Sunday, August 18, 2013

Game Time: TV Pixx (1979)

In 1979, WPIX of New York experimented with an interactive game for their young viewers in between commercials during afternoon drive programming. Unfortunately, this noble idea didn't last.

TV Pixx lasted a year, and the station utilized Mattel's Intellivision video games for the interstital promotion. Children, with permission from the parents, called in and all they had to do was say, "Pixx" to activate the game. While it was fun at first, and it gave lots of kids bragging rights at school, just for the privelege of saying that they got on TV, even if they physically didn't appear on screen.

The following clip comes from WPIX's anniversary special from a few years back.

If my memory is correct, 2 games were played each hour, and with a 2 hour block (3-5 pm), that meant 4 players a day, 20 per week. I may be wrong about that, but I do know that you had to be a pre-teen to play the game. Living in upstate NY as I do, I couldn't risk a long distance bill to play if I wanted to, since I was too old.

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

Boy do I remember this!

I tried to be one of the contestants but was unable to get through!

I used to yell "PIXX" at the TV screen as if I were playing because I could have done a better job ;o)

I also remember that in addition to the "word of the day" players could get a bonus prize if they named the character or celebrity of the day. Usually it would be someone from the WPIX lineup like Jimmy Walker ("Good Times" was syndicated on that station).

Geed said...

It was Mattel's Intellivision system, not Activision. I recall this fondly as well but I was an Atari 2600 kid and wasn't a fan of the old INTV.

hobbyfan said...

Geed: Thanks for clarifying. I zonked out when I tried to remember what was said in the report on-air.

I didn't have any video games at home at the time, I don't think, and, being 16 at the time, I was out of the age range they wanted. Oh, well.

Magicdog: I do remember the word/star of the day part. I think that came later when they were trying to save the sinking ship that TV Pixx had become.