I miss Cybernet, the greatest video game TV show of all time

4 min read
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Cybernet-2

If there’s one thing I love about this industry, it’s that information on new games has always been delivered in a manner which reflects the evolution of how this news is gathered and dispersed. Think about it: Chances are, you used to throw down a few bucks every month for a magazine that was filled with previews, reviews and walkthroughs. Like the latest issue of SEGA Pro that I just picked up, hot off the presses and finally in Port Elizabeth.

These days, your news comes from other sources. Instantaneous aggregates of news, delivered by a ragtag band of inbred chimps who can barely string a coherent sentence together as they scramble to be the first. Hell, maybe you prefer to stream your news on YouTube and Twitch, or even just skim the headlines on Twitter. But what about TV?

Proper, informative gaming shows are a rare treat these days. I’m talking about the kind of show that spoke about games and treated their audience like the massively obsessed enthusiasts that they are. And there was one TV series that set the bar, all the way back in 1995: Cybernet. I loved it. I adored it. I’d race home on a bicycle that I had modded to be more like a motorcycle with a DLC add-on empty Steri-Stumpie bottle that was installed between the front wheel and the fork.

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Cybernet-1

You have to understand that actually getting to see prime-time exposure for video games was a damned luxury then. Actually seeing a shop that specialised in video game sales was the equivalent of seeing a decent sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop. And Cybernet wasted no time in setting up a great format for delivering the news. You had what appeared to be a breakdancing robot that may have been related to Kanji from Furi-Kuri, before diving headfirst into a half-hour of content.

Reviews, previews, top ten and no clickbait. It was fantastic stuff, regular and made me realise how attracted I was to skin-tight latex outfits when they ran a special feature on Dungeon Keeper 2 that included an interview with the Mistress and Horny. Here’s what really grabbed me with Cybernet however: The writing.

Smart, technical and voiced by the lovely vocals of Lucy Longhurst every week for several years. Credit where credit is due to previous Cybernet hosts such as Steve Priestly, Steve Truitt, Catherine Fox and Fran Stafford, but to anyone who watched the show, Longhurst was the only voice of Cybernet. And up until the age of 17, I genuinely thought that she was a TV-faced robot with a cool personality that was obsessed with games.

You don’t get shows like this anymore. And I’m not sure that they could even survive on TV, a medium run by coked-up executives who are massively out of touch with their audience. Hell, I’m not even sure that they could survive the sensitive gaming crowds of today, without some controversy for something as minor as having a genderless robot busting a beat on the small screen.

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But at least I’ll always remember Cybernet as the TV series which really made me fall in love with video games.

Last Updated: February 16, 2016

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Michelle

    I agree I loved watching it,kids these days don’t know what they missed rushing home from school to watch the latest news on gaming.

    • Cybernet was the best damned thing on TV. 😛

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        Don’t forget Reboot. I used to have such a crush on Dot!

    • Commander Admiral Chief

      Preach it!

      Internet has spoiled those damn kids!

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        I read that as…. “Filthy millennials – cut your hair and get a job not a patreon tugboat, ya damn hippies!”

  • Umar

    Scrambling to get a piece of paper and a pen to write down those cheat codes 😀

    • Hammersteyn

      Hahahaha yes!

      • Umar

        Couldn’t find paper once, so wrote it on my school shirt. Mom klapped me hard, but I got the level select cheat for Phantom Menace. Worth it.

    • chimera_85

      Hahahaha indeed

  • PoisonedBelial

    Lucy Longhurst’s voice…

    My 1st crush.

  • HvR

    That hints and cheat section at the end was pure gold since dail up internet was reserved for the kids of Whitey Basson and Raymond Ackermann.

    Still remember seeing the section on the C&C dinosaur missions and then followed by the sadness of finding out that it is only if you have the expansion

  • HvR

    Friday evenings at 17:00 if my middle aged brain remembers correctly.

  • Umar

    It’s strange though…looking back at this, and seeing how much has changed since. For better and worse it seems.

    • Hammersteyn

      No preorders, no dlc, no season passes, no massive day one patches… Drop me off in 1990 and leave me there

      • Umar

        Simple times. Games are great now too though, but back then…it was just so, simple, I guess.

        • Hammersteyn

          Sonic the Hedgehog games still meant something. That’s a start.

        • As you said, games now are AWESOME. We fondly remember those days with massive nostalgia, but the games were nothing on what we have now.

          • Umar

            Games these days has nothing compared to games back then! Literally…Hardly any game modes or other content 😛

          • Hammersteyn

            Or story Gaaaaaah Trevor infected me!

          • lol

          • I think we are spoilt shitless to be honest. We have amazing games now and people remember moving a square blob about and say it’s the best thing they ever played.

          • Hammersteyn

            square blob, you climbing out of bed?

          • I don’t remember appearing in a game, but if you say so!

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            So Pong isn’t a game about you?

          • Umar

            Doesn’t apply to everything though. There’s a shitload of old games still relevant and better than a lot of modern games. They all have their place in history though, but I get your point. Nostalgia blinds a lot of people.

          • Hammersteyn

            Like Doom 1 – 2,Quake 1 – 3, Duke 3D for starters

          • Umar

            Yeah, Doom still holds up incredibly well. There’s a lot of other examples too.

          • What games from the 80s are still relevant other than in a history way? Sure there are games like tetris people still play, but very few people still play games from that era in that same form.

          • Hammersteyn

            Tricky question, will need to get a lost of games released in the 80’s But like I listed below. Some old school FPS games still holds up very well

          • I just think if you sent someone back who harps on about the glorious days of the 80s they would be in for a BIG surprise.

          • Hammersteyn

            I’d miss internet and DSTV sure but once a rewind that first VHS tape 😀

          • Ir0nseraph

            LIES you need to get off the couch to change the Tape 😛

          • Hammersteyn

            And I did, and like a super fit greek adonis I was fit and healthy and enjoyed life. Now I sit and complain in the comment sections ever day :{

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            See, things do get better.

          • Hammersteyn

            Well I met the master race so it cancels the good out

          • Ir0nseraph

            XD

          • Umar

            80’s? Well that’s going way back though, but a lot of the NES and SNES generation of games are still played today, and their arcade counterparts. Megaman games are still prime examples of good level design and games like Street Fighter 2 and the original Smash still get played in the competitive scene.

          • What I am getting at is how people all scream about how great the 80s were. There were loads and LOADS of shit games back then, maybe I just remember them more because I’m so bloody old. Cartridges that came with 100 games that were worth less than Trevor’s opinion that people bought because most games were crap. Sure, totally agree there were some shiners like SF, Mega-Man, Smash etc, but they were far more few and far between than our currents generation’s. Just watch Angry Video Gamer Nerd to see the crap we had, and I mean HAD, to put up with back then. We’re lucky now as you can find pretty much anything you want, whether that be games where you make some girl’s boobs jiggle on your commute to work, or a game that has Matty crying like the cabbage he is. I think we have it lucky now.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            bwhahahahaha. Who could you possibly be referring too? OLD SCHOOL! RETRO!

          • Exactly!

          • Commander Admiral Chief

            I think if the teenage boys that ogled Lara saw bouncy physics today, the jizzplosion would cause worldwide flooding

          • lol! Yeah, I mean they were doing that at hexagonal shapes back then, can you imagine now!

          • Umar

            Oooh, well, yeah no. Gaming is better now, maybe gaming practices are more shite, but it’s really something amazing now.

          • Hammersteyn

            He only plays the shitty games. Heck I’ve played some of those shitty ones and not having an idea how to land the plane in Top Gun made for hilarious times when it came to that part. Also even though the first TMNT game has hard as balls we all played it to death because it was all the rage back then. I think the problem is that we didn’t care as much, because we couldn’t complain to anyone. Now the the power of the internet we can rage and troll and type words filled with piss and vinegar because we believe someone will read it and take note of our perceived injustice we felt the publisher served us. heck I’d probably still be playing EA games

          • DragonSpirit009

            I think back in the 80’s things were just simple. Sure if we play those games now we would think they are super crappy and saying “What were we thinking?”. But back in those days gaming was really picking up and everything that came out was just awesome. Everyone was experiencing gaming on a whole new level and some of it made a really big impact on our lives and in gaming today. I mean we didn’t know much about fps and 3D stuff but we played it because it was awesome at the time. Back then no one really imagined how gaming would have evolved. In today’s day and age we know gaming is evolving to the next level and we know they might reach it, but I feel the excitement we had in the 80’s for games were a lot more than today.

          • HvR

            Success of Mario Maker?

          • Indeed.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            That square blob had an amazing story though. And secondly that square blob has a name, Thomas.

          • Shut your face. That story has heart, and we know you don’t.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Why are you so mean, just like a teenage girl? 🙁

          • Hammersteyn

            Like the one who sings about Friday?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Rebecca Ginger?

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

      • iusedtobe(a)regular

        Yip, villain kidnaps princess, hero saves princess end of story and we were happy. I still remember when they reviewed Tekken 3, my mind was absolutely blown. When gaming was gaming. Good times.

  • Spathi

    Cybernet and then Reboot – Brings back so many good memories.

    And Darryn, you are definitely not holding back in your quest to be Batman of the Week again…

  • HvR

    After watching that video I have this strange urge to try and find Beyond 2000 episodes.

    • Hammersteyn

      Was always on Sundays

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        I remember waiting for “open time” on Sundays to watch cartoons.

        • Hammersteyn

          Omg I miss my childhood.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Me too.
            I miss lying on the couch with only the new animated show on your to do list.

          • DragonSpirit009

            I miss the simplicity

        • DragonSpirit009

          Wow yeah, those were some tortured days… Kids today will never really experience that!

        • Is that when you were let out your cage?

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Apparently I could see the tv perfectly fine from my cage

          • Hammersteyn

            There was a mirror in the room?

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Yes. But no windows.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            At least you had a friend.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Opinionated bastard though.
            #selftrolling

          • Hammersteyn

            My parents told me to play outside when we had company bu gameboy wasn’t invented yet 😐

          • HvR

            Only a red hat?

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Touché

          • Hammersteyn

            LOL and a stuffed penguin

          • DragonSpirit009

            I know the feeling!

        • HvR

          Middle class “poor” kids unite 😉

  • Captain JJ ‘saurus

    Holy cannoli. I forgot about this show. I loved it so much.

  • The old feels are kicking in.

  • Hammersteyn

    I feel like a kid again!!!

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      Yea man. Me too. 😀

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I don’t think I ever watched this.

    • Hammersteyn

      Well, you never do anything fun

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        I don’t think Trevor would understand that sentence.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Again with the boring. I’m going to get a complex.

        • Hammersteyn

          Another one?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            What’s one more going to do?

        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

          You’re a complex…uhm…man? 😛

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Shut up, you dinosaur! You’re not even a mammal.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            XD

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I mean really. Your entire race was killed by a rock.

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            LOOOOOL
            🙁

          • Hammersteyn

            At least your race didn’t outstay it’s welcome on Earth

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I also don’t like the idea of genderless robots. It makes imagining sexy times weird. A friend said. Not even a friend really, just this guy I met. Once. Don’t know why he told me. Shut up.

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      Was it Rince?

      • Hammersteyn

        How did you know he has no gender?

        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

          Seeing nothing is better than seeing something, I say. 😛

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Incredible optimism for the future of humanity.

  • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

    Oh man, Friday afternoons were incomplete without my episode of Lucy and Cybernet!

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Man I loved this, they were showing some old eps on one of the DSTV channels a while back.

  • DragonSpirit009

    Wow… Flashback galore! Remember fighting with my dad so I could watch it. Not much has changed… well except I’m now fighting with my mother

  • Hammersteyn

    F**k me that list was awesome. Or maybe it’s an overdose of nostalgia, but every new game I popped into the PS1 back then filled me with expectation and I was hardly ever disappointed

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      Agreed completely.
      I got Blade on PS1, I remember having tons of fun on that….and it really wasn’t very good.

      • Umar

        Played the Die Hard game to death, looking back it was pretty ass

        • Hammersteyn

          The three in one Die Hard game?

          • Umar

            Yup lol 3 styles of games in one. My God…it was bad, but had so much fun with it.

          • Hammersteyn

            The driving was horrible! XD

      • Hammersteyn

        That game sucked! But I couldn’t care less because of this! Everyone had a copy of this track on their PC and it was back when we still Lanned and few people had internet

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          lolllllllllllllll

        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

          Internet is the worst best thing that ever happened to gaming.

          • Hammersteyn

            Doubled edge sword, yet we get beaten with the blunt handle by the publishers

  • This had nothing on Gamesmaster!

    • Hammersteyn

      Shut your soul hole!

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        Yoh XD

      • Neva! How would I then eat others?!

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Intravenously after liquidising them?

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            I can believe that.

          • You are onto something there!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I’m a problem-solver!

          • Hammersteyn

            Yet you haven’t solved Rince, or consoles or bad PC ports 😛

          • One of those comments goes too far!

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Yea. You can’t “solve” a console.

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I could say I can “solve” Rince, but I don’t want to “lye”.

          • Hammersteyn

            Hahaha

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            😀

          • Hammersteyn

            Just one?

  • HvR

    HALF-LIFE NUMBER ONE FOREVER!!!!

    TA should have been no2 and C&C/Red Alert/Dune2 no3

    And Lagz could learn from them, multiple choice question to win a PC.

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      I wholeheartedly agree with you.
      Not many appreciate the awesomeness of TA and how way ahead of its time it was. 😀

  • Commander Admiral Chief

    That voice…..oh…….my……….

    • Hammersteyn

      The voice of promise, of new things to come, exciting things. Now we read this and that is getting a season pass because of course it does :/

    • VampyreSquirrel

      This is what went through my mind after reading this comment…

      http://share.gifyoutube.com/KrzD6p.gif

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        LOL

      • Hammersteyn

        What do you mean touchi…… oh…

  • ElimiNathan

    Holy crap memories

  • Tanweer Jacobs

    I don’t know which is sadder…the fact that it’s almost 17 years since the program was aired or the fact that, evryone who remembers cybernet is in their 30’s lol.

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      Being a gamer in your 30s isn’t sad. 😀
      We’re the veterans.

      • Hammersteyn

        Also we can buy our own games!

        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

          Or on the down side….we have to buy our own games 😉

          • Hammersteyn

            True, but there’s no one to say no to me…. Oh wait…..

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Haha

        • Tanweer Jacobs

          I got 99 games but time for none

          • Commander Admiral Chief

            Your avatar pic is so goooood

          • Hammersteyn

            I couldn’t say anything. I’m biased enough

          • Commander Admiral Chief

            Ja jy is baie sad

          • Hammersteyn
          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            He saw a picture of the new Joker, didn’t he?

          • Hammersteyn

            Also he plays on console

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            I think most pc gamers would pick the PS

          • Hammersteyn

            Of course they’d pick second best instead of third or fourth best

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            3rd is WiiU, 4th is Ouya, where’s the Xbone number?

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Don’t forget the mobile phone

          • Hammersteyn

            7th

          • Hammersteyn

            This is so true

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            99 problems but a game ain’t one?
            Well, except if you own Arkham Knight on pc.

          • Hammersteyn

            Thought you could get it refunded?

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Hmmm
            True.
            Well, when in doubt…blame Uplay!

      • Tanweer Jacobs

        More like Elite OG’s

    • Hammersteyn

      Or people who owned Atari 2600 is probably in their 50’s?

  • Francois Knoetze

    Jeez that brings back so many memories. I loved that show. That and the good old local Playstation Magazine before it got canned. I had every issue

    • Commander Admiral Chief

      Now, after all is said and done, you have a lot of issues

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        whaap whaap XD

      • Francois Knoetze

        badum tsssh

  • Commander Admiral Chief

    LOL FF7 got 7th place!

    Now, where is Llew hiding?

  • Martin Human

    Absolutely loved this show!

  • Ryanza

    Cyberpunk 2077 is coming!!! oh Cybernet is raising.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Don’t support digital TV migration?

      • Ryanza

        Don’t Support encryted setup boxes for digital tv migration.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          I was so close.

  • Them’s were the days

  • The_Ghost_Skull

    Once I get my old collection onto DVD/Blu-ray, i will share it with you guys.

    • Hammersteyn

      You’d be one of the most popular guys ever!

      • The_Ghost_Skull

        Watch this space bro

        • Hammersteyn

          XD

  • chimera_85

    I vaguely remember this show. The last half decent gaming tv show like this was The Verge on vuzu

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    Bloody hell, this brings back such great memories.

    Dammit Lazygamer, stop playing on dem feels.

  • Cat

    This show was what got me started & interested in gaming.

  • Armand Marcel Alberts

    Thank you for this. I bet most of our generation share the same views in SA

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