Retro or ninth gen? That’s the question on retro gamers lips this week following the news that UK television network Channel 4 is planning to reboot Gamesmaster.
A key element of the gaming experience of 1990s Britain, Gamesmaster was hosted by comedian Dominik Diamond (and for one series, actor/director Dexter Fletcher) with bizarre-but-compelling CG-enhanced inserts of noted broadcasting astronomer Sir Patrick Moore adding a “Gods of Ragnarok” flavour to the 16-bit dungeon environment.
Running from 1992 to 1998, millions tuned in weekly to see live challenges (with the chance to win the coveted GamesMaster Golden Joystick) and previews of games that were months from release. GamesMaster was accompanied by a magazine from Future Publishing, which ran from 1993 to 2018.
Speaking of those live challenges… Sorry, Dave Perry…
Channel 4’s announcement simply read: “So, let’s cut to it. E4 are rebooting… GamesMaster.” Described as a “social first” program, the show is expected to appear on E4 and YouTube. VGC reports that the following details have been pitched to advertisers:
“They’ll undergo challenges, races and fights in virtual battle across all genres of gaming under the watchful eye of the all-knowing GamesMaster.
“Each week at least one celeb will be eliminated…Over the three episodes, five will become one and the winner will be crowned.
“They’ll play each other at everything from iconic classics to brand new releases. We’ll also be serving tonnes of extra gaming-themed content to our audiences to keep them coming back for more.”
Sir Patrick Moore passed away in 2012; Dominik Diamond has been silent on Twitter regarding the news. Curiously, a photo of Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, The X-Men) accompanied the website announcement, but the accuracy of this is still in question.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.