Friend or Foe Game Show, What It Reveals About Human Nature
Back in 2002, the Game Show Channel featured a game show called Friend or Foe. Friend or Foe is a game show based on both knowledge and trust. It’s one of those game shows where one gets to see the best and worst of human nature. The game show premiered on April of 2002, and aired for two seasons with 130 episodes. It was hosted by Kennedy, a true realist with a wicked sense of humor.
The rules for Friend or Foe are very straight forward. The game begins with six contestants, three of the contestants get to choose their partner. They are then paired of into three teams. Each team is given a trust fund, with a minimum of two hundred dollars. The three teams build up their trust funds by answering multiple choice questions. They work as a team. Although, the question is, do these partners, who worked so hard together to build their trust funds, also chose to share the money they won together, fairly?
At the end of each round one team is eliminated. Each team is then taken to the trust box where they must choose to vote either friend or foe. If both members choose friend then they split the money evenly. If both members decide to choose foe, neither of them gets any of the money, which means they both go home empty handed. If one person chooses friend and the other chooses foe, then foe keeps all the money and friend goes home empty handed. I know what you’re thinking, life isn’t fair and neither is this arrangement. Friend or Foe is interesting to watch, because you get to see the best and worst of human nature, you even get to see some hypocrisy.
I generally like game shows, but for me, Friend or Foe went beyond your usual game show, because it involved the element of choice. That made Friend or Foe unique and interesting. I usually guessed pretty well, who was going to foe and when both would leave happy or empty handed. On the other hand, there were a few surprises. You can’t really trust anyone on this show. There were a few people, who seemed to be fair in their dealings and actually went foe.
I generally had a great deal of respect for those who chose to go friend. I would always go friend, if I were a contestant. I know that there’s a risk of going home empty handed and feeling like I have been duped, but I would rather go through that, then cheat someone out of their share of the winnings.
I remember one contestant, who will always be a winner to me. He made it to the final round and his partner and they won around sixteen thousand dollars. It would have been easy for both of them to vote friend and go home eight thousand dollars richer, but even though he did the decent thing and voted friend his partner, voted foe and took all the money. Did his partner feel bad for cheating him out of what was rightfully his? No, he jumped up and down and was happy to cheat his partner out of his winnings. I felt really sorry for this man, because with an attitude like that, he had better enjoy his winnings, because he’s not going to get to many opportunities, if he goes through life treating others that way. It wasn’t so much that he went foe, it was his attitude that bothered me.
There was another episode, where I truly got to see hypocrisy in action. One of the contestants was a Sunday school teacher. In trust box, both she and her partner went foe. Ok, I have to admit her partner was no saint either. He did say something, that made me think. He said, but you said you teach Sunday school. I have to admit, even though he went foe, he made a valid point. What if he had gone friend? She would have taken all the money. To profess that on Sundays, you are teaching adults or children to serve and love one another and then you foe another contestant on a game show, well that’s hypocritical. A lot of non Christians are watching, and all you’re doing is supporting them, when they say Christians are hypocrites. If you say you teach Sunday school, it is your duty to do the right thing and go friend. I admit that one took me by surprise, I honestly thought she would go friend.
There are some contestants that by just looking at the expression on their faces, I know they are going to foe each other and yes, I’m usually right. Sometimes I see the best of human nature and both players go friend, they hug and leave happy. I really feel good when the interaction between the players ends that way. I just don’t understand, why everyone doesn’t just go friend. After all, you leave home with both money and a good feeling about yourself.
I think it’s the fear of feeling jilted that drives many to vote foe. After all, they figure, how could I loose. If I vote foe, I either take all the money, or at the very least no one gets to cheat me out of what should be mine. If I vote friend I might feel cheated and used, if they foe me and take all the money. I admit, I understand not wanting to feel jilted. On the other hand, isn’t that what makes the real world what it is. How many times do we choose to not do the right thing simply because we fear others will take advantage of our goodness? Well, you know what I say to that. Be good anyway, sooner or later you will win. Even if you don’t win at the moment, you are still a winner. You have something no one can take from you and that is integrity.
I recommend this show to anyone who loves the thrill of a good game show, with an added bonus, a little mystery at the end. Friend or Foe will keep you guessing. They still put reruns on the game show channel in the afternoons. Just check your local listings. This is one fun and intriguing game show.
Here is a link, so you can know a little more about this incredible game show.