Monday, August 30, 2010

Ear Whacks - I Apparently Suck at Game Show Pilots

Right then, this is the start of a new series I've been meaning to do for some time in which I highlight some of the podcasts and other audible musings I keep myself entertained with. Over the summer, I whittled my backlog of unheard podcasts down to nil, and wanted to celebrate by reporting on some of my favorites. However, this past week, I was at band camp, and the backlog is now back up to twenty unheard podcasts. Kinda unfair, really.

Anywho, the first podcast I wanted to highlight was a little game show podcast called PinPoint. This is the second podcast game show put out by Alex Davis and company, who run the immensely popular (if you're into game show news) game show news site, Buzzerblog (see also: Double Cross).

The object of PinPoint is to guess the results to survey questions, trying to come as close to the actual percentages as possible. The questions range from interesting and topical, such as how people feel about the proposed Ground Zero mosque, to the bizarre and thought-provoking, such as what people think about s'mores and Ouija boards. The contestants play for Oodles, which are GSN's (formerly the Game Show Network) online virtual currency redeemable for prizes and whatnot. The farther you are from guessing the correct percentage, the more Oodles you lose, and the greater danger you're in of leaving the game.

The weird thing about this game is that I had a very small hand in its production. I was involved in two test pilots, and I had a blast playing. I was also relatively good at the game, nearly nailing a couple of questions on the nose. In both cases though, I lost in the final head-to-head question, missing by a major margin. I wouldn't have won anything for taking first place anyway, but I got some major harassment from my friends when I tried to explain the show to them the next day. (Now that the show's finally available to the public, these friends can hear how tricky the show can be. And subsequently start apologizing. Use the comments box below, thanks.)

PinPoint is a fun game for people who think they know people, and is rather easy to play along with. I was initially critical of how the game is split into three separate podcasts over the course of the week, but the fifteen-minute segments are just the right size for a quick dose of fun and really manages to effectively stretch the suspense over the week. (By the way, definitely listen to week three's game, the entire game is really intense and it had some of my favorite questions of the series so far.) Bob Hagh does a great job of keeping the game moving while bantering with the contestants, and gets right into the heat of the game along with the players. On the whole, PinPoint is a great listen and makes reading America's mind fun (so long as the questions don't involve politics, they kill me every time).

iTunes Link - Official Site

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