Farts are funny. I am sure that at some point in your life, you heard someone else fart, and you laughed. If you didn’t, I bet you actively suppressed the impulse to laugh. Despite this, we all tend to agree that intentionally drawing attention to farts makes you look pretty juvenile. You know, kind of like how playing video games makes you look juvenile.
As someone who’s followed the whole gaming ‘scene’ since I’ve been old enough to know there was a gaming scene, the past few years have been great. It’s as if we’d finally realized that games are capable of a lot more than just high scores, kill streaks, explosions, and 80’s action movie plots. While I like all of those things, I’ve really enjoyed the influx of games that show the medium can handle serious, mature subject matter like The Last of Us, emotionally profound works of art like Journey, and experimental interactive narratives like Gone Home. Where it was once said that video games can never be art, the industry has shown in the past couple years that games can be just as artistic as film, music, literature, and so on.
To anyone who follows the industry, this has been obvious for a while now. But every once in a while, I’ll run into someone who gets all bent out of shape as soon as the words ‘video’ and ‘game’ come up, dismissing the entire medium as something young loser kids do when they should be playing outside instead. Any adult playing games is some weird man-child or woman-child who needs to grow up, get a job, get their 401(k) squared away and then make jokes with other adults about how needlessly complex our 401(k)’s are, because, hey, even though we’re adults now and too old for video games, we can still have a sense of humor and all of that so long as we joke about all those respectable adult things that do not include video games or farting. While this mindset is slowly shrinking, it can still be surprising to run into that person who thinks you’re wasting your time by involving yourself in the world of gaming.
So basically, I took this whole above discussion and I made a game about it. If video games are a stupid thing that little kids like, and farts are a stupid thing that little kids like, then a video game all about farts would be like some world-breaking stupid-little-kid singularity. This is what I ended up with.
Yeah, so you’re a janitor for a bean restaurant (which we all know are extremely popular these days), and you want to avoid all the happy farting customers and their lingering fart clouds. Farts are hilarious, yet they still smell bad, so you want to make sure you still smell like a bed of roses when you get home at the end of the day. Also, you’ll have to avoid hopping toilets that come from either side of the screen, because if you’re going to take this fart thing all the way, you better be prepared to throw in some toilets. Occasionally, a bean burrito will show up; collect it and all the farts and toilets will slow down. There’s no good reason why a bean burrito would make people fart less rapidly, but at this point I got in too deep and had to bring this whole thing to its logical conclusion.
The goal is simply to avoid the farts and toilets as long as you can. Once you finally get hit, your time is recorded, and a local leaderboard will keep track of the best times. That’s pretty much all you need to know to play the game. You can challenge your friends to see who is the most adept at the art of gas-aversion, or could just sit back and appreciate all the silly fart noises. But maybe, despite my reasoning above, you still think this game is way too childish and, intentions be damned, we need to move this medium forward and that can’t happen when we’re still acting like children. If that’s the case, then all you need to do is survive in this game for at least one minute, because then you’ll unlock SUPER SERIOUS ARTISTIC MODE.
SUPER SERIOUS ARTISTIC MODE is identical to the normal mode, except now everything’s extremely depressing. Our janitor–instead of avoiding farts–must now do his best to dodge the manifestations of his greatest fears and insecurities. Instead of toilets, there are clocks, which represent a fear of his own mortality. Obviously. And instead of bean burritos, we have slightly darker-looking bean burritos, because I didn’t want to have to change everything, and once I can come up with some good explanation involving fleeting happiness or instant gratification or something, I’ll just start telling people that.
This mode really only exists to appease anyone who thinks my fart game is just stupid–which it kind of is. It’s also a sort of response to attitudes I sometimes see inside of the gaming community, where some of these more artistically inclined games are met with hostility. They take themselves too seriously, or They aren’t really a game. That kind of thing. Something, something pretentious. I guess I kind of wanted to make an exaggerated example of what these guys may think of when they hear ‘game’ and ‘art’ in the same sentence. But you know, games are fun. I like childish games. I like serious games. I think just about all games have some value, and we should take advantage of the variety we have now. If you want to play a fart game, go ahead. If you want to play a more mature game, more power to you. All I’m saying is that my game is both, so you should all play my game.