Cole's Corner: Funny Business

Cole's Corner: Funny Business

Comedy has never played a major role in video games; it's used more as a seasoning than as a main entrée. It can play a huge role in a specific genre, but comedy is not recognized as a separate game genre. There might be elements of comedy in platform games, action adventure, and almost every other genre, but comedy is still the Ed McMahon of the gaming industry. It's too bad comedy isn't taken more seriously.

There are comedy movies, comedy TV shows, comedy CDs, and even comedians. But there are no comedy video games. Yes, there are incredibly funny video games but they don't stand alone as "comedies." Comedy is not a game, but we're always game for comedy.

But what would comprise a comedy video game? That's a tough one.

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Comedy, as a tool, is extremely important in psychological diagnosis, at least for me. I have constantly analyzed people by what they think is funny. I can never be close friends with people lacking a sense of humor. People's level of maturity and sophistication can be gauged by what they laugh at.

What is perplexing is the existence of the comedy snob. These high-faulting types seem to only laugh at dry British comedies or snide political jabs. They also only listen to symphony music and read the works of Chaucer—for fun. I like a good dose of silly, inane slapstick, but I also need some cerebral stimulation. What I don't need is a laugh track slapped on a cartoon. If you need to be told something is funny, that is a huge problem. Imagine how lost you would be reading the comics section in your local newspaper. (Uproarious laughter from the audience…)

So now we can see that not all comedy is created equally. We may all laugh, but we're not always laughing at the same things. Developers would need to develop some system to reach a target demographic.

Comedy in games comes in many forms. It can be slapstick, a joke, a humorous character with a zany attitude, a crazy situation, witty banter, shock and surprise, and a healthy dose of mean-spiritedness. People laugh at different degrees of each of these comedic elements. Some get the point, some don't, and some get it but are above it. Perhaps there could be some kind of comedy IQ test to determine a person's humor level. The number would be printed on the box. If you're a 2, don't buy a game with 5 on it. And hold the box upright or you might end up with a 6 instead of a 9, or vice versa.

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They all laughed when I suggested comedy as a separate genre. But once they see I'm not joking, I will have the last laugh.

Cole Smith
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: June 1, 2012

*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*

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