Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Video and Arcade Top 10

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who watched Video and Arcade Top 10 growing up, and those who aren't Canadian. Obviously we are the former. What kid didn't want to watch other kids playing SNES for sweet prizes while a variety of "hip" hosts prattled on incessantly like the Micro Machines man on speed.

The premise of the show was pretty simple. A bunch of kids would get up on stage and play whatever random game was assigned that day. You might get something cool like Super Metroid, or something awful like Aliens vs Predator for SNES. The winner would get a copy of the game (No matter how shitty) and the opportunity to pick a ball out of the trash can (More on that in a minute). The biggest problem with the show was that they never actually announced what the criteria were for winning the game. Was it highest score? Most progression? Most lives remaining? You never fucking knew.

On top of that, the hosts never interacted with the kids and never gave any progress reports so you had no idea who was even winning. What it boiled down to was the hosts rhyming off "tips" straight out of the instruction manual while they showed footage of kids desperately trying to complete some Machiavellian task in a game they'd never played before. Then the hosts would read some letters or talk about Laserdiscs for a while.

Anyway, back to the trash can. After a winner was arbitrarily chosen, they'd be asked to step over to the prize wall where they had to pick a ping pong ball marked with a number out of a trash can. The number on the ball would correspond with a prize on the wall such as a bike, a stereo, phone, Laserdiscs, etc. They would drop in the red "bonus ball" which would allow the kid to choose any prize he wanted. Only I never ever saw a kid pick out the bonus ball, in almost a decade of watching the show. I've always wondered if it was really just a cruel joke. Canadian TV, why did you have to change?

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