This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, April 29, 2005

I've Been Waiting for this Day for a Long Time

Back in the mid-to-late 80's, video games were not the same as they are today. People had computers, but very few had color screens (I'm talking real computers here, not the Commodore 64 or Tandy Whatever). The games were presented in, at best, 640x480 monochrome. You just had to get used to green-on-black, that's just all there was to it. I mention all this because my first exposure to "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" was not from the book, but from the old Infocom text-adventure video game. For those who don't know what a text adventure game, it goes kinda like this:

A message decribing where you are and what's going on there is at the top of the screen. You are armed with only a blinking cursor, and you are expected to type commands (hence the term "text adventure"). You can go in one direction or another, look at something, hit something, etc. When you give the right command, something important will happen. If you type something like, "Combine the Africanized Bees", it will not understand you and you will get a message like, "Pardon?" If it sounds frustrating, you're right. It was. But it was also funny, and somewhat entertaining for a while. And when you got frustrated, you could just look up the right answers in the clue book that was conveniently included in the game.

So anyway, the "Hichhiker's" game was really funny. It also introduced me to Douglas Adams' world of towels, British people, random events, and bizarre worlds. He was the first to really make large-scale sci-fi comedy work (paving the way for movies such as Men in Black). I read the books soon after (at this point only the first three had come out.. books romantic four and nihilistic five I read when I was in college), and fell in love with them. This is my favorite book, and it has become a movie starring Tim from The Office. I've been waiting for this for almost 20 years, and it happens at 12:05CST. Will I be disappointed? Will I be exhilarated? Will I be repulsed? Nobody knows...yet.

I don't know how big of a movie this will turn out to be, money-wise. It seems like every single Star Wars nerd I've ever known has also been enamored of Hitchhiker's, so it could be big. Will all the people who stood in line in their home-made Chewbacca costumes get hyped for this? I just don't get that vibe from America right now. It's opening against XXX2, and I don't know what that will mean for it. Mos Def vs. Ice Cube -- which will hip-hop fans want to see? Has any African-American ever read the Hitchhiker books? If it doesn't beat XXX2, I'll be kind of disappointed, but not surprised. America, after all, is dumb.


  • At 12:50 PM, Blogger pete said…

    Dude, You are so right on about the Hitchhikers text game. It took be forever to figure out I needed to ask Ford for an analgesic. WooHoo, fun memories. I cant wait to read your response to the movie, the local paper here said it was really true to the books. I will have to wait a while to see it because I live with women who don't apprecite such humor. Thanks for making my 3-4 minute lunch hour fun everyday.

  • At 1:05 PM, Blogger jill said…

    Hey, Mike, you could mention, too, that has a text message game. I am a most awesome user of correct punctuation in this sentence.

    and shut up, brian... i'm at school right now.

    also, michael... you used the word "dumb" in the same paragraph as "african-american." that might constitute hate speech. you're so banned from google now.

  • At 1:31 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    Pete, that's game was where I learned the word "analgesic". You couldn't do anything until you took it. That was awesome. Also awesome was the "thing your aunt gave you that you don't know what it was" that you couldn't get rid of.

    Best text game ever.

    And Google isn't exactly getting me a whole bunch of money anyway, Jill, so let those national socialists ban me if they want. It seems my readers don't want funny t-shirts, blogs about gay republicans, web hosting, or (as I currently see) things to improve your IQ. My audience is happy with their intelligence, thank you very much.


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