Just a few weeks after the news that Channel 4 is planning to revive the 1990s video gaming show, a Kickstarter has launched that tells the story of the original GamesMaster.
Launching back in 1992 and hosted by comedian Dominik Diamond, GamesMaster was a staple of evening viewing in the days before the World Wide Web. It was the biggest shared experience for gamers of all ages (mostly school and college) who gathered around TV screens with their Pot Noodles to see which celebrity would get a spanking and who would win the coveted Golden Joystick. Punctuated with Diamond’s compelling presenting style, GamesMaster was completed by the presence of the great Sir Patrick Moore, filmed in a chromakey backdrop panopticon, overseeing proceedings.
With contributions from a range of celebrity guests on the show, GamesMaster: The Oral History features a foreword from pop star Robbie Williams and spans over 80,000 words. Contributions from over 40 guests from behind the scenes, the world of celebrity, and the public are presented with guiding commentary from the man himself, Dominik Diamond, who says: “‘To be surrounded by that level of talented people, all working together, all believing in what they are doing and kicking the arse out of it partying and having a laugh? You are lucky to get a moment like that in your life. And I had it for a decade.”
There are countless reasons why you should have already stopped reading and backed this project. Just in case you’re still here (hi), perhaps this quote from Robbie Williams will convince you to leave: “Of all the things I pondered through the very naughty ’90s, one thing I didn’t have to scratch my head about was: “Which member of Take That owns a GamesMaster golden joystick?” Cos it’s fucking me. That’s right, Jason Orange … ME!”
Spanning seven chapters, covering each of the show’s distinctly themed series, the book documents the instant and phenomenal success of the show, the creativity behind its creation, and the subsequent highs and lows experienced behind the scenes. As exuberant and riotous as the show itself, GamesMaster: The Oral History will offer a snapshot of early British videogame culture and inevitable ’90s excesses.
In the book you’ll find contributions from
- TV producer Jane Hewland
- Series producer Jonny Ffinch
- Dave ‘Games Animal’ Perry
- Researcher and producer Richard Wilcox
- Celebrities Robbie Williams, Pat Sharp, Vic Reeves, Uri Geller, John Regis MBE, Paul McKenna, Stewart Lee and Richard Herring, and Zig and Zag
- Games developer Archer Maclean
…and many others. Meanwhile, the book has a sumptuous design, with a striking exterior and beautiful interior based on the shows iconography and typeface/.
Having launched just a few days ago, GamesMaster: The Oral History has already hit over £42,000 of the £45,000 target. Early Bird pledges are all gone, but you can support this project with £30, £50, £60, £250, £1,500, and £5,000 options. Affordable pledges include getting your name in the book – more ostentatious support includes days out with Dominik Diamond, smoking cigarettes or getting a tattoo from Dave Perry (don’t worry, that’s what he does now).
You should have headed to the Kickstarter about seven paragraphs ago. In case you’re experiencing a Joe Biden moment, here is the link to the GamesMaster: The Oral History Kickstarter.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.