So focussed were the GPO on the need to use Prestel to provide information, it came as a complete surprise to them when more “trivial” aspects of the service became insanely popular.

Games, puzzles, and quizzes became popular, with even some Information Providers set up specifically to operate these.

Micronet 800 had their own games section, 20th Century Hamster, which was also available to non-members and which featured games and quizzes, all on charged pages of course, but which also gave cash prizes.   Many of these were also available to anybody with a modem or terminal through their “Hotel California” service:  Although this ran on the Prestel computers, it was accessed via a special, premium rate, telephone number