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Wasting My Summer: The Project Runway Edition

May 17, 2010

By Tom Price

All summer long, I’m going to be taking a look at some of the games that set the Wii apart from the other platforms. Join me as I jump into the depths of the lowest of low budget games.

Do you like the world of fashion, glamor and reinforcing impossible standards for women to live up to? Of course you don’t, and neither do I. But regardless, for the second edition of this increasingly regretful series, the game is Project Runway.

If I had to describe Project Runway in one word, it would be commercial, which isn’t really that surprising. I believe in the minds of Bravo executives, the station that produces the show, the Project Runway game is probably barely worth more attention than the McDonald’s happy meal toy. It falls into the same pit of problems that many low budget video game tie-ins fall into. The game is just a promotion to get people to watch the show, and a way to pump some money out of the fans they already have. But expecting anything more than this would just be foolish.

The game is broken down into two different mini games. Basically it goes like this; you pick one of 10 different challenges. Each one has you making a predetermined outfit. You follow the recipe, designing an outfit, makeup and accessories. Yes, that’s as exciting as it sounds. At least once or twice I found myself on the edge of sleep during loading screens, only to be snapped back to wakefulness by Tim Gunn saying “Good morning designers.”

The second mini game is the crown jewel of Project Runway. Walking down the runway, matching movements displayed on the screen with the Wii remote and nunchuck. While doing all this I felt more like a drowning person trying to stay afloat then a model walking down the runway. It doesn’t help that motions are entirely inconsistent. A simple downward motion would take three tries to work. But if you can get past the rough controls, you get to enjoy seeing the robotic, stilted movements of you’re hard work and dedication walk down the runway. You’ll be filled with a swelling of pride at seeing the result of  five to ten minutes of effort receive cheers from a digital crowd. But now that I think about it, I might be confusing pride with some other emotion. Maybe despair.

Above all else Project Runway gave me a deep respect for the noble enterprise of modeling, and the work it takes to produce such a show. Well, that’s a lie. What it really gave me was deep sense of shame, and a strong desire to just fall asleep and forget about the last hour I just spent playing Project Runway.

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