Dara O Briain, of Robot Wars fame and beyond, is set to be the next host of game-centric reality show “Go 8 Bit.” The show will be recorded this April and air in the fall in the UK on Dave (that’s a network name). Each episode will feature celebrity guests competing in multiple rounds of gaming challenges ranging from classics to modern hits and even live-action physical feats based on video games. The guests are coached by comedians Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon, and the live audience also gets a say in crowning the night’s winner.
With comedy being a central element of Go 8 Bit, the show aims to embrace the edgy chaos of game competitions as contestants let loose their inner psycho. “Put a video game controller in the hands of a nun and she’ll turn into a trash-talking bloodthirsty monster. Give a controller to a comedian and they’ll do that too, but be funny. In video games veritas, my friends,” O Briain says. While it’s hard to imagine a nun hurling insults, the imagery his words bring to mind paint a vivid picture of what Go 8 Bit strives to accomplish–the decimation of the civilized world. And to save everyone the effort of finding a thesaurus, “veritas” means truth.
Video game reality shows have come and gone through the decades. Go 8 Bit was originally hosted by McNeil and Pamphilon as a live Edinburgh show. Its evolution and acquisition of O Braian demonstrates a certain degree of staying power, as the Edinburgh stage version has an existing cult following to work from. Watching other people play games on a screen is normally only entertaining for so long at a time. But under the command and commentary of professional comedians, Go 8 Bit has the potential to strike that perfect harmony between heated intensity and impromptu hilarity that is gaming.