Much like the food vendors at state fairs, reality television producers are now in on the joke and just trying to outdo themselves year after year. Merv Griffin Entertainment is working with Namco Bandai to produce a Pac-Man reality television show. How exactly does one produce a reality show based on a video game about a hungry yellow ball that eats dots and gets killed by ghosts? Apparently, you do it by making it like Wipeout, another reality game show that seems to have no narrative structure whatsoever. Merv Griffin’s President of TV Roy Bank told Deadline, “big, crazy Wipeout-type event with a lot of energy.” That won’t get old quick. Still, stranger reality premises have been given the go-ahead.
The project will be developed in 2011, which is Pac-Man‘s 30th anniversary. If that timing is intentional, the folks at Merv Griffin Entertainment might want to think long and hard about who actually cares about the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man.
Kudos to everyone involved with this plan, as I don’t think they could have found a reality TV premise with less human context if they tried. Even Donkey Kong had apes, and apes are closer to people than giant yellow balls.