Hey everyone, consider this “impossible” dream, I will need a lot of help with. I figure, if we can get enough people together in networked distance, and find a good pool of generalists, we can start at this. Next up would be a format that would work on TV to show people games people aren’t familiar with played by top players. Then, we grow this, until it gets sufficient interest cable would pick it up. THEN… we have strike by a major sports league, and other games besides Poker would take off and BLAMMO, and fad of board and cardgames.

Well, I can dream here, but do believe it may be possible. Just need some help here… SOME? How about tons :-)

I wondered, too:

Interesting question! What board game (besides tournament chess, Scrabble) would people want to watch other people playing at a master level? Trying to think of a roll and move phenomenon that would play well on TV as a spectator sport….

Quantum Chaos added:

years and years ago(ive no idea if it still goes on)
magic the gathering became so popular they broadcasted tournaments of super mega players that went from a city level regulated tourney to state and then the whole US. im not sure weather they went beyond that but its safe to say it has been done before for things other than chess if enough people get behind it and there are sponsors galore

Rich replied:

The thing about Magic was that it showed up prior to poker and the pocket cam, so on one could see the cards. It didn’t do good ratings as a result, just like poker.

The type of game isn’t important, but it is important you can do a reality TV narrative on it, and it has enough plot twists and surprises, plus have players watchers will get interested in, that it would draw sufficient numbers. Also, there needs to be something at stake. The kicker is there is no established format, except fo Poker, that has been proven to get ratings, so there isn’t anything going on.

Go DID get a boost in Japan, through an anime series called Hikaru No Go, and that helped to lead a spike in interest worldwide. Go got enough interest that Microsoft actually published a Go game that works on the XBox 360 and is downloadable for $10.

Issues faced by mindsports getting any interest is seen here, connected to the World Mind Sports Games (Colbert Report):

Quantum Chaos said:

well i never had the chance to actually watch the mtg tourneys more than a few minutes since i didn’t have cable at the time but i know since i was deep into mtg at the time had i had cable i probably would have watched it every year lol.
i think it is important though that there’s a local level to the games ie can be played at home or in the community depending on how complicated it is. it draws people in to watch more often and they feel they can really root on people then that play like they do.

I threw this out there:

Going off in a wide tangent: For TV, I wonder if it makes sense to take the essence of a board game and write it very large–like Survivor does with puzzle games when players compete for immunity? The pieces, squares, objects to manipulate are life-size, and so the game becomes as much physical as intellectual. Life-size mazes are probably the simplest form of this, but I bet you could do it with a giant game board. Which game? Something with a rich metaphor so that the stage set looks great.

Quantum Chaos:

i know something that was exactly like that before. the florida lottery way back in the 90s had a gameshow that was like 1 big huge board game and they did all these challenges to win money as they reached sections of the board. i remember watching it as a kid and then survivor came out and just the challenges alone kept me interested in the series for several seasons.
thats the gameshow lol wiki+google is so great sometimes

Rich had another example:

I believe Hasbro has licensed out their games for a game show called ”Family Game Night” where stuff like Connect Four is used as events in the game. I caught the tail end once. Players win Monopoly money and so on.

I am looking to run a Survival style event in the coming weeks using retro video games, with low score(s) getting eliminated.