A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Nickelodeon game show from the early '90s is all about video games. Kids compete in various rounds of quizzes, video puzzles, and video game face offs for a chance to win prizes. Aside from the occasional trivia question, there's no real educational content, and today's kids are likely to scoff at the now-vintage video games on display.
What's the story?
Hosted by Phil Moore, NICK ARCADE is a kids' game show that fuses two popular pastimes: video games and television. Two teams of two compete in various rounds, answering trivia questions, solving video puzzles, and facing off in video game competitions to gain points and win prizes. The center of the show is a large interactive game board map, which features an animated character named Mikey who serves as a marker of each team's progress. The team with the most points at the end gets the chance to compete in a live-action video game known as the Video Zone -- which made it feel like contestants were transported into a game.
Is it any good?
While Nick Arcade probably had a no-fail formula for gaining kids' attention back in the early '90s when it originally aired, it's painfully behind the times now, featuring obsolete game systems that today's kids probably have never heard of. Plus, Moore takes the silliness to an unbearable level that most kids will find annoying and corny.
Twenty-first-century kids probably won't be very interested in Nick Arcade, and there are better shows for them out there, anyway (try the G4 channel for up-to-date fare). But some viewers may get a laugh out of watching contestants play old-school games on now-obsolete platforms.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how video games have transformed entertainment. Why are video games so popular? Are all video games suitable for kids? Why or why not? How have video games changed since this show was originally on the air? Do older games have any appeal for today's kids? Why do you think this show is still rerun regularly?