I confess: I used to play video games. Lots of video games. But I was young, and there was some peer pressure, and let's face it, I didn't have that much to do when I was 14. Since then, I've resisted the temptation to while away my hours (and thumbs) with the likes of Link and Sonic by simply not buying video games or their consoles. But now it seems that web-based video games have arrived, and perhaps my ability to resist is coming to an end. Of course, web-based games are by necessity a little more primitive than the hefty, hi-res HD-DVD based supergames of today, but what they give up in terms of graphics and complexity, they make up for is silly fun. Take, for instance, the games on Adult Swim's website, designed by the same twisted minds who bring us Robot Chicken and Moral Orel every week.
Two examples. The first, Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself), is a kind of Dilbert meets Die Hard hybrid. The concept: you're a harried office worker who has said, as certainly have many before him, that (see screen cap):
Inevitably, he does -- and it starts in five minutes! Therefore, your character has just five minutes (and the clock is ticking) to do himself in, and you've only got regular office supplies at your disposal. So you run around stapling yourself in the face and rigging the microwave to explode. (Definitely a unique gaming experience.)
On the other end of the spectrum (and featuring considerably more advanced gameplay), is the tongue-firmly-in-cheek Bible Fight, essentially a mock-up of the classic Street Fighter 2-player battle, except your characters aren't throwing-star-wielding ninjas from Japan, they're Noah, Moses, Eve, Jesus and the whole gang, and special key combinations will unleash moves such as Jesus summoning a crushing pile of loaves and fishes or Noah calling in a stampede of animals (two by two, of course).
Is this a new era, then, in postmodern gaming? Is laughing while locked in mortal gaming combat acceptable? I guess it'll have to be.