Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Cranked up with stress over the proposal and everything, I decided I wanted to go to Rock Band night last night, so I could hit something with sticks and not, you know, get arrested.

It was just Braz and me to start out (Vicki and Elizabeth being at the pool league tournament) and since I didn't really care what the music was as long as I got to play drums, I gave that choice up to Braz. So naturally, he put in Beatles Rock Band and decided we should do the entire Abbey Road album. Vicki showed up two songs in, so we got her a beer and a guitar and started over.

Once that was done, we broke for snacks and beer. Braz checked his RSS feed, and showed us some pictures. We talked about the totally awesome Nerf sword and battleaxe Braz had seen at Target, and we all agreed that we needed to own these things. Braz put Super Mario Brothers in, and he and Vicki played a level.

And then he decided he needed to try out Mad World, which he'd picked up on super-sale from Amazon and hadn't played yet. This is billed as an ultra-violent game. There's really no story. Just a dystopian post-apocalyptic environment, black-and-white graphics that really want to look like, say, Sin City, but kind of fall short, and lots and lots and lots of different ways to kill guys. Nothing wrong with that, mind -- sometimes, you just want to hit things with sticks.

Shamus Young did a Stolen Pixels comic about it which is, actually... kind of accurate.

Anyway, Braz was impatiently tooling through the opening dialogue and trying to get to the play portion of the tutorial while Vicki and I watched. "Look at the guy's ass," I told Vicki. I couldn't tell if they were trying for jeans or leather or what, but the guy's pants were low-riders that hugged his ass so tight you could practically count the hairs. "There's no way those pants have enough room in them for the jewels."

"That's why he's so pissed!" Braz suggested. Finally up to the action parts of the games, he started generating mayhem.

"Bitch!" accused one of the bad guys. Vicki and I busted up laughing.

"Who's your daddy?!" the game demanded. I tweeted something about how Vicki and I were watching Braz play the game and analyzing its homoerotic subtexts for the amusement value. (Only, you know, because I was laughing so hard, I wasn't nearly that erudite about it.)

Then it started getting into items, and the usable items that weren't phallic were all made of rubber, and it stopped being a subtle subtext.. Suddenly the entire thing ceased to be an ultraviolent killfest and became a poignant glimpse into the designer's deeply closeted fantasies.

We may well have ruined the game for Braz, but it's been a long time since I laughed that hard.

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