William Gibson and Tom Maddox's take on virtual reality. With Dana Scully in black latex.

"First Person Shooter", episode 13 in the seventh series of the perennial geek's favourite tv show The X-Files combines everything that a proper, certified geek loves about mass media: a big bosomed vixen clathed in sparse leather strips, Dana Scully in black latex shooting the crap out of aforementioned vixen, the three archnerds that are the lone gunmen and a humorous take on silicon valley's fixation on the quick buck during the boom and bust period that was the internet bubble.

Scripted by the grandmaster of cyber space William Gibson with the help of Tom Maddox and directed by X-Files own über-creator Chris Carter, the story is as follows:

Spoiler Alert

During the last bit of beta testing of a large virtual reality game (players are being set in a large warehouse that, via what I assume are holographic projectors, is turned into the gory fantasy world that is your average first-person shooter: a dark and brooding alley in which you have to shoot myriads of villains) something goes wrong: Unfortunately during the trials one gamer is getting killed. Not in a virtual sense, but for real: he meets his unfortunate demise by a mysterious BDSM beauty with a shotgun that is only present within the program's routines. Mulder and Scully are being called by The Lone Gunmen to help solve the riddle of death by virtual mistress. While the two are looking around, another gamer is being "terminated": Asian super gamer Daryl Musashi, called to blast the hell out of the cyber-domina, has his very real hands and head cut off. After some interviewing and producing a printout of the murderess, an L.A. prostitute called Jade Blue Afterglow is arrested for double murder (and read her rights a hundred times by a row of drooling policemen), but it of course transpires that she was only paid to have her (admittedly impressive) body scanned by the gamecompany to appear as an avatar. In fact, the murderous subroutine was written by one of the female programmers of the company: a way of coping with all the testosterone flying around, but never meant to deploy any physical harm.
Never one to miss a good fight (or meeting an interesting woman) and show his biceps, Mulder dons the game gear and some very matrixy sunglasses to stalk the evil digital creation, just to end up with a malfunctioning gun and hostage to the lady, caught in cyber space (erectile dysfunction analogies, anyone?). So, there's only one person to save him now: enter Dana Scully in more latex and donning a big cyber gun, kicking some serious cyber ass and saving her man. Helped by the gunmen pulling the plug on the mainframe, giving us all a happy end.

As you can see, this is all rather lighthearted, and it's always nice to see the light side of the normally extremely dour Fox Mulder. Don't expect to get an explanation for the deaths though, as this is one plot hole that is better left uncovered. Certainly one of the better episodes of a rather dull seventh series, this is good, clean fun, albeit with a lot of cleavage and latex.

Not that that's necessary a bad thing.

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