Game shows: The Cutting Edge

A photo of the primordial soup, snapped billions and billions of years ago.

The Game Show has been a highly adaptable form of entertainment, since The Very Dawn of Time. 

Well, maybe not the very dawn of time… I mean, the earliest unicellular lifeforms drifting about in the primordial soup probably weren’t all that great at pop culture, geography, or sports trivia. Word puzzles? They’d have been useless. Guessing which briefcase contained the big money? Not a chance in hell. And of course they didn’t stand a chance when the subject was history.

Because there hadn’t been any yet.

No, come to think of it, game shows have not been adaptable since The Very Dawn of Time, and I’m now sorry I wrote that. But game shows are adaptable these days. And that, I think, is the point of this week’s guest post from Mr Ryan Vickers. Now read on… 

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My Life in Game Shows

Episode 14: Game show as technology – ‘Complete the List’, 2017

With the advent of so many different platforms such as Netflix filling in for what used to have been our television watching, something else great has come down the chute – podcasting and apps. And with podcasting and apps has come internet game shows. Played mostly for pride and not for prizes, this allows anyone with an internet connection to play from the comfort of their home. The hottest thing going right now is HQ Trivia, an app whereby hundreds of thousands of players try to get twelve questions in a row right for a split of the game’s cash prize. In fact, for three seasons Let’s Ask America ran in US television syndication and while the host was in the studio contestants were on Skype at home.

In the traditional game show vein, Complete the List is a podcast game show run by Canada’s Andy Saunders (disclaimer: I have known Andy for years, and he is the tournament director at Reach for the Top, and he does a damn good job!). After hearing a few episodes, I knew I wanted to apply, and it was a simple as filling out a Google Form.

PRO TIP: Podcast game shows are always looking for players – why not have a try at Complete the List yourself?

Three players (and on occasion teams) are given a list of eight categories, in the vein of Pyramid, whereby you’ll have to decipher what they actually mean and that’s part of the fun. Players give answers in turn, in an attempt to score points. But in a neat twist, if you can’t think of another answer you can copy someone else’s – well, at least if you think it’s right! Other rounds include having to name a year a series of events happened as well as answering a question within a certain numerical range.

I first played on Episode 21, whereby to my surprise, I was against two other Canadians. It turns out Andy had prepared a slate of questions that were Canadian-themed. I then started to try and figure out what the categories might mean.

PRO TIP: On a show like this, pen and paper are not only allowed, but you need to use them. When a category came up, I started to scribble down possible answers. When it came to the “name the year”, I divided everything up by decade. Also make sure to take time to write down what other contestants had said so I wouldn’t repeat answers where I didn’t want to.

One of the great things about this podcast is the variety of questions – I’ve had to name countries who produced a Tour de France winner, Canadian Prime Ministers, currently running soap operas, characters from The Hunger Games and so many more things. As well the calibre of contestants has been quite high – the second of two episodes I played against two recent Jeopardy! contestants – one of who made it to the semi-finals of the recently finished Tournament of Champions.

And while this show only plays for pride, there is tons of it at stake. You can hear me play on episodes #21 and #25 wherever you find your podcasts – just search for Complete the List!

Next time, my life in game shows comes to a conclusion – well… for now…

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Well, the game show as a podcast – who would have thought? I’d like to thank Ryan for once again opening my eyes to a new corner of the game show universe that I was completely unaware of, before he came along. That was, as he mentioned, the penultimate instalment of his Life In Game Shows guest post odyssey…. but before he returns for one last round, perhaps you’d like to follow him on Twitter, at @RealCanadaMan.

And just a reminder that you can follow me too, at @How2WinGameShow.

Until next time!

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