Gamers in the UK of a certain age - like this writer - may remember GamesMaster, a quirky '90s TV show that pitched competitors against each other in the latest games. Part of the appeal was in seeing new games - which a current-day TV show can't possibly replicate courtesy of the web's dominance - but a lot of the charm was in the challenges that competitors took on.
It seems that 'Go 8 Bit', a new show airing six episodes on the Dave channel in the UK this Autumn, will aim for the latter. Based on the Edinburgh comedy show of the same name it will pitch celebrities against each other in challenges in front of a live audience, with the losers having to go through a punishment. It'll be hosted by Dara O Briain - an well-known comedian who often does a brilliant job as host of the gaming BAFTAs - and the team captains will be Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon, comedians and creators of the original show. Below is a bit of blurb from a press release.
Each week they will guide their celebrity guest teammate through five rounds of increasingly competitive, hilarious gaming contests. Whether it be an arcade classic like Pac-Man, the latest blockbuster Grand Theft Auto or Fallout title, the most cutting-edge computer technology - or even larger-than-life game-inspired physical challenges, Dara and the show's resident gaming expert Ellie Gibson will be on hand to adjudicate, commentate, and generally wind up the contestants. The series will be recorded in front of a live studio audience who will decide the winner of each round.
Dara O Briain: "Put a video game controller in the hands of a nun and she'll turn into a trash-talking bloodthirsty monster. Give a controller to a comedian and they'll do that too, but be funny. In video games veritas, my friends. This show is a raucous, back-biting, properly competitive celebration of the world's favourite pastime. Let's Go 8 Bit!"
It sounds fun, and it has game-savvy (and funny) personnel leading the show. We'll certainly be watching later in the year - check out Dara O Briain in a gaming sketch below, but don't watch if you're an over-sensitive Wii fan.