Go 8 Bit

Someone once told me that “watching passively as someone plays video games on TV is pointless, redundant, boring.”

I nodded, then patiently waited for them to leave the room, so I could enjoy my time of passive telly watching in peace.

Go 8 Bit is a show continuing in the vein of the many other British comedy/quiz panel shows we’ve had over the past 20 years.

  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks, celebrities making jokes about/answering questions about music.
  • They Think it’s All Over – celebrities making jokes about/answering questions about sport.
  • QI – celebrities making jokes about/answering questions about being crap at all other quizzes.

But this one is alright, because it’s about something we all know and care about, right?! Computer games!

It’s on Dave. Since when did they start having new shows on Dave?

It is billed as Dara ‘O Briain’s show, but he’s the least interesting one in it. He introduces the guests, reveals their gaming credentials, for example, “I had a PS One at university.” and makes sure that they break for the adverts at the right time.

There’s a Countdown-type “facts bloke” who is actually a hilarious deadpan lady offering comedy trivia on the featured games.

The idea is simple. Four celebs (or as near as they can find, since I didn’t recognise 3 out of the 4) split into 2 teams, pick some games they like, explain why they like it, challenge the others to a play a round or three. Points are available according to the percentage of the audience deciding who is most likely to win the round (as if anyone is ever bothered about the points. Actually, I take that back, gamers obviously want points and if possible, also trophies).

Impressive, but unnecessary rotating stage

Impressive, but unnecessary rotating stage

I forgot 2 things though. These shows hardly ever have someone who knows about the subject matter as the intent is to make you laugh and/or shout at the TV about how rubbish everyone on the show is.

The games played in this first episode were Chuckie Egg (person who chose it, hadn’t played in 30 years, forgot you could jump),  Tekken (person who chose it dissed all other fighting games, yet didn’t know any moves), Tetris (everyone can play Tetris, so to keep it short, the team member with the controller was blindfolded while their partner shouted instructions. A genius move, as there was loads of friction between team mates as a result), Star Wars Battlefront – everyone was rubbish.

The final round was Bust a Move, but with people dressed as videogame characters acting as controllers. They stood on sensors and the “player” had to touch each in turn to either move left, right or drop. Dara & fact lady provide commentary throughout “if only he showed that kind of focus throughout the rest of tonight’s games…”

Chun-li, Dr Robotnik and some other people

Chun-li, Dr Robotnik and some other people

The show format is familiar, I like that they had a mixture of new and old games, the trivia is alright (did you know that there’s a Tekken museum in Osaka? Or that the maker of Chuckie Egg created the game during the school holidays when he was 16?), Dara is Dara, y’know, jolly and friendly throughout, the set is brightly coloured, the whole stage swivels around 180 degrees before each round so that the audience can see the games on a big screen –

Ok, that got kind of tedious after a while, why can’t everyone just have swivel chairs or something? It’s not like they need to fill time!

Will you like it? That depends on if when watching your mates be crap at games, you smile patiently or feel the need to snatch the controller from them. If it’s the latter, you will be triggered.



So overall, fairly entertaining but am I going to switch off The Witcher 3 Game of the Year Edition to watch it next week?  Meh, maybe.