Vidjagame Apocalypse 258 – In-Game Contests, Real-Life Prizes

Ready Player One is in theaters this week, and whatever you think of it, the core idea of being rewarded with actual riches for doing something in a game is a powerful one. So powerful, in fact, that it’s been done several times in real life. So with help from Matthew Allen and Nathan Ortega, let’s spend this short-form episode diving into five games that were sold on the promise of fantastic rewards for in-game skills.


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Theme song by Matthew Joseph Payne.

If ya haven’t checked out the Laser Time YouTube channel, here’s something swell you might’ve missed!


Kingdom Hearts III
Red Dead Redemption 2
Death Stranding
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Crackdown 3
God of War
Metro: Exodus

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7 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 258 – In-Game Contests, Real-Life Prizes

      1. I spaced out toward the end – did they mention Chris Sims’ SwordQuest comic? It’s REALLY interesting stuff!

  1. This was a fun little episode, glad you guys banked a few top 5s so we’d have content throughout April

  2. You guys missed Vectorman – if you beat Vectorman without using a cheat code, there was a chance that it would display “You Win” with a phone number to call to register yourself as a winner. The first caller won the Grand Prize: a tour of SEGA of America and a starring role in a Sega Commercial! The next 10 won $10,000 each, and the next 90 won a Sega Saturn. This is one of the contests where we *do* know who one – a 12 year old from Albuquerque named Keola.
    Winners had to return their winning cart to Sega, but there were at least 101 winning cartridges produced, and rumors are that some are still out there. If one was verifiable, it might be worth more than the original grand prize!…-a017793447

  3. Treasure Master actually has a second contest level hidden away inside it. No further contest was ever held for it, so it was completely unknown until around a decade ago. Someone tracked down the programmer to ask about the game’s password system, and he casually mentioned the level’s existence. While he didn’t have the password for it, over the last several years a few NES programmers have hacked away at the game and gotten the second level playable. Sadly, getting a working password for it is much more difficult, but it’s fun to see secrets like this getting unearthed after so long.

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