5 videogames that would make awesome TV shows

We’ve all heard of videogames being turned into big budget films, but the lads from Mashable give us a few that would make superb TV shows.

Borderlands 2

It would be easy to cast Gearbox Software’s Borderlands 2 as a cartoony action series, but it could have a better future.

Imagine instead an action-packed, sci-fi satire that, despite its genre associations, has the most in common with snarky, satirical black comedies about people making bad choices in bad circumstances. Think Weeds or Don Cheadle’s House of Lies. We see shades of Fireflytoo, with the space western vibe.

And just imagine that theme from The Heavy that appears at the end of the above intro sequence playing every week. It’d be iconic in no time, just like The Heavy’s other big songs; the band once contributed a theme and closing credits for True Blood.

Clumsy Ninja

Console and PC games don’t have a monopoly on great characters who would adapt well for television. There are plenty to pick from — an overwhelming number, really — but one really stands out.

Angry Birds might seem like an obvious choice due to its popularity, but Clumsy Ninja, whose developer was just purchased by Zynga of FarmVille fame, strikes a chord with its cute protagonist who is finding his feet in the world and stumbling more than a few times along the way.

Kids will relate, and of course there’s plenty of opportunity for daring action and slapstick comedy. Ninjas never go out of style — they wear black, after all.

Mass Effect 

Ongoing interstellar sagas have long been a staple of the small screen, but we’ve been missing them lately. The last Star Trek series went off the air almost nine years ago, and while Battlestar Galactica was a hit, it was short-lived.

Sure, you’ve got Doctor Who, but there’s no replacement for a good space opera, with warring interstellar civilizations and heroic military crews discovering unspeakable threats and saving the galaxy on a weekly basis. The lack of a new TV show like that might be because from 2007 to 2012, sci-fi geeks were telling their own interactive stories in BioWare’s Mass Effect saga.

If you’ve seen shows like Star Trek and played Mass Effect, this one doesn’t really need a sales pitch. It’s a surefire win. Just make sure Commander Shepard is played by a killer lady — true gamers know FemShep is the real Shepard.

Red Dead Redemption

The Western used to be one of television’s most popular genres, but it has never been a big hit with gamers. That’s why it was such a surprise that 2010’s most critically acclaimed gameRed Dead Redemption, brought cowboys back into the pop culture lexicon for just a little while.

Written and produced by the same team that’s behind Grand Theft AutoRed Dead Redemption was a cynical look at the early American west. Its tragic hero was relatable for both his desperation and his dry comments.

We could see a serial drama in the vein of The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad that explores the darker, rougher side of the great American frontier. Make it happen, AMC.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Remember ’90s TV, when Hercules and Xena wandered a vague approximation of Ancient Greece, doing heroic good deeds for whichever town-in-distress needed it that week? That pretty much describes the gameplay experience of 2011 RPG mega-hit The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to a T, only it’s a Nordic fantasy province instead of a cheeky classical realm.

Mix that proven sword-and-sorcery formula with a catalog of lore as detailed and deep as that of The Lord of the Rings, and you can see the appeal.

If gamers can find more than 200 hours of content to play through in each Elder Scrolls game, then a great showrunner could easily find 10 seasons of stories to tell in Tamriel. Plus, Skyrim has sold 20 million copies. If all those gamers tuned in every week, the show would be as big as American Idol.

 

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