Peer Pressure

(ended 1999)


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Peer Pressure

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Welcome to the Peer Pressure guide at Life-sized board games have been the centerpiece of several game shows, dating all the way back to Video Village. It was natural, then, to use a game board as the main focus of Peer Pressure, a game show about teen-aged decisions and dilemmas that aired in syndication. Three teenagers competed. One at a time, each contestant had his/her moves determined via an "8 Ball," which reveals the number of spaces they can move and one of the following stunt- or question-based categories that needed to be completed successfully to advance: • Decision – The player had to guess how the "Peer Group" (a jury composed of about a dozen or so teen-agers) answered a moral dilemma. Sample question: "She's a really pretty, petite young blonde, but often wears plain white T-shirts and blue jeans to school because that's what she likes to wear. Does she turn you off because she dresses like a tomboy?" Usually, the contestant also gave some reasoning. A correct decision to the yes/no question allowed the player to advance. • Odd Job – The player performed a stunt to move down the board. For instance, throwing a certain number of newspapers onto a target placed on a porch within a time limit. • Temptation – Perhaps inspired by the Instant Bargains on Sale of the Century; a prize is announced, and the player could either take it and move two steps backward, or pass it up and move two steps ahead. • Fast Track – Another stunt space, this time more difficult (e.g., preparing three banana split sundaes on a moving conveyer belt within a time limit). After each player has had a turn, the host asked a "Pop Quiz" question, where a correct answer allowed that player to move three steps forward; a three-step penalty was assessed for wrong answers or failing to answer in time. The player who had made the least progress after an undefined time limit was eliminated, with the other two advancing to the "Pressure Cooker" round of yes/no dilemmas (as above). The two contestants turned their backs to a special section of the audience (their "peer group"), and they had to guess how the majority responded to a "Decision"-type question. The first player to correctly guess the outcomes of three questions won the game and bonus prizes. On paper, it wasn't that bad of a game. But some critics ripped Peer Pressure, primarily for its execution (some believed that questions - such as whether to keep a $5 bill that had been picked up, sight unseen, after someone carelessly dropped it in line - should have been no-brainers); morons as contestants (one Web site that was highly critical of Peer Pressure said that when the aforementioned question was asked on one show, the contestant actually answered yes); noisy, piecemealed-together set; and a host who seemed ill-suited to the job. Still, there appeared to be some saving graces in Peer Pressure, if only for its well-intentioned attempt to teach moral values to teenagers.moreless