Have you ever been involved in a three-month-long feud with a pro-wrestling champion? And no matter how many chair shots you administer, or tables you put him through, you still can’t seem to get the pin? What about when after losing match after match, you are finally forced into a Loser Leaves Town match for the belt?
Well, I lost that match, so about six weeks ago I got in my car and headed out on a road trip. Apparently, over a year ago, Paul tricked me into signing some contract while I was drunk, so I’m forced to keep writing reviews. Here’s one of them.
I’m sure it’s become painfully obvious that this column has been my attempt to write about things that aren’t videogames. The fact of the matter is that I’m not nearly the gamer I was when Paul found my reviews and talked me into joining GameCola. (For the record, he didn’t try too hard, nor did he have to.)
It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve been able to direct my naturally obsessive behavior into areas that don’t involve me feeling like I’ve wasted a colossal amount of time. One of those areas happens to be direct action.
About two-and-a-half years ago, I went to my first major protest. I went down to Brunswick, Georgia, during the G8 summit when eight world leaders met behind closed doors to discuss how they were going to run things economically for another year. That week in Brunswick was one of the most intense weeks of my life that changed me pretty permanently. Since then, I’ve taking part in a bunch of different demonstrations off and on between school and work.
Last year, I got the opportunity to take my mother to her first major protest. We take a bus along with a ton (four buses’ worth) of local activist sorts to Washington, D.C., for the largest anti-war demonstration in that city’s history. About a half-million people showed, which is more than any of the anti-Vietnam War protests from three decades ago.
The folks on the buses automatically segregated themselves by age and agenda. I decided against riding on the same bus with the more radical anarchist kids that were my age so I wouldn’t leave my mother alone with a bunch of strangers. So I rode with an older set of protestors, many of who had been around for the Vietnam protests, but had sat them out, from lack of commonality with the wild-eyed hippie set of that time.
The buses left Atlanta in the evening with the intention of arriving in D.C. the morning of the demonstration with just a couple of hours before the actual march started, giving us time to catch speeches from Cindy Sheehan and representatives from United For Peace And Justice, The World Can’t Wait, and a variety of other anti-war groups.
As soon as the marching began, I joined up with some of my friends in the Capital Terminus Collective for some pro-worker chants and a big banner that read “No War, but Class War.” We marched in a smaller breakaway march with a bunch of rabble-rousing anarchists that eventually lead to the local army recruitment center being totally vandalized.
Afterwards, I rejoined with my mother and the more-moderate protestors who had marched to the extent of the government-issued permit and were left with a few hours to kill before our buses left for Atlanta.
Sadly, many of these weekend warriors decided to take this opportunity to visit the local mall for souvenirs. My mother and I went along for the ride. A combination of my disgust and lack of spending money directed me the arcade, which houses an exquisitely absurd game called Panic Park.
Panic Park, made by Namco in 1997, is one of those large multiplayer games that you find in the back corner of arcades. After dusting off the controls, you usually play it maybe once, and only to get a further grasp of how terrible the game.
The game prides itself on being a simple multiplayer game for friends. The controls consist of a start button and one “joystick” that swings from left to right, allowing you to bang into your opponent.
Gameplay involves a variety of small games that have you running from side-to-side for whatever reason while trying to push your co-player into whichever pitfalls you happen to be avoiding.
Examples of minigames include one in which you run down a rural road in the middle of the night, trying to avoid abducting tractor-beams from a bunch of different UFOs. Another involves you running down a road, trying to avoid walls of fire. In every single game, you are either trying to avoid some danger or catch some prize.
The only appeal this game could possibly have is for five-year-old children who are still working on hand-eye coordination, retard man-children who are still working on hand-eye coordination or uncontrollable drunkards who are working on hand-eye coordination. I guess pot heads would enjoy it too, but only because it has bright colors, and the fact that they’re more likely to forget that they just played this shitty game when deciding to play it again.