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Gaming History You Should Know – The History of UNDERGRADS May 17, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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It’s Sunday! Welcome back to Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the best independently produced gaming-related documentaries across the web. Today, I’m going to take you back to 2001, and talk about one of MTV’s most overlooked animated show, Undergrads.

Undergrads was an animated television series created by Pete Williams that focused around four college friends, Gimpy, Rocco, Nitz and Cal. The plan was for each season of the show to revolve around a year of college, so the first season focused on their Freshman year. I know what you’re thinking, what does this show have to do with gaming? A lot actually. We never actually see the characters go to class, the show revolves around what they do outside of work and studies. That involves a LOT of gaming, and several episodes focused on the characters playing different games ranging from the board game RISK to the PC game Quake III Arena. As far as I can remember, this was the first non-gaming focused television show that casually acknowledged that computer games existed, got gaming language correct, and wasn’t afraid to namedrop real games.

Sadly, Undergrads only lasted one season, and had a story that ended on a cliffhanger. Due to contract issues between MTV and Pete Williams, Pete was unable to continue the show on his own. However, nearly two decades after the show’s cancellation a light eventually appeared at the end of the tunnel.

Pete Williams intends to make an Undergrads movie and held a successful Kickstarter to start pre-production! But what makes this show so special, and if you’re unfamiliar with the show, why should you care as much as I do? Enter YouTube Channel RebelTaxi, which creates some incredible documentaries on animated shows and video games. Recently, he produced an incredible documentary about the history of Undergrads, up to this point. Give it a watch!

I’m really happy this movie will finally get released. The first season of Undergrads WAS my Freshman year of college. I do not say that lightly, pretty much every beat in the show happened to me at some point over the course of that year. I must credit Pete Williams for his sincerity for that, and with his decision to use correct gaming lingo.

So, after being silent for so long, what is the current status of Undergrads? I’ve got really good news for you. The creator of the show held a successful Kickstarter about a year ago, and pre-production of a film sequel has started. Here’s some test footage that has recently been posted.

Welcome back Nitz, Gimpy, Rocco and Cal. We missed you.

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