From The Adventure Gamer
Answers: Mr. Sack
Introduction and Captions: TBD
And today, we have somebody who sent in their What’s Your Story answers before commenting on the blog. It’s time to welcome the self-described “long time fan, first time caller,” Mr. Sack!
My home country is… USA! USA! USA! Heh, sorry. I’m not jingoistic, but I couldn’t resist.
My age is… 40, but I still feel 23…not physically, but mentally. I remember turning 23, graduating college, 5 years into legal adulthood, expecting to be a full-time adult and yet not knowing if I was ready for that privilege or responsibility. It seemed like I was faking it and everyone else had it together. Now that I’m 40, with a wife, two kids, and a job that isn’t exactly dead-end but isn’t exactly fulfilling, I realize everyone is pretty much faking it; I still feel young and irresponsible, but at least I’m better at faking it.
The first adventure game I played was… Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards…when I was 8 years old. My dad brought home his work computer for my little brother and me to play the casino games and exploring the virtual world (making sure we didn’t wander off into the dirty parts…not that we would even understand it). Years later when we got our own computer, I tracked down just about every available Sierra game both old and new. I ended up playing all the Leisure Suit Larry games before ever having a girlfriend. In a way, the games helped to shaped my attitude towards sex and masculinity (both are HILARIOUS), and taught me to respect women, to see them as people with their own needs and desires that should be fulfilled before I get what I want (and sometimes I don’t get what I want, but I make the best of it).
|I’m surprised you can get past the title screen without finding some dirty parts!|
My favourite adventure game is… really hard to pick. Growing up, I almost exclusively played Sierra games both out of ignorance for any other quality games from other companies and satisfaction from their catalogue. When I discovered LucasArts games, the whole world opened up and it amazes me I managed to do anything as a kid other than play these games. At one point, I would have said King’s Quest VI was my favorite, though it is my favorite of that series. Leisure Suit Larry 3 is the perfect balance between a real adventure game and Larry’s comedy trope of dating and societal mockery and the best of that series. For a time, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers could not be dethroned because of its dark story and incredible style. Space Quest V is criminally underrated among that series and I’m surprised it doesn’t get more love. Really, the golden age of adventure gaming, from King’s Quest I to Grim Fandango, those games are the games I remember so fondly.
As for my “gun to the head” answer, when I think of the game that I enjoyed from beginning to end, that was the perfect blend of hilarious sharp writing, visually pleasing, and just plain all around fun, it’s probably Sam & Max Hit the Road. I loved that game so much, it made me a fan of the Steve Purcell comics and visual style. While I enjoyed the Telltale series, the Lucasarts entry is just so good and I lament we never got to experience the cancelled sequel.
|A lot of people with guns to their heads pick Sam & Max – I wonder why?|
When I’m not playing games I like to… keep myself entertained. I watch movies and online videos like The Spoony Experiment, read books, comics, blogs, cereal boxes, anything that stimulates my mind. Boredom is my worst enemy. Having two young kids has helped me rediscover playing with toys.
I like my games in (a box, digital format)… young me would have said box with all the trimmings of manuals that seemed like they came straight from the game and devices that either served as copy protection or simply cosmetic dressing…but now that I’m older and space is limited, plus having games easily portable on my phone and my Nintendo Switch, I’ve no problem with digital format. In fact, having replayed classics like Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle on my iPad, not to mention so many new adventure games from Wadjet, Zojoi, and the new Leisure Suit Larry game, I want every single adventure game past, present, and future available on my digital platforms of choice.
|Unavowed from Wadjet Eye Games – available now on most digital platforms!|
The thing I miss about old games is… the risks of experimental games by big studios. Sierra and Lucasarts brought out some incredible pieces of work in their glory days before they went seriously corporate and eventually disbanded. Even other companies like Capcom were much better when we got games like Darkstalkers, ones that developed cult followings and had real character. With games having blockbuster-sized budgets and a need to recoup such high production costs, they tend to play it so safe and formulaic, especially with things that, for their time, would have been considered bold. Also, I miss the sense that I had so much time to play them all. Becoming an adult has really made me aware of time and responsibilities that must be fulfilled before I can do anything else, and that usually leaves me with little time for gaming.
The best thing about modern games is… the stigma of gaming being for nerds who don’t leave their parents’ basements is gone…for the most part. There are games for everyone, and despite what blogs on both sides of the political spectrum say, we can all unite over our love for them, regardless of genres and flaws. It baffles me that there are those who seem to want to dictate what gaming is, who believe games on phones are not “real games”, or that games from the past are terrible due to either gaming conventions of the time or the lack of inclusion and pandering to the “old guard”. Gaming shouldn’t be so divisive. Preferences in genres will be there, but it’s our differences in preferences that should bring us all together. Also, I love the indie gaming scene that allows for blockbuster games from the big studios and small, experimental pieces from everyone else.
The one TV show I never miss is… Mystery Science Theater 3000, no question. My all-time favorite television show. It pretty much shaped my sense of humor and outlook on life. While it’s never quite managed to evolve past being a cult show (albeit one that has a lot of big name fans and the idea of a bad film being “MST3K-worthy” is parlance I am glad to see), its influence is undeniable in this era of online cynicism and critique. Whether that’s good or bad is up to each person’s interpretation, but for me, the world can take itself way too seriously, and sometimes I just want to hear the riffs of a guy trapped in space with two sarcastic robots. I’ve said that, in the era of DVD commentary tracks, every film, regardless of quality, should have a mandatory MST3K track, complete with silhouettes (the Ghostbusters DVD had this, so it’s possible).
|Unfortunately, the MST3K revival was recently cancelled after Season 2|
If I could see any band live it would be… Gorillaz, just to see how they pull it off.
My favourite movie is… The World’s End. When I bought it on Blu-Ray, I probably watched it at least once a day for half a year, making it easily my most-watched movie. The dialogue is so sharp (no surprise if you’ve ever watched any other Edgar Wright production) and the fight scenes so impressive, and yet most people mark this as inferior to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, which baffles me; those two films set the bar very high, for sure, but The World’s End matched it. But again, that’s a gun to my head choice (though a much easier one to declare than my favorite game), I’ve grown up watching movies from all eras, and I’m always up for watching a good (or bad) movie with friends, no matter how many times I see it. In fact, the best way to experience a film I’ve already seen is with someone who hasn’t.
|If this is the guy with a gun to your head, I think he was hoping for a different World’s End movie|
One interesting thing about me is… I joined a local community theater just to be in a production of Avenue Q, and that pretty much opened up a whole new world of interest for me, allowing me to fulfill an acting bug I never knew I had.