Friday, January 26, 2007
The Game That Plays You: My Games Fever
MyNetworkTV continues to be a pioneer in bizarre programming. First it was English-language telenovelas, and now it's My Games Fever. On the surface, it looks good - a game show where the viewers are the contestants. The host presents puzzles and the viewers call in to play. First time I saw it, I immediately thought something was strange. There's no phone number to call to participate. You can only text message, but you can't even text your answer. You can only send in a notice that you want to play. I figured out why when I read the fine-print: you get charged 99-cents for every text message you send in, and one contact is selected at random to call in and answer the puzzle on the air. So of the thousands of people who text in for a dollar each, only one gets to play, and that's not even a guarantee that you'll win. They've created a game that charges the contestant to play. A contestant could actually lose money playing the game. Stupid. Some of the female hosts are pretty cute, though.