GoodBadFlicks, aka Cecil Trachenburg, usually focuses on specific films that have either been forgotten, generally remembered as terrible, or some other interesting aspect about a genre film. However, he has shown a real interest in video games previously—like in his reviews of the film versions of Super Mario Bros. or Street Fighter; or his video reviews of games like Sewer Shark or Disaster Report; or his video about how to make a good video game film (Sidenote: For those that want a good “video game” film, check out Edge Of Tomorrow). Therefore, while it is a bit unexpected, it’s not utterly unusual that GoodBadFlicks recently covered the rise and fall of the premier video gaming TV network, G4.
The video is a bit long but goes into the channel’s origins as a way to cash in on the growing gamer demographic before its absorption and slow dismantling of similar geek channel TechTV. Trachenburg also chronicles how the channel seemed to constantly be embarrassed by its video game mandate and sought barely related material and syndicated shows in order to chase after a young male demographic, instead of the wider gamer audience. It’s also interesting to note that the two TechTV mainstays—Screen Savers (later re-branded Attack Of The Show) and X-Play—were the channel’s most video game centric shows and probably the most popular on the network, and yet G4’s leadership never seemed interested in pursuing similar subject matter.
The comparison to G4’s scrappy beginnings and MTV’s faux-underground start is apt as both had an unfinished feel that were perfect for their times and their audiences, and both ended up watering down their initial mission statement until they became punchlines to the demographic to which they were originally pitched. Trachenburg is also on point showing how many popular YouTube channels and Twitch stream accounts there are today dedicated to simply watching and discussing games, suggesting that while there is an audience for such a network, perhaps the format was never meant to be a 24-hour cable channel.