Why Do We Like TV Game Shows?

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Television can be a fickle industry where genres come and go, such as westerns, and standards are constantly changed and updated to help ease the problem of decreasing viewing figures. That said, game shows might be the exception. They have been around since the late 1930s, and they continue to reel in viewers today. Game shows have even served as the inspiration of several forms of entertainment, such as video and mobile titles, and casino games.

The Popularity of TV Game Shows

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The United Kingdom’s first game show, Spelling Bee, was broadcast in 1938. It was 15-minutes long and transmitted live from Alexandra Palace. The following decades saw dozens of radio and television programs emerge that featured competing contestants and celebrities playing different games for money or prizes. There are activity-oriented game shows like Iron Chef UK, dating/relationship shows like First Dates, and puzzle-oriented games and reality television, such as The X Factor.

Many of these game shows are cheesy – guilty pleasures even. There is no denying that, and, yet, people keep coming back. Why? Panel games have the attraction of featuring celebrities, giving viewers the chance to see their favourite actors, writers, and Internet personalities in a new light. The remaining genres often have everyday contestants, easy rules to follow, and they allow viewers to escape from reality for a few hours. Game shows also build a sense of community, as viewers can take to social media platforms like Twitter to post in real-time their thoughts about the current episode or that season’s contestants.

TV Game Shows In Popular Culture

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It is for reasons such as these that game shows have extended into other types of entertainment today. For instance, online casino sites like Buzz Bingo offer Bingo Live game shows, including Deal or No Deal. These sites also promote a sense of community and give players a chance to take respite from everyday life by playing live game shows, replicating the same feelings one gets while watching them on television.

We have also seen game shows integrated into the movie industry. Famously, Bob Barker, the host of The Price is Right, made a cameo in the 1996 Adam Sandler movie Happy Gilmore. The sports comedy even won an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight for Sandler versus Barker. Just as game shows and online casino sites that offer live versions of these franchises, incorporating game show personalities and concepts into movies, even a little bit, can be fun and make people laugh.

When game shows first appeared, they were country-specific. For instance, the United Kingdom had Spelling Bee, while the United States had their radio quiz show called Information Please. Over the years, however, game shows have found audiences globally, not just in their home country, similar to reality television. Americans have taken to Love Island, while Deal or No Deal is a popular UK game show that international casino operators have replicated. The joy that people feel when watching them is universal, and that’s why game shows have not only managed to stay relevant but merge into other industries and forms of entertainment.

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