Pranks are the “things to do”

I would conclude that of the five “things to do” Bogost describes, the chapter that stood out to me was Pranks and how so much time, effort and planning goes into such a small moment of excitement. To let loose on someone who is unknowing and unsuspecting of any such actions that are about to happen is a small victory in my eyes. Could we conclude that some pranks are far reaching and sometimes dangerous to complete, of course, but what fun it is to finally see the end result. The prank notwithstanding and a victim willing to participate is of course rule for the cause. 

How do we create such a game and prove that it is worth the time to play it? It must be interactive, engaging, educational and of course fun. But what such platform could be used for this endeavor? In Bogost’s book he mentions a few games that portray such events. One being the mostly facebook based game called “Parking wars”, those type of games are great but there’s always and underlining agenda with commercially funded game development. How must we depict this as not so commercial? Is that even possible to do with the current technology we have? 





One thought on “Pranks are the “things to do””

  1. The other Prank-Game described by Bogost is “Syobon Action”, a warped version of 2-D Mario games. The game takes tropes typically associated with success in Mario, such as collecting points, jumping on the flag at the end of the level, and leveling-up through consumption of mushrooms, and makes them detrimental to the player, instead of helpful, thus violating the players expectations of successful game play. The prank in the game is this expectation violation; the assumptions which players commonly make about what commonly amounts to success in a 2-D game are false in “Syobon Action.”

    Here’s a video showing a perfect run of “Syobon Action”. Winning is as counter intuitive as Bogost describes.

    I think can imagine a type of game which pranks players of almost any type of video game. For the core assumption of at play in almost all video games is that a player is capable of progressing through the game to some extent; a new level, or mission can be attained. But what about a game which there is no conceivable way to get past even the first level; a game where there is no possible way to beat the first level, just a series of ways to lose. Such a game would not be limited to the 2-D genre. We can imagine that in the opening mission in “Assassins Creed” no matter what the player does, they die and have to restart the mission.

    Such a game I think would play the ultimate prank on its players, for it would undercut the primary assumption involved in playing any video game: that the game can be played to some level of completion.

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