Welcome, teletext fanatics! I'll just leave this here...

Monday, 8 October 2007

Case Study - Bamboozle

Years back, when teletext was King, Channel 4's Teletext service had a full section entitled 'Fun and Games'. Now, though, the fun is largely gone and the service is becoming serious in its old age. The Fun and Games section is no more, but its flagship Bamboozle game remains. Having been moved around the service like no other page - from the 100s to the 300s - this is the one of the only surviving examples of games transmitted by teletext, at least in the UK.

Originally Bamboozle was a daily updated game with twenty questions. This was cut to fifteen and currently twelve, yet another measure of teletext's dwindling user base. Still, the game is at least still going, as is its main quizmaster character - Bamber Boozler. An obvious clone of Bamber Gascoigne, right down to the pixellated face, he has become something of an icon for the Teletext generation. Maybe his pixellated mug will live on into the Internet generation?

The object of the game is to get as many questions right as possible. Each question has four answers which can be selected from using the coloured fastext keys. If you get one wrong, you are sent back to an earlier question (what? Can't be bothered...) and have to re-enter up to three previous answers to get back to where you were. This used to annoy me, but hey, that's the limitations of teletext. I have encountered a few online quizzes that work on the same principle and they have the capability to go right back to the last question you got wrong. Maybe this is a bandwidth issue or they want people to play for longer?

Each question had its own page - and to stop peple from cheating these were named with letters: for example "34D" or "67A", so they could not be directly accessed by entering the number code.


Wikipedia entry
Bamber's web page (There's nothing there at the moment)
YTMD tribute