Life Lessons from a Retro Gameshow

I’ve yet to meet anyone who wouldn’t admit to having a secret love of watching the long-running gameshow, Catchphrase.  In fact, I’m going to be a little bit unconventional with this post by throwing in a classic clip before I even start:

The bright colours, the amusing animations, multiple opportunities for humour upon the unveiling of each panel, and sound effects reminiscent of your ’80s toys… what’s not to enjoy?  Thus I conclude that most people, if not everyone, love a bit of Catchphrase every now and then.  If they don’t they wouldn’t enjoy visiting my house, where the Catchphrase card game lies in wait for unsuspecting guests.

The strength of the game lies in its simplicity.  Forget the over embellished, confusing formats of the more contemporary gameshows – which are often overtly complex for the sake of how much harder it is to be original now – Catchphrase’s objective is much more straightforward.  An hidden image is revealed one small panel at a time, and the sooner you can correctly identify the image as a whole, the more points you win.  You are simply not supposed to know straight away, otherwise the whole purpose of the game would be completely defeated.  With the revelation of each individual panel you will probably find yourself trashing some of your ideas as to the possible solution, and feeling even more convinced by others.

Not only do I think Catchphrase is a great thing to watch in accompaniment with a bowl of crisps and a fizzy drink on cold Winter weeknights, I actually think the concept of it demonstrates a key message…

How often in life do we reach ‘infallible’ conclusions when we can only see a small part of the picture?

An optical illusion has taken the Internet by storm in the past week.  A photo of a bald-headed man kissing a baby was taken from such an angle that upon the first glance of it, the viewer may have been running to the child protection authorities.  I won’t share it here but if you have yet to see it, head over to Google and type in ‘bald head kissing baby illusion’ and up it will pop.  It’s only when you view the image in full that you realise that what you instantly thought was the opening to somebody’s rectal passage is actually just a hairless chap’s ear as he leans down to kiss his baba.

In its reality it’s an image of warmth and love, but what kind of feelings would we have been left with had we not looked at it a little longer, or been able to access the full image to see this?  Rage? Disgust? Concern?

The point is that it’s very easy to make assumptions and formulate opinions based only upon the information which is immediately available to us.  Humans are naturally very reactive types driven by inner sensitivities and if we have a strong sense or feeling about something, it’s very hard not to allow it to develop into what we believe to be knowledge. Waiting to see the full picture requires the necessity to shelve those gut reactions that can envelope us in an instant, and whilst that’s not easy to do, in the long-run it’s critical to making better informed choices and decisions.

In the clip above, what were your initial thoughts about the solution?  You may well have found that these were of significant contrast to the actual answer.  Time and thought can make a huge difference to our beliefs, we just need to permit it to do so.

Song of the Day:  Animal Collective – Floridada

One of my favourite bands are BACK!  Never ones to shy from experimentation, the Maryland quartet return with more of their unique brand of music you won’t hear from many artists out there.  This is a classic.

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