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 Post subject: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:16 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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So I just remembered this thing, and I can't find any info on it online, and it's really driving me nuts!

I used to visit my cousin a lot when I was a kid. For a short time in the early 90s, he/his family had this game thing on their tv. (I wish I knew how to describe it better!) I think maybe it was something that came through the cable tv? There was a special tv remote you used to play it. You had to watch a short live-action video first about this guy, who was an alien (I think?) and landed somewhere on earth and met a random kid and they had adventures. You had to answer questions like where did the kid meet the alien to proceed in the game. I remember how much we hated having to answer the same stupid questions every time we played. My memories are really really fuzzy, but I remember there was one level where you had to get through a beehive or something? All I can remember is there were a lot of animated bees, and we never beat that level and it was so frustrating. One day when I visited, I asked my cousin if we could play it, and he said that his dad/my uncle had canceled it because you had to pay for it every month, and it was too expensive. So it was some kind of subscription thing. I think the name of it was maple street? main street? something street? but I could be totally off on that!

Help me, ppk! My cousin doesn't have facebook or anything, so I can't ask him about it until the next time I see him, which could be christmas. And I'm pretty sure I will explode from the not knowing before then. I swear I didn't dream this! Does anyone else remember this?


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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:27 am 
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Venomous Head of Veganism
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I bet mumbles knows.

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:43 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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You know, I went and dug around yesterday and I couldn't find anything obvious.

Was this in the US?

Early 90's, it might have been something like 3DO or Philips CD-i, although they wouldn't have been a subscription service. If it was a subscription, that means the live video thing was something weird and probably wouldn't have been streamed or downloaded on demand. Could it have been an interactive DVD thing? But then that's not a subscription either...

I hope somebody knows. I'm hoping it's some weird corner of interactive gaming I hadn't run into before so I can spend a day reading about it and looking at pictures of the insides of old hardware and stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:44 am 
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I had never heard of such a thing, but I did some searching because I was curious. Apparently there were a few different interactive tv services in the 80's and 90's, available through cable. One that was available in the 90's was Videoway. It was a subscription service and you used a special remote to control it. I think that one might have only been available in Montreal, but it's hard to tell. Anyway, it was probably something like that, but I haven't had any luck finding that specific game!

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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This was in massachusetts, Boston area. My cousin was the only person I know who had something like it, and I think they only had it for a free trial period and then canceled when it started charging. I really wish I could remember more details! I just remember how I wanted to get past the stupid bee level so badly, and then they canceled it so we never did. I don't remember playing any other games, but it seems like it would have been weird for this service to have only one stupid kids' game. Maybe that's just the only one we were allowed to play. Ugh, this is going to drive me nuts! I might have to ask my older cousin if she remembers it.


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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:24 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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I didn't even know TV was that sophisticated in the early 90's! At first I was thinking D&D with the video tape you put in and played along with. Wait was that D&D or something else? Now I'm really confused. This article might give you some help.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/business/cou ... ive_tv.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:41 pm 
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it sounds like the kind of cheesy thing they randomly have(/had) on in-house hotel cable TVs. I'd imagine it was custom made for them, rather than something that was generally available to the public?

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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This was definitely some sort of publicly available service. I don't think there was anything special about my cousin's tv/cable either, they just lived in an apartment and had a normal tv. I'm pretty sure this was through the cable company. There were no video tapes involved, and I don't think there was a special console or anything, just the one different tv remote. I'm not sure what cable subscription companies were around back then. Maybe I can find out which ones were operating in the Boston area then and go from there. If I don't figure this out within the next week, I will try to contact my uncle or other cousin and see if they can remember.


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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:56 am 
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I believe you're talking about GTE mainStreet.

Here's a video where an especially 90s Oompa Loompa tries to make you kill yourself by talking about GTE mainStreet?


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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:07 am 
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When I googled "list of gte mainstreet games" google asked me if I meant "list of german street names" and I've decided that, yes, I probably did mean that.

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Dying from Nooch Lung
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Yes, that must be it! Thanks, mumbles! Now I just wish I could remember the name of that one game. (Although I think it might be time for me to come to terms with the fact that I am never going to beat those stupid bees.)


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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Bizarre, and neat.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.07/cable.html

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:57 pm 
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That was going to be the future, and the future was going to suck.

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Hey, somebody had to try it. There's definitely a market for interactive stuff, but obviously that wasn't the stuff people actually wanted.

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:43 pm 
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It's the AOLing of everything that I remember from this period in the history of stuff that happened--proprietary services on a semi-proprietary network.

I'm not sure that I'm glad they tried it, but I am sure I'm glad they failed.

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Heh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/S/Septe ... ended.html

sidehack:~> perl sepdate.pl
Mon Sep 7251 16:08:15 EDT 1993

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 Post subject: Re: Can someone help me remember this weird tv game thing?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:03 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
I bet mumbles knows.

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