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Pac-Man As Pot Head 58 has a look at the history of drugs in games, from the pellet-popping days of Pac-Man to the industrious sales efforts of the GTA games. From the article: "As games drew a wider audience, not to mention a wider variety of creative talents (some pretty weird stuff reportedly went on at the Atari offices in an evening), they necessarily drew on a wider spectrum of influences and inspirations...some of them chemical in nature. There have been games that were probably made on drugs -- Rez springs to mind, or the Virtual Light Machine -- and even reviewed on drugs, when A.C. Styles dosed the office coffee pot at Die Hard Game Fan."
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Pac-Man As Pot Head

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  • by Oldest European ( 886715 ) on Friday June 24, 2005 @09:11PM (#12906363) Homepage
    Not a surprise if you think about it, or is there any relevant social group where there are no drug users?

    And sadly enough art and drug (ab)use almost always were related.
  • You miss the lichen. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by N3Roaster ( 888781 )
    Hallucinogens weren't the only thing to make Nethack great. It's nice how you can die from eating too much:

    This lembas wafer is delicious!
    You're having a hard time getting all of it down.
    Stop eating? [yn] (y)
    You choke over your food.
    You die...
    Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq]

    I love the attention to detail on little things like that. BTW, has there ever been a count of how many distinct ways to die in Nethack there are?
  • Ya know how many (most?) side scrolling games have those terminal gaps in the map, the bottomless pits you gotta jump over? Well, in Super Mario Brothers, the lovable Yoshi would invariably head for one of those cracks as soon as you lost control of him. Me and my girlfriend at the time used to spend many, many hours smoking cigarettes and all sorts of groovy things whilst playing this game, and "Yoshi's a crackhead!" became a constant refrain.

    Oh, and, uhh, the mushrooms? Hello! Waiter, could we get some subtlety over here? Thanks.
    • No mario game is as twisted as SMB2.
    • Yoshi is an odd specimen indeed...

      If a mushroom hatches from a Yoshi egg, you can get him to eat it, I am not sure, but this seems like some sort of drug-related cannibalism...

      Very odd.
    • by forkazoo ( 138186 ) <> on Friday June 24, 2005 @10:01PM (#12906589) Homepage
      Yoshi was nothing. Replay Mario 2 on the NES now that you are old enough to appreciate it. Use magic potions to unlock a door to a shadow universe that you can only see when you drink it. One eyed snakes. All sorts of wierd metaphor that I never noticed when I was a little kid. Far and away, Mario 2 is the most subversive of the Mario games. The only one that features more blatant drug use is Dr. Mario, and that wasn't subversive.
      • Mario 2 wasn't really a mario game to begin with. In Japan it was called Doki Doki Panic. The original Japanese Mario 2 was released in the US on Mario All Stars as Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels.
        • "Mario 2 wasn't really a mario game to begin with. In Japan it was called Doki Doki Panic. The original Japanese Mario 2 was released in the US on Mario All Stars as Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels."

          What you are saying is true, but nevertheless after the American Mario 2 was released in Japan (under the name "Mario USA"), it did become "canon" in the Mario universe. Think of all the American Mario 2 monsters that featured in future Mario games. The extensive use of Shy Guys in Yoshi's Island (among m
      • I suggest you acquire SMB3 and the japanese game inbetween what Americans call SMB1 and SMB2. Both are significantly more drug-suggestion heavy than SMB2.

        SMB has always had an undercurrent of drug topics. As every old slashdotter knows, the jokes about eating mushrooms and flowers, growing to double your size, changing colors, learning to spit fire and swim under the ocean, and so forth are all indicators.

        SMB3 is less constant but there's a lot more of it and it's subtle. (Of course there's always the
    • I believe it was Quest For Glory 3 [] that made me thing about drugs and videogames. In particular when you go and hit that bong with the Apothocary. Good times.
  • by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) * <> on Friday June 24, 2005 @10:04PM (#12906600) Homepage Journal
    ...of a T-Shirt I once saw:

    If video games affected kids, we'd all be popping magic pills and listening to electronic music.

    I take three prescribed medications, and listen to Amiga music. Does that count?
    • The Pacman Joke []

      "If Pacman had affected us as kids we'd be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music."
    • sounds like a rave [] to me...
    • "If video games affected children, we'd all be running around in the dark through a maze of neon lights, munching magic pills, listening to repetitive electronic music."

      The quote becomes much funnier when you discover that it's from Kristian Wilson, a CEO at Nintendo back in 1989, from the front door of a private rave. Rather tongue in cheek, one expects.
  • Manic Miner (Score:2, Interesting)

    by StonedRat ( 837378 )
    Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy were obviously created while under the influence. I heard that Matt Smith (the creator) became a bit of a druggy after that, but is apprently doing ok for himself now with manic miner being licenced for mobile phones and the GBA. From the pics I've seen of him, the drugs have surely left their mark.
  • When I read the headline I immediately thought of that Bloodhound Gang song:

    Pacman: Yo yo yo yo yo! What it is motherfuckers?
    Man 1: Aw shit, here comes Pac-Man.
    Man 2: Hey Pac-Man, what's up?
    Pacman: Me you bitches! I'm high on crack! Wanna freebase?
    Man 2: No Pac-Man, drugs are bad!
    Man 1: Nope, can't help you man.
    Pacman: Puss-ies. [Sound of a lighter and inhaling] Whoa! Holy shit!
  • Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea...
  • Ever design games... on weed?
  • How can any history of video games be complete without mentioning the psychedelic mushrooms in Rise of the Triad? The mushrooms would make the camera swirl around drunkenly while the colors warped around. Which also led to the most nauseating level in gaming history, the vomitorium. Which was a large cube room covered on all six sides with springs that would send you flying in any direction. With a liberal dosage of Rocket launchers, enemy robots and mushrooms floating in the air.
    • They forget Resident Evil also. Those green and red herbs that replenish health?! WTF? Aren't they S.T.A.R military/police units. They are so high and unfocused when they could have just used their gun to break the doorknob and leave the mansion.

    • How can any history of games be complete with any mention of Rise of the Triad at all? That game deserves to be burned from our collective memories. It's the Galactica 1980 of gaming.
  • From the article: "...but that still doesn't explain how the fire-spitting flowers came into being..." Fire flowers are from a pun from the Japanese word for fireworks (hanabi), which is a combination of flower (hana) and fire (suffix of -hi, which changes to -bi). Fire flowers are the literal translation.
  • Ok it is insanely hard to code even when your just a little stoned.
    Imagine trying to code a game when your tripping. I mean wooh dude Heavy number shittt man.
    Recounting one time i was on acid , i completely forgot all about numbers and created some complex system involving blips of and the position of Christmas tree lights, This is not a rare incident , one time i turned a manual for the game 1080 snowboarding into the nix nax nox tobo , a religious book to live you life by , the devil being a tree outside and god being IIRC my light bulb.
    Making a game whilst on drugs is really really hard if not nearly impossible .Perhaps you could draw quite well on past experiences ,but whilst actually on anything it would not be a good idea unless you like code so obsfucated that it makes badly written perl look like the nirvana of code.
    Perhaps it would be easier if your on a little amphetamines , but anything hallucinogenic is asking for trouble. ;) unless your the graphics artist or story writer then they are all permanently wasted anyway,
    Not to mention the Voice over director who in most game pretty much has to have been smoking to Cheech and Chong levels
    • Ok it is insanely hard to code even when your just a little stoned.

      Meh, not really. I do it every weekend.

      Imagine trying to code a game when your tripping.

      Now, that's difficult. And, reading the comments afterwards ... just bring tissues. Huhu.

      Making a game whilst on drugs is really really hard if not nearly impossible.

      That's the problem with referring to all drugs at once - people tend to forget caffeine and nicotene, and then just lump things like pot with things like psylocibin. Some drugs
  • The article probably missed a few things, but I distinctly remember "Stim Paks" in StarCraft.

    Pump those into your marines and they'd lose about 20% of their hit-points, but run and fire about 50% faster for a good 30 seconds or so.

    Good times!

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant