Chicago based game show Gaming Under the Influence has hit a snag and is asking the public for help. Hitting what show producer Jared Hoffa describes as “a financial roadblock” the program has around a month of cash left to continue broadcasting.
GUI is a live internet broadcast program that combines video game competition with drinking games. Competitors must be able to handle both, along with ping pong balls and attacks by NERF guns, in order to win. Operating several years ago within various Chicago-area bars, the GUI Show returned from hiatus earlier this year with a permanent set location and a new look and feel. For Hoffa, a lifelong gamer with extensive major maket television experience, the inspiration was sparked by a trip to another part of the world.
“I headed over to South Korea for fun and made it a point to see what they were doing in TV and gaming,” he said in a 2013 interview. “As most gamers know, professional video gaming is serious business over there and broadcasted on two major networks. What you might not know is the studio that makes all this magic is smaller than a high school gymnasium and broadcasted in standard definition. The same day, the executives at KBS-TV showed me GAG, a live, improv show that seats 500 audience members every show. It was unbelievable. With that, I had my motivation.”
Not content with broadcasting a program like many gamers do today on services such as YouTube and Twitch, Hoffa looked to create a television broadcast quality show less like an internet broadcast and with more live interaction with both the live audience and the audience watching it online.
“I toyed around with the idea of doing something different than a ‘stream’,” said Hoffa. “I play a lot of games, but I can’t sit and watch someone play games on Twitch. It bores the hell out of me.”
Since returning with the dedicated set in April, Hoffa said the new and improved GUI has been on a good track before this sudden roadblock threatened to derail things. He added that he is concerned about losing what the show has going for it.
“At only 13 shows in and the considerable growth the show has been getting, it would be very disappointing to lose out now,” he said. “This has a very good chance at stopping GUI in its tracks.”
Those interested in helping GUI continue past it’s sudden cash flow crunch can do so via a GoFundMe page set up by Hoffa. It includes rewards such as show credits, advertising spots, custom videos, on-air plugs, commercial spots and more for the various funding levels. It can be found here along with a video package explaining the show’s premise and present challenge. As of this writing they have raised over $2,000 of the $20,000 they will need to keep the show running past mid-September.
More on Gaming Under the Influence can also be found on the show’s official website at TheGUIShow.com.