‘Would you like to play Joe & Mac?’
If you were alive in the ’90s and remotely liked video games, odds are you’ve heard of Nick Arcade.
Hosted by Phil Moore, the game show aired on Nickelodeon for 84 episodes, with re-runs occurring throughout most of the ’90s. The gist is that the entire show was video game-themed, with contestants actually playing current games for points and participating in an interactive game as the grand finale.
Even if you have no love for the show, this short 22-minute-and-change documentary from the YouTube channel Wrestling With Gaming is worth a watch. It quickly runs down the origins of the show and breaks down each facet of it in a very digestible way, providing factoids in the process, behind-the-scenes footage and briefly chatting with co-creator Karim Miteff.
There’s a lot of great trivia here, like the rumor that someone at Nickelodeon ordered too many space camp trips, so they were given away as prizes on various network game shows, and that Nickelodeon was leery of the idea that Nintendo and Sega would consent to having their games featured on the show at the same time: only for the producers to solve the problem.
This show blew my mind when it came out and was way ahead of its time: its legacy deserves to be preserved! As the doc hints it could still come back, thanks to the passion of WWE superstar Xavier Woods, who wants to host a new incarnation of the show.