Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Video Gaming TV Takes Centre Stage in the Early 90's...

GamesMaster S2E3 - Part 1/3

And this is a one for all you retro Nintendo/SNES/Sega Mega Drive generation gaming fans out there. It's Channel 4's "Gamesmaster", where acid-tongued Scotsman in a blood-red suit Dominik Diamond (with hair) dabbling with contestants, celebrities and so-called videogame magazine expert, for the aim of one visual ideal : The Golden Gamesmaster Joystick!However, the star of the show is "The Sky At Night" head honcho Patrick Moore, as the big giant computer generated head on the giant screen, that was a great casting choice. Although you fear this "all-knowing gaming god" in real life, may've known diddlysquat about Sonic or Mario, he has a great voice of reason, that made it believeable. This is part 1 of 3 parts, of this episode from the second series, now set in an Oil Rig, changed from it's original 1st series Church setting.

The episode first begins with a game challenge for one worthy contender on one of the best SNES games of all-time, "Super Mario World", to collect 200 coins and complete the "Donut Plain" level in 1 minute flat. This follows with the "Review Booth" where critics from gaming magazines discuss a few of the lastest games, with 3-D industrial themed graphics whizzing around  and cut scenes of critics talking nonsense. In the middle of the show, there would be a celebrity challenge against an ordinary pleb, this one being (at the time) Wimbledon footballer hardman Vinnie Jones playing against said pleb on the appropiate game of "Soccer Brawl", a futuristic soccer game. One of the funniest segments of the show was the Consoletation Zone, where (pre-recorded?) gamers are transported to the Gamesmaster's virtual world set on an oil rig, the entire theme for the second series, and they ask for help with games or ask for a level select cheat. The all-knowing head honcho of course knows the answer. The last part of the show is interesting, a self-confessed gaming expert and games tester challenges anyone in the audience to beat him on any Sega Mega Drive game!

"Gamesmaster" ran from 1992-1998, usually scheduled on a weekday evening once a week. There hasn't really been a successor to the programme after it had finished. Video gaming on terrestrial TV has been flushed down the toilet, regarded as "for kids", but the gaming industry has boomed in the late-90s with kids and young adults alike, and now there are games out there for both sexes and adults, so it's a crying shame whatever gaming shows there have been, are hidden away on at a graveyard slot or on an obscure satellite channel.

The show would differ from setting and look of the Gamesmaster (although still Patrick Moore) each series.

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