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Interview: the creators of Wifi Wars tell us about their new interactive game show

Wifi Wars is the new comedy game show that pits audience members against each other via games, quizzes and challenges – and see’s them win prizes! – all through the use of their smartphone or wifi device.

Hosted by comedian and regular videogames commentator Steve McNeil, Wifi Wars was first performed as part of the Royal Institution’s 2015 Summer Programme. We caught up with Steve to find out how the game has evolved, and what you can expect from their brand new tour.

Hi Steve, thanks for taking time out of your busy, techy schedule. Tell us about Wifi Wars?

Wifi Wars is a live comedy game show where the entire audience plays along! You come in, log in to our wifi network with your smartphone or tablet, and then we beam things to your device so everyone can compete in games, quizzes and challenges to win the show, and prizes! You don’t have to install anything, but do remember to charge your battery!

That’s a lot of data being used. Are you now giving Pokémon Go a run for its money in the data usage department?

Haha, I think we’ve got a way to go to catch them up, but we’re certainly crunching a lot of data – as far as we’re aware, no-one else on the planet has gone to the bother of creating something like what we do on this scale.

You’ve got quite a big tour coming up, what will you be doing to relax on your downtime? Darning, colour by numbers? Or is it all tech, all the time?

I’ll be playing Minecraft on my PS Vita while Rob [Sedgebeer , Steve’s co-creator] drives me around the country. Rob will then spend his nights awake in hotel rooms coding new things for the show. It’s clearly an even division of labour.

Dara O’Briain is also set to host an adaptation of your live show called Go 8 Bit. That’s exciting! Will you be in it yourself?

Yeah! I’m a team captain so I get to battle with people like Russell Howard and Rachel Riley on classic videogames. Rob’s not on screen, but his fingerprints are all over the show; he was Technical Manager for the recordings, and we even used some of our Wifi Wars games in the TV version so, if you enjoyed Go 8 Bit, come to Wifi Wars to get your hands on the toys yourself!

What about if you’re a little useless in tech department and haven’t gamed since the Super NES days, how would you get people like that on-board?

Don’t think of it as video games, just think of it as games or having fun! All of our stuff’s designed to be played on a touch screen so, as long as you have the ability to touch a piece of glass with your finger, you have all the skills you need! And even if you’re not a gamer, you’ve almost certainly got a competitive streak; if you think you haven’t, come along, and we’ll probably have you screaming at the screen before the interval.

Finally, what does it feel like to be a Guinness World Record holder for playing Pong? And do you get any free Guinness?

We were over the moon when we broke the World Record. No Guinness though, sadly. So please buy a ticket for our show and then we can buy a few cans. It’ll help make sure my singing voice is at its peak, to keep Rob entertained on the long drives between venues…

Here’s the video where Wifi Wars broke the Guinness World Record for Most People Playing A Single Game of Pong (286 people, the previous record was 251):

Catch Wifi Wars on their UK tour from 10 September – 20 November. Tickets can be bought now at Ticketmaster.co.ukGo 8 Bit starts on Dave on Monday 5 September at 22:00.

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