by Pia Navidad

Imagine this: It’s 2007 and you have just come home from school. As you’re eating lunch, your grandfather turns on the TV to watch Game Ka Na Ba. At some point during the game, both of you get increasingly frustrated because the contestant can’t seem to get the right answer – but what could you do? You were just a kid behind a screen. Fast forward to about 10 years later, you download an app called Paydro. It’s still a game show, and you’re still technically a kid behind a screen, but now you have all the power!

Paydro is a trivia game show app that is part live stream, part quiz game. A host will ask questions, and you get to participate just on your phone. It goes live Mondays to Fridays at 12:30 PM. And the best part? You can win actual money, just like in the game shows we watch on TV!

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Photos from Google Play

Game shows over the years

Game shows originated from America in the 1920s, and was first made for radio. According to Andre Meadows of Crash Course Games, there were two main types of game shows – quiz shows and panel shows. Quiz shows are exactly what they sound like – a host asks questions, and contestants provide answers. Those who answer first, win the prize. Panel shows involved a panel of experts, comedians or celebrities who were asked questions by listeners. If you called to ask a question, you would get prize money. If you asked a question the panelists couldn’t answer, you’d win a bigger amount of money.

Since then, many game shows all over the world have sprung up with variations on the original quiz show format. From England to Korea, to Taiwan and France, and let’s not even begin to thaw at the iceberg of crazy Japanese game shows.

In the Philippines, one of the earliest known game shows was Battle of the Brains – a quiz show for elementary, high school and college students. Over time, Filipino game shows started to dominate noon time television. Classics such as Game Ka Na Ba?, Wowowee, and Singing Bee were revered by the masses.

Game features

The unique gameplay of Paydro differentiates it from the other quiz apps you would normally find. The host asks a question through the livestream, which will also pop up on the screen along with the choices. You have 10 seconds to guess the right answer. If you are wrong, you can use a “puso” (heart) or extra life. Otherwise, you’ll lose the chance to win the cash prize. You can remain in the game to earn points, which you can collect to win other rewards from a game, such as Dinorado Rice, an iPhone XR, and even a trip to New York.

In an interview of Rappler with Gian Javelona, CEO of Paydro, he revealed that he was not only aware that people were Googling the answers during game time, but he was okay with it. Especially if it meant that they were looking up more facts about the Philippines than they otherwise would not have known about.

Aside from the main game, there are two other mini games from the app – Presyong Paydro at 8:00 PM, and Paydro Okeh at 9:00 PM. In Presyong Paydro, you have to guess the correct price of the presented item; in Paydro Okeh, you’ll have to complete the missing lyrics from the featured song. Both games follow the regular game format – liveshow of the host, choices popping up on screen, 10 seconds to pick.

The questions presented all throughout the games are usually related to Filipino culture in some way. For the main game, the questions sometimes revolve around a certain theme. For instance, last month they celebrated the Women’s March with a #MarchForMare themed game, with questions showcasing notable Filipinas and their accolades.

Lunchtime bonding

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Photo from Paydro’s Facebook Page

Paydro has now changed the lunch time game. Much like many of the game shows on TV, the app has also become a lunchtime past time. The opening theme of the game even features Instagram stories of coworkers on their lunch break, screaming at each other either in joy or agony as a result of wins and losses.

Even students are playing the game. Interviews with Paydro players reveal that playing with friends is what makes it more fun. “We get to spend more time together,” says Francesca Santos (22, student). The players also admit that although winning the cash prize was what initially drew them into the game, there were other perks. “It is interesting to learn [new things],” shares Nica Abellar (21, student). “When history questions come up and I’m [not] aware of it, I search and read about it.”

“The game has educational benefits because you get to learn new things and also have fun at the same time,” agrees Francesca. Belle Rosales (20, Student-Intern) says that she specifically looks up names of people that she didn’t hear about before, and what they accomplished and invented.

The game has even given the players share-worthy experiences. Francesca shares that her friends, knowing how avidly she played the game, even requested for a shoutout on her birthday. “While we were playing, the host greeted me ‘happy birthday.’ I was so happy about it,” she recounts merrily.

It’s stories like these that show just how much technology has actually brought people together, rather than create a barrier between them just as many had predicted in the past.

Game shows have come a long way since the age of Wowowee, Game Ka Na Ba?, and Deal or No Deal. While we can still enjoy watching a few of those beloved game shows today, rarely do we ever get an opportunity to be the players ourselves. It’s time to usher in a new age of entertainment and fun, right in the convenience of our home or workplace.

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