I'm not sure if you were around behind the scenes or not during the early days of GG but, do you happen to know how the show was first created?
The show’s creator, Janet Carr - is a big gamer herself. She is originally from the UK and was working with the BBC, before moving to Australia and joining the ABC. Janet has a strong background in News and Current affairs, and has always loved making television - but when she would go home at the end of the day… she’d be gaming online each night!
At one point she was approached by the ABC who said something along the lines of “we’re looking to make some new content, we have a spot to fill - but not much money… do you have any ideas for a new show?”
And she said “Well, yes… as a matter of fact I do.” There were no other shows that targeted video games at the time, and being a huge gamer herself she saw that as a pretty big gap in the market. I believe the very first episode of Good Game was made on something like $1000, haha! Crazy.
What’s wonderful about Janet is that being a gamer herself, she has always been so clear that she wanted the show to have a proper gaming community focus. A show that spoke a language that gamers would understand, didn’t dumb things down - yet was still entertaining enough that non-gamers could potentially be interested in it too… (and hopefully even allow them to develop an interest in our world).
But also, the fact that she had a background in News and Current Affairs, it means that she’s always been really great about keeping the integrity of our content to a really great standard. It’s been absolutely one of the most profoundly valuable aspects of my career as a presenter and a reviewer, working for her (and, in fact, the ABC in general)… because it showed me that within a presenting role I could actually write and speak for myself. I could present my own opinions and have a strong clear voice of my own - and that I should never have to compromise that for anyone.
I would not necessarily be able to say the same thing if I were working on a commercial network with a different producer. I’d probably just be shoved in front of an auto-cue and told to go get a spray-tan.