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Gameshow discussion! (and, are they rigged?)


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7 hours ago, dumpster said:

You can see it in action here  

 

 

Pick a boys name.  Bear in mind thousands of calls at £1.50 each are being received every minute.  There are a some names there you will guess but surely no-one is called Thurman? That's not a boys name.  Then after 2 hours and 34 minutes they give a clue and basically tell you "it's Thurman. Like Uma Thurman. Because , you know , we asked you for a boys name  but now we just need someone to ring in and say Thurman".  Then they don't actually take a call for nearly 15 minutes.  The phones must have been ringing off the hook.  

 

I remember Panorama or someone did an episode about them, in the era when the whole premium rate phone in show thing was falling apart through greed. People were ringing in for competitions on This Morning and not being entered into the competition, Blue Peter cheated, Ant and Dec apologised for something. It all.made so much money so quickly that it became a tawdry mess.

 

This is generally correct but literally on the screen of the clips you’ve posted it says call cost 60p (if I can read the small print properly, could be 80p)

 

Blue Peter being caught cheating at around the same time was really the punt into space the whole thing needed. 

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2 hours ago, sir stiff_one said:

High Relief:

 

a method of moulding, carving, or stamping in which the design stands out from the surface, to a greater ( high relief ) or lesser ( low relief ) extent

 

I probably made that game, or JonCybernet. He was good at them.

 


I still have all my Quizmania notepads with all my tower games in. I certainly learned a lot from you that I still use in puzzle designs today! 

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Yeah I think the one called Quiz TV was 1.50 a call, but hard to remember as it was all so long ago.  But in the end it all got swept along with the scandal of This Morning You Say We Pay, Blue Peter and others that I can't remember (I'll dig out the Panorama) where there was something wrong (You Say We Pay was run by a telephone service provider and they proved that the winner was picked much earlier than when the TV show said the lines were closing, from memory , I may be wrong), Blue Peter faked a winner by getting someone who was visiting the studio to call in, Gordon Ramsay cooked a fish that he pretended to have caught but didn't, and so on. It was a shame, I liked watching them but I called in just once then realised how it must work.  

 

I remember Telebid at the same time, that was an eBay style auction where it cost, say, a pound to place a bid but the bid could be any amount you liked and the auction would add a minute to the remaining timer.  All the auctions appeared to be in the last few seconds and you'd see iPads selling for 20 quid. But they would have started at 1p, so that could have cost £2000 in bids to get it to that price and people would still be bidding.  I watched it for an hour and came away thinking "wish I'd thought of that!" 

 

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On 25/11/2020 at 21:34, Art Vandelay said:

The Price is Right was my favourite. It felt so exciting! A mug’s eye full of consumer goods being won constantly, glamorous catalogue models riding exercise bikes, exotic holidays and literally no questions whatsoever. 

As a kid I loved this show and for awhile one of the prizes was an Atary Lynx. Purely because it was shown there, I wanted one. Kept pestering my parents about it until it was finally agreed that I would get one for my birthday. Before the big day, my dad sat me down and showed me a store pamphlet that showcased the NES. I don't remember his exact words, but it was something along the lines of the NES looking like a far better choice, and the Lynx I desperately wanted looking well shite. Note that he wasn't into games at all, so no idea how he arrived at that well-informed conclusion. Was I sure that I didn't want a NES instead? I begrudgingly agreed and got a NES with Mario and Duck Hunt for my birthday. Still thankful for that, best dad ever. Shame on The Price is Right for steering a young kid so wrong!

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

As a kid I loved this show and for awhile one of the prizes was an Atary Lynx. Purely because it was shown there, I wanted one. Kept pestering my parents about it until it was finally agreed that I would get one for my birthday. Before the big day, my dad sat me down and showed me a store pamphlet that showcased the NES. I don't remember his exact words, but it was something along the lines of the NES looking like a far better choice, and the Lynx I desperately wanted looking well shite. Note that he wasn't into games at all, so no idea how he arrived at that well-informed conclusion. Was I sure that I didn't want a NES instead? I begrudgingly agreed and got a NES with Mario and Duck Hunt for my birthday. Still thankful for that, best dad ever. Shame on The Price is Right for steering a young kid so wrong!


There’s a lot of kids with less informed parents who would have got a set of ornamental mahogany side tables and a Kenwood tea maid under the tree.

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This one is good as well. Bloke buys a VCR, slows down the game board on Press Your Luck and learns the sequence of the lights. There's a bit where the 'random' sequence can be recognised and a well timed hit means you'll win. Bloke ends up on the show, breaking all records and winning ten times the money of anyone else.  But is that cheating? He's practised and is using skill...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

As a kid I loved this show and for awhile one of the prizes was an Atary Lynx. Purely because it was shown there, I wanted one. Kept pestering my parents about it until it was finally agreed that I would get one for my birthday. Before the big day, my dad sat me down and showed me a store pamphlet that showcased the NES. I don't remember his exact words, but it was something along the lines of the NES looking like a far better choice, and the Lynx I desperately wanted looking well shite. Note that he wasn't into games at all, so no idea how he arrived at that well-informed conclusion. Was I sure that I didn't want a NES instead? I begrudgingly agreed and got a NES with Mario and Duck Hunt for my birthday. Still thankful for that, best dad ever. Shame on The Price is Right for steering a young kid so wrong!

 

 

 


My dad tried to talk me out of buying a NES because he saw the 16 bit Megadrive was on the horizon. I stood firm though and got the NES. 
 

I loved it dearly, but he was right, I did have massive FOMO 9 months later when the Megadrive was released in the UK, but you live and learn, eh? 

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51 minutes ago, Art Vandelay said:


There’s a lot of kids with less informed parents who would have got a set of ornamental mahogany side tables and a Kenwood tea maid under the tree.

Indeed. And as a young boy I was completely taken in by the lovely camera shots of the Lynx and the presenter talking it up, alongside a tall hot Dutch blonde pointing at it. Now that's smart marketing, they nearly had me. 

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2 hours ago, jon_cybernet said:

My dad tried to talk me out of buying a NES because he saw the 16 bit Megadrive was on the horizon. I stood firm though and got the NES

 

I got my NES about a month before the SNES came out :facepalm:

 

(Mind you,  I wouldn't have ever wanted a SNES if I hadn't got a NES, bought issue 2 of Total, and read about it so hey).

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3 hours ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

Indeed. And as a young boy I was completely taken in by the lovely camera shots of the Lynx and the presenter talking it up, alongside a tall hot Dutch blonde pointing at it. Now that's smart marketing, they nearly had me. 

Talking of great prize hauls, there used to be a section on Noel's House Party (not really a game show, I realise) called 'Wait 'till I get you home'. Basically an interview with a kid in which the aim was to embarrass the parents.
The kid would always be given the most amazing prizes for taking part. The best thing was that they'd ask the kid what they liked and that's what they got (with bells on!) I can remember a pretty mind blowing Amiga set up being the prize one week in particular.   

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9 hours ago, dumpster said:

This one is good as well. Bloke buys a VCR, slows down the game board on Press Your Luck and learns the sequence of the lights. There's a bit where the sequence flashes between 2 good squares and a well timed hit means you'll win on one or the other. Bloke practices and ends up on the show, breaking all records and winning millions.  But is that cheating? He's practised and is using skill...

 

 

 


I watched 25mins of this before I realised I was on my 4G data. Amazing

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2 hours ago, SeanR said:


I watched 25mins of this before I realised I was on my 4G data. Amazing

 

Glad you liked it.  This one is equally good but there's a full length documentary about this guy , might be on Prime.  Micheal watched loads of episodes and memorised all the prices.  And look what happens. https://youtu.be/SEXXES5v59o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, dumpster said:

 

Glad you liked it.  This one is equally good but there's a full length documentary about this guy , might be on Prime.  Micheal watched loads of episodes and memorised all the prices.  And look what happens. https://youtu.be/SEXXES5v59o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yeah, I’ve seen that one before

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23 hours ago, JamesC said:

Talking of great prize hauls, there used to be a section on Noel's House Party (not really a game show, I realise) called 'Wait 'till I get you home'. Basically an interview with a kid in which the aim was to embarrass the parents.
The kid would always be given the most amazing prizes for taking part. The best thing was that they'd ask the kid what they liked and that's what they got (with bells on!) I can remember a pretty mind blowing Amiga set up being the prize one week in particular.   

 

Yeah, but Noel normally gave away Amstrads :doh:

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49 minutes ago, merman said:

 

Yeah, but Noel normally gave away Amstrads :doh:

I think if you said you liked computers or computer games, you got an Amstrad. 

You had to be savvy and name the system if you wanted something else! 

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2 minutes ago, JamesC said:

I think if you said you liked computers or computer games, you got an Amstrad. 

You had to be savvy and name the system if you wanted something else! 


“I like coke and hookers”

 

 

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On 25/11/2020 at 13:02, dumpster said:

Spilling out of the retail thread, let's talk gameshows!

 

Years ago I was absolutely fascinated by the "Quiz Show" Movie starring Ralph Feinnes and John Turruto.  Short version (spoiler!) is that game shows in the 1950s in America were rigged and the contestants were given the answers, taught how to act relieved when they got the questions right and most significantly for that story, when to take a dive when the viewers don't want to see you any more.  It's a bloody brilliant film and you should go and watch it now.  NOW.  

 

Anyway, there's one part of that movie, right at the end which shows the fallout from the exposure.  The contestants were labelled cheats and frauds but the producers seemed to get away with it.  They argued that there was no reason to rig the game shows in the ways they were being accused of.  After all, if you want to rig a game show, just make the questions easier.

 

Dave Gorman commented that when he was on Celebrity Chase, one of the obscure sounding questions was actually really easy for him because it was subject he knew a lot about.  It was also a subject that was very clearly listed on his Wikipedia page and he wondered whether this was coincedence or not.  It always seems to me that the questions are easier on the Celeb versions of many gameshows.

 

Meanwhile, I became a little obsessed with Tenable.  They ask questions that seem to be easily identifiable into categories. The questions are randomly dished out, but if you are aware of the apparent categories, you can see what's going to happen. Category one is the question you can have a go at - for example, name the top ten holiday destinations from the UK.  No-one knows this, but you can have a stab and get a few right.  Then Category 2 - Name the ten members of Boyzone and Westlife.  Now you either know that, or you don't, simple.  You either get 5, 10 or none. Then category 3, my favourite and the first question I ever saw, "Name the first ten James Bond movies in alphabetical order".  Now, keeping in mind that every time you guess, you'll be shown where your answer sits in the top ten list.  Lets say, Casino Royale.  You're right, and that appears in the list at position 2.  You now know that there's a film you mist and it begins with A, B or any C before 'Cas'.  Chances are, if you know any Bond movie titles you'll identify it.  In fact, give this game a go right now.  Get a friend or loved one to look at this spoiler, while you guess and write your correct answers down.  You'll do better than you think.

 

SPOILER - The ten answers

  Hide contents

A View To A Kill (Roger Moore)
Casino Royale (Daniel Craig)
Diamonds Are Forever (Sean Connery)
Die Another Day (Pierce Brosnan)
Dr. No (Sean Connery)
For Your Eyes Only (Roger Moore)
From Russia With Love (Sean Connery)
GoldenEye (Pierce Brosnan)
Goldfinger (Sean Connery)
License To Kill (Timothy Dalton)

  

Anyway, to me it seems like once you spot this trend, you see it over many game shows.  You'll be given a category, or a selection of questions and you'll think, how is anyone supposed to know that?  It seems a funny coincedence that in many gameshows now the host reads the questions from a screen instead of holding cards.  This would allow the producers to choose the next set of questions after the contestant has answered the previous round.  Did they do well? Harder questions next time please. Are they struggling?  Give them an easy round so they don't go home empty handed.

 

In the classic gameshow, 321, the last round involved deciphering clues that were widely mocked for being utter nonsense.  However, after seeing some episodes recently on Challenge I was very aware that the clues could be extrapolated in multiple ways.  "You may fair well if this prize is your friend, a miniature buddy takes you to the end".  Well, says Ted, You may fair well indeed if you manage to avoid your friend and mine, but remember, all you take home is the mini, ceramic version, you've won him, your friend  and mine, Dusty Bin!", can just as easily become, "Well, you keep your friends close, as they say, and this this prize is your friend you will want to keep it close, and take it to the end, because you MAY FAIR well with this MINI MAYFAIR car!"  

 

The point to all that is that the TV show had a budget and TV regulations of the time meant that they simply couldn't afford to make the show if everyone won the star prize each week.  You can't prove anything was fixed, but there surely has to be some system in place to make sure they don't bankrupt the company.  When Who Wants To Be a Millionaire first started the producer put his house on the line, publically stating that ITV would not be responsible if people won the million quid. That's a ballsy move, but of course as soon as the system was proved to work (the phonecalls paid for the prizes) it became a national institution.  But who picks the questions, and in what order? How do they know that questions appear in ascending order of difficulty when surely a question is only difficult if you don't know it.

 

Then, back to The Chase. It's really hard to see until lockdown forces you to watch it three times a day, but there's so much going on.  When the chaser beats three of the four players and you end up with a one on one situation, you can really see the level playing field.  It's possible for a good player to beat the chaser this way and take all the money. The reason is because the questions come thick and fast but at the same speed for both players.  If you get back with a full house you get 4 steps ahead of the chaser and this is crucial because you're going to spend a lot more time answering the questions.  Bradley reads the question, you have to press your buzzer before the team captain chooses to pass, the annoucer says your name and then you answer.  It takes about 4 seconds for a Chaser to get a question right but about 6 for a team player.  The team also have to contend with wrong person answers, incorrect buzzer presses, and the clear obstacle of a player that runs ahead buzzing in with guesses quicker than the other player who knew it. There are also so many questions where the answer is there for anyone to see (What 18th century phenomenon was responsible for St Giles Cripplethwaites cathedral burning down in 1462?   (A) Portaruin,  (B) Pyrostachia or (C) Ecclesia?   All you need is "Fire=Pyro" and you're golden.  And the Chasers do this all the time - they are world class quizzers, surely they can answer all those questions whenever is needed?

 

We know that gameshows (and most TV) come together in the edit.  You see a shocked reaction from a team mate and have no way of knowing if that reaction was from earlier or later in the show.  I saw Deal or No Deal filmed from Blackpool Tower and can confirm that the contestant picked the first five boxes in one go, allowing the cameras to get in place, then when filming began they pretended the boxes were picked in one at a time as a spur of the moment decision. Telly aint real folks!

 

Anyway, enough, I'm bored in lockdown and have all day to type things.  But what do you think - how do gameshows regulate their payout?  What are your favourite game shows? What are your memories?  Etc. 

You are off your nut mate.

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36 minutes ago, Death's Head said:

So how about Omid Djalili's new effort, Winning Combination? I don't mind the format, it's got the right balance of gimmick-to-quizzing, and Omid himself is a top host. Certainly prefer it to Shane Ritchie's recent show. 

I watched that and looked at my iPad at the same time and didn't follow what their point was.  Like, in most game shows you can watch for 20 seconds and get the whole picture (like how the chase always has the current question on screen, a shot of the panel shows if anyone is out, what the prize fund is, etc). But with Winning Combination it wasn't obvious what the situation was or what they were aiming for without sitting and watching it properly, you know what I mean?

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