Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How To Save G4 Television (Not Really)

This is on the heels of Adam Sessler's and Kevin Periera's departures from the so-called-titular gaming cable channel known as G4.  The 4 G's stand for Games, Gear, Gadgets and Gigabytes, BTW.

Now, I don't watch G4.  Used to watch it a bit years ago but now I stay the hell away.  I'm not even a TV person anymore.  I leave the TV on Speed Channel and listen to it as I work.  But I still have some pity on G4 since I'm a "gamer" and so is G4.

The main problem I have with G4 is that I always felt like it insulted my intelligence.  Whatever original programming that station has consists of a bunch of gloating airheads who use dumb catchphrases like "fus-do-rah" or "the cake is a lie" or "epic fail."  And they oogle over models at Comic-Con (yes, I'm talking about Olivia Munn and the "Olivia's Rack" segment).  And then they air reruns of Cops, Cheaters, and The Man Show.  Literally, I just checked G4's schedule for the next six hours and there's X-Play, Revenge of the Show, and 3 hours worth of Cops.  That's all you got???

I'm sorry, but I'm not a toolbag.  Not all of us are energy drink hopped-up nerds who sit around in our underwear playing World of Warcraft or Xbox Live 10 hours a day.  Gimme a break.  Even though I found Adam Sessler irritating in the past, at least the dude knew his stuff and brought some new ideas to the table.  He made you think a little.

 Yes, Adam, you may be a bastard, but at least you're a magnificent bastard.  Like me.

Browsing through sites like Kotaku, Reddit, and GameFAQs, I doubt I'm going to heavily invest in another "mainstream" gaming channel.  But these are some common sense ideas I'm going to throw out a Top 10, no, Top 14 list of ideas to help you guys out.  Since I know very little about what G4's airing these days, they may doing a few of these things anyway.  Here goes:


1.  Ditch Cops, Cheaters, The Man Show, etc.  Literally, I just checked the channel's lineup for the next six hours and it was all Cops, all the time.  This is a gaming channel, not Spike TV.  Try to focus in on shows that have to do with  gaming and technology, not dudes running around with guns or women.  Also, no more juvenile jokes like "Revenge of the Kha'ak" from X-Play a few years ago.  Yes, this is real.  And yes, the "kha'ak" was blurred out.

 If I wanted to watch crap on TV, I'd sit through a To Catch A Predator marathon.  It's got cops, girls, and controversy...it's got it all.
2. Channel the old TechTV/early G4.  Bring back some decent shows like Icons.  Documentaries help!  We want shows that are both educational, fun, and not idiotic.  Even if the show is old, at least try to keep it interesting.  Like Angry Video Game Nerd--it's meant to be informative as well as entertaining in the long run.  But here's some an episode of Icons you should like:

Wow, Yu Suzuki on cable TV.  It's a miracle.

Holy cow, Yuji Naka's got some nice wheels (Lotus Elise).

3. There are three things that many websites/news channels focus on--News, Opinions, and Fan Stuff.  Focus on this.  There needs to be more "radio-esque" shows.  Have one or a roundtable of pundits report the news, take in some calls, give out some fan polls, make it feel like we're getting involved in the process.  Even if they dish out game reviews, allow some fans to offer a counter-opinion so the hosts don't develop this superiority complex.  Sites like GameSpot, Kotaku, and Joystiq get gamer feedback all the time--why can G4TV air some of their feedback too?

4. You can't cover ALL gaming with just one or two shows.  Gaming is such a BIG thing so you gotta break it down into many pieces.  How about some shows that are dedicated to specific aspects of gaming?  How about a show on FPSes.  Another on RTSes.  Another on MMO's.  Another on RPG's.  Another on sports games.  Another on--dare I say--racing games!  Throw out some news, a few reviews, get some fan involvement in there.  Also throw in some shows on gaming hardware, computers, new gadgets, etc.  Revenge of the Show doesn't count.  Air a new episode at least once a week, even if it's just for 30 minutes.  Get gamers of ALL interests involved.  Show 'em some love.

5. Channel some of the more successful online brands that have sprouted up recently.  Like Giant Bomb.  Or Machinima.  Or Mega64/Rooster Teeth.  They've put out some clever stuff.  There's a reason why people are browsing them more than your channel.  Like check out these YouTube vids--they're pretty interesting:

Warning: Bad language.

Dumbass kids on Xbox Live

Stuff about Black Ops

6. Gaming competition shows.  Holy cow--who would've thunk it?  Isn't gaming about competing against other people???  Get some MLG, EVO, or CPL coverage in here.  These events go on all the time.  Seriously, I have a friend at FIEA who watches Starcraft 2 competitive streams all day.  Or if the pro circuit is too heavy for you, make a casual gaming show like the old Button Mashing on GameSpot.

Button Mashing aired back in GameSpot's Jeff Gerstmann/Alex Navarro days (before Giant Bomb).  Basically, three people near the GameSpot offices came in for three rounds of competition.  First round--go through three console games and accomplish menial tasks like "kill 2 guys on Mega Man" or "get in a car in Grand Theft Auto" as quick as possible.  Fastest 2 players go to the next round where they try to identify a bunch of games from a bunch of spliced game clips.  The player with more correct answers goes to the final round where they challenge one of three GameSpot editors at their favorite game (i.e. Tecmo Super Bowl, Guitar Hero, Street Fighter II).  Beat the editor and you win some GameSpot swag.  Lose and you go home with just the GameSpot t-shirt.  Still a fun, simple idea that wouldn't take much effort to produce.

EDIT: There was once an old G4TV show called "Arena" which featured LAN events between teams of gamers.  It aired from '02 to '04.  Don't know why they canned it but that's G4 for you.  Making room for more Cops reruns.

7. Do your convention event/interview footage.  Like E3, Comic-Com, Blizz-Con, GDC, whatever.  But be rational report the news.  Talk with big shots like Gabe Newell or Cliff Bleszinski.  EDIT: Try to get interviews with Japanese guys too--yes, do the translator interviews with guys like Miyamoto or Inafune.  Then you can gloat but don't act like nerds.  Seriously, if you didn't get the memo by now--act like men, not like geeks with the mentality "I am nerd, hear me roar."  Avoid phrases like "noob" or "epic fail."

8. Bring in a show that contains nothing but user-created & submitted content off of YouTube.  Like some Super Mario Bros. movies, a gaming speedrun, a Minecraft creation, or a funny glitch.  Just some cool stuff for us to watch.  But no YouTube Poops, just say no.

9. No more Bit Monkeys.  The concept is okay but the humor is so juvenile...guys calling each other douchebags and hitting each other in the head with bats.  A missed opportunity.  This coming from a guy who's a game programmer who longs for the games of the 80's/90's.

10. AND ESPECIALLY NO AWARDS SHOW LIKE THE SPIKE VGA'S.  HELL F***ING NO.  If you want to do an awards show, don't blow it out with a bunch of self-gloating celebrities and other talking heads.  You'll make gaming look bad.

11. Air the old Mario & Sonic Cartoons, but only at 1 am since they can be cringe-inducing for 20+ year olds to watch at times.  And air The Wizard or some other vidya game movie like Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, etc. once a month.  HA, scratch the movie part.

12. Follow these steps:

1. Make the Mass Effect cartoon a reality.
2. Get lots of viewers.
3. ???

13. LAST DITCH EFFORT TO GET VIEWERS.  BREAK GLASS ONLY IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.  Air My Little Pony.  I'm not a Brony but it will help you guys out, I swear.  At least it's not The Man Show so I'll let it pass...reluctantly of course.

 That's some EPIC WIN right there.

14. The Golden Rule: What will non-gamers think of our channel?  Will they look at us like we're serious about games like any other everyday interest (cars, sports, food, travel, politics, etc.)?  Or will they look at us like a bunch of morons caught up on a massive nerd-gasm orgy of crappy memes, Comic-Con cosplayers, and Mountain Dew?  Think about it.


That's the list, have fun and please don't "frag the messenger."  If you do all these things, Adam may come back and you may restore some sanity to gamer culture.  Now get working, G4, cause times are changin'.


  1. Agreed on all accounts. Even when G4 started out, it was all or mostly game-related television. I was cool with TechTV back then even with the switch to G4. As a car fan, I was cool with Street Fury before it got dumbed down one season. With point #6, I remember an old show called "Arena" which involved teams playing a series of games. Very much agreed on all or most points in this post.


  2. Oooo yeah, I remember watching Arena once or twice. And Judgment Day a few times. Also, they aired those Formula D shows a few years ago which was kind of cool but not gaming material. Yeah, G4 was a weird specimen years ago, now it just plain sucks.

  3. G4 has tried most if not all of your suggestions at one time or another. When it first came out, it sucked, but at least it had lots of variety. They had a sports game show, an mmo type of show, a radio talk show with two hot obnoxious women, and Seanbaby half the time. Seeing that tool on the show is half the reason i just can't stand his ass, the other half being his writing style. There was Arena, which was just fucking boring. Cheat was only helpful if you lived in antarctica, because everyone else has THE INTERNET. The advertising was insidious as well. On Cheat, in particular. Pringles was apparently the only advertiser, because fucking pringles cans were laid about all over the studio in seemingly random locations, but more importantly, the show was titled Cheat: Pringles Gamers Guide. kinda like in this video, except this video is tame compared to some of the episodes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJs3OqtmZ_0&feature=relmfu Later on they would get a LITTLE too hog wild with them crisps. When the show came back from commercial breaks they would play an interstitial where the word cheat would be slowly unscrambled one letter at a time. One time I even remember them just unscrambling the word eat, and then it paused for a few seconds for great pringle eating effect, don't ya know. You can see an example of that in this vid, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgGWIzZnRxU&feature=relmfu So incredibly shameless. I guess the show was alright, and Cory Rouse was kind of amusing in a fucking bizarre kind of way. I would often times just sit and stare incredulously at this hilarious piece of odiousness. Rouse was replaced with Kristin hotchick whatever her name was. She was kind of obnoxious, as well. That's ok, she fit right in with everyone else on the network. I guess she was probably the least obnoxious person around, personality wise, anyhow. I was more miffed over the idea of not seeing some nerd on the show, and instead now there's eye candy. Get the fuck off the screen, lady, and bring back the nerd that knows his shit, possibly. Well, she didn't have any boobs really, so she wasn't all that candilicious, I guess. Haha, I'd still bone her eight ways to sunrise, though. I completely agree with using sex to sell video games, as you might remember from some of my previous ranting, but not in some overt way. I HATE that shit. Mainipulative horseshit. I say just have a channel with lesbians reviewing games whilst perpetrating ass to ass dildo penetration on each other, butt sans product placement . Let's just be blatantly honest about it, and instead use sex to review games completely free from the wrath of game advertisers. Fuck em. Fuck them all.

  4. Arena was just plain boring. Seriously, the show sounds way better on paper, but in effect, just a royal pain in the ass to watch. I just kept thinking, if I want to see this shit, I'll just go play a few friends in a tourney or something. And not in the food show enticing kind of way. Like if you're watching Gianna big boobs making some crazy ass salad and think, oh man, I need that in my mouth right now, oh and that salad looks fucking great, too. No, instead Arena just made you wanna turn off the TV. It was kind of funny to see Pereira all caveman looking on the show, before he got all hollywoodized for Attack of the Show. What wasn't funny was seeing him on AOTS laughing at all his jokes all the time, and just being a general tool. And Olivia Munn has always gotten on my nerves something fierce. The blonde chick that used to be on the tech tv show was way better, matter of fact the tech tv show on all fronts was way better. Munn was just so obviously herknjerk material for teenage boys up late at night with the tv on before bed. Even when i was 15 years old wacking it 8 times a day, I would have much prefered the sarah chick. And not because I prefer blondes. I do not. I are barbarian and prefer brunettes. That's how obnoxious Munn was. I haven't been paying much attention, but it seems she's in movies now. GREAT. And the Daily Show? How'd that happen? Yet, I have a feeling her 15 minutes are just about up. She's a talentless hack in her thirties. That's usually the kiss of death for most female attention whores.

    I can't remember much of the sports show. It seemed to focus mainly on Madden games. Which is probably why I would always shut that shit off.

    There was a show called Web soup which started about the same time as Tosh.0. Not that that matters, they're both rather pointless, and worse, obnoxious.

    I don't remember a racing game show at all. I know there was racing oriented shows on there, but perhaps not necessarily about racing games.

    Icons was pretty good, as was Cinematech and Filter. Good might be too strong a word, but watchable for sure. They would even have speed runs on there. Altogether, it was alright, but mainly because there weren't any annoying people on it. There weren't any people on it at all. AS IT SHOULD BE. Like all the Youtube jackheads doing video game commentaries, or talking into the camera. Just shut your fucking paphole. Show the game. Shut up. Simple. If you feel the need to comment on something, use annotations or something. Nobody wants to hear some numbnut barking over a game they're trying to listen to, or some other shitdip trying really hard to be funny, making the stereotypical funny sounds, and whatnot. Shut. The. Fuckle. Upple. Got it? Haha, sorry, man, I'm frothing at the mouth over here. Like Pringles, once ya pop, you can't stop. Shit, I've been watching too much Pringles presents cheatfuckingskullboppingpringles again.

    Players was one of the most inane shows in the lineup. People asking celebrities what games they played. Hey, celebrity, what brand of toilet paper do you tend to wipe your ass with? DON"T GIVE A FUCK. That's what.

  5. Judgement Day. I seriously doubt these guys actually reviewed most of the games they supposedly have. For one thing, where could they possibly have the time to? Even if your being paid to write game reviews, you can only get to so much ya know. It's not like watching a few movies every week. We're talking massive time wasting thingamajobs. 50 hour games, incessantly. Obviously, they must have a crew that all play whatever games, and then the two tools come on and spout whatever generic review they get paid to do. They tried REALLY hard to hide this fact, even at the expense of their own benefit at times, such as Tallarico's take on a game that he himself worked on, Advent Rising. The game was pretty much universally panned, so he must have figured that he could use this opportunity to PROVE his objectivity by pissing all over it. Not like it mattered, considering Majesco has been in a world of pain for a long time now. Whether he got hired by them again simply wouldn't matter. And Victor whatsisnuts wasn't so annoying, but more just seemed like too much of a wannabe. Every time he came on screen, you'd be like, get the fuck off the screen, ya goob.

    Same thing with X-PLay. Though, Sessler IS the only person that has ever truly belonged on the network. The man is bonafide game nerd. Morgan Webb is more eye candy, of sorts, and oooh, she played Zelda as a kid, so that makes her a supergamer or some shit. Get the fojuckbuck dumping shitslapping hell outta here. Still not as annoying as Munn, though. Altogether, the show was kind of hit or miss, more of something you'd watch because you're sick of staring at the wall all the livelong day.

    As far as a gameshow is concerned. It's all shit unless you go fucking crazy with it. I've got an intensely bizarre gameshow that I've been wanting to make for some time now. It's not for the faint of heart. In other words. Not happening on tv. Just think of it as something akin to the movie Enter The Dragon, except with more boobage and pain. No Bruce Lee, though. : ( Haha, I'll make it someday, when I can string up a little more cash. But it will be for my own insane pleasure, and no one else's. My point being, when it comes to any regular game show these days, you gotta crank up the notch. A video game oriented game show? Starcade was neato in the 80's, but these days you need to crank that shit up a hundred notches. Anything otherwise would just be grape flavored turdcicles. People will undoubtedly try. And fail miserably. Over and over again.

    I think that about covers G4 as far as I'm concerned. Only good for watching E3 keynotes if you live in Antarctica. They can keep their marketing bullshit out of our hobby.

  6. Yeah, I just read that whole thing and you're about right--no wonder their station failed miserably. I can't bother commenting all that much cause you're right--they half-assed a lot of things such as Judgment Day and Cheat (the worst idea for a gaming show IMO, look on the Internet for cheats, morons). And even if they did everything I said, they'd have to do it near flawlessly and there's no shot cause of all the pinheads running that channel. But since the gaming culture is so messed up as it is, I would hate whatever they put on TV anyway. Who cares, I'm only trying to be "nice" to G4 for once. Websites do a much better job of gaming "news" nowadays so there's no point.

  7. BTW, start another blog already, you got mad ranting skills.