As shows like Ultimate Tag and Floor Is Lava find audiences on television, I find myself wondering if we're entering an era when childhood games will be the next great game shows. These shows are remarkably simple in their premises, and yet, raise the bar in ways that turn old classics into television gold.
This makes me wonder, could the same television magic happen with other classic games? I have some ideas to put out in the universe, and am hoping against all hope that there are some pitches for similar shows already puttering around Hollywood for future development.
Hide & Seek
CBS tried a form of this concept back in 2014, but Hunted was more like trying to disappear without a trace than the traditional childhood game. I'm thinking that keeping true to the game's roots would be the best play, but heighten the level of competition and have contestants search in some truly wild locations. My pitch is that the contestants are the ones seeking, and the hiders are composed of acrobats and contortionists.
For example, think of a contestant having to search a model home. Sure, he suspects someone may be in a closet, but will he suspect someone wedged themselves into a moving box inside that closet? Obviously this challenge would have to be timed, and I'm thinking contestants would get a certain amount of money for each pro hider they found. It may not be primetime gold, but I think it'd be entertaining enough for at least a summer series!
There was once a time when laser tag was all the rage, or maybe that's just how it felt for me during childhood. Regardless, I think laser tag could be on top once more with the right marketing, and maybe a high-octane competition series that would take advantage of modern technology and really bring the game over-the-top.
Plus, there are several game modes possible with laser tag. Capture the flag, elimination, and various other game-types like these could break up an episode and keep the action moving, and maybe a Hollywood budget could spring for some super weapons. Over-the-top set designs and arenas would make this show a hit in my opinion, though I should note that I've been searching for a place to play laser tag ever since I started writing this.
Hopscotch may be one of the more simple schoolyard games out there, but it can get pretty difficult with some modifications. Anyone who has ever tried to complete a never-ending hopscotch course may be able to attest to that, and trying to do one as an adult can be much more difficult than it may have been as a kid. Nothing reminds you of your mortality more than feeling a bit winded after hopping on one leg for a time.
Again, watching people play hopscotch may not sound that cool, but what if people are forced to bounce off trampoline spaces or off of walls or something like that? Just like in the schoolyard, hopscotch can only get better the further you stray away from the original. I'd also wager that it gets more fun with the risk of taking a big slip or a fall is on the table, so set this one up for primetime with the producers of Wipeout attached and we're in business.
In a world where professional sports are still struggling to bounce back, there's a possibility that leagues may not start as originally intended. If that's the case, there's another opportunity for Hollywood to capitalize on the gap in professional competition, and a chance for an underappreciated schoolyard game to make a well-deserved comeback. All you need is a group of people, a kickball, and some high stakes to turn four square into the next big thing in sports.
Four square is a game that, while accessible to all ages, can be played at a high skill level. You get some athletic people in a room and put some money on the line, and I think audiences would be in for a good time. I'm not saying it'll become the next major sporting organization or anything, but if something crazy happens and the MLB, NBA, or NFL aren't able to return as planned, this could be a relatively easy event to pull together and engage desperate sports fans.
Mystery, intrigue and, of course, murder. Clue made for a great board game and a lovable cult film, but could it succeed as a television game show? I say yes, but obviously it'd need a life-size set to recreate the game board, as well as some contestants willing to commit to their designated characters. It kind of sounds like I'm pitching a future American Red Nose Day special television event, and I'm not mad about it.
I think if there's one bit that would be key to this potential show's success, it would be audience interaction. I'm just not sure whether that would be not making the answer immediately clear to the audience or letting them bet on which character will come out on top. There needs to be some way to make the audience feel the accomplishment just as much as contestants would at winning Clue. Do that, or go the aforementioned route of a one-off Red Nose Day special starring celebrities, and this one would be a winner.
Truth Or Dare
Back in 2008, Fox aired a game show called The Moment of Truth. That show was absolutely brutal in its unflinching quest to get contestants to tell the truth for money, and while it was super messed up at times, made for good television. I think if you take that concept, make it a little less brutal by giving people an out to take a dare, you could create the next addicting television game show.
I'd say each episode should start with four contestants and would go until the last person is standing and crowned the winner. I think that the dares would have to be timed challenges, if only to ensure that the game doesn't continue on indefinitely with contestants just refusing to lose. I also think the questions would have to be at least somewhat brutal to make the path of honesty just as rough, and hopefully keep this show on long enough to become a staple in television.
There are plenty of games that haven't been made into television shows yet, so do you think one should be? Feel free to share in the comments, and stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest news happening in television and movies.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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