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Pac-Man As Pot Head

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the don't-do-drugs,-kids dept.

Games 58

1up.com has a look at the history of drugs in games, from the pellet-popping days of Pac-Man to the industrious sales efforts of the GTA games. From the article: "As games drew a wider audience, not to mention a wider variety of creative talents (some pretty weird stuff reportedly went on at the Atari offices in an evening), they necessarily drew on a wider spectrum of influences and inspirations...some of them chemical in nature. There have been games that were probably made on drugs -- Rez springs to mind, or the Virtual Light Machine -- and even reviewed on drugs, when A.C. Styles dosed the office coffee pot at Die Hard Game Fan."

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Hello? HELLO!?!?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12906348)

I am not a script

Re:Hello? HELLO!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12906413)

yes you are

Interesting but not surprising... (3, Interesting)

Oldest European (886715) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906363)

Not a surprise if you think about it, or is there any relevant social group where there are no drug users?

And sadly enough art and drug (ab)use almost always were related.

Re:Interesting but not surprising... (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906655)

You know what. I am so tired of hearing there everyone is a drug abuser. I'd write out a long, detailed scathing response, but I have to go get my 12th Coke of the day now...

Re:Interesting but not surprising... (1)

Curtman (556920) | more than 8 years ago | (#12908304)

Bravo. Hypocrisy is great isn't it?

GTG, coffee's ready.

Re:Interesting but not surprising... (2, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#12912122)

You know what. I am so tired of hearing there everyone is a drug abuser. I'd write out a long, detailed scathing response, but I have to go get my 12th Coke of the day now...

What I immediately think of whenever I see a story like this is that Simpsons episode where they go behind the scenes (I think at Itchy and Scratchy) and Otto says something like "man, what were you guys on when you came up with that?" And the writers respond "Um, we'd just ordered a big bucket of chicken wings..."

I worked at one of the companies involved in one of the games mentioned in this article and while yes, some of the employees are definitely recreational drug users outside of work (no different than any other company, really), I can assure you everybody was completely sober and straight during company hours. The game industry is far too competitive to be at anything but your natural best... the worst drug anybody did at work was Red Bull. (Though oddly enough, we also ate a large quantity of chicken wings... coincidence?)

People who do a lot of drugs like to justify it to themselves by telling everybody how creative it makes them, and articles like this try to reinforce that. Well, in my experience, while illegal drugs can be fun (and I don't deny doing the occasional d00b myself once in a while), they do nothing whatsoever to enhance creativity. You're either creative or you aren't; a drug isn't going to change who you are. All drugs do in the workplace is make you less productive.

I'm fairly sure, based on my experience with drugs, the game industry, and life in general, that none of the games mentioned here had anything to do with drugs whatsoever in terms of their creation. (Except in some of the few recent cases where they're an actual gameplay element - but in those cases, it's generally been so poorly implemented that it almost seems obvious that those who designed and programmed those elements have no experience with the drugs in question whatsoever, in the workplace or anywhere else.)

Re:Interesting but not surprising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12908273)

Why oh why doesn't Jeff Minter post on Slashdot?

Re:Interesting but not surprising... (1)

myukew (823565) | more than 8 years ago | (#12909043)

of course the people who don't do drugs form a social group of their own!

Re:Interesting but not surprising... (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#12921743)

This is a misconstruance of coincidence. It has nothing to do with art. It's just that among any large group there will be people with fringe behavior.

You might as well try to draw conclusions from that there are sexual deviants in the US pool of car mechanics. It's an observation, not an indicator.

For the record, there is no statistical correlation between artists and drug use in either direction; drug users are equally likely - no more, no less - to create art with regards to other people. Famous artists, the ones you hear about, are different - they get a bunch of money and psychological stress all at once (like rock stars,) and are frequently consumed by a decadent society. Few of the painters the average person can name did drugs beyond what was common in their society (in Europe, for example, that generally means alcohol.)

Is there any relevant social group where there are no X? No. Is there any relevant social group where there are fewer than the norm of X? Oh, yes. And that's what's statistically significant. Consider learning how statistics work; your eyes will be open to a new world.

You miss the lichen. (2, Interesting)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906402)

Hallucinogens weren't the only thing to make Nethack great. It's nice how you can die from eating too much:

This lembas wafer is delicious!
You're having a hard time getting all of it down.
Stop eating? [yn] (y)
You choke over your food.
You die...
Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq]

I love the attention to detail on little things like that. BTW, has there ever been a count of how many distinct ways to die in Nethack there are?

The pope approves! (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906510)

Gluttony is a sin, Nethack has some very Catholic lessons to be garnered!

Re:The pope approves! (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#12912724)

"Nethack has some very Catholic lessons to be garnered!" Which is exactly why you are the Fourth Horseman.

Re:You miss the lichen. (2, Informative)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 8 years ago | (#12908321)

Re:You miss the lichen. (1)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 8 years ago | (#12916939)

That list is incomplete. I'm thinking more along the line of including things such as killed by an x while hallucinating. Choking is presented as one item, but there are many different things available to choke on. I guess what I'd want is a list or number of unique cause of death messages, which would of course be many many times larger.

Yoshi's a crackhead! (4, Funny)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906410)

Ya know how many (most?) side scrolling games have those terminal gaps in the map, the bottomless pits you gotta jump over? Well, in Super Mario Brothers, the lovable Yoshi would invariably head for one of those cracks as soon as you lost control of him. Me and my girlfriend at the time used to spend many, many hours smoking cigarettes and all sorts of groovy things whilst playing this game, and "Yoshi's a crackhead!" became a constant refrain.

Oh, and, uhh, the mushrooms? Hello! Waiter, could we get some subtlety over here? Thanks.

Cannibal! (1)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906518)

Yoshi is an odd specimen indeed...

If a mushroom hatches from a Yoshi egg, you can get him to eat it, I am not sure, but this seems like some sort of drug-related cannibalism...

Very odd.

Re:Yoshi's a crackhead! (3, Funny)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906589)

Yoshi was nothing. Replay Mario 2 on the NES now that you are old enough to appreciate it. Use magic potions to unlock a door to a shadow universe that you can only see when you drink it. One eyed snakes. All sorts of wierd metaphor that I never noticed when I was a little kid. Far and away, Mario 2 is the most subversive of the Mario games. The only one that features more blatant drug use is Dr. Mario, and that wasn't subversive.

Re:Yoshi's a crackhead! (2, Informative)

LunchTableGoat (235548) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906989)

Mario 2 wasn't really a mario game to begin with. In Japan it was called Doki Doki Panic. The original Japanese Mario 2 was released in the US on Mario All Stars as Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels.

Re:Yoshi's a crackhead! (1)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 8 years ago | (#12914298)

"Mario 2 wasn't really a mario game to begin with. In Japan it was called Doki Doki Panic. The original Japanese Mario 2 was released in the US on Mario All Stars as Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels."

What you are saying is true, but nevertheless after the American Mario 2 was released in Japan (under the name "Mario USA"), it did become "canon" in the Mario universe. Think of all the American Mario 2 monsters that featured in future Mario games. The extensive use of Shy Guys in Yoshi's Island (among many other AM2 enemies) comes to mind.

Re:Yoshi's a crackhead! (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#12921775)

I suggest you acquire SMB3 and the japanese game inbetween what Americans call SMB1 and SMB2. Both are significantly more drug-suggestion heavy than SMB2.

SMB has always had an undercurrent of drug topics. As every old slashdotter knows, the jokes about eating mushrooms and flowers, growing to double your size, changing colors, learning to spit fire and swim under the ocean, and so forth are all indicators.

SMB3 is less constant but there's a lot more of it and it's subtle. (Of course there's always the argument that I'm just looking for references, but then, that's the nature of subtle references...)

Re:Yoshi's a crackhead! (1)

Mad_Rain (674268) | more than 8 years ago | (#12907714)

I believe it was Quest For Glory 3 [geocities.com] that made me thing about drugs and videogames. In particular when you go and hit that bong with the Apothocary. Good times.

Ramifications? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12906418)

Games are drawing wider audiences? Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

Reminds me... (3, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906600)

...of a T-Shirt I once saw:

If video games affected kids, we'd all be popping magic pills and listening to electronic music.

I take three prescribed medications, and listen to Amiga music. Does that count?

Re:Reminds me... (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906641)

The Pacman Joke [marcusbrigstocke.com]

"If Pacman had affected us as kids we'd be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music."

Re:Reminds me... (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#12921920)

"If video games affected children, we'd all be running around in the dark through a maze of neon lights, munching magic pills, listening to repetitive electronic music."

The quote becomes much funnier when you discover that it's from Kristian Wilson, a CEO at Nintendo back in 1989, from the front door of a private rave. Rather tongue in cheek, one expects.

Manic Miner (2, Interesting)

StonedRat (837378) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906737)

Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy were obviously created while under the influence. I heard that Matt Smith (the creator) became a bit of a druggy after that, but is apprently doing ok for himself now with manic miner being licenced for mobile phones and the GBA. From the pics I've seen of him, the drugs have surely left their mark.

No N!GTHS? (1)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906818)

N!GHTS is one of the most fucked up games I've ever played, and strongly reminds me of the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" whenever I play it.

No Pac-Man, drugs are bad (1)

CobaltTiger (671182) | more than 8 years ago | (#12906942)

When I read the headline I immediately thought of that Bloodhound Gang song:

Pacman: Yo yo yo yo yo! What it is motherfuckers?
Man 1: Aw shit, here comes Pac-Man.
Man 2: Hey Pac-Man, what's up?
Pacman: Me you bitches! I'm high on crack! Wanna freebase?
Man 2: No Pac-Man, drugs are bad!
Man 1: Nope, can't help you man.
Pacman: Puss-ies. [Sound of a lighter and inhaling] Whoa! Holy shit!

Re:No Pac-Man, drugs are bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12907519)

Is this the 5:00 Free Crack Giveaway?

um... yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12907287)

The title... what in the article is that referring to? What does Pac-Man have to do with pot?
Only thing that comes to mind is that Zonk is a bong ripping game and Zonk posted this shit.
Coincidence? I think not.

What about ROTT? (1)

SynapseLapse (644398) | more than 8 years ago | (#12907642)

How can any history of video games be complete without mentioning the psychedelic mushrooms in Rise of the Triad? The mushrooms would make the camera swirl around drunkenly while the colors warped around. Which also led to the most nauseating level in gaming history, the vomitorium. Which was a large cube room covered on all six sides with springs that would send you flying in any direction. With a liberal dosage of Rocket launchers, enemy robots and mushrooms floating in the air.

Re:What about ROTT? (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#12909943)

They forget Resident Evil also. Those green and red herbs that replenish health?! WTF? Aren't they S.T.A.R military/police units. They are so high and unfocused when they could have just used their gun to break the doorknob and leave the mansion.

Re:What about ROTT? (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#12921851)

How can any history of games be complete with any mention of Rise of the Triad at all? That game deserves to be burned from our collective memories. It's the Galactica 1980 of gaming.

Super Mario / Fire Flower (1)

Sux2BU (20893) | more than 8 years ago | (#12907974)

From the article: "...but that still doesn't explain how the fire-spitting flowers came into being..." Fire flowers are from a pun from the Japanese word for fireworks (hanabi), which is a combination of flower (hana) and fire (suffix of -hi, which changes to -bi). Fire flowers are the literal translation.

Drawing on personal experiance (2, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#12908206)

Ok it is insanely hard to code even when your just a little stoned.
Imagine trying to code a game when your tripping. I mean wooh dude Heavy number shittt man.
Recounting one time i was on acid , i completely forgot all about numbers and created some complex system involving blips of and the position of Christmas tree lights, This is not a rare incident , one time i turned a manual for the game 1080 snowboarding into the nix nax nox tobo , a religious book to live you life by , the devil being a tree outside and god being IIRC my light bulb.
Making a game whilst on drugs is really really hard if not nearly impossible .Perhaps you could draw quite well on past experiences ,but whilst actually on anything it would not be a good idea unless you like code so obsfucated that it makes badly written perl look like the nirvana of code.
Perhaps it would be easier if your on a little amphetamines , but anything hallucinogenic is asking for trouble. ;) unless your the graphics artist or story writer then they are all permanently wasted anyway,
Not to mention the Voice over director who in most game pretty much has to have been smoking to Cheech and Chong levels

Re:Drawing on personal experiance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12909506)

Sounds like a bet to me...

Re:Drawing on personal experiance (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 8 years ago | (#12921954)

Ok it is insanely hard to code even when your just a little stoned.

Meh, not really. I do it every weekend.

Imagine trying to code a game when your tripping.

Now, that's difficult. And, reading the comments afterwards ... just bring tissues. Huhu.

Making a game whilst on drugs is really really hard if not nearly impossible.

That's the problem with referring to all drugs at once - people tend to forget caffeine and nicotene, and then just lump things like pot with things like psylocibin. Some drugs - notably caffeine, cocaine and nonhallucinogenic amphetamines - actually make it much easier to code, and there's an ongoing abuse problem among programmers for that reason.

DN3D & Starcraft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12909788)

I miss a few games on that list. Like Duke Nukem with the steroids and Starcraft with the junkie stimpacked marines.

Stim Paks (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 8 years ago | (#12913097)

The article probably missed a few things, but I distinctly remember "Stim Paks" in StarCraft.

Pump those into your marines and they'd lose about 20% of their hit-points, but run and fire about 50% faster for a good 30 seconds or so.

Good times!

sword of sodom on genesis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12924564)

heh, I remember back in the day there was this game, Sword of Sodom, on the genesis. It had different colored potions in it, and you could mix them in different combinations to create new effects. If you had the patience to collect all the different colored potions and use them all together, which was hard, it would create a potion where the screen would turn black and with a message "winners don't do drugs" or something like that and nothing else would happen. it kind of pissed me off, but was funny.
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