Oh god, how I love game shows. I was raised on them; every day during the summer, I watched four or five a day, and every night, it was Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, even if the latter is so amazingly easy that it wasn’t much fun. Once I actually guessed the puzzle without seeing any tiled turned over, and my mom was completely floored. I’m like, “Mom…it’s Wheel of Fortune.”
One of my few unfulfilled life goals is to be on a game show. I’ve auditioned — I went down to LA and passed the test for Rock & Roll Jeopardy! , but didn’t get picked for the show. Jude built me some buzzers with a lockout circuit and everything, for trivia fun at home — but I’ve never been on one for real. Last year I wrote a story for OXM saying we needed to bring You Don’t Know Jack to Xbox Live Arcade, let users play against each other in online trivia showdowns, but — can you imagine? — my wish list was not instantly put into production.
But we’re getting closer. Scene It? was announced at E3, and that’s a good start. Now, Sony has finally gotten of its ass to bring Buzz! from the European market to the US. Crucially, both games feature custom, big-button controllers (four infared controllers for Scene It, a lovely eight wured USB ringers for Buzz). Buzz is about two years old, and since it’s music-trivia based, maybe there were legal things to clear…but I really, truly believe that this is the next avenue for the recently-discovered casual market. Game shows are back on TV (and have been for several years) and the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire PC games spawned like rabbits. Why console gaming has been so slow to adopt the genre, I can’t say. I’m just glad to see it’s happening.
I haven’t played much PS2 of late, but I’ll definitely fire it up for Buzz. And while Scene It is offline, Microsoft did say at E3 that they have plans for the controllers in other games. My Live trivia showdown dreams could become reality.