Three awesome game shows featuring video games I used to watch
Yesterday on Nerd Lunch Episode 118, we talked all about our favorite game shows. I love game shows. But I also love video games. So, obviously, I love when they combine the two.
To supplement yesterday’s podcast discussion, here are three video game based game shows that I loved watching when I was growing up.
Starcade (1982) – I loved this show. It was a quiz show with bonus rounds where players would get to play a few minutes on all types of upright arcade machines. Many of the machines were debuted on the show and there were several I never saw in a local arcade. You can find a ton of episodes all over YouTube. You can also find over 60 episodes streaming live on Starcade.tv.
Video Power (1990) – OMFG I loved this show and its host, Johnny Arcade (seen above right in his video enhancement chair). Check out the amazing Vanilla Ice-like rap by Johnny for the show’s intro. This show began, surprisingly, as not a game show at all but a cartoon variety show hosted by Johnny Arcade featuring action adventure cartoons starring characters from the games Arch Rivals, Wizards & Warriors, NARC and Bigfoot (the monster truck). However, for the second season the producers overhauled the format and created a game show, still hosted by the venerable Johnny Arcade. Contestants would answer trivia, play timed sessions on console video games (mostly NES stuff) and the winner would run through an obstacle course covered in velcro clothing sticking games to their bodies. This show was so incredible and simply reeks of 1990s awesomeness.
Nick Arcade (1992) – This was Nickelodeon’s game show which featured trivia rounds plus generic variations of popular games. The winning team of each episode would suit up and actually jump through and play in a virtual video game. It looks like crap now, but was a lot of fun back in the early 90s. Check out an impossibly young Joey Fatone from N’Sync as a contestant.