Good Game, if you’ve never seen it, is a TV show celebrating gaming and gamers of all kinds. It has something for everyone, from kids of all ages who like playing Minecraft, to young kids who play LEGO games, to kids at heart playing games like Halo and DOOM.
Good Game Live is pretty much exactly the same thing, except that it has escaped the little box in the living room and is an enormous stage production, complete with all the lovable hosts from the show, and a couple of special guests.
2016 marked the ten year anniversary of Good Game, though the hosts from the first few years of broadcast have since been replaced by Steven “Bajo” O’Donnell and Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen, a wonderful and hilarious (yet intensely knowledgeable) pair. Alongside them were other Good Game hosts Michael “Hingers” Hing – the presenter of Good Game Well Played, on Bajo’s team – and Nich “NichBoy” Richardson – the presenter of Good Game Pocket, on Hex’s team – with Gus “Goose” Ronald serving as quizmaster.
Special guests included Axis of Awesome’s lead singer Jordan Raskopoulos on Bajo’s team, and James Rees – better known as Jimmy Giggle from the ABC Kids show ‘Giggle and Hoot’ – on Hex’s team. Well-known Australian comedy band Tripod were also in attendance, for the various musical rounds of the game show.
And oh, what an excellent (yet chaotic) game show Good Game Live is.
Like the shows themselves, there was an enormous variety of ideas and concepts for everyone to enjoy. The show opened with a live action video parodying first person shooter games, before the introduction of the teams and quizmaster. From there, it all dissolved into a wonderful madness. The teams were given party items – hats, poppers, blowers – for the tenth anniversary, and immediately set out to make the most annoying noises possible. There were attempts to re-rail the game show as each game began, which were quickly undone by the antics of the teams onstage.
The games themselves were hilarious. ‘Sounds Legit’ was a particular favourite of mine, where Tripod were called onstage to perform songs about one video game, while the tune of the music was from a different video game. Even after a few tries it was so difficult to separate the story of the song from the music, made especially difficult by the distractingly funny lyrics. ‘Game Over Man’ involved the teams guessing the game from its Game Over screenshot, which was difficult even when the torch was passed to the audience for their guesses.
‘Total Recall’, probably the most heartfelt moment of the show, was a simple memory game involving videos made by Hex and Bajo about working together for so long. Hex’s video, of course, was about how much she enjoyed working with Bajo, and how much he meant to her, while Bajo’s was a ten minute long video that devolved into mad costuming and insanity with very little emotional baggage attached. From there the show got a little less PG-rated, with the ‘Tag Team Talking Totem’ improvisation game allowing for a little dirty humour depending on the mind of the person telling their joke.
Overall, the show was truly spectacular. While the jokes really only work for people who have video game skills, the chaos onstage was amusing enough to follow even without that knowledge – which I’m sure was great for many of the parents in the audience with their preteen old kids. Bajo, Hingers, and Jordan ended up the winners for this year, with Hex, NichBoy, and Giggle in a close second out of the two, but I think the audience were, of course, the real winners.