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Why cheating is allowed on game shows

A lot of today’s contests are edited and rigged. But it wasn’t always that way.

Phil Edwards is a senior producer for the Vox video team.

Today’s game shows, whether they’re Mr. Beast on YouTube or Storage Wars on cable, often feature sensationalistic editing, recreations, and straight-up fixing. But it wasn’t always that way. As the above video shows, game shows in America have gone from unregulated, to a federally regulated activity, and back to unregulated once again.

The quiz show scandals of the 1950s set in motion a new law that enforced rules for games of skill. But changing media consumption habits and expectations have made game shows a wild west once again.

You can check out the original Time magazine profile of Charles van Doren and his family — central figures in the quiz show scandals. And read George Brietigam’s paper about the FCC enforcement today.

You can find the video above and the entire library of Vox’s videos on YouTube.

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