Starcade, the cheesy '80s arcade game show, is getting its own Twitch marathon

Starcade was a game show that ran in the early '80s, in which two players (or teams, according to Wiki) played multiple rounds of arcade stand-ups to determine the true King of the Arcade—at least for that week. You can find episodes online—I've embedded one below, in which ten-year-old Shantelle mercilessly stomps a middle-aged man named Harry—but soon you'll be able to watch the entire 123 episode run in a single, epic marathon on Twitch. 

“Based on viewership numbers, it’s clear that the Twitch community has a passion for video games and classic programmatic television,” Twitch business development VP Ben Vallat said. “With Shout! Factory’s Starcade marathon, both of these passions are combined for an entertaining look at the past, while allowing them to be collectively viewed in an interactive manner that defines the future of television.”   

The Starcade marathon is being run in partnership with Shout! Factory, with all episodes "digitized from the original master tapes" to ensure that they look as good as they possibly can. With all due respect to 1982 technology, that's not going to be great, although the trailer above is clearly far superior to the old VHS lifts currently floating around. 

Not that video quality is really the point here: Bob Ross wasn't exactly a hi-def superhero, after all, and he's still quite possibly the greatest thing to happen to Twitch since its inception. But while The Joy of Painting brought out the best in Twitch audiences, I do wonder if the competitive gaming that forms the basis for Starcade—outdated and predetermined though it will be—might encourage a different, less happy sort of response.   

The Starcade marathon will get underway at the end of August on Shout! Factory's Twitch channel. And now, let's watch Shantelle turn Harry into a blubbering mass of loser on national television.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.