As we play through some games, we notice that we get distracted by things that probably shouldn’t distract us. I mean let’s face it; how many times have you been playing a game when suddenly you see a stick and you can’t help but wonder what you can do with said stick?
Or how about that really useless medallion that you are sure has a use in the game? How about a game within a game!? Inanimate objects within gaming can make us feel more emotions than we might think. So buckle up as we explore some of our favourite inanimate objects in gaming.
10) Top Hat – Monopoly
“I want to be the thimble”. “I want to be the iron”. “I want to be the top hat, because I’m classy”. Yes, I think we all argued when playing a game of Monopoly as to who gets to play as what piece. The dog or the top hat were always my choices because who on earth would want to be a Thimble or an Iron!?
I don’t know, but some people really liked those pieces. Some people even argued that the Thimble was actually practical in the real world, but hey: That top hat is too. It could be the tiniest real life top hat to wear out and about to show how classy you are!
9) Camera Monitoring Device – Five Nights at Freddy’s
An all around terrifying experience, Five Nights at Freddy’s pits you in this place (called Freddy’s) where you have to survive for five nights. Huh, fancy that. However one thing really made this game stand out for me.
It’s a horror game where you are stuck to your security control room and all you have to see what’s going on is this camera device and some doors. The camera device are your eyes and ears for what’s going on around you – and yes, it truly is a harrowing experience.
8) Attorneys Badge – Phoenix Wright
“This is my attorneys badge”, Phoenix reminds himself and everyone around him regularly that he is actually an attorney and he’s not just some crazy man who’s asking them some crazy questions whenever he can.
Phoenix Wright is a defense attorney, but sometimes it’s impossible to tell people that without solid proof. Some people actually need to see your badge in order to help you out, whereas others think you’re a bit wacky for showing it to them. Either way, Phoenix is always wacky to me!
7) The trap – Mousetrap
When you were a kid, how often did you get to play Mousetrap? If you did, you’d have had hours of fun building this crazy mouse trap made up of many different inanimate objects. From a ball, a diver, some planks, a crank, a marble, a boot and even the cage itself, playing this game was hours of amusement.
Heck, it was even better when you set everything up, a mouse lands on the “Trap” square and then bang – The trap itself fails. Why? Oh you could mock the person who messed up but in all honestly, that only ever happened once and I think that’s a good way to lose friends.
… Don’t mock Mousetrap players.
6) Consoles – Pokemon
This is an odd choice of inanimate objects but I always remembered these in every Pokemon game. I think everyone who has played several iterations of Pokemon games have interacted with these in-game consoles just for a line of dialogue that might read like: “AshKetchum played with the SNES. Well that was fun, time to get going.”
I mean, these are clear product placements – But you can’t help but love Nintendo and indeed the Pokemon Company for it. It’s a little reference to the real world which helps to compel you to the idea that Pokemon are real damn it and they need us, their trainers, to look after them and to train them. After all, there are a lot of Pokemon out there in the world to be caught. Gotta catch ’em all, after I 420NOSCOPE you on Call of Duty first.
5) The Rock – Rock of Ages
The smiling rolling stone of doom and gate-smashing. Rock of Ages is a fantastic blend of tower-defence and tower smasher, but the over-the-[lack of]-shoulder camera perspective turns your primary weapon into a bizarre protagonist more memorable than whozits that you’re actually supposed to be playing.
As the rock rolls you have limited control over its’ movement, but you can add skins and upgrades to the Rock that make it uniquely yours. Slap on a troll face, set it’s grin ablaze then get rolling!
4) The Ball – The Ball
A ball and a man’s journey through life with his ball. No really, that’s basically The Ball which is a fantastic indie puzzler adventure game made by the same guys who make my all time favourite horror game, Killing Floor.
Tripwire Entertainment made you feel connected to that ball in a way you couldn’t think possible – But it’s simply because it’s a ball. You want to move it, you want to play with it and most of all you want it to help you out of some tight spots. Nice work, ball!
3) Can – Half life 2
An innocuous little “teaching moment” at the start of Half life 2 underscored the totalitarian and militaristic world of Valve’s creation. A faceless Combine soldier demands that you pick up a drinks can and throw it in the bin nearby, a simple task that he created for us by kindly knocking it to the floor for you. This small incident has become one of the game’s most iconic moments.
If any one of you says that you did not throw it at the Combine’s stupid head then you are a liar with stun-stick burns, we all did it, and we all heard that arrogant little chuckle as he walks away, satisfied with a power-trip well done.
2) Ten Foot Pole – Dungeons & Dragons
We need this. That’s why it comes as standard in the adventurers kit, along with food, a water skin, a bed roll, rope, flint and tinder. The ten-foot-pole is one of the most improbably practical objects that everyone carries everywhere they go, without questioning how they’re going around with this thing that mysteriously fits through every tight corner, low ceilinged chamber, and how you can hide behind a four foot crate with a ten foot pole on your back.
The trap finder! The thing poker! The impromptu bridge, tent pole and occasional weapon. Ten feet of wood was never so handy…. no shut up, it’s not a euphemism! We need this! For reasons!
1) Weighted Companion Cube – Portal
No inanimate object has ever been more iconic than your loving companion who definitely will not stab you in your sleep, the weighted companion cube. A standard Aperture-Science storage cube with a heart replacing the Aperture logo features heavily in the artwork and poetry of former test-subjects, scrawled upon the walls in every corner where GLaDOS cannot cast her endless eyes.
The source of countless memes and fan projects, the companion cube became the most beloved block to take wing on the internet. And it’s not dead. Never forget it. The cube lives!
Once again in our honorary mentions section, we’ve accidentally got two things from two different games which are basically exactly the same thing. Kind of. We have even named them the same. At least it’s not “Everything” this time… Oh good grief wait a minute…
Stuff – Katamari
So if you’ve never heard of Katamari or played the game, then basically the premise is this: You are a little guy who’s rolling around a little ball. Things get stuck to your little ball and you will slowly but surely get a bigger ball because of this.
Everything builds up and makes that ball bigger and bigger until it spirals out of control and oh my gosh now you’ve got a ball the size of a city! You just gotta keep on rolling to win in this game and yes: Size truly does matter! Everything sticks to this ball eventually. If only you could get the whole map itself stuck to the ball, now that would make me laugh!
Stuff – Little Inferno
Yes, everything you buy in Little Inferno is actually for use in the game as something to be thrown into a fireplace. Whilst that’s not the best use of your money, it certainly did keep us entertained when we played through Little Inferno.
I especially loved popcorn. Incidentally if any popcorn companies are looking at this, please do sponsor us with popcorn. We’d love that.
Sometimes once we’ve played a game, we remember more than just the characters. Those inanimate objects that we’ve mentioned above have sure shown us that. Sure, some of them might be a bit more obscure, but heck – We loved them and we wanted to share them with you all.
Do you remember any inanimate objects in gaming that really made you go “that’s cool”? What do you think of our list above, would you add or change anything within the list? As always, please do comment and give us a like if you liked this post! Until our next Top 10 article, take it easy!
At the age of 25 I am already sick to death of my birthdays. I managed to mitigate the annoyance this year by taking myself off to spend the weekend with a couple of friends from university near Liverpool. There was still cake, a nice meal at Nandos that I didn’t have to pay for, and they even sang happy-birthday to/at me before I left, all in all I think I got off lightly.
Liverpool being a city, it has a couple of decent nerd-shops, a Forbidden Planet, and a cool comic-book shop called Worlds Apart being the main ones within easy reach of the train station. My friends are both in the computer games industry (read Beki’s Gamer-Highlight interview here) and have recently jumped both-feet-first into board gaming, so suffice to say, I was in for a nerdy holiday.
In gamer highlight I’ve been interviewing gamers from differing fields of experience, from the table, to the field, the computer.
This week, I finally got round to talking to someone in the computer games industry! Beki works for Evolution Studios, producers of the World Rally Championship and Motorstorm series. She’s a long-time gamer, and also writes an excellent games design blog, The Universe Illusion. (more…)
Do you like HP Lovecraft?
Do you like Aleister Crowley?
Do you like awesome mash-ups in comic form?
We’re back once again folks for another awesome Kickstarter Highlight. Now put on your boxing gloves and let’s duke it out! *Ding, ding, ding!*
What is it?
I read the title of this campaign and I simply couldn’t stop myself from clicking on it. First of all, who doesn’t love Lovecraft and secondly, who doesn’t want to see Aleister Crowley get his comeuppance? If that is indeed what happens, I dunno. I’ve not read the comics yet, damn it.
If someone is unaware as to who these individuals are, although I am a little bit shocked by this revelation, I will quickly attempt to explain who these two men were.
HP Lovecraft is the well known horror writer who created the C’thulu Mythos. Without him, we’d not have stories which feature the Necronomicon. We’d not have C’thulu, you know that really lovable giant tentacled monolithic beast? He’s so adorable, really. If you’ve not read anything to do with C’thulu, do it now please. A staple of the horror genre.
Aleister Crowley was an interesting man, shall we say? He was an occultist primarily but he had a lot of strange influences over the world. Heck, even the Wikipedia picture below calls him “The Wickedest Man In The World”, which is quite the achievement. Very odd-balled, very unique. To his credit though, he looks pretty photogenic.
So what is this comic about then?
Set in a world where the works of Lovecraft are real, this is a bizarre tale where we take Aleister Crowley at his word. The story is simply that these two influential figures are powerful sorcerers, where Lovecraft is trying to solve the riddle of the most difficult spell and Aleister Crowley doesn’t want this to happen.
It’s a great premise for a comic with reference to two highly influential figures. A proper nod to their works, that’s for sure.
How much do they need?
The campaign being run by Montgomery Borror is asking for a mere $2,000. Already at the time of writing, it’s at $1,696 but there are only 6 days to go to get this comic done.
Basically, jump on it now and let’s help this comic out. I’m excited by it and I’m hoping to read these comics!
What are the rewards?
I find it a shame that this only has 6 days left in fairness. I really hope this project can make it there, but if it can’t then I urge the creator to carry on, as hard as it will be. People will buy it, but it needs to find that niche!
Until next time everyone, this has been your Kickstarter Highlight of the week! Tell us what you thought of it, if it’s something you’d buy yourself. For $5 you can get all of the comics in PDF format. The artwork looks great and the premise of the story is brilliant to me. Let’s just see how this pans out.
Games as art is a rising fascination in the platform, and many of the greatest artistic games have become so because they focussed so strongly on the atmosphere. As I’ve mentioned before, strongly atmospheric gameplay and worlds can be highly emotionally evocative, which is an essential element for medium wanting to be considered as an art form.
Limbo presents us with a monochrome world of terror, in which a young boy is lost and alone, desperately seeking his sister in a forest filled with deathly silhouettes. The game is near-silent, save for the rustle of leaves and the occasional rumble as something nearby shifts, a rolling rock, a swinging chain, a gigantic spider. Your character is restricted to only a few simple actions, move, and grab, and as a small boy, your pace is understandably quite slow by what you might refer to as “normal” in a game, sidescrollers especially.
In this series of interviews I have been talking to gamers of all types and experiences, trying to get a new perspective on our favourite hobby.
Ok, so I admit it’s mostly been tabletop gaming, there’s computer gamers coming soon, I promise! But I know a lot of interesting tabletop gamers.
Today’s interview is from a man who I deeply respect as a DM, and from whom I take most of my advice and inspiration. For being nearly a year younger than me, he has 5 more years in the big chair than I do, and his storytelling techniques leave mine in the dust.