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Animated Shows Love Video Games

TV characters meet video games Television's animated shows have recently caught the gaming bug for some reason.  Shows have been referencing video games for years (Futurama's many masterful gaming in-jokes come to mind, as do Donkey Kong's cameos on The Simpsons over the years), but recently the amount of game-related material seems to be at an all-time high.  South Park seems to have started the latest trend with its episode devoted to World of Warcraft, "Make Love, Not Warcraft", and not long after American Dad took a shot at MMORPGs with a subplot in the episode "Dungeons and Wagons" in which Steve Smith takes up the online role of the mighty warrior Agathor in a Warcraft parody.  Most noteworthy is that the animation style used to depict actions within the game is vastly more detailed than the style used for the rest of the show.  Then The Simpsons jumped into the fray with "Marge Gamer" when Marge Simpson becomes entranced with Earthland Realms (another Warcraft parody) and finds that just about everyone in Springfield is playing the game as well.  Naturally, Bart is the most powerful and most feared adversary in the mythical realm.  Looking ahead, next week's King of the Hill episode, "Grand Theft Arlen", sees Hank Hill becoming addicted to a video game about propane.  I don't know where all of the gaming plots are coming from all of a sudden, but I have to say that I enjoy it.  It's always fun to see our hobby (and, on occasion, us) tweaked by a clever writing team.