The Genius

By | August 23, 2013

Right, thanks to Kevin G for the tipoff here, The Genius is a Korean reality game seemingly based loosely on the Liar Game manga series (which has been turned into several films and series of a dramatised Japanese TV show).

In it, South Korean celebrities vie to come out on top over a load of game theory tasks and psychological strategy challenges. Winning games earns garnets (each one worth 1m Korean Won, roughly £570) which can be used to buy advantages or trade with other players to buy their favour, at the end of the series the winner’s garnets are converted into cash. Doing worst at a game means you’re up for elimination and have to pick someone to join you in a death match.

It’s very stylishly done, and when the game is entertaining it’s REALLY entertaining. The problem is this really isn’t a show for everyone – when the game is a bit dull an entire episode tends to suffer and at over an hour each that’s a lot of people sitting at a table to get through – and this is something a fair few episodes suffer from – too much maths, not enough action. Whilst South Koreans tend to be smart, good luck in trying to explain the games to an average Westerner in a way that they won’t go “not for me” and switch over. This all said, a western broadcast hour is only about 40 minutes, so it’d be interesting to see how it would cut with 25 minutes lopped off.

Anyway you can watch the entire recent series for yourself with English subtitles thanks to one awesome Youtuber. This is episode one:


I’m currently up to episode 9, and I’d suggest if you just wanted to watch one episode as a sampler I’d pick one of the following (bear in mind it’s an elimination competition so you’d be spoilering yourself if you jump ahead):

Edit: These have been moved since time of writing, you can find them here.

  • Ep 4: Zombie Game – A fun game of subterfuge and logic and bluff.
  • Ep 5: Scamming Horse Race – This is probably my fave ep as it is based around a solvable logic puzzle. Each contestant is given a hint to the result of a fixed horse race, by themselves it’s not enough, but combined with other people’s hints the result is work-outable. Whoever bets the most chips on the top two horses wins.
  • Ep 7: Open Pass – A game based around deck-building which looks like being all luck until some of them work out how to game the game.

I expect a number of readers will really dig this, so there you go.

81 thoughts on “The Genius

  1. Ronald

    What I think makes this program exciting is that there are always the competing goals of collecting garnets and avoiding elimination.

    The actual games do make a difference to how fun the show is, but it’s still interesting to watch even if the games are totally broken.

    [I actually thought the Zombie Game was very broken]

    Also nice is the levels of strategy are deep enough that any player backed into a corner usually has some surprising escape – nobody is ever a lame duck.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I looked up the Zombie Game in the original Liar Game on Wikipedia, it looks like they simplified it here somewhat – I thought it was fun to watch.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        The 5:5 Game (episode 11) is actually the sort of thing I’m surprised hasn’t come up in The Mole or such like, and one contestant’s method is ingenious.

        Reply
      2. David B

        One thing I’m struggling to ascertain is how close a link there is between Genius and Liar Game. There are certain themes and mechanics that are near identical, and yet I can’t see a direct link – the producer is listed as the sole creator.

        Reply
  2. Anonyman

    Oh wow, I love Liar Game (I really need to get back into it, I stopped reading at the Infection Game when it went on hiatus). This is a must-watch.

    Reply
  3. David

    Well it did well enough over there for a 2nd season starting in November, so people must like it..

    A couple of other things:

    -The turnaround is pretty quick, only a couple of weeks between taping and airing (based on some written notes that were shown in an episode)

    -They don’t keep them together 24/7- it’s like a club meeting once a week for a few hours.

    I agree it’s an acquired taste; either you “get it” or you don’t. I agree with you on episode 7, and Episode 9’s main game I thought was pretty good as well.

    Reply
    1. David B

      I’d be surprised if the edit was really that short. There’s an immense number of edits in every show, not least all the comedy graphics they add and – seemingly – full Korean subtitles of what everyone is saying. (Anyone know why they do this?)

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        They do actually briefly discuss watching the episodes back in the show, so the lead time can’t be more than a week or so I suspect.

        Reply
        1. Poochy.EXE

          If fan translations of some cast members’ blog posts/tweets/etc. are to be believed (unfortunately, I don’t speak a lick of Korean, sorry), the final episode was filmed around 2013/07/01 give or take a day, and aired on 2013/07/12. That would put the turnaround time between 1.5 and 2 weeks.

          Reply
  4. Brig Bother Post author

    Something else worth pointing out is that although some of the games are quite dry, the contestants are good fun, in the main.

    Reply
  5. Brekkie

    A random addition to the schedules down under – The Chase is to begin airing on Monday at 3pm on 7.

    Reply
  6. David B

    I have to say that I think The Genius is absolutely tremendous on a number of levels. When you’re trying to create simple games with many layers of interest, not all of them are going to pay off but the hit rate they’ve got is VERY high – probably the Burglar one is the only one that fizzled out very quickly, and maybe the ‘solution’ to the Bread game was a bit of a cop-out.

    It’s hard to pick fault – the production design is very cool, the graphics put ours to shame, and even the theme is rockin’. Maybe the masked figure could have had a bit more fun with the contestants rather than being a bit robotic and over-scripted. Maybe they could’ve run with the different game themes a bit more with some of the prop design. And some of the elimination games go on a bit too long.

    I’ve not got to the sharp end of the series yet but I worry if some of the dinner party atmosphere’s going to be lost when you only have 2 or 3 people left. And yes, you probably cut out 10 minutes without losing much of the entertainment.

    Nevertheless, this is a very solid 9/10. Well done the Koreans!

    P.S. The final ‘trick’ they reveal in the “Open, Pass” game is a well-known magicians’ principle. Some people online suspect it’s a flaw in the game, but I’ll give the credit to the producers – the purpose of the dealer demo was to show the contestants how the cards would be handled.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I don’t think I’m quite so enamoured, although I agree the production is of a very high standard. I spent the first three episodes thinking ‘this is the sort of thing I ought to like, so why is my gut telling me I’m not quite loving it?’ I’m really glad I stuck with it because there are some brilliant episodes but I think in about half of them the main match is too dry only really enlivened by Guya acting in Godfather capacity. Winning Streak and Tactical Yutnori are quite clever but not brilliant to watch, although the later deathmatches are including the surprising inclusion of Dixit.

      There is no chance it would work over here in its current form, although I’d be intrigued to find out what certain producers would do with it.

      Reply
    2. Chris M. Dickson

      And possibly of interest to more people than just magicians?

      *wiggles eyebrows at at least one person reading this thread without identifying them*

      Reply
  7. Kevin G.

    Episode 5 is actually the first one I saw, and that’s what hooked me into it.

    Reply
  8. David

    Will be interested to see what you thing on how they worked the finals in episode 12- I think there were a few good concepts there, but there was one big weakness inherent when they do something like that.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Final spoilers here

      Yes, enjoyed the final and the Mario Kart element, although I couldn’t get my head around what counted as a ‘hap’, and I thought the double would only be for that player because otherwise it’s surely not much of an advantage?

      Yes it’s difficult to maintain suspense in a best of three format when you know the runtime.

      Reply
        1. Brig Bother Post author

          Ah ha – all the same or all different. It was interesting that the poker guy couldn’t get his headcaround it either.

          Also it was quite interesting how game theory with lots of players changed into more mental agility style tasks as the numbers went down, so you couldn’t really win without both a smart social game and decent brainpower.

          Reply
          1. David

            Would have been interesting to see the 3rd game if only to see what the items would have been (If I had to guess based on the illustrations, one would have moved a player forward one space automatically, one would have let them see what was behind every letter in the grid for a few seconds, and the third might have been a gamble- you would go ahead 3 if you were right on your next pick, but you’d go back three if you were wrong)

          2. David B

            I think the penultimate deathmatch game probably should’ve been some kind of Blockbusters-style 2 vs 1 game where it’s easier for the single player, and it’s up to the winner to decide whether they wanted to be the 2 or the 1.

            Nevertheless, they managed to keep the interest up pretty well as the numbers dwindled.

  9. David B

    One of the slightly frustrating things in the direction is that some of the rules come out a bit too late for the viewer to make a judgement call, and some things that the viewer might think of doing aren’t covered at all.

    For instance, in Kong’s Dilemma, no-one emptied – or even rattled – the bottle to judge how many beans were in it. Is that because it was against the rules or because no-one thought of it?

    Reply
  10. Andrew

    Just watched the first episode, like it rather a lot (right down to the fact that the mood goes from campily-overwrought to downright silly by turns, with the anime-inspired graphics to show people’s emotions and stuff). I’m enjoying the ‘play along’ aspect of conjuring up your own strategies you hope to see employed (or smugly believe superior..).

    Reply
  11. Poochy.EXE

    Just watched the entire series, and I liked it a lot. I thought the games tended to be hit-or-miss, but with FAR more hits than misses. Open, Pass was my favorite, because of the whole “hidden depths that were actually hidden in plain sight” aspect of it.

    But on the other hand, the Election seemed like it was mostly just politics and very little game theory, and Catch the Burglar was figured out too easily. I think it would’ve been more interesting if the two players with the most and least gold at the end won and lost respectively, regardless of whether or not they were in the same village as the burglar in the end.

    Also, the special auction item in the Expression Auction was too overpowered, although that was an otherwise interesting game. I think that one would’ve been better if instead of ending the game after the first 10, the players were given two more rounds to also make a 10 and become joint winners. (Allowing the player who already made a 10 to bid and attempt to block the others, with the risk of screwing up their own 10 if they accidentally buy another tile.) Or just get rid of the special auction, or have more than one of it up for grabs.

    But other than those issues, I generally loved the games as well as the lateral-thinking solutions and loopholes that players figured out, especially in 1-2-3, Open, Pass and 5:5. It gets a solid A in my grade book, and I’m looking forward to the next series.

    Reply
    1. David

      Since you were bidding garnets for it instead of cubes, the special item had to be powerful.

      Reply
    2. Ronald

      “Expression Auction”:
      There was a clear strategy to block use of the special item at the key moment, which would have made it more interesting… but alas nobody spotted this.

      The rules stated that players reaching 10 at the same time would tie – was that possible?

      Else:
      I thought it was a shame that a particular deathmatch game was played quite so often – especially since one player had a massively advantageous handle on the game.

      Reply
      1. David

        Since only one person could win an auction, no. There could be multiple winners if after the last auction, multiple people had the same number away from 10 (say 2 people got 9- they’d both win. If one had 9 and one had 11, the 11 would win. That’s why there was a max prize of 20 garnets available).

        Reply
      2. Poochy.EXE

        Yes, there’s a clear strategy to *attempt* to block it, but you would need both conspirators involved to be faster than the guy holding the special item.

        And I also think it’s impossible to get a tie at 10, but I find it odd that they explicitly and proactively mentioned what would happens in that case. Is there some obscure loophole that nobody noticed?

        Reply
        1. Ronald

          Depending a little on the exact rules for deciding who gets to bid next, I’m sure the special item holder would have been tricked exactly once – enough to add some excitement to the game.

          Regarding the winners on 10: I wondered if they were trying to imply that you could agree an exchange of tiles, but this seemed to be excluded by the rules(?)

          Reply
  12. Ronald

    The player who receives a series 2 garnet at the very end of the final episode is best known in the West as the hip-thrusting ‘Elevator Guy’ in the video for Gangnam Style.

    Reply
  13. Dale

    Just out of curiosity does anyone know what the maximum prize fund would of been if all garnets were earned and none were spent?

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Good question, and quite difficult to answer because many games could have joint winners which would pay everyone, so if everyone got 20 in the expression auction that’d presumably bring 100 (might be 80, forgot how many played) into the game by itself! Also I don’t know how the odds were assessed in the horse racing game, other than more chips = lower odds.

      Garnets are a measure of efficiency, and if everyone worked together to game the system it could be a very large prize. But because there is only one payout, this inevitably leads to conflict.

      Reply
      1. Dale

        I didn’t think about it that way LOL, I may watch it back when I get a chance to see if I can get a rough estimate on roughly how much could of been won. The only time an prize fund was mentioned was in the first episode when the bandage man said “for example if a participant had 100 garnets it would equal..” but then he said it could be more. I am not familiar with what the typical prize fund is for a show in that country so its hard to even come up with a estimate just based on that alone.

        Reply
      2. Ronald

        I know!

        The horse race was a variant of parimutuel betting.
        Chips in = chips out.

        Looking at the Scamming Horse Race:

        So since there were 160 chips at the start, there could be 160 chips at the end.

        In Scamming, there were 157 at the end, not clear if this was for rounding errors or because some chips went unbet.

        In the end there was a conversion rate of 10 chips held = 1 garnet.
        If everyone agreed to make the exact same bets, 16 garnets were possible.

        They didn’t do badly to claim 13 garnets but spent 3+4+5+6=18 on hints.

        Reply
        1. Ronald

          Ugh, I meant the Confined Scamming Horse Race, the Episode 10 one.

          I looked at that one because I remembered they showed all the relevant numbers.

          Reply
    2. David B

      The theoretical maximum amount is potentially silly money because (e.g.) in the horse race, if 10 players were equal winners, that would turn into 200 garnets – and there’s too many unknown rules such as what happens when there’s an all-in tie.

      A more pertinent question might be – given the results that actually happened, what would’ve been the total if nothing was spent?

      Start: 13 players given 1 garnet
      Game 1: 2 joint winners, 1 garnet each = 15
      Game 2: 20 chips turn to garnets = 35
      Game 3: 4 bread convert to 1 garnet = 36
      Game 4: 5 players get 3 points each, turns to 3 garnets each = 51.
      Game 5: 42, 36, 24, 22, 20 and 13 chips convert to 4, 3, 2, 2, 2 and 1 garnets = 65.
      Game 6: 5 members of big village win 2 garnets each = 75.
      Game 7: 1st and 2nd place win 5 and 2 = 82.
      Game 8: one winning player has one kong = 83.
      Game 9: one player achieves 10 = 93.
      Game 10: chips converted to 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1 garnets = 106.
      Game 11: winnner scored 7 points = 113.
      Game 12: 20 added to the prize = 133.

      In practice, the real maximum would be a bit lower because in some DeathMatch games, you’d need to spend at least one garnet on chips. That said, they must’ve had a contingency rule for a situation where the two players had no garnets and other players refused to give them any.

      The actual series of results differed this way:

      End of Game 3: 33 (they spend some on extra tickets)
      Game 4: 45
      Game 5: 56 (they spend heavily on extra hints)
      Game 6: 68
      Game 7: 53 (they buy chips for Indian Poker)
      Game 8: 54
      Game 9: 57 (heavy spending on extra decks)
      Game 10: 52 (spend again on extra horse hints)
      Game 11: 59
      Game 12: 79 (Mr Bandage adds 20 to the pot)

      I don’t like the forcing of buying Indian Poker chips with garnets; that seems a rather needless drain. I can live with the occasional ‘spending has the opportunities for larger gains’ ploy, but sometimes it felt like there were too many times when they were forced to overspend.

      I suspect they intended the prize to be around 100k, hence the 20k boost at the end to make the prize a bit more handsome.

      Reply
      1. Dale

        Good work! I agree with you on the buying chips with garnets bit. It seemed a bit much, I did like it when they made them use their actual garnets to play Indian poker since the garnets would be given to the winner player anyways. All in all I cannot wait to see the next series. I really think this show would work in the UK, it probably wouldnt do to well in the US because they would try to turn it into a serious show. While it does have some serious moments with confrontations and bribes and such, the over all feel to the show is just for the participants to have a good time and hopefully get some money in the end.

        Reply
        1. David B

          Where d’you think it’d play in the UK, though? Channel 4 has rather lost its confidence and plays safe with series 19 of Kirstie and Phil. BBC2 doesn’t really do reality shows these days – it’s entertainment is Q&A shows, panel shows and cookery competitions. BBC Four is a reasonable fit – especially if you can sell it on the logic/maths aspect – but I’m not sure their budget would *quite* go far enough, and I dunno if it can get away with anything relentlessly entertainment-based these days. BBC Three seems happy to portray young people as drunk idiots.

          It makes me a bit sad that this show can be done so well on channel 12 of a South Korean cable station and yet there doesn’t seem to be a natural home for it in the UK…

          Reply
          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Unlikely suggestion: Could it work on Dave? Or SyFy? It’s mostly people talking over some tables, you could film it with the contents of my change jar.

          2. David B

            I think it deserves higher profile than SyFy.

            Although the marginal cost of each episode is fairly cheap (a few props and a 2-minute graphic video), it must cost a fair penny to have 13 celebs involved – they can’t be doing it just for the longshot of the prize money.

            I just hope whoever gets the rights first doesn’t meddle with the magic of it too much. It does so many things right.

          3. Dale

            My first thought would be SyFy just because of the atmosphere with the bandage man, but they really blew it on Exit this year. I would actually think it would do great on The Discovery Channel, it would appeal to the reality show fans as well as the audience who likes a smart show. The Colony which was a post apocalyptic themed reality show which saw participants partaking in a end of the world scenario did really well. While they are completely at the opposite end of the spectrum as far as shows go, The Colony did interject bits of science/psychology from experts in a similar way that The Genius does its strategy breakdowns and flashback/forward scenes.

          4. Chris M. Dickson

            Good question. I’d be inclined to wonder whether Sky might give it a go and suspect that the most appropriate place for them to stick it would be Sky Arts. If Cleverdicks was their madly misconstrued attempt at a high-brow game show, perhaps this could be the rare way to have a go at a high-brow elimination show. There’s always Five, in theory, which doesn’t stand for anything and so just about anything is conceivable. Hey, they had The Mole back in the day, so…

            I have half my fantasy casting list worked out for a UK version already, but can’t help feeling that that’s taking things far too far and very nerdily indeed. Suffice to say that any Victoria Corens who’ve previously intimated that they always kind of sort of wanted to give Celebrity Big Brother a go but wanted to play proper games on it rather than “watch these celebrities be made to look silly” would surely be straight down on the list.

            A different way to look at it: is there any reason why this couldn’t fly in Germany?

          5. David B

            We’re agreed that it would fly in Germany. Whether a German hitvwould turn it into European hit is debateable.

            It’s definitely the sort of thing VCM would sign up for. But I also quite like the way the original series skews fairly young, to show a more positive side of 20-somethings as an antidote to Big Brother, not that it’s competing with that particularly.

      2. Brig Bother Post author

        I thought the chips they bought in Indian Poker turned back into garnets at the end? So they weren’t really spending any, it was a way to extend the game between people with mid-single figures.

        Reply
        1. David B

          It’s hard to tell, but I don’t think that’s the case.

          It looks like I got confused above – they bought decks in episode 7, the spending in episode 9 was for the special item.

          Reply
          1. Brig Bother Post author

            They definitely get traded back, see 58 minutes into episode seven.

            There was one episode where the watching players could bet on the outcome.

  14. kitG

    Loved this! Wasted most of my evening this week watching it from start to finish and thoroughly enjoyed all the games. Open, Pass was a particular favourite!

    Reply
  15. Chris M. Dickson

    OK, I bet three chips on this for Best International Show 2013. There’s always the chance for it to be overtaken by, say, Million Second Quiz, and there’s always the risk that it might suffer from being a one-week sensation rather than something with the benefits of being shown repeatedly like an Avanti! or a Raab, and I’m not sure how many people will see it apart from people who have seen this particular thread. Perhaps if we get to follow a second series on a sequential basis then it will become a Thing the like of which we have not seen for many a year. Nevertheless, I think there is a huge response from those who have seen it. At the very least, can we declare translator Bumdiddlyumptious to be a Friend Of The Bar? (I know, I don’t make the rules…)

    Perhaps the show impresses more through the extent to which it is epic in its scope and ambition rather than anything else. The play-along value, which should have been immense, perhaps did not quite live up to its potential for me – I ended up feeling a bit lost by things sometimes, which was disappointing. Perhaps I shouldn’t have binged on the whole lot when I’ve got a cold and cannot properly concentrate.

    The music was tremendous. I wonder if there might be a soundtrack available? There’s a particular piece of K-pop used a couple of times that sounded to me like it might have come from the 1990s computer demo scene, but if it had done, it would have been from the best demo ever. (I don’t need to explain what I’m referring to there, do I? I feel quite old enough as it is…)

    Reply
    1. Kevin G.

      A lot of the music was various pieces of the Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen soundtrack. I heard the Cowboy Bebop anime intro a handful of times.

      And, of course, the statutory minimum amount of dubstep/electronic music.

      Reply
    2. Mister Al

      I’ve done a bit of online searching and, after stumbling across their Reddit activity — http://www.reddit.com/user/Bumdidlyumptious — it seems likely that the subtitler isn’t so much a fan of game shows as simply a fan of contestant and Starcraft player Jinho. With (presumably) different contestants in Series 2, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to go to so much subtitling effort again. Pity.

      In the meantime, here’s that theme music in full: http://youtu.be/IAH43-XiMCM

      Reply
      1. David B

        That’s right. There’s a very cute (if brief) on-screen joke referring to his gaming in the Confined Horse Race episode.

        If everyone reading this sends a msg to the subtitler, you never know – they might persevere for series 2.

        ALSO, Mr Bandage at the end says “Your game will continue…” – I know it’s unlikely but I wonder if that means that the losing contestants stay on and only that guy you see at the end of episode 12 is the sole new contestant? It would kinda make sense given the plot of the Liar Game…?

        +1 for the theme tune link!

        Reply
        1. Dale

          That would be a interesting way to cast a show but I doubt it. I could see the winner coming back each season as a way to protect their title but they would be a huge target, much in the same way if there was only one new player they would be out quick.

          Reply
        1. David B

          From the same album, ‘Sunset Strip’ and ‘Toad Song’ are also used in the series during the game rules videos. ‘Even Floor’ also seems familiar.

          Reply
          1. Chris M. Dickson

            Outstanding work all round. Sunset Strip is something I thought I would never hear in full and is well worth CHOOOOOOON out of five. Even greater credit to the show editors who have accurately picked out the best bits of the tunes to use on the show.

            Other matters arising, though I can’t imagine we can know many of the answers yet:

            1) Do many of the games within the episodes stand up to a second playing? Would a second series really need all-new games? Are there many really sound games left untapped, or is this really meant to be one of game shows’ greatest one-hit wonders?

            2) Is it the case that a lot of these games have something of a trick to them? Is it the case that you would expect to see someone who’s seen these games be played once be an overwhelming favourite ahead of someone who was coming to them fresh for the first time?

            3) I wonder if it might be practical to get a load of gamers together and run this in real life at some games con or other? My gut feeling is “actually, possibly not as practical as you think, given how long some of the games must actually take in practice”, but could there be a way to make it happen with – off the top of my head – something like 8-10 starting players and an assumption that they’re willing to spend 10-12 hours on the whole experience?

          2. David B

            This is one of the format’s weaknesses, if we’re being honest – having prior knowledge would definitely allow you to find your feet quicker than most other contestants.

            There’s probably going to be some games that you can repeat (the Horse Race game was ‘repeated’, after all), some you could adapt to other countries but they’d probably need some different ‘tricks’, but things like the 5:5 Game would be completely blown if someone’s seen the original videos.

            I dare say you could find a completely new set of games without too much difficulty – most games seem to be based on fairly standard principles and themes. I’d have thought some form of the Smuggling Game and Minority Rules from Liar Game would work. With a second series guaranteed, they’re gonna have to find at least a few new ones…!

          3. Chris M. Dickson

            There were a couple of games that had definite tricks to them and if I remember correctly, it may even have been the same person who figured them out and used them. So an open question is: given that there is time between the recording of each episode, did this contestant spend time researching what sort of game theory games might be played between episodes (perhaps by reading a certain manga…) and working out in advance if there are any tactics that could be planned for them, or were they just smart enough to figure things out on the day? In a sense it doesn’t matter – there’s almost a part where it’s a good thing if it happened because part of the attraction of the show was seeing the games played so well, and whether the contestants figured the routes out for themselves or whether they had researched and figured possibilities out beforehand is irrelevant. This might make the issue of “is it a problem if the contestants have seen the material before?” less of an issue, and the inclusion of more material like the Set variant that cannot be prepared for works as well.

          4. Chris M. Dickson

            Idle free thought: I wonder if it could work to do a version of Scientific American’s Luring Lottery as a game in a later series? I envision this being fairly early on with perhaps ten contestants or so.

            The setup is that (perhaps) three lotteries are played, one at a time. Each contestant can submit as many entries into each lottery as they like within – say – half an hour’s discussion time, perhaps with a comedy proviso that each entry requires them to fill in a form taking a few seconds. The prize for the first lottery is 10,000 chips divided by the total number of entries, the prize for the second lottery is 30,000 chips divided by the total number of entries and the prize for the third lottery is 100,000 chips divided by the total number of entries. The number of entries is counted up, one entry is drawn at random and the appropriate number of chips is awarded to the winning entrant. After the third lottery, chips are converted into garnets at a ratio of 100:1. The winner is the player with most chips after the three lotteries and chooses one of the non-winning players as loser.

            In theory it means that garnets can be won at an incredible rate, and the fact that just because someone wins some garnets does not mean that they can’t be taken from them in a later death match, or even distributed freely among the players, might encourage co-operation. In practice the incentive to win the game (and hence immunity) by winning the lottery would surely make things tragedy-of-the-commons-tastic, and seeing people filling in entry form after entry form would be funny.

          5. Brig Bother Post author

            I’m not sure if this would fly in its current form because it seems too overtly chance based, when the show tends to shy away from that sort of thing really.

          6. Brig Bother Post author

            AWESOME, nice find everyone.

            Now: does anyone know the tune that plays towards the end of the match when someone goes to make a winning move? It’s the one with singing.

          7. David B

            There’s half a day’s worth of TV there – you’ll have to give us a time code. Or is it the Moby track I mentioned earlier?

  16. Jenny

    I stumbled upon this site by accident while searching for more information about this game show. Since the news of Noh Hong Chul, that Elevator Guy you mentioned, appearing on the second series broke, it had generated a fair bit of buzz. He is a member of long-running Korean variety show Infinite Challenge, so that increases the likelihood of the second series being subbed. The problem is finding the series in decent quality for proper viewing.

    (Sidetrack: Infinite Challenge has been running for 8 years now and a staple of many Koreans’ life. Here’s one of the more recent theme: Attack of 100 Baldies -(1) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k1qsWxAfQWeH7i4HqGE ; (2) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k1vKNPa8nY08764HoTb . English subs are notoriously difficult to find due to MBC’s stringent copyright rules.)

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  17. Blow

    Poor guy’s going to get ganged up on even more than he was in season 1.

    Reply
  18. Pingback: Explaining ‘The Genius’ – What’s the Fuss About a South Korean Game Show?

  19. Chris M. Dickson

    Now then! I’ve jumped this far back for a reason. If you’re in the New York area, look out for The Contagion Game staged by Ironmark Games.

    According to someone who played a public beta of it last night, it’s a live action interpretation of… well, I shouldn’t say quite what outright, but you can probably guess from context. Comments about it from that player included “it felt like it needs workshopping” and “not ready for primetime”, but that’s why you have public betas, and I choose to believe – based on no evidence – that they’ll tidy up the rough edges sooner rather than later.

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