“What would it be like if TV and gaming collided?” Such a concept is apparently high on the agenda at the good ol' BBC, with the broadcaster planning on bringing multiplayer gaming to masses in the years ahead through that dusty old box sat in the corner of your living room.
Check out the best multiplayer games on PC here.
Well, that’s what the BBC’s Research & Development department is hoping, with one of the team’s current projects focusing on placing gamers from around the UK in a virtual world where they can do battle live on TV.
No actual programmes have actually been proposed. Rather, the BBC is putting the feelers out with a video of a mocked up TV show called The Watch: Live to see if audiences would be interested in programming that placed gaming front and centre.
Dubbed ‘Multiplayer Broadcasting’, the idea would be to take players from an existing game and have them play out missions on live TV, brought together by a physical presenter to help the non-playing audience get to grips with the action.
A weekly league table of gamers from across the country would present possible players for each week's episode, with viewers ultimately able to vote for who they want to see in play from a shortlist.
“Multiplayer Broadcasting blends live TV shows with the interactivity of online games by placing audience avatars and presenters into a shared virtual world,” details the BBC. “Not only does this give audience members a chance to interact and communicate with live performers, but they are no longer limited by real world locations. We see it as the next iteration of audience participation shows in a broadcast-VR enabled future.
"The virtual environment provides endless stylistic and creative opportunities; we’re no longer limited by reality. We can send our presenter and participants to impossible locations, we can defy the laws of physics and set them challenges too dangerous for real life. We could give them superpowers, or we could dissolve them in lava, without a risk assessment in sight!”
Though the BBC currently has no concrete plans, it’s encouraging that its R&D department - which is charged with looking into the future of broadcasting from its labs in both London and Manchester - is even considering bringing gaming and mainstream TV together in such a way.
Hopefully the presenter of any show that does see the light of day won’t be quite as antagonistic as the one portrayed in the The Watch, however. We’re a little bit beyond Anne Robinson these days, Auntie Beeb.
Thanks Rock, Paper, Shotgun.