a blog for someone who cannot shut up....

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Its easy to fix the Millenium Falcon now

The following is a good example of what I might come up with on this online journal, this blog, as all the hipsters are calling it. A friend of mine told me I should do more analysis on Nef. R, more depth. There will be time in the future for long-winded manifestos and for some "heavy rotation" features, features like "Music Picks of the Week" or the like. I'm still getting my sea legs, and sometimes this site will reflect what is on the "Mr. Bobo's Table" of my brain. If you go to political blogs at all you'll notice that almost every entry is like an Op-Ed piece within your local paper: What is a hot topic, and what do I want to say about it? There is too much of that already in the blogosphere. I strongly feel there is always room for nonsense, and Jello as well. (If you're scratching your head over the ref. to one Mr. Bobo, then you didn't watch enough Cheers)

The item that caught my eye today is the new LEGO/Star Wars video game. Yes, I'm one of those men in their mid-30's that cannot shed their video game roots - and why should I? If you were a boy lucky enough to come of age when the Atari 2600 was THE holiday gift, and the Combat game seemed as detailed and rich as today's military training programs, then you know where I'm coming from. I have watched the latest renaissance with joy. With XBox Live I can play some snot-nosed Midwestern kid - a real-time human opponent - in FIFA soccer while sitting on my couch and eating my Mixed Berry gummies. That is quite a leap.
The "creative" team in question decided to make a video game for the latest consoles featuring on-screen characters (see screenshot above) that appear exactly as real LEGO people appear : little overweight midgets with 3-D horseshoe hands and a facial expression that suggests mild retardation. Supposedly these little Life Goes On Jedi Masters not only fit the graphical world of Star Wars but also comfort the little tyke playing this adventure with soothing, familiar icons. Even the cool spaceships that exist in this galaxy far, far away are limited to the Lego block system...who knew? Why not just chuck the Lego license entirely and pay the graphic artists to create vivid player characters that fill your screen with color and detail but tone down the violence and sell it as a G-rated kids Star Wars game? No, lets just give 'em some of the same plastic shit they get out of the box.
Perhaps this works on some level. I don't know. They call it "kid-friendly" in the one of the taglines. How about this one : "We've imagined the plastic for you."

UPDATE: A friend with an MBA tells me that this is good marketing at work. He is probably right, and the game will sell well. I still think the kids would rather look at the kind of visuals that they can see in their heads using a little imagination, not the plastic little man in their hands.


Righteous Yank said...

In the age of TIVO, this is brilliant marketings. Kids might not be watching the ads on TV anymore, but if they want 3D representations of the characters they manipulate -- they know Toys R Us will have them stacked the ceiling.

Now while it is a smart selling tactic, it certainly has its ethical implications as it is simply one more avenue of marketing messages that parents can no longer protect their kids from.

By the way, Space Legos rock.

The Nefarious One said...

the righteous one has credentials in the mktg field...so I will not challenge. I still think its weak but perhaps they will do well with it.

Jason Hart said...

Just to let you know, Hopper, Dexter and I were playing games on my old 2600 only a week ago.

Metal Militia said...

Um, the fact that Han won the Falcon from Lando - see Mr. Colt 45 himself, Billy Dee Williams - in a card game means that this ship is the space equivalent of a RIG. Why should anyone be surprised that it doesn't work.