Japanese commercial broadcaster TV Asahi launched the two new formats this fall-winter: Red Light Green Light and # Hash Tag. Both formats are classic childhood games turned into exciting TV shows using modern technology.

Red Green Light

tv asahi redlight greenlight
Courtesy of TV Asahi

The traditional kid’s game, “Red Light Green Light” (aka “Grandmother’s Footsteps”) has been amazingly updated for the 21st century with the latest Vibration Measurement Sensor, providing a thrilling and exciting experience to the challengers and viewing audience alike.

The challengers are fitted with sensors that measure minute movements in their hands and feet. They then must run as fast as possible on a track full of obstacles to reach the goal. However, when an omnipotent booming voice from above, that says, “Red light!” they must stop on the spot and not move their hands or feet more than 2.5 cm. Then, when the voice says, “Green light!” they can head for the goal again, but if they suddenly hear the voice say “Red light!” they must stop moving again, no matter how unsteady they are. In addition, a drone is deployed to hover near the challengers in order to frighten or make them lose their concentration.

redlight greenlight tv asahi
Courtesy of TV Asahi

The challengers are required not only physical strength but concentration, reflexes, and balance.

Only those who can sharpen all of their senses and complete three rounds can be the winner of this game.

Setsuko Yoda, Sales executive of format sales at TV Asahi, says, “It’s a simple game, but the effect of the sensors fitted to the Challengers that measure their movements and the drones that fly around them as if to monitor them make the show very exciting, a bit suspenseful”.

# Hash Tag

Hash Tag TV asahi
Courtesy of TV Asahi

This is an evolution of the classic game of tag using social media. The huge difference from the normal tag is that the people who run away from “It” (called “Wanted”) have to carry a placard on their back saying “Playing Tag, please take a picture of me and post it on Twitter”. If passersby see the Wanted, they can take a picture of them and post it on Twitter with a pre-determined hashtag(written on the placard). Passersby can become key participants in the game by letting the “It” know where the “Wanted” are. The “It” relies on the location posted on Twitter with the hashtag from the passersby to track down the “Wanted”.

tv asahi hashtag
Courtesy of TV Asahi

The “Wanted” must complete 3 missions while escaping, such as having a meal at a restaurant. They must post the picture immediately after finishing each task because this leads to giving the “It” a hint of where the “Wanted” is. If they can escape within the time limit, the “Wanted” win and awarded with prize money.

The show created a buzz among the young generation when it was aired in February 2020.

Setsuko Yoda of TV Asahi says, “By using Twitter in the game, it had been already talked about on social media before the broadcast. This had the same effect as publicising the show.”