My friend i80and had an interesting game show idea the other day. He thought of a show where contestants (probably two) are given a whiteboard, a marker, and a programming problem, and the person who designs the simplest and most efficient data structures for that situation wins. It gave me an idea, too.
What if the show involved not just data structures, but entire class abstractions? Or perhaps actually writing code for a specified operation within the given situation? I think I need to give an example.
Let’s say the show begins with the original idea of designing data structures. Whoever comes up with the simplest and most efficient means to store the necessary data gets points, and the other player gets a smaller number of points based on how much less efficient/more complex their idea is.
Finally, the contestants would develop a user interface, if applicable to the problem set forth at the beginning, graded on usability. Tally up the points, and the player with the most points wins a prize such as a trip to Apache, Google, or somewhere (I’d have to work on the destination list).
It’s not fully-baked (neither was i80and’s idea, let’s be honest), but it would be an interesting idea, and probably much more intellectually stimulating than shows like Fear Factor. What do you all think?
Update (2008-01-04): In light of all the views I’ve seen this page get, just let me say that if you steal this idea and get some studio to make it, I expect a cut. Gotta protect intellectual property rights. And set aside an equal share for my friend i80and, too; I did get my inspiration from him.