On many top ten film lists, The Magnificent Seven & The Seven Samurai often get nods, winks, mentions. Both are tales of poor villages who recruit seven gunfighters / samurai to defend themselves from attack by big bad bandits. Tales surely suitable for today’s little computer people, dwarfed as we are by global events and public relations budgets. But while film was a fine medium for the twentieth century, today we need joysticks to properly engage with culture. And so it is, that these inevitable reflections of years gushed past, are framed within the humble computer game.
Why Not Pac-man & Pac-Girl?
Change the physics of the universe in your computer. Fight disasters both realistic and fantastic. Control the atmosphere. Simulated environments offer seductive levels of control and relaxing entertainment. After all, 3DWorld has promoted electronic handclaps and glowsticks for over a decade now. And yet the multi levels and powerpills of yesteryear have gradually been replaced with more complex and sophisticated challenges and rewards. These are well represented by the next seven additions to the popular sims series.
Design environments and ecosystems. Create and modify plants and animals at the genetic level. Explore a ‘Genetic Playground’, manipulating the genetics of both plants and animals to determine whether these new species could survive in the Earth’s various environments. Like the last paragraph, a few phrases straight from a sim_promo, this time from simlife. Now that we’re in the big 21C however, we’ve got a whole new range of activities such as : industrialisation & monopolisation of the food chain, patenting what we think are the useful genes, increasing pesticide use facilitated through genetic modification, cloning ethical cans of worms, GE supermarket sweep, and everybody’s favourite: glow-in-the-dark-pets. The game is generally considered over when more than half of the world’s unique species have been coloured coca-red & white, when tomatoes are able to swim out of the frozen food aisle, or when the Monsanto CEO loses the key to the safe containing all DNA recipes, during a particularly drunken night out ten-pin bowling.
” I am actually smaller than most people imagine, and at twenty three I can’t really see myself getting any bigger. Perhaps that explains my anger especially towards policemen who have a minimum height requirement to join up. I am small, but I could still turn your lights off with one punch” – so sayeth the infamously anonymous UK stencil artist Banksy on his new fandangled piss-take slash at the art world. Banksy watch is an obvious feature, utilising aerial satellite photography to follow a tracking device connected to Banksy’s spray cans around the UK. Visitors are invited to browse and rate a bunch of posers beside various Banksy stencils and funny quotes, in a section aptly titled ‘How Banksy Am I?’.
“All I can say is that being beaten to a pulp by faceless riot police is only slightly less dangerous than hanging precariously off the side of a disused bridge in old street, with a spray can in one hand, and pack of king-sized Rizlas in the other,” replies another of the potential Banksy’s. Like most anti-consumer & establishment sites worth their salt, the chance to buy something is never far away. In this case, it’s the quite plain but effective, “Arrest me, I’m Banksy” t-shirts that look more and more interesting on people, the less interesting they look themselves.
Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi, one of the most influential figures in modern social and political activism, considered these seven deadliest traits to be the most spiritually perilous to humanity: Wealth without Work, Pleasure without Conscience, Science without Humanity, Knowledge without Character, Politics without Principle, Commerce without Morality, Worship without Sacrifice. This game is a first person shooter, and features excellently rendered medical grade close-up, many car chases and a high degree of automated crime rampage.
Like a good Ozi-Batla, you need to keep plenty of kangaroos in the top paddock when you’re considering the fine art of home-brewed beer. For example, if you could pulp and squeeze a millimetre of goodness from every one of the the 3D mags ever published, you’d still be just a little shy of a long-neck. Which’d be just right as it turns out, what with greed being one of the seven deadlies and all, because it’s always the people trying to squeeze in too much liquid and too much sugar to increase their alcohol content that end up having to call the fire brigade because one bottle has broken already sending foamy shards of glass everywhere and twenty remain. Save yourself 30 or so longnecks and drag and drop $100 onto a nearby brewshop for a kit. This’ll provide all necessary tools for fermenting your beer, and for determining when to remove the liquid from your vat and bottle it. You’ll be looking at around $12 a pop after that for enough beer to fill around 25 long necks each time, a wait of around 3 weeks, and maybe another $5 for a nice handkerchief to wipe the silly grin off your face. A word of warning: if someone nearby exclaims: ‘dear jesus in a sparkly rubber thong I can’t help myself’ – move quickly to defend your well earned beverages.
When pondering the scale of humanities recent population spurts, an early, near knee-jerk reaction often occurs : “We’ve gotta stop them having kids in Asia.” And remarkably, India & China between them have 2 billion people, one third of the planet’s humans. However, the relative impact of population is what counts, and Australian, American or Western Countried births will have between 25-50 times more impact than that of a child born in India. Or if it’s easier to imagine, we are 25-50 times more obese than others on the same planet. This is a particularly tricky game to manage, given the planet’s been swelling by around 70 million people every year since 3D magazine started. Contains a bonus challenge level where you to get shoot the old people who are causing too much of a drain in western countries where the average age keeps getting older.
Cheat Tips: Press ‘Option’ & ‘Delete’ to Add contraceptives to Coca-Cola’s secret recipe.
Funnily enough if cars could smoke cigarettes we’d be better off for it. Rationale being that cigarettes seem to tie up a very large chunk of our health system, and if we could get some of the automobiles to smoke instead of us, we’d soon be wheelin them onto those wheezing programs where they have to breathe through a hole in their muffler, we’d likely lose a lot of them quickly, and have less third world rainforest cut down for growing tobacco or for drying tobacco by firewood. This game ends when all players are wearing gasmasks.
SimCashCrop (also known as SimShady)
If in doubt about the exploding global influence of hip-hop over the last 700 issues, cast your mind back to Eminem’s little know early nineties movie: Seven Miles High. I mean practically no-one raved about that, and nowadays hip-hops reach even sees playas droppin science at dentist school. Check the fangs at www.goldteethusa.com, “the world’s leading wholesaler of removable gold and platinum teeth.” I was lucky enough to find out about this most premium website while visiting Hobart recently, after the Herd, Lab Rats & TZU left a giant hip-hop footprint on the wharf and a Hobart homey left his XXL magazine behind on the floor. Man, lemme tell you – the glitter of studded teef can almost blind you in Tassie. But anyways the movie, some respex to the hard-luck story behind Seven Miles High, which saw Eminem struggling to start a farm in Rwanda, and he nearly didn’t make it until all the other starving farmers saw and realised that his was the poetic struggle and chipped in to help him, and then all the emotional music kicked in, but most people couldn’t see what was on the screen because they was so upset, which is maybe part of why the film doesn’t get as many shout-outs as it should. Peace out~!
And given you’ve learnt so much from the past, and will learn so much again in the future, here’s an easy way to remind your future self about how naive you probably are now: www.futureme.org – which let’s you set a date in the future for a message of yours to be sent to your email address ( or someone elses? Eg give yourself 4 weeks to tell them about the crush, because you know it’ll be in their inbox by then…