Oak Games

Home     Info     Apps     Handmade     Stuff     Corkboard      Contact



What if you had a game where you took a group of grade school students, and they voted out the least popular student? For the next round they vote out the least popular student from the remainder. Does that sound like good social fun?

Expedition Robinson




What could possibly go wrong?


I'm one of those people who looks down on these wildly popular "reality" shows with kooky people debasing themselves for the chance to win a lot of money. So for 15 years I never touched Survivor, ever since it started. I just watched a bunch.

The high school popularity thing above actually doesn't apply, although it's certainly food for thought. Tribe members can be voted off for various reasons. You might vote off the football player because he is a threat. If there is an analogy for it, I don't know what it is.

Survivor has challenges, such as this pass the pigs. The challenges are tactile things with wood and rope, involving physical work and mental work, team work and individual work. A challenge is a chain of different activities in a sequence, which is interesting. Challenges are for immunity - so you're not getting voted out - or for a reward, typically food for these bedraggled castaways.
However, the show is really not about the challenges. It's about the intensely social struggle to prepare for surviving the tribal council, where a member of the team gets voted out. Can you trust your coalition to vote out someone else, or is something going on that you don't know about?

I learned a few things from watching superfans and players, who overlap, at Afterbuzz and Rob Has a Podcast.
You sometimes hear about how someone on Survivor is annoying. In fact everybody on Survivor is annoying.
Superfans and players become furious when a player quits. Apparently they are shunned at conventions. This is because so many people have a tremendous desire to be on the show, and also want to see the game played out as it should.
There is a lot of camp work to be done, maintaining the fire and getting water, and this is constant.
Rain is terrible.
There was a young lady hosting Afterbuzz who worked on Survivor, and she has shown a lot of respect for the work of the art department.

Survivor can get dangerous, and even feckless.

I would be very happy to see all the footage of just the animals in Survivor, lizards, crabs, snakes, monkeys arachnids, birds and more. I love to see the hermit crabs, which are not hermits (or true crabs). They had a sloth crawling on the ground the other day.


Jeff Probst on fighting to become host of "Survivor"




Something interesting happened at the Forks. I'll have to explain it to people in terms they can understand.

You know that show you watch a lot and love, and probably binge watch? House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Big Bang or whatever? Now imagine you watch a whole bunch of those episodes, then turn the corner and have three of the characters from the show right in front of you, five feet away?

I ran into three of the cast from Big Brother Canada 3 - a trio of people, together, which is interesting - and said hi and shook their hands.


The first one is Johnny Colatruglio from here in Winnipeg, the second is Naeha Sareen, and the fourth from the right is tall and distinctive Zach "Captain Canada" Oleynik from neighbouring Saskatchewan.

The Game of Thrones analogy doesn't quite work. These players I watched were not playing a character, but playing themselves. They often spoke to the camera, and referred to a character they called "Canada". Big Brother Canada lends itself to surrealism.

I've been watching all three seasons of Big Brother Canada and the 2014 season of Big Brother Australia, and a bit of Big Brother UK.



Big Brother Canada Season 3 - Sarah roasts the housemates

Maybe there's some gameplay there too.




This should be synched up with The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop The editors are the quiet heros of this clip. There's a lot of alcohol in that show. At one point Jon was making drunken final threes.

Big Brother Canada has a good number of players from the Canadian Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia (home of Trailer Park Boys) and Newfoundland.


Why Big Brother Canada is the best in the world

This person has a high opinion of Big Brother Canada. It has been accused of having too many twists. The twists did kind of spin out of control after a while.

Did you know that Big Brother Canada is not the first version of Big Brother made in Canada?



Peter Brown explains the situation.



Marsha the Moose is a popular character, and for good reason. At one point they had a reaction shot where the moose said nothing, and there was a still shot of the moose, and it was funny. Marsha the Moose has a great voice, provided by a local boy from Selkirk, Manitoba, Trevor Boris. They put a lot of work into those sets. Note the presence of penguins, for the authentic Canadian experience.

Big Brother on wikipedia

Two points: The show came originally from the Netherlands. In that show houseguests were not allowed to discuss nominations.


In all the international versions of Big Brother, with the exception of U.S. and Canada, houseguests were not allowed to discuss nominations, and guests nominated by fellow houseguests are kicked out of the house based on how the public votes, so all the players have to do is sit in the house like lab rats and talk with each other. In Big Brother Canada there is a whole lexicon of tactics right from the start that would be familiar to players on Survivor. There are blindsides, alliances, final threes, goats, backdoors and even double backdoors. Reminds me of a porno I once saw.

Which approach is better? That's entirely up to you to decide.

I've heard of BBCAN as 80% like US and 20% like UK. Players in BBCAN commonly refer to an element they call "Canada". Voters from around the country can seriously affect the game here and there, so it's a different beast from the US, and you have to appear likable.


A kookaburra intruder. That's quite pretty.


Big Brother Australia is surprisingly clean in terms of language. This is not a big deal, and you don't notice it - until you watch Big Brother Canada, where they feel the need to swear every second sentence, and people are urinated on a regular basis.

Big Brother Australia has a pleasant-looking place where people hang out by the pool in the sun all day in the hopes of winning a big prize. They don't have the series of competitions like they do in North America. That might sound boring, but it's kind of fun. They have group tasks, which are often funny. Watching this show offers an interesting insight into Australian culture.

Big Brother bills itself as a psychology experiment. Big Brother Australia 2014 split the group at one point into servants and pampered people. The group of pampered people habitually asked the servants to take care of their every whim. The servants worked long and hard, and became furious at the way they were treated. Meanwhile these were all just regular Australian people.

You know what would be neat? If they could have 1-3 guests, with some repetition, just visiting each other from the currently running BB US / UK / Canada / Australia show by walking down some halls. This makes sense when you watch the show. This reward would add a little entertainment for the guests, and a break from gameplay mode, and also provide entertainment for the audience. It's not possible, starting with the problem of geography.

Actually some countries have exchanged evicted houseguests, including Mexico and Spain, which I find amazing.

UK and Germany shows did intersect at one point in a competition (remotely, I assume) to get tickets for a UK vs. Germany soccer match.

In Big Brother Australia one of the housemates, unbeknownst to the other housemates, was swapped with a twin every couple of days. Crazy! They did shenanigans with twins and even triplets in a number of countries.

What do you think a house should look like?


And this is how they do things in Denmark. Watch the first 30 seconds.