Greg Wicker (or “Greggo” as he’s fondly known) has been producing and hosting game shows at anime conventions since 1999, when he premiered Anime Match Game at Project A-Kon in Dallas. Since then, Greggo has done anime-themed versions of several classic game shows, created a few games of his own, and even had an original project that very nearly turned into an actual television show on Anime Network. These days Greggo is concentrating on perfecting his craft and making game shows available for conventions everywhere, bringing his rapier wit and friendly personality with him wherever he goes.
For this year here are the games he will be doing.
Definition debuted at BAM-Con in 2013. It was a staple of Canadian television for over a decade, and combines elements of Hangman (similar to Wheel of Fortune) with horrible, horrible puns. It is a game that can be catered to any type of event, and can utilize guest participants or teams of two attendees apiece depending on your needs. Like its Canadian predecessor, it is also a fairly cheap game show to add to the schedule, as its prize support is fairly inconsequential; this game show is played more for laughs (or groans) than anything else.
This was the third game show developed utilizing the puzzle board algorithm I wrote for Wheel of Fortune, but the second one to debut (after Ponyville Derby a couple months before). It’s one of my favorite game shows to put together; writing puns is a heck of a lot more fun to write than trivia! All that’s left is for a convention in Canada to request it as one of their games and I can feel like I’ve “given back.” (Though much like Justin Bieber, I’m sure Canada would be happy to let us keep Definition.)
Play Your Cards Right:
The newest game show in my lineup, Play Your Cards Right is based on the UK version of the classic television game show Card Sharks. Fans have been asking me to do this game for a while, but another group has been successfully hosting Card Sharks for a while now, and I typically don’t like doing game shows that other groups did first. Playing the game by the UK rules, though, it’s different enough that they’re fine with it. It will make its debut at Zenkaikon this year.
Two couples face off against each other in this game for control of their cards. Prior to the show we surveyed 100 people and asked them all sorts of questions related to fandom. The couples’ job is to guess how many out of 100 answered a certain way. Each time one couple makes a guess, the other couple guesses whether the correct answer is higher or lower. If they’re right, they get control of their cards and must guess whether each card in their line is higher or lower than the one before it. If they make it to the end without making a mistake they win the game and a bonus prize! Win two out of three and the couple heads to the Points for Prizes bonus game, where points make prizes! (Bruce Forsyth: “What do points make?” Audience: “PRIZES!”)
The granddaddy of them all, Match Game was the very first game show I performed at a convention, at Project A-Kon in 1999. During the earlier years this was the show I did at every convention, and it established me as someone who works well with convention guests. The game has experienced a bit of a resurgence thanks to the popularity of “Cards Against Humanity,” since at its core Match Game is essentially the same game. I have the “black cards” and the celebrity guests write down the “white cards” themselves, with the contestant having to come up with an answer that matches as many of the guests as possible.
Match Game is a great “icebreaker” game show for guests to interact with fans in a way they don’t usually do. It’s also a fairly simple game for them to play, as all they really have to do is be funny (they don’t even have to be good, some of the more memorable answers had absolutely nothing to do with the question) and the fans will love it. This is one of those game shows where the contestants do win prizes, but it is all about the guest interaction.
Shut the TARDIS!!:
Debuting in 2013 at the Geek Creation Show in NJ, Shut the TARDIS!! was developed to be a game show that more general fandom conventions (not necessarily anime shows) could enjoy. It is a relatively simple trivia game with a fun twist, and it has typically put a smile on the face of each and every fan of Doctor Who who has been in attendance.
This game show is based on a very old parlor game called “Shut the Box.” Back in the seventies this parlor game was also made into a game show that was hosted by Alex Trebek, called High Rollers. (Wink Martindale would host an eighties version.) Taking the nine numbers from “Box” and replacing them with the twelve numbered doctors, while also replacing the dice you rolled with three Shakri cubes gave the game the proper flavor. And the box? Well, the big blue one The Doctor flies around in is a perfect fit. From time to time I actually cosplay as Matt Smith’s version of The Doctor while performing this game.