Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Gronda Gronda Rangdo!

If you are aged 35-42ish (rough guess) and from the UK, and a geek, you may well have just yelled Gronda Gronda Rangdo, or made a spluttering sound with your bottom lip and fingers, which of course is how the Grand Rangdo of arg would communicate.

For people who think I’m on drugs, I’m referring to The Adventure Game, a BBC2 TV series broadcast in the early 1980s. In theory, this was for kids, but it was a show you wouldn’t get for kids any more, because it made the kids think.

In simple form, TAG was a puzzle gameshow with celebrities, but unlike current fare, it wasn’t about making the celebs look stupid or them suffering, or about encouraging them to sleep with each other or shout abuse at each other. In TAG, the celebrities were given logic puzzles, and had to co-operate to solve them.

They were given logic puzzles and had to co-operate to solve them.

Imagine that now? It sounds very quaint doesn’t it? but the Adventure Game wasn’t the only TV show of my youth seemed designed to make me think. There was, of course stuff like Think Of A Number, all about science and maths and so-on. Then there was How! explaining how things work or get made. Then we had shows like The Great Egg Race and Now Get Out Of That.

The TV of my youth was great (it was doogy yrev!). It trained me to think logically, to embrace stuff like science and maths, and to be creative and critical. TV today seems to be designed to make you buy lip gloss and laugh at peoples suffering. I’m hazarding that the former is better for society than the latter.

What went wrong?

Or am I remembering it too fondly? Dismissing too easily stuff like Bang Goes the Theory, and forgetting mindless stuff from the same era, entertaining though it was.

7 thoughts on Gronda Gronda Rangdo!

  1. Cool! You just revealed the secret of Numberwang to me. That makes the sketch even funnier. :)

    Now the real question is, do the youth actually watch TV anymore (considering there’s internet and more interesting things out there)?

  2. Wow, I’ve just been watching a few episodes of the Adventure Game on Youtube. It’s fantastic. The silly logic lets them throw in some amazingly nonsensical lines, like this one:

    “Oh dear. I’m afraid you’re too late. The clock quacked.”

    Thanks Cliff for introducing me to an amusing show that is older than me!

  3. I have to agree, although im a little younger, i have fond memories of Knightmare – its occasionally arbitrary puzzles, sudden horrific deaths and slightly too difficult riddles… some of my earliest tv memories are of a child blinded by the large helmet they were wearing, running for the exit of a dungeon to avoid the horrible starvation implied by chunks of their flesh tumbling away from their skeleton. traumatic stuff.

  4. I think you’re right, Cliff. TV isn’t what it used to be. I’m only 22 and TV was way better when I was little. I think now TV companies make rubbishy game shows and ‘reality’ shows because they are cheap. The industry is run by the accountants and not the creative teams.
    I’ll have to look that show up! It sounds fun! :D

  5. I really loved The Adventure Game when I was a kid. But then, I was pretty geeky.

    The Great Egg Race was my favourite though, probably because of Prof. Heinz Wolfe’s hugely infectious enthusiasm for anything science.

    Do these kind of role models / ambassadors exist in kids’ TV these days? I don’t watch it, but I guess maybe Dr Who fills that role to some extent, other than that I have no idea.

    In the long term, it so happened that I ended up choosing a career that’s light years away from science, but thanks to the TV of my youth I have nothing but the greatest respect for mathematicians, boffins, and thinkers.

    When I eventually have kids, I’d hope that there’d be something on the box that would provide a similar service.

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