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Video game network G4 TV pulses to life with cryptic ‘we never stopped playing’ tease

By Benjamin Bullard
G4 logo

Something tantalizingly cryptic is up with G4 TV on social media. The long-defunct cable network for all things related to video games and pop culture pulsed back to life today — on Instagram and Twitter, anyway — with a mysterious video splashing a “2021” date against a game of Pong on an old-school black-and-white television, accompanied by the message that “we never stopped playing.”

For the past five years, it appeared as though G4 had stopped playing, with the former home of gaming mainstays like Attack of the Show! and X-Play leaving television — seemingly for good — back in late 2014. But the network caused a minor viral stir on Friday, with credulous and hopeful fans wondering aloud what might lie ahead.

Whatever it is, G4 is keeping things close to the vest. So far, today’s single tweet is the network’s only new activity — and this is what it says:

Fans of a certain age fondly remember G4 as a TV pioneer for bringing video game news into the pop culture mainstream. The flagship series Attack of the Show!, a daily, hour-long variety show that managed to hilariously skirt the boundaries of cable censorship, saw a rotating cast of co-hosts over its long run between 2005 and 2013. But it reached a high point in the mid-2000s, when hosting duo Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira brought a chemistry and fondness for live-TV risk taking that lent AOTS the feel of a high-wire comedy balancing act.

Munn — whom current fans better know for appearances in HBO’s The Newsroom and big-screen projects like X-Men: Apocalypse and The Predator — was an especially good sport, handling with good-natured aplomb all kinds of live insanity, from enduring a stint on a sofa covered with snakes to seeing how many hot dogs she could binge on at once ... and those are just the mild examples we feel sorta safe describing.

Former G4 TV personalities Kevin Pereira Blair Butler and Olivia Munn

G4’s grounding ethos was all about gaming, though. Through much of the early 2000s, a G4 TV video game review held the same kind of weight as a critical assessment from magazines like Game Informer and websites like IGN. For many fans, the network merged gaming geekiness with pop-culture credibility, with shows like X-Play, Judgment Day, and Ninja Warrior making household names of hosts like Adam Sessler, Alison Haislip, Chris Hardwick, and Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley.

As if to invite even more speculation about what today’s social teases might mean, Attack of the Show! updated its Facebook page (which had been largely dormant since 2011) — complete with a stylized version of its blocky old-school logo, along with the same video teaser that G4 shared elsewhere. Is G4 about to attack the airwaves once more? If ever there were a spot for fan theories to run wild, the old G4 would be the place to encourage it.

For now, we’re imagining away — while keeping our fingers crossed.


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