Studio Game Shows
“Game Show” is defined by Dictionary.com as “a television or radio program in which contestants answer questions or play games of skill or chance in order to win money or other prizes.” On most studio game shows the contestant controls their own destiny, whether they will win or lose, based on their knowledge of the particular game being played. Games are played as individuals or teams, sometimes with a celebrity partner. Winners are awarded cash prizes, trips, or goods and services provided by the game shows sponsors. Today there is a TV station dedicated to airing only game shows – The Game Show Network. Using your computer, you can play along with your favorite game show on GSN as it is being aired. Or you can play against the computer or other players in GSN’s online game rooms; some games are for cash prizes, while others are just for fun. Some of the classic game shows of yesteryear are still on the air today, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right being three favorites. Newer game shows include Deal or No Deal, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Million Dollar Password. Nickelodeon is getting the kids interested in game shows, with the temptation of slime being involved, on My Family’s Got Guts. Nickelodeon and Disney both offer online games for the younger people (and the young-at-heart people too!)
Reality Game Shows
Controlling your own destiny in a reality show is a bit more difficult. Dictionary.com defines “Reality Television” as “a genre of television programming in which ‘real life’ people are followed in a situation or game; also known as reality TV and reality programming“. You can use your wit, knowledge and charm, but if America is voting for who stays and who goes then I believe your chances of winning are in the hands of lady luck. On some shows you get voted off by your fellow player that is on your own team. You may also get an opportunity to win immunity from the vote. There are different types of reality game shows that can be broken down into numerous categories such as the ones listed below.
Celebrity Reality Shows
Celebrities like to get in on the competition with their own reality shows. The Osborne’s, The Simple Life, and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here are just a few examples. Celebrities participating in shows that have a monetary prize at the end are usually playing for a charity of their choice.
Artificial Living Environments
Strangers are thrown together into different artificial living environments on reality shows such as Big Brother, The Real World and Temptation Island. Who will be the first to lose control?
Professional Reality Shows
Follow the professionals on the professional reality shows to see what life is like in their day-to-day life. These professionals include Cops, Deadliest Catch and American Chopper to name a few.
Elimination Game Shows
AKA Reality Competition or Reality Game Shows
On some reality game shows the winner is not necessarily the best player or performer because the winner is determined by America. The viewer votes for their favorite contestant in order to keep them in the game and be the last one standing. In my opinion, these shows are just popularity contests. Whether you agree with me or not, you do know what shows I’m talking about – America’s Got Talent, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars to name a few.
Today there is a whole new spin on the classic game show The Dating Game. If you’re looking for love, and a cash prize to go with it, then try out for shows such as The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Temptation Island, Average Joe and Rock of Love.
Job Search Competitions
Do you feel like you are getting overlooked in the profession you have chosen to pursue? Then you should put in a job application with one of these reality shows: The Apprentice, Hell’s Kitchen, America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, or So You Think You Can Dance.
Self Improvement / Makeovers
Do you feel insecure in your looks or don’t feel comfortable in a fancy restaurant. These reality shows are here to help you conquer your insecurities. A few reality shows that can help you find your self-esteem are The Biggest Loser, The Swan, Extreme Makeover, What Not to Wear, and Rock of Love Girls: Charm School.
There are also self-help shows for “things” such as houses (homes), restaurants, and cars. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Overhaulin’, This Old House, and Designed to Sell are some of the reality shows that will help makeover whatever ailing “thing” you have.
Contestants Become Instant Celebrities
Some contestants on reality shows, whether they win or lose, win the heart of not only America but a producer somewhere out there in the big world. They become what we know as “Z-List celebrities” or “nonebrities” – that is people that have done nothing to warrant their newfound fame. Rob Mariano, better known as “Boston Rob” is the first nonebrity to come to mind. Rob appeared on Survivor: Marquesas in 2002. He did not win the million dollars but married the girl that did, Amber Brkich. Rob proposed on national TV, and CBS televised (and paid for) their beach wedding. Rob and Amber continued with their newfound celebrity status by appearing on other reality TV shows like The Amazing Race, Survivor: All-Stars, and The Amazing Race All-Stars. Another contestant on Survivor: The Australian Outback to be “discovered” was Elisabeth Hasselbeck who went on to become a host on the morning talk show The View. Flavor of Love contestant Tiffany Pollard (aka: New York) went on to host not one, but four reality shows of her own: I Love New York, I Love New York 2, New York Goes to Hollywood, and New York Goes to Work. These are just 4 of the reality show contestants that have went on to earn a celebrity status because of appearing in a reality show.
So what is the difference between a game show and a reality game show? On a Studio Game Show the directions are cut and dried. You know what you are expected to do – usually it involves simply answering a question correctly. On a Reality Game Show true feelings, and the American audience, are involved more so than on a Studio Game Show. Which do you think provide better entertainment, the Studio Game Shows or the Reality Game Shows in whatever environment they are shown in? What’s your favorite and why?
50 greatest game shows
Disney Online Games
Nickelodeon Online Games
GSN Game Room (Must register to participate)