Article from The Sun dated 20/11/2000

Gameshow becomes a hit with the public- 800 people take part in first four hours

KUALA LUMPUR, Sun:

Hundreds of people, some bearing The Sun mastheads, pitted their wits for prizes at an innovative quiz-based gameshow organized by the newspaper at Berjaya Kuala Lumpur Plaza today.

The Sun Match Wit Challenge received overwhelming response from readers and shoppers.

A total of 800 people, with families and friends in tow, participated in the first four hours of the live event.

Many more gathered to sign up for the challenge at the concourse level of the plaza at Bukit Bintang.

Most of them were drawn to the 15-foot screen at the concourse level due to curiosity, which then turned into enthusiasm to participate.

Passers-by outside the plaza were also attracted by what they saw on 100-inch screens positioned at the plaza's entrance and could not resist joining the event.

The gameshow attracted families from the Klang Valley and some even further.

Ewe Poh Nya from Ipoh, who was in Kuala Lumpur with her family on holiday, said she was proud of her family who helped her answer all the questions correctly. She said she did not expect to win a prize.

"I am here with my family for a holiday and I feel so lucky to win today," she said.

Another shopper, Tan Meng Lee, 51, from Kuching, said the game was inventive because it encourages people to read and gain knowledge.

" It is very educational because those who often read the paper will be able to answer, thus it is good for general knowledge," he said.

A lucky couple from Kuala Lumpur, Norman Ong, 26, and Regine Seah, 20, said besides giving them a chance to win prizes, the game also motivated them to learn new things.

Abdul Razak Ayob, 40, also from Kuala Lumpur, who had won himself prizes in the earlier rounds, said he was willing to get more copies of The Sun in order to stay in the game till the final round - all for the challenge.

The event also lured Jackie Lee, 38, from Cheras, to take part together with her mother, brother, husband, children and nephews.

" It's like a family picnic but better," she said.

Organised by The Sun and hosted by Berjaya Kuala Lumpur Plaza, the gameshow was open to all visitors to the plaza and readers of The Sun. It offered a day of fun and excitement with family and friends.

The multimedia software and gameshow concept was provided by First Ray Sdn Bhd with technical support from Fly Management Sdn Bhd.

Article from the New Sunday Times - 19th March 2001

THE game show always does it - gets docile people terribly excited, identifies the geniuses, the bullies and the strategists.

With that kind of buzz for capital, Sivashankar Krishnapillai has moved the gameshow into multimedia and he'll take it anywhere you want to go.

Sivashankar, designer of a portable multimedia gameshow, likes pitching people into risk-versus-rewards situations.

"And watching the diplomats and autocrats surface," he adds. "Put game dynamics and group dynamics together and you have the ultimate learning environment."

The questions he might ask range from Alexander The Great's age when he died, to the birthplace of Bill Gates or the location of the highest bridge in the world to the highest temperature ever recorded on the South Pole.

Not your subjects? Then key in the questions you want to ask your people and combine entertainment with scholastic-level education.

When it comes to strategy and survival, would you go for broke by picking only one of five possible answers?

Or would you hedge by selecting two or more answers and settle for fewer but surer points, confident that the cumulative effect can make you a winner?

Are your employees game-of-chance personalities or out-of-the-box thinkers who can muster language, reason and general knowledge?

The one thing you can bet on is that the game will bring the house down and blow the roof off as individuals struggle with angry "I told you so!" and finally succumb to a group decision with "Okay lah!" which they personally would not have picked.

The game show works straight out of a PC (a laptop will do fine). It can be taken anywhere and is best played in teams, particularly when you need to keep large numbers of people awake after lunch because you want them to learn something. Already, Sivashankar's game show has been played at the July 1998 opening of the Bukit Jalil Stadium and many conferences, training programmes and other events.

At one doctor's meeting on diabetes, medics were posed multiple-choice questions like "What is the ratio of sugar to flour in dodol?"

That more lady doctors got the answer right than men was incidental; what was significant was that the entire profession will never forget it, especially since no one had thought about it before.

A basic game show, available in a kit of manuals and the software for four kinds of games) with licence arrangements on its use, allows the owner to put in his own questions and answers every time he uses it.

"But the flexibility of IT can take it further," says Sivashankar, a chemical engineer trained at Universiti Malaya. "You can be very spontaneous by inserting questions on breaking news as it happens.

"And if we're all connected, you can have people from Perlis to Johor competing simultaneously and have their answers tabulated at one place."

The games one can play are multiple-choice questions, phrase hangman (an incomplete phrase with a hint, first with the correct answer wins), identifying tunes, sounds and pictures, filling up an entire category of objects or subjects and patching logos (an arcade-like jigsaw puzzle, requiring Rubik cube genius).

Because it's IT, more game formats can be devised and one can jump from game to game at the press of a button. It can even be left in a passive mode: word and number games appear on the screen, answers eventually show up. Perfect for airports and waiting rooms.

For a corporate buyer, a customised game show makes an ordinary event interesting as it can communicate an inherent message about a product or a service while entertaining the crowd.

In a training programme it keeps people awake after lunch. With more and more management gurus pointing at group achievement as opposed to individual achievement as being the way to getting things done, such a competitive moment offers whole brain learning and developing personal relationships.

"You can have a CEO teamed up with the office boy," says Sivashankar. "I'll bet the CEO would struggle with questions about motorbikes but the office boy wouldn't. That's how groups find their strength."

When Sivashankar began designing gameshows, answer cards (which seem somewhat primitive today) were the conduits. He upgraded that to manual input. Today, he's using an interface between the participant (holding a buzzer) and the host's PC.

"I'm now developing a wireless communicator," he says. "In the future, I plan to take it to the Web, which means people in distant places can compete simultaneously."

His starting point was the TV game show.

"I was always watching them, passively involved, thrilled by their content," says Sivashankar.

"They were using simple computing, they worked well, they had large TV audiences. But they were stuck on TV."

That gave him the idea to create a portable game show which would get people excited, and customisable for each kind of audience. He started from scratch with a PC.

Windows made it even more exciting, then there was sound and moving pictures - the full multimedia thing.

"A simple idea turned into major excitement," says Kuala Lumpur-born Sivashankar.

He picked up PC use in the 1980s, mainly playing games but going with the IT flow his then employer Unilever Malaysia was heading into. As part of the product development team in a credible R & D environment, his job was to invent, ask questions and find solutions.

"That was brain food," he says, of his former employer which eventually became his first client.

On his days off, he was playing with the PC and found formats for the gameshow idea, which he took to private parties.

"They were a hit even then," he says.

He made the big decision to leave the secure large organisation, set up a company called First Ray (www.firstray.com.) and walked straight into the financial crisis of 1997.

But that didn't stop potential clients who range from sports associations, cultural and religious societies and corporations from asking him to come in for their events.

One department store called him to help train 1,000 SRP-qualified salesgirls. More recently, Gas Works, a Bangsar entertainment outlet, installed it. Almost everybody inside takes part and returns for more.

Sivashankar is now showing his game show to schools and colleges because he thinks they could devise clever uses for it, like teach children about drugs, violence, sex, fire and road safety.

Besides the actual game, an institution can also develop the skills of the game show host which demands speed, accuracy, oratory skills and articulation. And creative thinking skills for the person who designs the content for each game.

"If you introduced a huge element of fun into the learning process, you could actually make learning rather fun," he says.

"In any situation, the main event will always be content. The game show, or any other format, is the vehicle which makes that content thoroughly enjoyable."

Article #2. from The Sun dated 20/11/00 . Gameshow at K.L Plaza.

Far from being at his wit's end

Kuala Lumpur, Sun: " The questions were challenging and did a lot for our general knowledge," said Nor Kamisah Jaapar who was at the plaza with her son, Nik Abdul Hakim Abdul Rashid, 11,for a go at the gameshow.

Kamisah, 37, a former teacher, was seen encouraging Nik to participate and not give up although they had yet to win a prize.

Nik, on his part, was enthusiastically entering round after round.

"My son was the one who really wanted to participate and I am happy to help him through it," Kamisah said.

"We have not yet won any big prizes at the moment but Nik doesn't want to give up," she told The Sun.

Article no : 3 from The Sun Newspaper . Family's efforts earn them top two prizes.

Kuala Lumpur, Sun : Two teams from the same family won the first and second place in final round of the Sun Match Wit Challenge with a total of 76 points each.

The two teams from the Lee family from Kuala Lumpur refrained from taking on a sudden-death question to break the tie saying they preferred to share the first and second places in "true family spirit".

A total of 12 participants entered the final round of the contest out of 16 selected for the finals through eight preliminary rounds held earlier.

The Lee family was beaming with joy when the tiebreaker was announced.

However it was 12-year-old Lee Sze Teng who stole the victory comprising his dad TK Lee and sister Lee Pooi Yeang against his aunty Jackie Lee and Diane Lee.

Sze Teng helped accumulate points which led to the tiebreaker by providing the answer to the question "Who were the first two men to set foot on the moon?"

The gameshow which was an instant hit with shoppers was participated by an "overly enthusiastic" crowd who kept trooping in at the registration counters even after registration was over.

There were those who stayed on from the morning taking part in every round in a marathon quest to be challenged by the quiz masters.

Teacher Abdul Razak Ayub, 40,and biomedical student Che Mansur Che Wan said they are keen to participate in quiz contests as it helps to build confidence and also enhances one's knowledge.

They were among those who took part in all the eight elimination rounds and the finals.

The prizes were presented to the winners by The Sun editor-in-chief Ho Kay Tat.

Ho said the newspaper will try to hold at least two more events before the end of the year and an bigger event next year in view of the enthusiasm showed by the participants today.

Article no: 4 from The Sun Newspaper. Game brainchild of chemical engineer

Kuala Lumpur, Sun: The game show was an instant hit with the public today, was developed by chemical engineer Sivashankar Krishna Pillai.

Sivashankar told The Sun that he first got the idea of creating a gameshow using the multimedia while working as an employee training and educating officer at a multinational corporation.

He said he developed the game as a creative tool for his training needs.

He spent several months developing and perfecting the game and also got some ideas by watching American game shows on television.

Sivashankar said he first tried out his gameshow at family gatherings and at birthday functions.

"When I discovered that my game show was well received by my family and friends, I sought other areas where it could be gainfully presented," he said.

Four years ago, Sivashankar went professional with his specially developed game modules.

They are now being used for corporate events, product and event launches as well as for education and team building by management groups.

Public response to The Sun Match Wit Challenge held at Berjaya Kuala Lumpur Plaza was overly enthusiastic.

Sivashankar attributed this to the "matching of wits" element in the game as people naturally want to be winners and loved to be challenged.

Many shoppers who took part in today's event told The Sun that questions asked were challenging and that it also tested the power of their memory as they had to remember many things that they had learnt in school years ago.

Toon Cooi Seong, a course control manager, said he was drawn by the enthusiastic crowd at the plaza concourse and was inspired to participate.

He found it interesting as the topics covered by the quiz were extensive.

Tong, who came with his family, also said he loves to take part in gameshows.