Celebrity gaming meets reality TV

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April 19, 2006 The internet continues to radically change the world of media and cross-media fertilisation continues to develop even more potent mixtures of compelling, targeted entertainment. Games are now a part of mainstream global entertainment, with professional gamers and teams gaining celebrity status and six figure incomes. Similarly, reality television is now an established winner as networks attract massive audiences of vicarious thrill-seekers by getting low- or no-paid nobodies to bare their all in the hope of becoming highly-paid somebodies. Mix it all together and put it on the web as high-resolution video that users can stream to their computer and you have the makings of yet another new high-appeal hybrid genre that raises the profile of all concerned. And so it came to pass that video game publisher Ubisoft, which sponsors an all-women gaming team known as the Frag Dolls, has partnered with MTV’s GameTrailers.com site to produce five weekly online-only episodes about the recruitment of the newest team member. The first episode premieres today. Would we be a trifle cynical to note that all eight candidates, not to mention the incumbent FragDolls are unrepresentatively attractive?

While some young women aspire to become "idols," and others dream of a life-changing "apprenticeship," the eight Frag Doll candidates were selected by Ubisoft from entrants nationwide for the chance to join the team.

"All eight candidates are incredible representatives of the girl gaming community. Coming from a diverse set of backgrounds all over the country, each girl has the potential to bring a fun new energy to the Frag Dolls and a relevant perspective to the movement for women in gaming," said Morgan Romine, 'Rhoulette', community manager at Ubisoft and captain of the Frag Dolls. "Ubisoft's partnership with GameTrailers.com is giving us the chance to show the world what it takes to be a Frag Doll and see some awesome crazy gamer ladies who are up for the challenge."

Frag Doll candidates will be conducting one-on-one TV interviews covering topics such as their passion for video games, their favorite gaming moments and why they should be chosen to be the next Frag Doll. To test their abilities under pressure, prospective team members will participate in competitive LAN battles on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. They will play Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Halo 2 to test their individual video game skills and their ability to with as a team.

Finally, each contestant must face a four-member panel of judges of video game industry experts who will ask questions to test gaming knowledge and solicit thoughts on controversial video game topics.

The GameTrailers.com Frag Doll Recruitment Schedule :

April 18, 2006 - "Meet the Frag Dolls" April 25, 2006 - "Introducing The Candidates, Part 1" May 2, 2006 - "Introducing The Candidates, Part 2" May 9, 2006 - "New Frag Doll Selection" May 23, 2006 - "E3: The Ultimate First Day of Work"

The Frag Dolls have performed well in competition, often beating their male counterparts in team-based multiplayer competitions. This was evident when the team dominated the 32-team Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 Black Arrow tournament held at PAX in 2004 and repeated their first place performance at PAX in 2005 in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2.

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