Games World was a British computer games-based television programme, made by Hewland International and broadcast on Sky One each weekday from 1993-1998. The overall concept of Games World was quite similar to Hewland International's GamesMaster (1992-98), which was shown every week on Channel 4 and had a new set for each series.
The original show also had different formats during the week, these would be The Peep Parlour which was a computer-designed peep-parlour where videogamers would ask for advice from "The Games Mistress" on their games playing queries, and featured the delights of Jet from Gladiators Diane Youdale and an hilarious selection of characters with David Walliams - in his first appearances on TV . This feature had "Master classes" presented by the various videators in which they would guide viewers through particular parts of a selected video game.
Despite being the highest rated British produced TV show on Sky One - beaten only by The Simpsons and WWF Wrestling - The Peep Parlour was dropped for the second series. It was replaced by "Barry's Joypad", and then "Barry TV" or "BTV" for the third series, and also showed reviews including cheats and features, as well as being a comedy show starring Barry himself. This segment of the show had David Walliams' playing the part of Lesley Luncheonmeat, Barry's sidekick.
Recently, an unaired episode from 1994 leaked onto YouTube. Sky refused to show it as they were unsatisfied with Hewland International's approach in the episode to promote GamesWorld magazine.
There was also an interactive phone-in show where callers would play video games live on the air, against other members of the public, with a celebrity guest at the controls while the viewer gave directions. The games were specially designed for the series, but from the mid-point of series two technological advances were brought in allowed players to press the buttons on a touch tone phone to control the games, and were from this point games that could be found on the high street.
The theme was slightly changed so there were two teams involved in this format of the show, with players on telephones and players on telephones in their home shown live on TV cameras. Mostly the contestants playing on the phone but not seen on the show would normally win, the contestants shown live on the show would be picked at random on the street and a filming done earlier in the day of the production crew tracking them down would be shown.
By the third series this format had the added twist of forfeits, in which if the challenger in the home would lose a game. One was that of ripping from the bedroom wall of a young boy a poster of Pamela Anderson, after losing on Super Street Fighter II.
At the end of the week would be the main aforementioned challenges feature of the show.
Season One saw the emergence of Big Boy Barry (played by Alex Verrey) who became the series' most popular character. Others characters over the first year included Master Moriarty, a stuck-up schoolboy, The Games Messiah, Letty Edwards, the Ninja and The Exectutioner; the latter 3 were all dropped for Series 2. Barry won the majority of his games (primarily Sonic 2) as did Moriarty.
Season Two saw the return of Barry, along with Master Moriarty and the Games Messiah. The most notable Videator that stood out from the new guys was Mr Mathers who after a shaky start, found his feet and went on a winning streak. Videators such as Combat Kal, Persian Prince of Perfection and the Violet Blade tended to lose more often than win and all but one were dropped for season 3.
Season Three saw the return of Barry, Moriarty, the now-established Mathers and the Violet Blade (portrayed by Rik Henderson, one of the series' writers). New videators were Trixie Belle, Colin the Console Cowboy, Ragga D, and Electric Eddie. A recurring theme in this series saw Colin the Console Cowboy and the Violet Blade feuding with each other.
Season Four never materialised like it was supposed to in 1995/1996. There was early talk that Barry, Mathers and Eddie would have returned as the domineering players/characters of the show (Mathers and Eddie moreso as players, Barry as the figurehead). New Videators would have been brought in but Hewland decided to cease any plans to do Gamesworld Season 4 until 1998.
Games World ultimately returned in 1998 under Hewland's penative new title of New Games World. Bob Mills was gone and replaced by Andy Collins and the set became an Aztec-themed jungle environment. Even though Dave Perry remained as the last of the original on-screen team (Rik Henderson (The Violet Blade) was now one of the producers of the series) he left towards the end of the series, reportedly disillusioned with the new format and setting.