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Hulka's Gaming TV Show?
March 1st 2002, 18:11 CET by Sgt Hulka

Yep. That's right.  I'm currently working on getting a TV show about gaming on the air.  I've written strategy guides, made videogames, and covered the industry from the days of Pong til now. I've seen the entire spectrum of growth and advancements and have been an active participant in a lot of it.  I would like to ask for your opinions on what you'd llike to see on the show.

I am in the process of developing a daily/weekly TV show based on videogames (Console and PC).  I am working on a possible structure for the show and thought this would be a great place to get input as to what you'd like to see on the show.  For example, I plan on having reviews of current games, previews of new games, interviews with developers, trends in the industry, big news stories like how politicians are attacking the industry, celebrities who are hooked on games, and all sorts of insider type stories on the people who make games.  As you can probably guess, there is so much to cover about that industry, I'll probably have to choose what NOT to show each time as opposed to not having enough content to fill an entire show.

I would also try to infect the show with some of my twisted humor and provide a platform that doesn't take itself too serious.  That's what a gaming show should be, in my opinion.  But we are not the target audience here.  I want this show to reach a mass audience and that's where I thought you might be able to help me with some input as to how to reach a mass audience and create a fantastic show.

I have worked in publishing, game development, and radio in my past.  A TV show is a logical step for me, and I am working now with a production company here in Indy to make this show a reality.  I have spoken with Morn about a show they do in Europe and it's doing incredibly well. It was picked up by the NBC affiliate over there, so I know there's a market for the show overseas, and I assume there's a market for it here.  What better show for Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Scott Miller to advertise on than a show about gaming?  

I want this to be a show nobody is ashamed to say they watch.  That can't be said for most techy type shows of the past, and I want this to be anything but super-techy, and un-geeky as possible, yet provide insight and commentary on the gaming scene and industry.  

Your input is valuable here, and all is appreciated.
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#1 by _Fury_
2002-03-01 18:12:12
First post!  ... sorry

Witty Quote
#2 by _Fury_
2002-03-01 18:14:19
In all seriousness though, I'm always interested in pieces about gaming history. I suspect it's just because I'm super-geek, but it's important to understand your roots. I've got a few other ideas but I'll post them in a little bit after they have had a chance to simmer in my mind for a little longer.

Witty Quote
#3 by Sgt Hulka
2002-03-01 18:14:52
Hey, maybe that's what I'll call the segment for initial reactions to a new game!

.....Another 0l$en Approved +12 Post!
#4 by _Fury_
2002-03-01 18:20:01
Hell ya - it's a geek catchphrase that doesn't look stupid with no context.

Somehow you need to work 'posting drunk' in there too =P

Witty Quote
#5 by jjz
2002-03-01 18:22:27
It needs to be edgy.  The host should have a nosering.
#6 by "Anonymous"
2002-03-01 18:24:00
What strategy guide has the Sarge written?

#7 by Greg
2002-03-01 18:24:39
Retro reviews... of games from like 10-15 years ago.

And no JD whatshisname from the gamepro show!

#8 by Matt Perkins
2002-03-01 18:26:19
I don't know about a gaming tv show, I've never watched one before, so I don't know for sure what I'd like to see...  but I do know what I like on the web and in mags...

1.  In depth previews...  not half butted previews were they rehash info, but previews that cover not just what type of game it's going to be, but what you will do in the game, will their be mp, etc...  and most importantly, give a opinion of the game... sure it's beta/alpha, but give us an idea if this game is shaping up to be something you will want to play.

2.  Opinions matter...  Give us opinions on current game topics, whatever they may be.  Don't be a print anything sort of dealie, but keep us, the unwashed massed, up on what's happening in the game industry.

3.  Reviews...  Of course...  but do them not with a 1-100% where 70% and above is a game actually exists in the box, give us real reviews...  if the game is currently crap, patches coming or not, tell us.

4.  Respond to the public...  Often answering questions, comments, idiocies that come through the mail is a good way for your average to learn.

5.  Be accountable...  if you make a mistake on the air about a game or a game company, mention already...  so many mags and websites just gloss over their mistakes...highly annoying...

I don't know if you are going with the smart ass approach, or the "this is dan rather" approach, but go with one and stick to it.

Those are my opinions...for what they may be worth.

stupid vowels
#9 by Sgt Hulka
2002-03-01 18:26:31

Click Here for a list of game books I've written, and games.

.....Another 0l$en Approved +12 Post!
#10 by jjz
2002-03-01 18:29:10
No, wait!  An eyepatch!
#11 by LPMiller
2002-03-01 18:29:16
hardware section!

What's the point of wearing your favorite rocketship underpants if nobody ever asks to see 'em?
#12 by mrbloo
2002-03-01 18:34:26
No 'zany' in the show please.  Any shows I've seen here (Bits stands out) are aimed at 12-16 year olds.  The only adult they seem to to be aimed at is the speed freak on the sofa grinding his teeth.  Although, in retrospect, being presented by a stunna won't do you any harm ;)
#13 by Post-It
2002-03-01 18:34:50
I have to ask, for what affiliate, cable channel, network, whatever? We're getting that video game cable channel soon, which might be a good place to pitch your show, or might squash any competition. I hope it does well, it would bolster public opinion of games here.
#14 by Matthew Gallant
2002-03-01 18:35:07
All I know is that you'll somehow have to get the tiny alpha-blended network logo chiron replaced with a game of Galaga.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#15 by Whisp
2002-03-01 18:42:55
I don't know about hardware.  Everyone does hardware.  Do we really need another game show/site/magazine that, oh yeah, also does hardware reviews?  Stick to one thing and do it well.
#16 by Gunp01nt
2002-03-01 18:48:20
Don't make it a show full of re- and previews. we read mags and ezines for that. Don't overdo it like they do on the Dutch gaming show Gamequest where they use kiddie language and have a dumb purple haired hostess address the viewers with: "Yo gamers and gamerettes!".

Make it something more... intelligent and with more stuff you didn't already read in all the magazines.

<<< Do you believe in a god that tells you lies or do you believe in me? >>>
#17 by UncleJeet
2002-03-01 18:57:05
I would recommend having me on the show.  Naked.  With applesauce and some sort of tropial bird.
#18 by BabiG
2002-03-01 18:59:58
Is this going to be a local thing, or are you sending out pilots/pitches to the cable channels and the networks and whatnot? Your agent have an "in" with them?

Sorry for being vague and obvious, but I think that the show needs to be entertaining for everyone, even if you don't like video games at all. TV shows tend to be very broad thme-wise, they're usually about "family" or "work" or "politics" or something else that everyone can relate to in some fashion.

With video games, you're already limiting your audience, since I'm betting there's far fewer people who "play video games" rather then...say "have a family" or "debate politics". You're going to have to avoid the whole thing Sports Night got into...people dismissing the show because "Oh I don't like sports -that- much" (despite being, IMO, a good show, even for those not into sports).

Of course, I don't know how ambitious this is, if it's going to be a show on something like Tech TV or a local access channel, well then you don't have to worry as much...if you're trying to get on NBC Thursdays after Friends, that's a different issue.
#19 by Fugazi(werking)
2002-03-01 19:06:58
Any gaming show that actually aims for a demographic over 12 would be much appreciated by me. Small pieces on the history of gaming or "gaming through the ages" could be interesting. I'd also love to see interviews with game developers...I like hearing about those people for some reason. Anyway, if Hulka gets a show...I will have to get cable again!

"Good health" is merely the slowest rate at which one can die.
#20 by Shadarr
2002-03-01 19:09:39
You should have a continuing segment about Thresh (or someone who looks like Thresh), doing everyday things like washing the toilet, feeding goldfish, and cooking, all while being followed by a bunch of screaming fans.  Sort of like the Truman Show, only without any deep socialogical message.
#21 by Sgt Hulka
2002-03-01 19:10:49
The show is being pitched to multiple national channels. Who picks it up is unknown at this point, but it won't be a local thing.  I'll let the cable access guys do a show like that.

.....Another 0l$en Approved +12 Post!
#22 by crash
2002-03-01 19:23:11
i'd like to see me getting paid to write for your show.

for the show itself, a segment on "how we got where we are today" would be both interesting to geeks like us, as well as a way to introduce newbs to the pc gaming genre. "It isn't just for kids, because lots of us grew up with it, and we're still playing." sort of. make it a series, have interviews with the old-school guys, but do it better than that one guy tried to do in print in that one book.

hell, you could have a segment on d00dspeak, on server etiquette, on mmogs, on "pro gaming", on lan parties... i mean, yeah, covering the games themselves is good, but that's done all over the place. what can you do using this particular media to show the audience what gaming is all about?

maybe think about partnerships with mags and sites to use their reviews wells, and refer viewers to their sites in exchange for promotional stuff... hell who knows. i know if i were runnin a tv show about gaming, i'd be happy to show PCG, CG, and CGW, among others, as "valuable sources of game-specific info", while reserving the air time for the stuff they simply couldn't do in their media.

of course, this is just a shitload of "3/4 of the way through my first cup of coffee" ramblings, so keep that in mind.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#23 by ryan kelly
2002-03-01 19:23:22
Yeah, a lot of the gaming shows out there seem to focus on image more than the games. I have faith in the hulka though. :)

#24 by Duality
2002-03-01 19:36:50
Just keep in mind your competition -- meaning TechTV's Extended Play and the new cable network G4TV.

Interesting tidbit ... Scot Rubin,, the vice pres of G4TV is also the owner of the AllGames Network.  The one that hosted QuakeCast and later Shooters at Pseudo Networks.

... disguised as a genderless burrow owl ... 6.0!
#25 by Matthew Gallant
2002-03-01 19:40:12
Yeah, as long as you're hiring, I'm available.

Marketing is a crutch for mediocrity and a handicap to excellence.
#26 by Terata
2002-03-01 19:43:11
Do you know what kind of format you'll be taking?  Meaning, are you planning a talk-show sort of format with a lot of discussion, or more an evening news slant, or what?
#27 by snowcrash-22
2002-03-01 19:47:54

I agree that a 1/2 hour of reviews and previews would be fairly routine would not replace the web and message board reviews.  But you can't do a gaming show without them (can you?)
Keep reviews to the two or three big releases that month (or week?) and then...Here's the kicker..a special under-marketed under-appreciated game that the mass gaming media or mass gaming consumers have left behind.

I agree that opinions and editorials would be the core of any gaming show I'd watch.  Not even geeky, hardcore techy things.  I think I can better describe what I am thinking with a list of topics (there is some overlap)

-Evolution of storytelling in games
-Immersion/Realism : How much is too much?
-Gaming gone Mainstream : Console sales figures
-The Joy of Retro
-Development cycles (I don't know about you, but I loved DVD extra's on SSX Tricky that showed the making of the game)
-Autonomy of indivual game companies and the influence of a publisher
-Game as Art
-Game blending with Cinema
-Genre Review/History Outlook (one for RTS, one for Shooters, blah blah blah)
-Why PC Gamer is read more for the ads?
-Online Communities : Clans, webrings, and the ever frightening realworld get together
-Stereotypical gamer: Women who game and the Men who love them.
-Opinion on the Rating System: GTA3? Not for kids! For ah~dults

And if you get guests, after they pitch thier latest projects, ask about why they do what they do.  Try and pull some of the passion gamers have and splash it around the studio a bit.

Thanks for listening
-Industry Outlook (who merged with who)
#28 by crash
2002-03-01 19:49:27
hey, those are good ideas. a "GDC Lite" or "GamaSutra Lite" segment would be frickin awesome.

- if you can laugh at it, you can live with it.
- "Hey, how 'bout this: fuck you." -LPMiller
#29 by UncleJeet
2002-03-01 19:51:44
I think everyone should remember that Hulka merely pitching the show concept.  There are mountains to climb and oceans to cross before this show ever gets on the air.  (or cable, as the case may be)  So maybe everybody should just stick to responding to what he asked, instead of asking for jobs and whatnot.  Oh, and Hulka shouldn't be so quick to dismiss "those cable access guys" as beneath him - after all, carpet bombing networks with a pitch for a potential program is something those guys don't need to do.  They already have a show.  Yeah, it probably sucks - but so does most of what's on cable, when you stop and think about it.

All that being said, I still think having me on the show naked in alluring poses featuring iconical characters of gaming's history would be quite the ratings booster.

Peak 37 is the ants!
#30 by Caryn
2002-03-01 19:56:55
Keep reviews to the two or three big releases that month (or week?) and then...Here's the kicker..a special under-marketed under-appreciated game that the mass gaming media or mass gaming consumers have left behind.

That's an awesome idea, snowcrash. I also loved the "development cycles" idea, too, since I also love to find out about the actual making of the the games.

- Caryn
Everyone has a signature but me.
#31 by Duality
2002-03-01 20:12:46
While I'd hate to see Hulka's show become something of standard fare in terms of video game television -- you can never go wrong with interviews.  And not just dev, publishers, online personalities, etc.  Do't discount the talk-show format of gaming.  

And always remember to try and stick relatively close to the community.  That includes interaction with viewers, as well as using the community sites as information.  I'm sure some sites wouldn't mind an official agreement of sorts -- they provide you with some content and you provide them with some good media exposure.

One of the things I find disheartening when watching Extended Play is that they seem so disconnected with the gaming community.  I've never seen EP really do all that much.  Live call-ins once in a while would be excellent, too.  Too bad that's only good for live shows and chances are your's would be pre-recorded.

"sometimes america confuses me when i think about it. that's why i try not to think about it too much." :crash
#32 by UncleJeet
2002-03-01 20:24:38
I think the most important thing about any gaming show would be to treat the whole thing seriously and with a modicum of respect.  The gaming industry, on the whole, needs to grow up a bit and stop wallowing the realm of fulfilling pubescent boy fantasies.  That right there is a whole other argument, but I'll leave it alone for now.

I would just like to see a show that didn't fast cut every half second, have ridiculous speedy pans and insane tracks.  I don't want to see any fucked up strobing or filters.  I don't want the purple haired, nose ringed, closeted gay, "extreme" gamer anywhere on the show.  I don't want to see the token hot chick that pretends she knows anything about gaming.  (Of course, nor do I want to see sweaty and balding fat trolls who are only eclippsed in size by the celestial body that is George Broussard.)

Treat a new gaming show just like Johnny Carson treated the Tonight Show.  It doesn't matter how much you think you know about games.  It doesn't matter if you hate the game your guest is promoting.  The host's job is simply to entertain the audience while making the guest look good.  That covers the "talk show" portion of the show.

As for the special features section, just treat it seriously.  That doesn't mean to over-analyze anything and try and sound smart by deconstruction the character development of Commander Keen.  Be smart and serious without being pretentious and needlessly wordy.  People that want to use thirty overzealously multisyllabic words to say something like, "The coffee is brown," should do everyone a favor and go get his or her MBA and take a middle management job somewhere.

Treating the material seriously is the only thing that kept The X-Men movie from tanking at the box office.  Hell, I never liked the whole absurdly stupid concept behind the X-Men - but the movie presented it fair enough that I was entertained.  (The movie wasn't exactly a good story or anything, but it was what it was, and it could have been much, much worse.)

Ok, I'm thirsty.

Peak 37 is the ants!
#33 by HiredGoons
2002-03-01 20:27:03
Sports Illustrated is my favorite magazine to read about sports.  I'd argue it's also the best, but we can all agree it's very popular.  Especially in February.  

Moving to the realm of television, ESPN's SportsCenter isn't just SI with a camera stuck in front of it.

But, I think it has the right tone for a Hulka Game Show

With SportsCenter,  you have very knowledgeable writers/sportscasters who are witty at the same time.  I think a similar approach (which of course requires a similarity in personnel) would be fun to watch regarding computer games.

I'm not at all suggesting you should cover the CPL or Professional Gaming.  I suppose you might occassionally, but I'm not sure the world is ready for the "Highlight Reel" of ]L[0wN4g3 camping the quad.  In fact, I'm not sure even I want to see that.


1.  It'd be cool to see an actual face-to-face interview that lasted more than 15 seconds with some one other than Richard Garriot or Thresh, who are the only two guys from the game biz that I've seen on television.  

2.  I'd also like to see a  watchdog segment every now and then on some of the more blatant producers of crappy products that ship full of nasty bugs.  For mediapathic effect, it would probably work best if you got a 10 year old boy to conduct the interview and ask the aloof and cavalier dev why his product is a piece of poop.

3.  It'd be interesting to see some bits from other shows ported over to the games business.  John Carmack's crib, for example.  A Game Development Story, instead of a Wedding Story.  Follow Steed around as part of a Jackass segment.

Of course, you can hire Flamethrower for a "Jim Rome" bit.
#34 by skalmanxl
2002-03-01 20:34:59
Try to uncover some of the truths in the life of game developers, like why some gets shut down, why some get screwed for royalties and such. What I've always wanted is for someone to let go of the brownnose mentality that alot of sites and mags (specially here in Sweden) have. Alot of the media does act like whores (and I'm being completley honest here) just to get some exclusive information or similar. Try to be a critic towards some of the stuff that actually goes on when it comes to games, try to dig deep to make involving and interesting "documentaries" (don't have a better word for it at the moment).

*Welcome to the land of the digital*
#35 by ryan kelly
2002-03-01 20:51:53
I'm with Caryn and snowcrash on the dev cycles idea. Behind the scenes features are always great views.

On a related note, anyone know if what's happening with Anna Kang/FountainHead's Gamers documentary?

#36 by The_Joker
2002-03-01 20:53:23
Will the show feature wangs? I hope it starts with the wangsong.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
#37 by Narcopolo
2002-03-01 20:55:28
I'm expecting a half hour format.  Not that you couldn't do a lot with more time, but to the mind of a tv exec, there won't be enough eyeballs there.  So, within that time I'd recommend that you mainly cover consoles, with an occasional nod to the most popular computer game genres of FPS and RTS.   I think behind the scenes stuff would be interesting, in the form of movie previews of upcoming games and interviews with the developers.  The how it gets made stuff would lose a lot of people.  I worked once at a game company where I was the only person who read Gamasutra.  They made mass market type games; they had subscriptions to Game Developer but didn't read them, didn't care, didn't have to.  

If we lived in a better world your guiding lights could be Extra and Inside Edition, but the truth is that there aren't really any big personalities in gaming, except maybe Carmack, who will refuse to be interviewed on camera.  Mass appeal would mean trying to cover the games on MSN Zone, and I don't think those are the types of people who will be watching your show.  So remember the faithful, they will reward you.

A little how to once in a while might be really nice for people.  I mean practical stuff like how to set up a LAN game or even how to use third party game server browsers (after a paid sponsorship I suppose, there's only one).  The age demographics is where you'd get into trouble.  Perhaps if you made it like the Man Show, aimed at a college crowd but admired by younger males, who for some reason aspire to be like that when they grow up.  Throw in the occasional reference to drinking games with your Sega Genesis.
#38 by Desiato
2002-03-01 21:02:16
TechTV's "Extended Play" is all flash....there really isn't much analysis going on....

"Hey we're here at E3, and let's see what the COMPANY REP has to say about their game!"

How craptacular...and that chick...whoever she is....something really odd about the asymmetry of her mouth that just throws it for me. Maybe the animatronics aren't worked out yet.

As far as pseudo is concerned....the same guy that ran it was also the very same that tried to have 'art' shows masquerading as 'performances' that basically meant a bunch of guys and a chick screwing in front of some colored lights. And his alter-party-ego was a clown....yes, a fucking clown. He'd dress up like this clown because...he's down with the kids.

No thanks. I barely watched "Shooters" when it was a Blue's thing -- most of the stuff on there were 10fps snorejobs anyway.

So....what competition....I don't see any REAL competition....good luck to you Hulka.

#39 by Gabe
2002-03-01 21:02:31
Perhaps if you made it like the Man Show, aimed at a college crowd but admired by younger males, who for some reason aspire to be like that when they grow up.  Throw in the occasional reference to drinking games with your Sega Genesis.

...and that is when I would change the channel.
#40 by Sgt Hulka
2002-03-01 21:07:47
Just for the record, I don't think Cable Access guys are below me at all. I was merely trying to point out that I'm pitching to national cable where it seems that they spend a little bit more on the production values, and that's the kind of show I want to do.  These are all really great posts guys!

.....Another 0l$en Approved +12 Post!
#41 by Sgt Hulka
2002-03-01 21:14:44
and GALS!

.....Another 0l$en Approved +12 Post!
#42 by Narcopolo
2002-03-01 21:17:16
#39 Gabe-
Perhaps if you made it like the Man Show, aimed at a college crowd but admired by younger males, who for some reason aspire to be like that when they grow up.  Throw in the occasional reference to drinking games with your Sega Genesis.

...and that is when I would change the channel.

Hadn't you heard Gabe?  We don't count.  I think if he gave the content people like us wanted with the sass and flair that others demand that he could have a winner.  Just no "how to make a game in 22 and half minutes plus commercials".  

Besides, I don't think Hulka really knows how to be an idiot.  He could just be funny and himself, and people would watch.  All I'm saying in the end is treat the kids like grownups, not the grownups like kids.
#43 by UncleJeet
2002-03-01 21:17:58
Oh Sarge, you just want to be the "Big Toe" of the whole gaming community, don't you!  ANSWER!

Peak 37 is the ants!
#44 by Desiato
2002-03-01 21:20:32
#42 Narcopolo

Hadn't you heard Gabe?  We don't count.

Save it for the actual topic, sass-boy.

Q: How can you tell a slashdot/kuroshin/open-sourcer?

A: They never read the topic post.

#45 by Narcopolo
2002-03-01 21:27:23
That was funny. :)
#46 by Duality
2002-03-01 21:44:39
In defense of a friend. :P  The guy who owned AllGames was not the same guy who owned Pseudo.  Pseudo's owner was a freaky fuck who knew nothing more than how to spend money -- the stereotypical dotbomber.  

The fact is that EP and G4TV already have viewers and Hulka, so far doesn't.  So in that sense, they are competition.

But I agree with you in that the chick is just way too freaky to be real.  Or to be on TV, at the very least.

"sometimes america confuses me when i think about it. that's why i try not to think about it too much." :crash
#47 by Marsh Davies
2002-03-01 21:49:09
Sounds like a nice idea Hulka... especially if it ever gets aired on one of the cable channels over here.

-- ex Spatula Man --
#48 by Dumdeedum
2002-03-01 21:50:16
I only require one thing in my computer game related TV and that is Patrick Moore (interview), not only does he play a mean zylophone but he is after all, The Gamesmaster.

Seriously however, the small amount of computer game shows we get over here in the UK tend to be lightweight pap - even by TV standards, so just something that doesn't insult your intelligence would be nice, failing that, any game related TV is a step in the right direction.
#49 by Post-It
2002-03-01 22:00:04
I just read saw this posted in response to an article  over at and it struck me as pretty funny and I thought I would share:

"Pac-Man is a satire on late 20th century capitalism. consumption cannot end; no conceivable quantity of dots is enough. He will continue to search them out and eat them until he dies."

--Stephen Poole
#50 by Bailey
2002-03-01 22:02:41
All I really care about, as I know Hulka can serve up quality content, is quality co-hosts. If you're going to have people other than yourself on-screen, please, in the name of all that's holy, ensure their avid gamerhood. I can't stand those past (failed) shows in the past where they hired a bunch of goons from the local modelling school and had them read off cue-cards, and the only thing worse than that was the actual gamer types who couldn't talk for more than 15 seconds without stuttering and mumbling.


"Yo gamers and gamerettes!"

Isn't that also what those go-tards on Speltjetsgarnall (wtfe spelling) always say? Gah, I loathe them so. They're at the very top of my list.

Sir, you are seriously hunting my wumpus.
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