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How Turning Off A Video Game Led To A Jerry Springer Episode

Jerry Springer, the once-politician better known to the world as the host of one of the most controversial shows in TV history, has died at the age of 79. According to TMZ, Springer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the last few months, and died Thursday, April 27, 2023 at his home in Chicago. Springer was a monumental figure in the 1990s and 2000s late-night scene and arguably one of the major forces that pushed the line on what's acceptable to air on TV. 

After a very brief stint as the mayor of Cincinnati, he began "The Jerry Springer Show" in 1991. It ran for a massive 27 years between various networks before eventually being canceled in 2018, but it never seemed to run out of petty problems to publicize or dirty laundry to air. That didn't keep him away from TV, as he started the ill-fated "Judge Jerry" soon after. But in 2017, "The Jerry Springer Show" brought on a guest whose problem centered on their video game habits. The episode, titled "Alternative Facts," features a segment involving a young couple, a best friend, a fast car, and a bad gaming habit that ignited it all.

The topic of video game addiction is one that's been around since the dawn of the hobby, but towards the beginning of the segment, Sean says that he would play for up to eight or nine hours a session. When playing a game one day his girlfriend – Samantha – came over and turned off the console, and Sean got mad. "It'd be the same thing, like, a guy watching a football game and his girlfriend walks in and turns off the TV. in the middle of the game," Springer responded. 

The Jerry Springer episode centers on a man's choice to cheat when his console was turned off

The worlds of video games and late-night talk shows don't collide often, and Springer wasn't exactly the world's most avid gamer, but he didn't exactly stay away from it. As pointed out by The Game Awards on Twitter, Springer was even featured in the PlayStation 2 game "Celebrity Deathmatch" — a testament to his popularity at the time.

Someone else turning off a game randomly, especially without saving first, is a rough situation any gamer can relate to. But Sean might have gone too far in his response. He says that a few days later, at a red light, he raced a fellow muscle car owner with his girlfriend's close friend Ashtyn as a passenger. She started to flirt with Sean, and she admits later that the speed was a turn-on for her. "What a gamer," Springer responded. The episode brings in Samantha and Ashtyn for a bit of drama, but ultimately Samantha just seemed confused by Sean's accusations of "being her b***h" and why turning off a game console would cause him to cheat on her with her best friend. 

It had everything to make for a good Jerry Springer episode, and in the end, the two friends broke off their relationship. Of course, Sean and Samantha are no longer together, either. But if there's anything to learn from the episode, it's that some gamers don't know how to respond to being interrupted in the middle of a sesh like an adult.