Dead Pixels: A comedy ‘about gamers for gamers’

Alexa Davies playing Meg in the showImage copyright
Channel 4

Dead Pixels is a new comedy about gamers that promises to be “on their side”.

One of the stars of the show, Alexa Davies, tells Newsbeat: “It’s about fully understanding where people who play come from.”

Part live action and part computer animation, the show is based on a fictional game called Kingdom Scrolls.

“A lot of the funny bits are about characters’ frustrations with the balance between real life and the game,” says Alexa.

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Channel 4

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Kingdom Scrolls is a world of mystical and magical wizards and wyverns

She plays Meg in the E4 show, who loves Kingdom Scrolls and dedicates a lot of her life to playing it with her friends.

Alexa says the team behind Dead Pixels wanted to create a more well-rounded portrayal of the lives of some gamers.

She says: “We did our homework, which was basically playing games.

“It helped us properly understand the frustration you can feel sometimes.

“The show’s writer John Brown has played so much himself that if there’s a joke in there about spending five hours travelling in a blimp across a map, it’s probably because John has done it.

“He is poking fun at himself, so this show comes from a loving place.”

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Channel 4

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Will Merrick says the show reflects the ‘bittersweet’ nature of online gaming

Meg’s playing partner and friend Nicky is played by Will Merrick.

“I don’t think you’re looking through a window into this odd life that is unconventional – you’re there with them, on their journey. It’s not point and look humour,” he says.

“It’s funny, sad and moving – and all about their epic journey both in the game and outside it.”

Mainstream television hasn’t got the best reputation among gamers for the way it represents them on screen, but the actors hope this show will do a better job of finding the funny and thought-provoking side of gaming and games culture.

Will says there’s a “bitter sweetness” to a big gaming session.

“Undoubtedly, there’s a phenomenal feeling of achievement and then the question: ‘I spent a lot of time doing that, is that ok?’

He also hopes it will feel authentic.

“There are some amazing gaming references in here, some are really niche and I think that’s really enjoyable for a hardcore gamers.”

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Channel 4

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Alexa Davies’ character Meg struggles to get the balance right between her love for the game and her life outside it

“But ultimately it’s a comedy about escapism and it’s funny to watch.”

Alexa and Will have both spent plenty of time cradling a controller in their lives and say they wanted to create something for gamers to enjoy.

“We’re on their side,” Alexa says – with Will adding: “This is a comedy about gamers for gamers.”

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