Sunday, June 1, 2008

TV Powww!


In an age of high-tech games and gadgetry, it's nice to hearken back to the ridiculously low-tech splendor of TV Pow. A Flintoid at Toys Are Good Food has some fond memories of the game that was almost totally devoid of strategy, hand-eye coordination, cunning or guile, but heavily dependent on your ability to yell into the phone:

"You send in the postcard, they call you on the phone, and you use the phone — your voice, man — to blow up alien spacecraft. A highly advanced shooting game, similar to Space Invaders is displayed live on TV, and you would shout into the phone, "POW" to activate your laser (the thin white block) and kill the aliens (the thick white blocks). If you kill enough aliens, you win.

"Of course, that's not really how it played out. Kids would be taken aback by their sudden fame of being on TV live during little house, and would whisper "pow" too softly to activate the voice technology. Or, things would swing the other way, and you'd have thirty seconds of a kid shouting "POWPOWPOWPOW" at the top of his little lungs. This was frickin' genius in the post-pong/pre-atari world."

Special thanks to Cara for reminding me of this gem.


3 comments:

  1. Hellllllll yeah!!! TV f'n Powwwww!!
    Was it was part of a short segment between cartoons on TV 25?

    I'm pretty sure I recall the moment it jumped the shark. Callers would honestly attempt to "pow" only when the spaceship crossed the target... that is until one fateful day.
    Was it a kid from Carpenter Rd. Elementary or Homedale? Anyway, after introducing the player, this kid lets loose with a barrage of "pows" one right after the other. His score was off the charts. From that moment forward strategy was out the window. Kids would call in with their rapid fire "pows"draining TV Powww of the competition, drama, and tension, that made it such an exciting program. Seems like it went off the air shortly thereafter.
    As far as the behind the scenes dealings, I kinda doubt they used voice activated technology. I just figured there was some dude with a joystick who hit a button each time the caller said "pow".
    Anyhow, excellent post. Oh yeah, some dude from Davison named his wanky/doodling/avant-garde/improv experimental musical prjoect "TV Pow". Nothing that interesting aside from the Flint connection.

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  2. Yes, that was the pivotal day in TV Pow history!

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  3. I loved TV Pow! I also loved Bill Kennedy at the movies... camp all the way... :)

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