If you’re not from the UK, there’s a good chance you have no idea what this is. GamesMaster was a British television show that aired from 1992 to 1998, and was the first ever UK television show dedicated to computer and video games.
According to Wikipedia, despite competition with specialist gaming magazines, the show managed to secure several exclusives over the series, showing games that were months or even years away from being finished. Because GamesMaster was largely a challenge-based show, games studios could, for example, present a single level to be used for these competitive segments. Blast Corps is one example of a game that was demonstrated long before it, or even the Nintendo 64, were released.
Although it featured game reviews, most of the show was about challenges where game players would compete against one another for the title of GamesMaster Champion. Contestants who were successful at their challenges were rewarded with the coveted GamesMaster Golden Joystick trophy.
One of these Golden Joysticks has made its way onto eBay. (Thanks Dave!)
From the auction:
The iconic Gamesmaster Golden Joystick award was coveted by fans of the show and computer games experts all over the country. Now you can own one without having to be an expert at Street Fighter II or building a time machine to travel back to the ’90s and apply to go on the show.
This treasure was recently unearthed when the prop stores at a well established television production company was having a clearout. It’s impossible to say whether or not the item is a genuine Gamesmaster Golden Joystick, but given where it was found it is likely that it has been passed on from the original production of Gamesmaster as surplus stock when the show wasn’t re-commissioned.
I have tried to find images to cross reference on the internet, but haven’t had much success and I understand there was more than one version.
As can be seen from the photos, the joystick is properly hot plated (not painted) giving it a truly metallic finish, so this has not been made in someones workshop or shed, it has been professionally produced. The brand is ‘Logic 3’ and it has no wires connected to it. The case is constructed from acrylic, again in a fashion consistent with professional prop makers, though it does have a couple of scratches and 1 small crack. The joystick itself has also unfortunately picked up a couple of scuffs (I can email more detailed pictures to any serious bidders) The biggest drawback is that the base from the case is missing! I will be able to have a new one made for the winning bidder, but ideally would want some reference pictures for authenticity.
**** I can now confirm that the joystick is indeed identical to the ones issued in series 5 of Gamesmaster, as can be viewed on youtube. It is also the same style as the one won by Richard Herring and subsequently destroyed live on TMWRNJ by co-host Stewart Lee (also available to view on youtube) This leaves no doubt in my mind that the item is genuine****
Check out a YouTube video of the show here. It’s absolutely ridiculous – in a good way. It’s like the Top Gear of video games.