When I was in elementary school, there was a national “crisis” with math test scores across the United States. It was decided that the way to combat this was to have educational programming on television. Of course, the best way to do this is to put these learning shows on the most watched channel ever: PBS. But just to make sure that the shows are publicized enough, teachers informed students that shows like the revamped 3-2-1 Contact and new shows like Square One Television were airing.
Since I’m such a dork, I was absolutely going to check out these shows. Looking at these shows now, it amazes me on how I used to watch anything. I used to watch Square one every day after school since it came on after the cartoons. Maybe I watched crap, but I wasn’t going to miss Ninja Turtles or DuckTales for crap.
One of the bits that I kinda liked was Math Man. This bit is an obvious play on Pac Man, except the idea was altered by long overdue virgins. A “Pac Man like” creature with a football helmet (WTF?!) would walk around a maze while eating plus and minus symbols. While chomping around the board, Math Man would make this idiotic noise. He would constantly repeat his name while moving around. “Math Man, Math Man, Math Man!” Since it’s’ not a real game, there’s no option to turn off his irritating catch phrase. It’s similar to getting slapped on the back of the head repeatedly by a retarded kid. It’s annoying, but you can’t punch him in the eye because it would be wrong.
Around the maze are random numbers that Math Man would eventually reach and decide if it fits the answer to the math question given when the bit starts. When he reaches a number, a tornado would appear and wait to see if Math Man chooses the right answer. If Math Man chooses a wrong answer, the tornado (aka Mr. Glitch) will chase and destroy him.
Now here’s where I have a problem with this. First of all, why does the tornado appear close to Math Man as he’s figuring out the equation? What kind of cheating BS is that? Even in Pac Man, the ghosts would come out of their home, stumble around aimlessly like Roger Clinton, and then go after Pac Man. Shenanigans!
Get off my shit, Mr. Glitch!
Also, there is no power pellets to save Math Man’s ass. If he gets a math problem wrong, that’s it. Stick a fork in him cause he’s done. He’s floating in the water. Mr. Glitch kills him and it’s game over. The game ends and Mr. Glitch wanders away while muttering under his breath, probably talking smack. I always hated the video games that make you start from the beginning when you die, and this would be one of them. If this game was in an arcade, I would take a shit on it while the employees aren’t looking.
Anyway, as lousy as this game would be in real life, it’s somewhat entertaining to watch just to see Math Man panic like a girl and run from Mr. Glitch. Sometimes they would mix it up and have Math Man and Mr. Glitch switch roles. I guess even the creators of this bit knew that it would get old quick. Eh, I guess people will try anything to get kids to learn. It works.