The tick of the clock indicating 6:00 is the only precursor and signal we have. The die has been cast. Turn on your TV sets, and set your couches aside, as you hear the lively music with those percussions, the identical-clad ladies going down the stage carrying the silver briefcases with numbers embossed on each of them, hiding whatever lies behind. The tactless, and the high-pitched voice and timbre of the host have already conquered the living room, echoing around the concrete walls. So sit back, and relax as you shout the famous line in television, and decide on your own whether it is a DEAL or NO DEAL?!

Who would have ever thought that the actual games, parlor games, or various challenges, would be transformed in to something in which everybody could be a contestant, wherever and whoever you are? In our daily living, one may state “watching TV” as his hobby, but  in the case of others who want to say something in particular, it may go like this: “Every night, I hold on to my seat and do my hobby… watching TV game shows.” These new genre of TV programmes had emerged during the times when man badly needs a prize that could not be obtained by his hard work but, a pot of money that could just appear in an instant… on a snap of a finger. Game shows have been a substantial part in the life of a person, that it somehow improves his personality, and all other aspects such as his physical, mental, and emotional character.

I could never imagine what is there behind the mystery of this new trend, on why several people go gaga over the studio, fall in a very long line, and resist the heat of the sun. Many would defy a lot of odds, some even leaving their babies to their neighbours  just to be part of this game show where it’s all instant – instant millionaire, instant winner, and instant superstar.

The popular noontime show Wowowee has been called both game show, and a public service show because of the great help they had been giving to the poor classes. Its host, once thrown by unwanted and eerie controversies, issues, and some legal cases, has assured the masses that the main aim of the show is to give a hand to the needy and the poor. Well, believe it or not, I’ve got some personal evidences, as we drove along the Mother Ignacia Avenue, there were rows of street children, and elders, mostly women sleeping atop some spare cartons, in front of the ABS-CBN studio.

“I did this for my family back in Leyte. I never stopped falling onto a long line until I was chosen as one of the players. Well, miracles really do work. See, I just won a 100 thousand, an even greater amount that what we need,” a 75-year old lady said in the interview with small tears flowing over her face, “Now, I could go back to our hometown and embrace my children and grandchildren once again.”

You have yourself live in an isolated land, and you get millions. This has been the motto of the newest game show in the Philippines adopted from a world-renowned one entitled “Survivor: Philippines.” The title itself is ironic for the game was shot not in the country but somewhere in Thailand. But wherever the site it, it still holds and stops the beating of many people’s hearts. Every night, at about 10 pm, people would often halt whatever they are doing, or leave their tasks at hand, and sit down the sofa and watch with hands drowned with sweat. The activities done on the game show would often frustrate audiences, making them scream, shout, and complain at the top of their voices. But isn’t this really the essence of a game show? To give the viewers a thrill of what was happening. How some have wished to be able to land on that area and do the stuff failed by the real contestant, how we just wished, so everything would be alright. Yet things would never just go at ease.

Life in an island would be like living in a camp with you alone, without anybody helping you. It’s more of strategic than intellect, more of physical than mental, added the times when they get starved and find anything that appears out of the beach sand. A bug maybe, placed on a stick and grilled. Hmm… yum! Everything would be done by the so-called “cast-aways” stuck in an island-forest, defy all odds, and even slash themselves juts to win the jackpot prize, a prize just equivalent to their perseverance and hard work, a prize amounting to P 3,000,000. Huge enough to purchase your own house, buy a car, and travel around Asia. Anyway, that would be fair, with all their efforts making themselves stand out from the others, catching the interests and support of the audiences, and making themselves live as tribal people.

Aside from the actual games themselves, modern day game shows are now considered to be interactive which involves the help of the televiewers, or sometimes an easier way of winning the jackpot prize same through with the studio player. These texters would just be holding their mobile phones, pressing digits, and answering very obvious questions. In this way, those people who just stay at home are given chances to join game shows and be a part of it by doing what the studio players do. And via raffle, if one texter wins, he will be deemed as somebody who is a winner, on a man’s prestidigitation.

Game shows in television may probably be called as one of the sources of money gathering. Many game shows still dating back on the 80’s shown around the world have been changing millions of life. Winners often have already bought a house, or maybe even a mansion, have put up his business, and have created possibilities which at first turned out to be impossible.

“Change is the only permanent word on Earth.” I could recall one of the retorts of a player in one game after winning P2M by simply choosing between two options. He said firmly and full of happiness with a smile reaching out his ears:

“With this one, I am completely transformed – former tricycle driver, now a millionaire.”


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