Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Video Power

John B. Marine | 8/30/2016 02:40:00 AM | | |
Feel the power- Video Power! This gaming show from the early '90s was about video games as video gaming was gaining popularity. Video game cartoons and a decent game show made up Video Power's history. It was a good part of my youth. Preparing this blog post, I felt old seeing such material from my youth. I hope to discuss this show with you all to the extent of my knowledge and through various impressions.

Time to set the mood. Feel the power (and the fashion train wreck that is the early 1990s)!

Video Power
^ from: thecredhulk.wordpress.com - Video Power was a popular show that came at a time when gaming was positively trending in popularity.

Here is a brief history of "Video Power." Video Power debuted in October 1990. It ran for two seasons in 1990 and 1992. The first season was mostly entertainment featuring some game-themed cartoon pieces. The second season went from a basic show on gaming and turned it into a game show (as in winning prizes game show). I would watch as much as I could before heading off to Elementary School each morning. The host of Video Power was a fellow who went by the name "Johnny Arcade." This show (as well as others) came at a time when gaming was booming and trending. For myself personally, this came some time after I got over my fear of video games. If gaming culture was going to become something special, "Video Power" surely provided this spark along with insight from other games.

You can probably find any number of videos on YouTube or something. I may feature some video material later in this post to give you a better idea of what Video Power was about.

Video Power: The First Season

Let's look at Video Power when it was just a show back in 1990. A number of game-themed cartoons made the base of Video Power. The show even featured insight and advice as to how to clear certain levels or anything of that nature.

Video Power: The Power Team.

Animated characters. These are animated pieces in which a team of characters from video games all team up to try to stop Mr. Big from causing chaos. Imagine a number of interesting characters along with a big truck making up this formidable team.

Video Power: Edge.

Tips and tricks on games are featured in this segment. These range from what we would call in today's culture as "pro tips" to certain cheats. Still, if you needed advice, you could get the advice you need granted you mailed the Video Power team. Remember- there was nothing in terms of personal Internet or some other connectivity back in 1990. So good old "snail mail" was the way you contacted the Video Power team.

IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED: If you want to see an episode of "Video Power," try this one- the very first episode! I must warn you- there are some old commercials and a lot of old memories that will make some of my older readers and visitors... well, old: 1990.10.01 Video Power Episode 01.

The first season of Video Power was surely an entertaining deal. However for a future season, the Video Power team wanted to try something a bit different. Next section coming up!

Video Power: The Second Season

In the second season of "Video Power," it went from an entertainment show to a game show. The same love of gaming was still there, but it is now about gaining advice as well as being humbled for being a dedicated gamer. Let's look at Video Power when it was a game show (as in winning prizes). Check it:

Video Power: Edge.

The Edge gives you some gaming hints on how to clear certain levels or beat certain enemies.

Video Power: Johnny On the Spot.

Those four contestants from the "Johnny On the Spot" segment play certain games trying to get the highest possible score or advance the furthest in one given game. The better two get to play in the next round, and the worst two are eliminated. This session lasts two minutes and two seconds. Judges look for certain factors in determining who will advance to play in the Video Power Challenge.

Video Power: Power Play.

Four contestants play certain games trying to get the highest possible score or advance the furthest in one given game. The better two get to play in the next round, and the worst two are eliminated. This session lasts two minutes and two seconds. Judges look for certain factors in determining who will advance to play in the Video Power Challenge.

Video Power: Video Power Challenge - Power Picks.

Contestants are asked five questions about games. These can range from general trivia about certain games to trying to memorize what song comes from what game. The first three questions include one music question. Each correct response to these questions are worth 10 points apiece. The fourth question is worth 20 points. The final question in this round requires one to identify whatever game is being played on a screen. The one who answers that fifth question wins a prize.

Video Power: Video Power Challenge - Final Power Play.

One last challenge to determine who will get to get goods from the Video Power mall. The remaining two contestants will play a final challenge worth 50 points. This is a session that lasts one minute and one second. The winner of the Final Power Play will get to go to the Video Power mall in The Run.

Video Power: The Run.

The Video Power mall is full of games, gaming accessories, and more. The winning contestant has to snatch as much as possible within the allowed time. Whatever is attached to the contestant is for that person to keep. If a contestant finds a certain specified item in The Run, that contestant will win a special prize. No matter what one picks up, the contestant has to find certain goods in the allowed time.

Video Power: Preview.

Now that I introduced you to the game show version of "Video Power," here is a little sample of Video Power:

^ AKG appearance on Video Power game show PT. 1

IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED: Do you want to see a full-length episode of "Video Power?" And do you mind checking out some old commercials in the process? Feel free to check out this video (provided for educational purposes).

And there you have it- Video Power: the Game Show edition.

Video Power: Final Thoughts

Video Power represented a culture change in gaming. While the popularity of gaming was nowhere near where gaming is today, at least this was a show that cashed in on trying to expand the popularity of gaming. It did so with an expressive individual who was every bit as interesting as the featured games. If you were a gamer back in the early 1990s (or granted you were born before the boom in gaming), this was a show that sort of spoke to you and captured the imagination. Shows like "Video Power" are every bit part of the greater picture of the history of gaming and how far we've come.

What If: A Modern Video Power? (Bonus Section!)

Imagine if Video Power, or some spiritual successor to it, existed today. What would it be like? How would such a show be paced? What games would even be featured?

I would have a number of issues with this entire thing. For one, the fashion faux pas of the early '90s would be long gone. My other issue is that you could probably look to various websites and videos for answers to gaming questions. Such a show would probably also allow for social media to weigh in whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, Vine, or some other services.

People who would call in would want some advice in games like Titanfall, Minecraft, the Gran Turismo series, or any such games on console or PC (and maybe even mobile games). Imagine someone wanting some tips on the Candy Crush series or something. Or maybe someone would want advice on the Goat Simulator.

People could basically make their own videos about games rather than look for some animated series featuring popular characters. What if this modern Video Power took the game show route? People would have so many things to snatch from the Video Power mall if a contestant advanced to the final round. Could you imagine all the stuff for consoles and PC that people can snatch in today's gaming culture?

Another part of "Video Power" is a reflection of culture at its time. Around the early 1990s, skateboarding and inline skating were popular. So too were mullets and certain '90s fashion. Remember when it was okay for guys to wear neon shirts and neon shorts? More people got outside rather than play video games at home. So that was another element of life around this time.

It may also be possible you could have modern gaming personalities be featured and interviewed. You could probably see people the likes of Classic Game Room's Lord Karnage, PewDiePie, Captain Sparklez, or (someone I blogged about recently) iHasCupquake be featured and share their gaming insight. You could have other personalities like Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, "FATAL1TY," and others; others who are gamers could even be on there such as Deadmau5.

Could a modern "Video Power" exist today? Not likely. It would be a tough sell to even try to emulate what Video Power achieved in its time on the air and to an audience willing enough to care.

What will I blog about next? You may not know. I may not know myself! So make sure to Subscribe and Follow to see more of my work when it becomes available. Get social with me across social media if you want to further show love for my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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