The Point - How Tony Hawk Turned Gamers into Skaters

This week on The Point Danny talks to Tony Hawk about his famed skateboarding franchise, and explores how games have the power to influence who we become.

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The Point
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Avatar image for PyreofKoL

These games made me want to be a skater, but I was too much of a pussy. I was afraid of what people would think of me for the inevitable failures that would lead up to being a decent skater. I dressed like a skater and listened to skater music (still do, in fact) but never had the guts to get on a board. I will forever adore THPS 3 and 4 (I missed the first two as I never owned an N64 or PS1 until much later in life) and the many happy Friday nights they gave to me and my brothers when we were growing up.

Avatar image for WillyWynn

I was a skater to! Because of tony hawk 1, i think the best games are tony hawk pro skater 1, 2, 3 and 4! After that until now is just awful games. This show is awesome and shows how the times change from the 90s to the 2000s. Sadly i think many things change for worst, not only in skating, but even in games and so on. The 90s are the pure gold age from the modern generations. And to be honest the 90s are the years with most nostalgia people have. These days all modern society's change for some kind of weird "serious" aspect. I born in the 80s like danny and to be honest the kids these days and the people are very different always stuck to their "serious" lifes and so on. People just worries about material stuff and don't have fun like in the pass. People are like robots these days, even the kids... Skating is one of the things what shows that but not only.

Avatar image for placksheep

Fantastic show Danny! This was one of your best-- how was it meeting the guy that inspired your interest in skating? I'm guessing this wasn't the first time? If so, you held your shit together pretty well.

Avatar image for buschdeluxe

Great show. Love 'The Point'

Avatar image for wcarle

Great episode Danny!

Avatar image for TehUndeadHorror

Seriously, one of the best shows in gaming.

Avatar image for Banyek

Thank you Danny!

Avatar image for scarred_fox

phenomenal episode Danny!

I definitely picked up skateboarding after playing Tony Hawk one on PS1. hell I played the demo too !!! what an awesome childhood...

Avatar image for LiLNeaYo

As ever, you got The Point, Danny! And now we do get it as well, if for some reason there previously was confusion. Awesome job, as ever.

Avatar image for anakvunky

Came here to Like this feature....

Avatar image for killar7v2

@10:45 got me really sad too.

Avatar image for BlueChecker

Another excellent video. Easily my favourite feature. Damn you and your poignant monologues, beautiful cinematography, and emotionally manipulative music choices.

Avatar image for bbq_R0ADK1LL

Such a great genre of video games! I loved XXX BMX, SSX Snowboarding & Aggressive Inline too.

I can barely pull an ollie but I can pull a few grabs on a snowboard & bail with style on a surf board. Skating never became my sport of choice but the games got me into some cool music & allowed me to get a taste of California subculture. Lords of Dogtown was a great film to discover the roots of freestyle skateboarding too, really well done.

Avatar image for zanelli

It was very much the same for myself growing up in a small town in the north of England. I was hooked on the first game when it came out, and so were most of my friends; we all quickly got into the sport.

We skated for years and moved into to other similar sports; I finally found myself more into inline skating and even got to the point of semi-pro for a short time.

Because of the boom of skaters in such a small town, we would constantly get moved on by the police and other people not happy with our somewhat dangerous hobby. A number of the skaters in the town, including myself, raised money to build a skate park by getting sponsorships and touring other skate parks around the UK. The skate park we built is enjoyed by new and old skaters to this day.

Avatar image for BrunoBRS

i was one of the people caught in the fad.

i wasn't one of the people that bothered to actually learn the craft though. could barely stand upright on it, still don't know how to do a freaking ollie.

i'll stick to dusting off my N64 from time to time and playing THPS2 >.>

Avatar image for pgl163

Shit,now I feel old:/ This game inspired all kids in my school to go and skate and to ride snowboard in winter,I still ride snowboard and wake but people won't understand a 28 year old dude riding a skate:)Oh nostalgia...

Avatar image for arcanesmile

I didnt watch the video. Did Tony Hawk use alchemy to change gamers to skaters? Prolly.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b6fca28803ac

Riding the 1 8. 1 8 for life

Avatar image for chad28_69

This is the only sport that doesn't bore me to death when I see it one TV. It's the only I enjoy seeing and root for the ones I think are doing better.

I have a skateboard and sometimes skate. And I definitely owe that to THPS4.

I also love punk music which may be influenced by the killer soundtrack of the same game.

Danny I love your show. You and this show are great.

Avatar image for Slannmage

Shame the upcoming one is going to be such shit, weird how badly he's aged as well, my Mum is older and looks a lot younger.

Avatar image for Freedomination

@Slannmage: I might be wrong, but i'm guessing wrinkles and grey hair is a side-effect from spending most of your life outside in the sun

Avatar image for KBABZ

That was a beautiful video. I'm not into skating that much and have more of an interest in the SSX series, but the ending of this video was very touching. Well done, Danny and crew.

Avatar image for theuprightman01

cool video, nice to see a longer video from gamespot

Avatar image for jellyman68

I loved the old Tony Hawk games. From what I remember I never actually learned any moves, I just button mashed and hoped to get a good score. Still insanely fun though. Going to have to pick up a copy of the latest iteration.

Avatar image for kyle2k06

Awesome video!

Avatar image for PS4andXoneGamer

I think Jackass helped as well

Avatar image for loafofgame

I couldn't care less about Tony Hawk or skating, but I thoroughly enjoyed this video.

Avatar image for Fantomass

THUG 2 was my favourite one

Avatar image for OGKNav

Damn man... everyones gettin old.

Avatar image for Fantomass

@OGKNav: old. But not obsolete . lol

Avatar image for SingletreeAve

Tony Hawk is the Jesus of video games. Sorry Gabe.

Avatar image for stevelampron

Great job Dan. Tony Hawk was definitely one of the milestones when i had my PS.

Avatar image for freakyzzz

Amazing video Danny, I felt very connected to the story as I was inspired by THPS to go into skating when I was young. And great interview with tony hawk, quite honest and upfront questions, and he seemed like a genuine great guy.

*_* excited by the next game. is it good danny? *hints please*

Avatar image for GH05T-666

Loved The Point this week Danny! Tony Hawk Pro Skater got me into skateboarding, my friends and I used to play that game so much and try to link all the tricks into a massive combo. Then we would go outside and all skate together and try to do the tricks that we could. We never really landed anything more than ollies, kick flips, pop shuvits and 360 flips and a few grinds but we were having a great time and it was all Tony Hawk Pro Skater that got us into it. Such great memories!

Avatar image for juyan16

Damn, the Hawk is an old man! Say it ain't so!

Avatar image for TeknoBug

I remember Tony Hawk skater on the PS1, I think I still have the CD.

Back in the 80's, any skater knew who Bones Brigade were, and I was a skater. Know what's the most significant thing about being a skater? I got to discover a TON of things because of interacting with a lot of different people, I discovered Filter (my favorite all time band) because someone at the skate park brought their radio and played their Short Bus album.

Avatar image for Baelath

Has anyone else struggled lately to stream videos from Gamespot? Nothing seems to load anymore.

Avatar image for kyle2k06

@Baelath : A Lot of times I have to watch the videos on Youtube, ever since the new layout my video on this site have been so choppy.

Avatar image for Paoksis

How Tony Hawk turned skaters into gamers....and they never skated again

Avatar image for pnotheginger

that was on point for sure. ive been skating since thps2

Avatar image for TheZeroPercent

--the video player is a POS

Avatar image for Guster79

I got into basketball after playing NBA Jam and taiko after playing taiko drum master.

Avatar image for lunaticjetman

Awesome episode as always! Yes isn't it sweet when video games affect the culture like this? Please find more examples for us.

I have not played these games that much, but I can definitely see their appeal. We used to maintain gear, watch vids or work on the latest street thing project with our reused patches of plywood that we salvaged from former projects or building construction site waste instead of gaming. I guess the reason was that none of us really had these games. For me I still prefer the real board if possible though, at least until my body can no longer cope. But seeing that recent interview that Tony did with Rodney Mullen I have hope!

What got me into skateboarding was the older siblings of my friends getting boards after watching stuff as sk8tv, Thrashin (feature film) and Hokus Pokus in the late 80's when freestyle was becoming a thing. After that sk8boaring never really dipped here between the 80's and the 90's, so it was still fairly strong when the games came out. So I think that the VHS/MTV had a similar effect here for skateboarding as games had for you, but a decade earlier. As of right now, both street and vert have died out here and even the longboard wave seems to be waning, so here is to hoping that this game can turn that around!

I think you nail it when you say that skateboarding became a lifestyle in the 90's. In the late 80's which I personally prefer more it was all bout being on the board having fun doing that, rather than being pretentious and fit into a lifestyle, Nevertheless I like that skating evolves to reflect our current culture. A few days back I tried to add some 2010's into it and take selfies (skaties? boardies?) while doing tricks. While this might never catch on, awesome things like the GoPro cam definitely have.

And I feel you regarding those skatespots in SF. I recently moved to and lived in California (before I moved back) and had the same situation. Passing by minor towns on the California country side with familiar names and realizing that the rad park that was there 25 years ago was now gone. Yeah the skateboards have been moved out of the cities, but if you do live in SF you can go down to Stanford. The cops there are quite relaxed about it as long as you are not reckless around other people or grinding on precious things. And boards for transportation are all over the campus as well.

Finally, props to Tony for being such a good ambassador throughout the years. He might not be the hypest of riders even in the vert, but he is a solid figurehead for skateboarding as generations of riders come and go.

Sk8 or die people!

Avatar image for alaskancrab

Great job you two.. this deserves a raise!

Avatar image for nyadc

Wow, when did Tony Hawk become an old man, watching this is kind of freaking me out...

Avatar image for TheZeroPercent

--new tony hawk game looks TERRIBLE
--i mean it looks BAAAD(graphics~mechanics~no hype)
--i LOVED the early tony hawk games back in 6th gen
--skate1 and 2 kinda 'took it to the next level'(in 7th gen)
--and their thumbstick mastery mechanics where the OBVIOUS future of the genre
--im not sure what happened to skate
--but i wish tony hadda just blatantly ripped their mechanics off

Avatar image for jacknasty

Will there be split screen?

Avatar image for Verityrant

OK so older TH looks kinda like younger bill gates a little.

Avatar image for turtlesintime

Now that TH is getting up in age, how does he feel (physically) after all the years of abuse he put his body through for the love of the sport?