?!  Ah dang it all to heck!  (Kicks the trash can).  I…am…BORED!  (Begins staring blankly at a Mario game cover off in the distance.  Camera cuts back to Topher, then to the game cover.  The Mario comes to life and begins speaking to Topher).


Mario:  At least you’re not always having to save a princess who’s always getting herself caught.


Topher:  This is true.


Mario:  I don’t even get any thanks for it.  “Oh, a kiss?  On the cheek?  Why thank you!  It’s not like I risked my life for you or anything.”  If I’m really lucky, maybe I get a cake.  (Crosses his arms).  Damn woman.


Topher:  I’m sorry to hear that.  You always looked like you were having so much fun.


Mario:  You call fighting turtles and fire-breathing dinosaurs fun?  The only saving grace is that I’m constantly tripping on shrooms.


Topher:  What about all the racing and partying and sports playing you do?


Mario:  Duh.  All to impress chicks.  (Sarcastically).  “Oh, you like tennis?  Oh it just so happens that I play tennis.  You like baseball players?  I’m great at that game.  You like fast cars?  I’ve totally got one.”  (Throws his hands up).  Bah.  Women.


Topher: Too true.


Link:  (From another game cover).  Hey, at least you get a kiss now and then.  I’ve saved countless worlds, had tons of girls want me, none of them I can actually date.  All because I’m the “hero of time” or the “hero of the winds” or some BS like that.  I’m the “tough guy” but yet I’m too tough I guess to date.  Screw them.


Topher:  Well…maybe they’re turned off by your constant silence?


Link:  What?!  Oh forget that!  Women want me to talk, then maybe they should shut up first!  I’d talk, sure I’d talk, if I could get a word in edgewise!  I’m a great listener, but do I get any credit for that?  No!  (Turns to Mario).  On a side note, fighting skeletons and wart hogs is so much harder than having to fight off turtles and mushrooms.  Although I can relate with the giant fire-breathing lizards.


Mario:  Oh whatever!


Link:  And you don’t have to carry around a bunch of crap with you wherever you go!  I’m constantly weighted down by swords, shields, dungeon maps, keys, bows, giant hammers, glass bottles, pointless instruments…who the hell has ever heard of an ocarina?!  (Imitates Mario’s voice).  “Look at me, it’s sooo hard to carry around stars and sunshine and rainbows wherever I go.”  You dainty sissy-man.


Mario:  Hey!  I already explained that I do all that to impress women!  They happen to like all that dainty flowery crap!


Topher:  To be fair, only some do, not all.


Mario:  Quiet you!


Master Chief:  Hey, could I say a few words here?


(It goes silent.  Topher gets up, walks over to the Halo case, and flips it around, then walks back).


Master Chief:  Ahhh….


Topher:  Now where were we?


Link:  I was in the middle of explaining why this candy apple here was a joke.


Mario:  How dare you!  I made this industry what it is!


Link:  Your time is over gramps!


Mario:  At least I didn’t look like some cartoon penis in my last game!


Link:  Oh my God, one time, that was one time!


Mario:  You nearly destroyed your entire franchise in one foul swoop!


Link:  That’s it!  I demand a Smash match for my honor!


Mario:  I accept!  (The two game boxes dance and wiggle trying to fight each other).


Topher:  Guys!  Settle down!  I’ll go put Smash Bros in the Cube.


(Cuts to a match of Super Smash Bros Melee between Mario and Link).


Mario:  Ha!  Take this!


Link:  No!  You take this!


(Third character, Roy, comes into the screen with the name Toph).


Topher:  I have you both!  (Smashes them out of the screen).


Link and Mario:  NOOOOO~


(Camera zooms back out and Topher is holding a GameCube controller and laughing.  Ben walks in).


Ben:  What’s got you so happy?


Topher:  I have gone crazy with boredom.


Ben:  Yeah that happens here frequently during the morning shift.


End of Episode 4

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