In 2002, a TV network launched that gamers and geeks everywhere could enjoy known simply as G4 (or TV for Gamers). It featured content that primarily focused on gaming culture with shows such as X-Play, Attack of the Show, Code Monkeys, Web Soup, and much more. It even soft-launched with a week-long Pong marathon. Needless to say, it was a television paradise for lovers of nerd culture. Unfortunately, that paradise was lost when the network ceased all programming in 2012. Luckily, it was recently announced that G4 is making their long-awaited return!
Fans everywhere have a lot to be excited about, but you may be thinking to yourself “What’s the big deal? It’s just a few TV shows coming back. That’s been happening a lot lately.” Well, G4 returning is actually rather important. Here’s why:
First off, G4 played a massive role in nerd culture becoming as popular as it is today. Currently, superheroes are ruling the box office, countless conventions are held around the world, and video game sales are only going up. Sure, things probably would have eventually gone that way, but G4 definitely helped it along. They didn’t just talk about video games and geeky movies, they celebrated them. Hosts Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn, and the rest treated superheroes and gaming like they were the best things in the world and were worth getting excited for.
G4 was the first network to televise an Esports competition and San Diego Comic Con. The Esports scene did start before G4 had anything to do with it, but televising an event was a huge boost for its popularity and likely helped it to gain even more interest.
Conventions, especially San Diego comic Con and Star Trek conventions, certainly existed for quite a long time, but they were often looked down on or not as spoken about. When G4 sent their team down to SDCC, they treated it like a holiday. It felt like an annual 4-day extravaganza that celebrated all things nerdy as they interviewed celebrities and convention-goers, showcased booths in the exhibit hall, and explored what collectible merch was available. They made Comic Con seem like the coolest event in the world, causing everyone to get excited for it and more people to hope to attend each year.
Now, San Diego may be the king of conventions, but the popularity of conventions that G4 helped to usher in has caused more and more to sprout up around the country and then the world. Conventions and cosplaying are now seen as rather commonplace, which would have seemed miraculous before the days of G4.
With their video game reviews, hilarious sketches, and detailed interviews, the G4 crew celebrated everything in the geek realm and clearly had a lot of fun doing it. Whether it was Kevin and Olivia parading around in their Wonder Twins parody, Adam and Morgan giving us the rundown of the latest games hitting store shelves, or even creating the world’s largest tea-bagging, they all visibly had a lot of fun creating content for us, and it was always a blast to watch.
Best of all, they did all of this while denouncing all forms of gatekeeping. They fought for the idea that women, people of color, and other disenfranchised groups can be gamers and fans of geek culture. Gaming was often seen as a “boys’ club,” but with the help of Olivia and Morgan, many women finally felt more comfortable to speak up about being gamers.
For years, people were bullied and looked down on for playing Dungeons & Dragons, reading comic books, or watching Star Trek. However, the fine folks at G4 presenting nerd culture as something worth celebrating gave Trekkies, cosplayers, comic book fans, and gamers a sense of belonging. The world made us feel like we were outcasts, but watching G4 helped us gain a sense of belonging. It helped us realize that there were countless other people out there with similar tastes and interests as us. If there’s an entire television network celebrating the games, movies, and comics that we enjoy, then other people must enjoy them as well.
That’s what makes G4 so important. It has helped a lot of people feel like they had a place. A lot of nerd culture is normalized now partially thanks to G4, but before that, many of those people you see at conventions or gaming online may not have felt like they belonged, but now they do. They’ve helped a great deal of people feel more comfortable with themselves and their interests, and made them have happier lives as a result. They’ve done this all while being extraordinarily entertaining.
Now, G4 is finally making its return later this year, and it can do the same for a whole new generation. Plus, us nostalgic fans have a lot of reviews, interviews, and funny gags to look forward to. G4 meant a lot to a lot of people, so it’ll be a welcome return.