For as long as I can remember, game shows have been a part of my life. Growing up in the 1980’s, the age of personal computers, like the Commodore 64, the Nintendo Entertainment System and Saturday morning cartoons, game shows were (and still are) that special event where you could learn knowledge and be entertained at the same time.
From The Price is Right, Password, Family Feud, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and countless others, game shows have evolved as much as I have as a person. That said, the core concepts of these timeless classics remain, keep us entertained, laughing and learning all the way. Even if one was sick during the 1980s, you could always count on Bob Barker, Burt Convy, Ray Combs or Richard Dawson, Alex Trebek, Pat Sajack and Vanna White or even Chuck Woolery to be there, they were like reliable friends, a rare commodity at the time for a Spectrumite like myself.
My first memory was one such game show, Press Your Luck which was broadcast on CBS from 1984-1987. I don’t know what it was, the cartoon antics of the Whammy, the theme song, the board, the format, but whatever it was got me hooked into game shows before I even knew of the exploits of the late Michael Larson, who walked away with $110, 237 in one day, an unheard-of feat for its day, one that should be celebrated since he simply paid attention to the show.
He wasn’t the only one paying attention, I don’t think, if fact, even to this very day, I often use games in a Literacy Program I volunteer for as a way of giving back; my way of creating that same air of excitement and education that I received from my childhood, now what’s wrong with that? In this way, I try to help others like myself learn something new and always…