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MTV gets its game on

Cable channel will heavy up on game-related programming in move designed to coincide with release of the Xbox 360.

MTV will devote an entire week of programming to games and game culture in anticipation of the Nov. 22 release of Microsoft's new Xbox 360 game console.

Starting this Sunday night, the cable channel said it will air game-focused coverage, as will its sister channels and Web sites, including MTV2, MTVU, MTVU Uber and MTV Overdrive. The video game-themed programming, dubbed GameORZ Week, acknowledges the degree to which game culture is integrated into the mainstream, especially among the MTV market of 18- to 24-year-olds.

"Video games are at the front of our audience's daily lives, just like music, fashion and movies," Christina Norman, president of MTV, said in a statement. "GameORZ Week will be a multiplatform entertainment experience for gamers that will showcase the touch points where music, stars, and video games intersect with youth culture."

The MTV show TRL ("Total Request Live") will cover the launch of the new Xbox and provide viewers a look at some popular games, including "Mario Kart DS," "NBA Live 06" and "Battlefield 2: Modern Combat."

MTV will also cover the semifinals of the Cyberathlete Professional League's world tour on Saturday, Nov. 26, as well as provide profiles of some of the most successful, and notorious, professional game players.

Among segments airing next week will be "True Life: I'm a Professional Gamer," a program that follows three young players as they make their rounds on the pro circuit, and "This Sims Life," a show that documents the lives of people who spend many of their waking hours playing massively multiplayer role-playing games. "Sims Life" intends to spin "a tale about hope and dreams and empowerment," according to the network. "True Life" airs Nov. 20 on MTV and MTV2, while "Sims Life" will be broadcast the following day, Nov. 21.

MTV will examine more sobering topics on "MTV News: Racism and Online Gaming," which will look at how online gaming has, at times, created a forum for racist invective, while "Gaming Cost Me My Girlfriend" examines the negative effect excessive game playing has on relationships. The latter segment will focus on a group of students at Kansas State University who formed a club called Girlfriends Against Video Games.

Another segment to air on MTV and MTV2 will explore the making of the game "True Crime: New York City" and will feature a number of actors featured as voice talent in the game. Christopher Walken and Lawrence Fishburne are both slated to be interviewed.