I want to know what everyone remembers from G4 when they first found the channel.
I had received digital cable for the first time in May of 2003 and after a day or so of flipping through the hundreds of new channels, I came across one that was, shockingly, devoted entirely towards video games. “TV 4 Gamers” they called themselves. (I don’t know why they wanted to limited themselves to just four viewers, but I think in the end, that might have hurt their chances for succeeding in the ratings.)
There was this one show about these two guys who would travel about the country to get their game on with other people. They would play things like golf, but it would be, like, outlaw golf and stuff. And they would do things like play a game of human pac-man. I was pretty sure the show would be a huge success, because even Club Dread ripped on that idea. But it seemed to vanish pretty fast. I wonder if another network bought them out.
Then there was this other show about film celebrities and TV stars and the kinds of games and things they liked to play on their xboxes. And, sometimes, if these players didn’t have themselves an xbox, the network would give them one and a game to play in their trailers and stuff. It was awesome. They’d get big celebrities, like the girl who screams in Spider-Man 2 when Doc Ock crashes through the wall.
And then there was this other new show that talked about all of the true life events that were going on around the world, only entirely devoted to gaming, like how Starcraft Ghost was being delayed, or Malice was being delayed, or how the price of the Gameboy Advance was dropping from 99.99 to 79.99. They seemed like they were the pulse of the gaming industry. But then one day, the cute chick that co-hosted it vanished.
Then they had this one TV pilot for a Siskel & Ebert type show called “Poolside,” where these two guys would sit around a pool all day talking about video games. One would talk about how Wind Waker was awesome and the other would talk about how Nintendo is for teh kizzies and complain that the game didn’t have Xbox Live. I think the network must have really liked this “Poolside” pilot, because they would air it 30 times a week, every week, for about four months. Eventually, the pilot must have been picked up for it’s own series and their pool closed down, because I started seeing them talk about other games in other locations.
There was this show where this woman would count down from 10 all the time. She’d be like “the number 4 game based on a comic book is X-Men: The Arcade Game!” and talk about the top selling titles each week. She told us once that Contra was the hardest game of all time (WTF!!!), but claimed the “results” had been “filtered” through some sort of “filterator” on a website. Yeah, sure… but I wasn’t buying it.
And there was this one guy who talked about all these different tricks and secrets you could unlock in games that you otherwise shouldn’t be able to do. It was kind of strange, because he would talk to a can of potato chips all the time as if the potato chips knew these secrets. I think he was on drugs. And then he would tell us that he achieved all this stuff, thanks to cheating. That’s not cool. I hope the police finally caught him. This kind of thing ran rampant back in the days before game companies made it mandatory law where you need to buy $20 worth of DLC for games to unlock this stuff.
Then there was this show about all of these games and game makers, talking about how they came to be. Usually, “it all started with…” or plumber, or the communist government, or someone’s dream, or a vision or something. I think they licensed this show from the Biography Channel. It was very iconic and informative.
And then there was this other show where a handful of people were put in a room to play games against each other and then the kid from Star Trek:TNG and his friend would make jokes at their expense. The jokes must not have been funny, because they were only there a week. Then these other people came in, but one of them left after a month or two. Then this other guy became the new host. He had this funky 'stack and a denim jacket. I think his name was “Kevin P.” or something. I don’t know whatever happened to that guy, but I wouldn’t trust him. Probably would be the downfall of the network if you ask me.
Then there was this cool guy who would show off all the awesome features of whatever games were coming out. He’d just be the most awesome of the awesomest. He called himself “The Sindelar,” and only people who are pure awesome can do something like that. I can’t even call myself “the spooie,” because I’m not worthy of such awesomeness. One day he went on search for Polybius, the long lost arcade machine, and was never seen again. They had to cancel the show. It’s too bad, because it was awesome.
Then the network got the rights to Mystery Science Theater 3000… but they changed it around. It was now about a guy who was like, in a computer, and all his friends were in a computer and stuff… and they were all from these MMOs and stuff. But he didn’t make fun of crappy movies or have robot pals. And I think they got a new actor to play the main character.
The channel had a lot of really cool commercials for he US Navy and Army and gaming colleges and finding out whether your computer had vurms… and sometimes they’d show a whole block of game commercials for 30 straight minutes. They’ve even give you a list to run down which commercials were coming up. Sometimes they only had 8 or 9 commercials, but other times they had like 20. They even had a bunch of commercials once for games that never even were released. How weird is that?
And speaking of commercials, I think Electronic Arts must have been a really big fan of the G4 network, because each week their produced themselves their very own infomercial showing of all of their latest sports games. Every episode had someone sweating in it. That was like their signature feature. G4 must have made a lot of money off of these infomercials, because they didn’t always air it at 3am like all the other channels would. Sometimes it would air at like 1pm on a tuesday. Weird, right?
Anyhoo… that’s what I remember about G4TV.