Brief Thoughts on Comedy and Games

In video games on September 1, 2010 at 3:40 am

[Below is an excerpt of what I though about Deathspank and comedy in games. I’ve taken an interest in the genre lately so I decided to give my two cents on the game. You can check it out in it’s entirety here].

“Comedy is an interesting thing. It only has one barometer of success: it’s ability to make us laugh. The more people laugh the funnier it is. But, comedy is so subjective. One persons favorite comedian is another person’s irritating actor who has yet another movie out. But, I believe there is something to be said about a game that forces a smile on your face every time you pick up the controller. Most games don’t do this. As much as you might like games about sports and space marines they don’t make you grin from ear to ear for hours on end. Most games create excitement, tension, frustration, and sometimes anger. Horror titles scare us. Sports titles thrill us. How many games can you find which are silly in nature, games that don’t take themselves serious and are simply fun to play. I wasn’t necessarily laughing out loud throughout the entire game but I did smirk the whole way.

Small but significant nicks and bruises aside, Deathspank is good silly fun. It is a game that can’t possibly live up to any lofty expectations. The comedy genre needs more games under its belt before we’ll see a true gem. But, we need to keep ‘em coming. Hotheads Games’ distribution method should allow for more games [two days after I wrote this Double Fine announced their next game, Costume Quest, a comedy title that will be digitally distributed], more experimentation and hopefully more success. When this happens we’ll begin to see full retail comedy titles on store shelves. And, with luck, one of them will be a bona fide hit.”


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