News that 1 vs 100 wouldn't see a third season was hardly shocking. That doesn't mean it wasn't disappointing.
True, no one was going to buy an Xbox 360 or any other console because of a clever gameshow being run over its online service. That probably wasn't the measuring stick for 1 vs 100 either. But I think it is possible we may look back - and not too far from now - and see this kind of programming as ahead of its time. It's possible 1 vs 100 was too far ahead of the curve.
Regardless of what TiVo, Netflix, Hulu or the internet say, we're still in a mode where live programming is dominated by broadcast television, whether that's over-the-air or cable. If you look at the appointment events of the past three months - the World Cup, the Lost finale, LeBron James' free agency announcement, Capt. Phil Harris' death on Deadliest Catch - these are events that, like 1 vs 100 must be experienced communally at a set time. There's just no way, at this stage, that programming over a video game console is going to command a water-cooler audience that keeps television, for all of its problems, relevant today, and that is how a free content model stays in business.
When it debuted, I thought 1 vs 100 was a fantastic idea, and it was one of the few video game concepts that was easily explainable to my grandfather, with whom I was living at the time. I played it happily through the first four weeks, not once even getting to the Mob. Ultimately I lost momentum, and apparently much of the game's audience did too. It's not that it wasn't fun or engaging or time well spent. But It was like taking the Price is Right, putting it on Showtime and making it accessible only through a Betamax deck.
The case made by the show itself wasn't enough. I needed other people from other walks of life making it socially current, to stick with this kind of game. And in the present model of video game content delivery, that just wasn't gonna happen. That isn't to say it can't happen or won't down the line.
I'll miss 1 vs 100, trying to make my avatar dance, yelling out the answers to my party, goofing on the questions and, to be honest, Chris Cashman, a great MC. It doesn't mean I was willing to pay for it. But it doesn't mean it had no value.
The week in Kotaku Original reporting.
- K Monthly - June 2010
- Top Stories Three Interesting Xbox 360 Ideas That Died 1 Vs 100 The Victim of Mismanagement? Dashboard Redesign Coming in November? Activision Responds To Accusations That Its CEO Is A Total Prick The Creator of Sony's Fake Exec Hero Moves To Activision The Future of Xbox 360's 1 Vs 100 Remains Unclear
- Columns Well Played: The Secret Lives of Gamers Should Stay Secret Stick Jockey: A Road to Glory, Travelled by Many
- Reviews, Previews, Hands-On and Impressions DeathSmiles Review: Shmup Complex Joe Danger Review: Touch The Sky DeathSpank Review: Best Game Involving A Purple Thong LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1 - 4 Review: The Best LEGO Game to Date The Silver Lining: Episode 1 Micro-Review: Absence Makes The Heart Grow Colder
- Features A Celebration Of Video Game...Boot-Up Sequences
- News GoldenEye N64 To Wii Comparison, Dam Vs Dam Is Apple's Solution Better Than These Other Hardware Fixes? So, Where's This New Mad Max Game? A Novel Introduction To The World Of Guild Wars 2 Does The Gears Of Warring Of Harry Potter Go Too Far? And Now For Some Drawings Of Oregon Trail, A Game Boy & Robocop Close Up With Kinect's Purple Boxes Why Are Consoles Banned In China? There's A Seventh Member Of Halo: Reach's Noble Team Rumour: Rockstar Lays Off 40 From Red Dead Redemption Studio This Tour Of The Hulu Plus PlayStation 3 App Is Brought To You By Skittles 'I Just Don't Like Living In A Culture Focused On Meaninglessness' How About A 4D Racing Game? Large Kinect Kiosk Sets Up Shop In Mall Are Your Online Gaming Friends Really Your Friends? A Nerdy Wedding Ring (Full Of Memories) Did Pikachu's Voice Actress Really Die? Flametail Review: Space Burn The Man Who Will Bring Us To The Fourth Dimension Ubisoft Is Waiting For The Price Of 3D To Drop If A Slime Met A Chocobo