Lago points readers to this ostensibly satirical piece about upcoming video games. The problem, as he notes, is that the piece is not funny. At all. And it’s not that the video game industry isn’t ripe for satire and mockery. The guys at Penny Arcade are good at such tasks: They are not only hard-core gamers, but genuinely funny; when they light up a particularly bad game, tear into the politics of games, or simply poke fun at the upside-down world of video games, it’s almost always funny—well, if you get the jokes, that is. However, even when their jabs are obtuse, they’re not mean-spirited: Their appreciation for good games is evident, so, if, on occasion, they get a little grumpy, well they have the right—at the very least, they’re an experienced voice within the gaming community.
In his Games Gone Wild, however, David Cross shows no talent for satire, no ability to walk the line between humor and insult. I’m not even sure what he’s trying to do. Lago thinks the piece is bad because of the ethnic stereotypes Cross plays up, and he’s right, but that’s just the beginning. Surely Cross could come up with something both more funny and less vulgar than his description of the made-up Doodles and Queef, a description I won’t reprint here because it is sure to land me all sorts of google hits that I just don’t want to see. Don’t get me wrong: Vulgar in some contexts can be quite funny (see Monty Python’s Meaning of Life for example); but I don’t even know what the hell Cross means when he says a game is like “Toy Story meets Dr. T & the Women.”
But Cross isn’t content to stop with unfunny and vulgar. He goes right for decidedly unfunny and remarkably insulting with this one:
One supersecret game that’s been on everyone’s hot and new list is Extreme Special Olympics, by the folks at EA Sports. This one’s self-explanatory. You control one of four athletes, each with a distinct personality and skill set. My favorites: Daphne, who believes she can fly (she can’t, and this comes into play later in the game), and Mickey, who has a mild form of autism and the ability to avoid hugs.
WTF? Come on. Even over at the Fark comment boards, people who write crap like that get a sound beating. Not funny. Not even remotely so.