How often are you told that it’ll be worth the wait? How often does that prediction come true? McNeil and Pamphilon Go 8-Bit really is worth the wait.
Hopefully there won’t be any more late starts. On Friday night, at the Pleasance Dome/Potterrow, we had to wait some extra 30 or more minutes for the doors to open. The reason for the delay? Technology.
When we finally got access to the Kingdome we entered a nicely tiered stage with a cover of Jonathan Coulton’s great “Still Alive” playing. Great start! Could they continue as strongly?
Even as we waited for others to find their seats and for the gig to start there were clues that it would be a good night. A large projection screen at the back of the stage provided a wifi network to join and an IP address to point your smartphone’s browser at. Do so. There’s a warning that if you decide to take part with your smartphone that you may have to take part in the show. That’s kinda a shame. I know that put some people off going any further. If you don’t go any further then you can’t interact with the show via their super-clever custom games.
I don’t normally like audience participation but in this case – I think it’s worth it. Buy tickets for McNeil and Pamphilon Go 8-Bit, have plenty of charge in your smartphone, join the wifi network, use their web based interface and be prepared to play games with the guest comedians down on the stage.
McNeil and Pamphilon are two energetic hosts. The audience is divided between them so you’ll either be on the green side or the red side. Each have skin in the game – should they and their audience fail to win a game then they have a forfeit to face. What sort of forfeit? The sort that’s easy to laugh at while being so thankful it’s not you.
For each game – and we’re talking classic computer games here – a guest comedian or actor (or wrestler in our case) takes the stage for team green or red and they’re each accompanied by a randomly selected member of the audience. The random selection is made using the nicknames entered by the audience as they play along on their smartphones.
The big screen at the back of the stage is used to watch the action. We got to see a Mario Kart race, some Bomberman action and some Street Fighter. Geeky stuff! I loved it. There’s even some Oculus Rift action.
This isn’t just a computer game based game show. There’s far more energy and comedy than that. There’s banter between the hosts. Sketches between the games and, of course, the crazy “danger zone” forfeits.
It’s easy to see why it took the large team of supporting technicians so long to get the show set up. This might be a Fringe show but it’s easy to imagine McNeil and Pamphilon breaking into TV. I very much hope they’re working on a YouTube format.
It’s simple – if you’ve any geek in your dna then go see this show.