Pioneering UK kids game show from 1987 utilizing green screen and CGI, a rare television programme inspired by computer games.
A team would go on a dungeon quest, with one member blinded by a helmet that would be guided by the others. Obviously the player could not see the CGI, but part of the tension from watching was how the team guided the player through the levels and puzzles.
I saw a repeat of this the other day, and felt it would be worth informing others outside the UK about it.
Some background, courtesy of the Knightmare website:
Spring 1985, and Tim Child, a journalist, reporter and occasional development producer for Anglia TV in Norwich, had a silly idea.
As a journalist, he’d taken to producing a regular weekly review of the fledgling UK 8-bit home computer games industry. The justification for Anglia was that much of this industry seemed to be originating from within its regional boundaries. Sinclair and Acorn were both in Cambridge; Commodore had its UK HQ in Northamptonshire.
Everywhere, people seemed to be coding computer games and spotty boys were becoming adolescent millionaires.
At the time, Tim’s elder sister was working as a middle manager for Clive Sinclair on the Spectrum computer range, and this contact gave him his first brush with home computers.
First, Ultimate’s Attic Attack, and then Hewson’s 48k interactive movie, Dragontorc, convinced the Anglia producer that if adventure gaming was possible in a machine as limited as a Spectrum, then the graphic power of modern television could capitalise on the idea and revolutionise the genre.
The idea for Knightmare was born.
Next, a number of key problems had to be solved. How to create a complex artificial world? How to populate it? How to experience it? How to explore it? How to make it work as television?
From the outset Tim Child wanted to use computer graphics to create his first dungeon, but the trouble was that in 1985, computer graphic imaging (CGI) was in its infancy. The Quantel paintbox had only just been developed (Anglia was yet to purchase one), and most computerised images were sadly disappointing compared to the real thing.
Tim knew what was needed, and it wasn’t the gaudy, crude 4-8 colour illustrations which current computer games were offering. What he actually needed, were the fabulous, atmospheric fantasy illustrations that decorated the outside packaging of said crude computer games. He found some examples, and called the publishers in a bid to identify the artist. The answer was soon forthcoming.
Here is an abridged complete version of a winning teams efforts (44 minutes long):
… but not everyone was so lucky … here is a compilation of many “deaths” in the game (and there were not game lives …):
More about the history of the show can be found here, and many more videos can be found at YouTube
What came first? The Internet or the unending panel discussions on the impact the Internet has had on (name whatever the fuck you’d like to here)?
Anish Kapoor in Berlin: ‘in short, Britain’s fucked’
Sad but true statement comparing Britain to Berlin on the arts - via The Guardian:
The British-based artist says the exhibition, entitled Kapoor in Berlin, is the best show he has yet put on, which may have much to do with the fact that he feels Germany demonstrates a huge degree of respect for the arts – in stark contrast to Britain.
“Germans have a rather healthy respect for the arts and artists,” he said, in an exclusive interview with the Guardian, adding that that attitude could “not be more different” from the British perspective.
“In Germany, it seems that the intellectual and aesthetic life are to be celebrated and are seen as part of a real and good education, whereas in Britain, traditionally – certainly since the Enlightenment – we’ve been afraid of anything intellectual, aesthetic, visual.”
These perspectives were reflected in the two countries’ drastically differing policies on financial support of the arts, he said.
“In the UK, while the arts are the second biggest sector after banking, they probably form less than one tenth of 1% of government spending. It’s completely scuzzy. The UK has two things, the arts and education, and both of them it pushes into the corner. It’s the hugest, hugest mistake. Why do British ministers meet anyone from the arts other than to cut them? Compared to Germany, Britain has got quite a long way to go there, frankly
“In short, Britain’s fucked.”
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Who Wore it Better? thank u @skip_class