I recently played all the way through for the first time ever, and I thought it was a great game. I giggled at some of the jokes that my younger self didnt get, and the exploratory nature of the text parser really holds up. I could see how the updated versions would ruin it... Now I want to make a game in this style.
The questions would have been written by middle aged men who were as unfamiliar with the pop-culture lives of 99 year olds as I was with theirs. So the questions were really low ball, and in a pinch, an encyclopedia could provide the answer instead of mom.
Great times and awese game back then. I agree with the article though, the remake of the game is nothing like the experience of playing the original.
Anyway, for many years, I just assumed that it was the same for leisure suit larry; and that I was just missing the papers. Many of the questions didn't make sense to my (Belgian/Dutch) parents. At some point, they started questioning why we were asking all these questions, so we had to find another way to figure them out.
You'll enjoy it. They have game creation engines, standardized grammar for dialogues, compilers that build your game even for smart phones and all operating systems.
The latest in language: http://inform7.com/
"Inform is a design system for interactive fiction based on natural language. It is a radical reinvention of the way interactive fiction is designed, guided by contemporary work in semantics and by the practical experience of some of the world's best-known writers of IF."
Play for a bit. Look up solution to problem. Continue. Even if you swear you'll only use a walkthrough when you're really really stuck, you end up finishing the game in 45 minutes.
And it really made me really, we sank weeks into this, and never got past the first few screens in those days.
It was quite nice watching the vector backgrounds being drawn and filled in one polygon at a time too.
And... using that thing was really really nice. Getting data into it was enough of a small chore that it was remarkably focusing.
At one point, the only bootable CDs for i586 in the house were a couple old half-scratched Slackware discs. A lot of things refused to install, but sed did... um.
I can't remember why but I ended up reinstalling quite a bit (I think from "no I don't like this partition table layout") and so I wanted a simple package selector/installer. So I tried writing one using bash and way, way too many regular expressions. I started getting a (literal) headache after staring at screenfuls of modem line noise for about a week and had to give up. But I know how to left- and right-justify text using sed now (and I frequently use sed's full command set), which is kind of cool.
It's quite sad that our brains are so easy to distract with "and through this door we have A PURE STREAM OF ALL THE WORLD'S INFORMATION". It's sad because we live in a hyper-connected age, and yet we just can't mentally scale to cope with it.
But I was always fascinated by the potential of writing anything in King's Quest. The problem is that I never could play it properly. The frustration from the "find the synonym" game for english speakers is a complete block for non-english speakers. That with the Sierra game choices where you could die or get permanently stuck, made it impossible for me to play it. I remember me taking days of trial to find out how to "pick up a cup" on one of the first scenes because I only knew about take or get things.
But specifically LSL never was more than a curiosity to me. Maybe because I got to know it before puberty. The objective of getting laid did not look as interesting for a full game as facing a dead pirate or finding Atlantis. The nuances the author points out were all lost to me.
In the end it was just a curious game to know about like X-Man, the Atari's porn game
I learned to read and write by playing Sierra games. I played them with my dad. And I guess I wanted to be able to play them alone.
So the crappy text parsing forced me to learn written English. "Get knife" -> "What is a knife?", "Get sword" -> "I don't see a sword", "Get dagger" -> "You have the dagger". Over and over with many different circumstances. So I also learned to type.
I entered pre-school already knowing how to read and write, much to the chagrin of some teachers.
I am not saying this style of gaming was overall good. But it hard a weird unique impact on my development.
I'm actually surprised that to this day, learning reading, writing and math has not been very incentivized/gamified.
Meanwhile, I started learning english (not a native speaker) at age 5 because all the broadcasted cartoons were in english, with subtitles. I remember my dad loading up gamified math puzzle games on the Commodore 64 for me to play. And this was some 32 years ago.
I don't know why it's so underused. Perhaps educator are afraid they'll be seen as lazy or not serious about their teaching if they use such measures?
What I do know is that gamification was one of the best ways of being educated as a kid.
The problems with gamification centre mainly around intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. Some studies strongly suggest that you're teaching kids to seek the rewards of games rather than helping them to find fulfillment in their education.
Gamification works well if you're looking for mechanical responses; it might work better for deeper thinking if the game element is well designed.
Kids feel that fun education is better, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is/isn't the best method.
Some things in studies - money - turn out to be bad motivators for tasks, with larger sums interfering more in people completing more complex tasks. PBL probably follows a similar model.
https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation/ is worth a look.
This did not happen to me or my friends until university. I doubt anything would've fooled us into liking school, but learning games at least would have passed the time quicker.
I remember mostly because of the frog! Although, judging by the screenshots I saw on Google, I didnt go very far in the game. Only a few looks familiar.
That was one of my favorites even though I can't stand the load times on Sega CD to ever play it again.
The game has some clockspeed bugs on DOS, though. The animations play at the correct rate, but timers that use the in-game clock will fire too fast above about a 66mHz 486 speed. This left me stuck on a puzzle for a few years, since I first got to play the game in the late 90's and it wasn't obvious that I had a bug.
That's part of the humor.
Plus a lot of people conflate sexual with sexist -- thinking about sex and working towards humping is considered automatically sexist in protestant-derived cultures (who'd rather we were all asexual and only interested in sex and in the other sex under very specific situations -- marriage, back in the day, a relationship, today).
Lolita is about a pedophile, does that make Vladimir Nabokov a pedophile? Othello's Iago was incredibly racist, does that make Shakespeare racist?
That's not to say this game is on the same level as Shakespeare, but the point applies to any number of movies that include contentious character motivations.
Comedy keeps pulse of social norms. We've made progress over the past 30 years.
Gay joke happens in movie
Entire theatre groans, goes "Ewwwwww"
It was just standard formula. It started changing right at the end of the 90s / early 2000's with televisions shows like Queer as Folk, and Will and Grace, that treated gay people like normal human beings.
Closely related is the https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Appeal_to_shame which is part of a general category of fallacies called emotional appeals. You'll also note they're used constantly in debate ("pathos", it's called), because (unfortunately) they are effective, despite being wrong (as far as rational arguments go, at least). The only way to immunize yourself and others against these sorts of tactics is to understand these fallacies so that you can recognize them before you are irrationally swayed.
SNL, 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop series, Coming to America, Golden Child, Trading Places, Nutty Professor, PJs...
He wasn't "mainstream" with respect to G and PG audiences, and wasn't on "regular" TV shows much. He did tours and cable specials like "Delirious" and "Raw" for the 'adult' market. But he was pretty much everywhere in the 80s, in multiple hit movies and cable specials (and radio charts!) in pretty much every year of the 80s in the to 90s.
Another way to put it - he was about as 'mainstream' as a black entertainer was allowed to be in the 80s. That he dealt more in 'adult' stuff vs 'family' stuff (like Cosby) was his own choice, of course, but he no doubt broke a hell of a lot of barriers in those years.
Oh please. I had a "Raw" poster on my closet door I got from the video rental place in Portsmouth, Rhode Island in the '80s. He was pretty mainstream at that point. It's hard to tease apart the fact some of "Delirious" is about how crappy he was as a comedian at the start because he just made poop jokes vs. him talking about Mr. T rodgering people.
The comedians themselves are contradicting you.
Re-watch many comedians from the 80s and 90s and they're just being close-minded rather than actually being funny.
The worst I remember was when in the office we'd all call each other gay for silly things. "You not coming out tonight drinking? Are you gay?".
Then we hired a homosexual.
For months we still all made 'gay' jokes. He said he didn't mind. They would just slip out, that's how we talked to each other. "ah man, who would write a function like that? It's so gay!".
I still feel ashamed today thinking back on actually how hostile that workplace actually was to him. Even if he really didn't care, we were still basically constantly saying Gay Is Wrong. We were idiots. We were wrong.
It's not being sensitive, it's simply being close-minded.
Obviously not a Carlin fan! Its very easy to be open-minded and completely insensitive. Emotional sensitivity is not a desirable attribute, despite its current popularity.
Totally agreed that societal mores change over time and you can retroactively realize that something wasn't OK.
The guilt, along with his confrontation with the other Nexuses and the (ambiguous) realization he's the one doing the dangerous work because he too is not a person, is what changes him.
Most contemporary writing feels like cotton candy that dissolves easily in the mind, when compared to the rack of lamb you take in from Carlyle.
It also seems like we apply current-generation standards most acutely to the N-1 generation. Somehow, a 1980 novel where a woman needs a man to save her from a monster is more offensive than a 1780 novel where a woman needs a man to have an identity or own property or leave the house. Perhaps that's just a matter of emotional distance.
It's not just the cultural stuff, though. I read Dream Park and the Barsoon Project when I was a kid. Loved them to bits. Recently I found a copy of The Voodoo Game in a second hand book store and finally finished the trilogy. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it was like watching an original series BSG episode and expecting it to be as good as... modern BSG.
We’re also developing bubbles, to the point where a comedian like Dave Chappelle, whom no one would consider to be on the right hand side of the spectrum, releases a comedy special that’s uncomfortable to watch for those of us who grimace at rape jokes.
Maybe we just need to forgive creative works that came from less enlightened times, and realize that we ourselves are in a less enlightened time than someone else will possibly be.
You're allowed to try to be funny about anything. Whether or not you succeed is dependent on how good you are. A non-funny joke is not funny. However, any joke is funny depending on how you execute it.
If you don't like a game, stop playing. If you don't like a TV show, stop watching.
What's exactly off limits?
It's tasteless, yeah. But it's comedy. It's hard to say there are limits.
 It was 18 days after 9/11 at the Friars club roast of Hugh Hefner
Also, I recall a celebrity had a dead crocodile hunter costume for Halloween (Irwin died in September).
 It was Bill Maher.
So it didn't fly?
That's a perfect example of a comedian taking something supposedly solemn and turning it funny. Kind of like when a chef takes an off-cut of meat and turns it into something delicious.
For example, I just searched Google for "comedian pedophilia joke" and the first result is about Louis C.K. doing one during an SNL monologue.
Nothing is off limits in comedy. Plenty of stuff is in bad taste, but as long as the comedian is actually trying to be funny I think most or at least many other comedians will back them up.
If a comedian showed up to a mic and started making the sort of Holocaust joke that an insensitive person would make after a few beers, they might get some laughs, but laughs aren't the goal--the goal is to have a good set that people like and remember. Their set would likely flop and they would likely not invited back. I dabble a bit in comedy and, yes, I have seen this happen.
This example holds for most sensitive subjects. So no, it is not acceptable in comedy to say anything for the sake of getting a laugh.
His point is that you're allowed to try to be funny about anything, and if you bomb, you pick yourself up and dust yourself off. You should be allowed to make the attempt.
I will agree that the more sensitive a topic is, the funnier you gotta be. The joke should have an insight and good timing and delivery and all that. If you're just saying shocking things for the sake of saying shocking things to try to elicit a reaction, sure, you won't get asked back.
However, that shouldn't be a reflection on how sacred the topic is, but how unfunny you are.
i think one thing that the author missed is the fact that there was a distinct brand of low-brow humor that permeated all sierra games. in the early days, they weren't professionals, they were a bunch of weirdos hanging out in the foothills of the sierra nevadas making weird stuff with computers. all the jokes were lame in all of their titles, everything was corny, but people loved it because there was a sense of camaraderie in the weirdness of having and playing pc adventure games. you bought that damn soundblaster, it's gonna play that cheesy midi music and you're gonna love it because you're into this weird computer stuff made by other weird computer people and this corny faux-hollywood-wannabe thing validates your weird hobby. (and all that money you spent on video cards and modems and all that other stuff and all that time you spent chatting with weirdo sysops)
so yeah, objectively it's crap... but the same thing could be said of star wars. i never saw it until 2001 and i never understood it, i guess you just had to be there.
2) Humor evolves/improves over the years
Combine the two, and you would be hard-pressed to find ANY game that old which is still considered funny. Maybe "Day of the tentacle" ? I'd have to load it up again to check. it stuck out for me.
Perhaps, but I had a lot of laughs finding great humor in Leisure Suit Larry I/II/III/V, Space Quest III, Monkey Island 2, and Day of the Tentacle.
I think adventure games enable different ways to create humor.
That’s just me though.
I'll admit that older games don't quite have that je ne sais pas though. It seems like a thing we're more keen on nowadays, especially with stuff like streaming or roguelike elements coming back into vogue.
Unrelated, but I think this is where a lot of The Onion's appeal comes from.
I remember my dad being proud that I could type without looking. He asked me to demonstrate to his friend - I was in a rogue spear lobby at the time.
I recently read a book about ocean-crossing by private boat that turned out to be written by Ken Williams, the cofounder of Sierra (i.e. the husband you mentioned). It turns out that being ultra-rich from founding and selling a major software company can open doors to cool, expensive hobbies.
But real ;)
I haven't been able to find a picture of him, and this was about 15 years ago...
This should be the take-away quote:
> So that was the original Leisure Suit Larry. It was a game that provided an absurdist joke about sexy pixel women that entertained an audience of people frustrated with text parsers by subverting genre expectations.
The new versions of the game destroyed the essence of the game by moving away from text parsing to mouse-based, and by moving away from pixel graphics to rich graphics.
this was all before nintendo and the consoles took over, man, i wonder how much money they made, such innovation back then.
San Francisco, California: From games industry legend Scott Foe, Big Head Mode announces the debut of Douche Defender, a fun game that helps women to identify real-world pickup artists, free-to-play for iPhone and iPad in the Apple App Store.
“I’m always trying to bring something new, something that people have never seen before, something from the way-way out-there machine, and we have definitely achieved that uniqueness with Douche Defender,” said Foe.“There is a huge subculture of seduction lurking out there on the internet and this is both the first game that I have designed with female players as the targets and the first game that I have designed with real-world implications outside of the game, and so I am very excited to see how Douche Defender is received.”
Try 4 colors, on CGA.
I wonder if some emulators have a filter to get something like the composite output...
This and Dune 2 were my favorite games of young days and most memorable moments with my family still all together.
I should add, LSL7 was a great game. On top of that, the recent remake of LSL1 (Kickstarter-funded, with tracks by Austin Wintory) is a good addition if you're a fan of the series.
Still, the graphics, feel, music, story and feel of LSL6 make it my favorite game in the series.
But yes LSL6 was a masterpiece. Finding the “Where’s Dildo?” items was a stroke of genius.
There are lots of Reddit threads like "what's the crime you got away with" that feel like extremely blatant examples of that type of profile mining.
"Another thing to kill the laughs for me was the move to better graphics."
There's something to this. Some things don't need updated graphics?
I think the underlying theme of the article is the game was an organic whole. It wasn't just a good idea they put together in the technology available at the time, it was of the time. The best example is:
"once they started looking like actual pin-up girls, that dimension of the humor was lost. It gradually felt less like a joke about a guy who wants to hook up with sexy ladies and more a vehicle for actually looking at sexy ladies."
the improved graphics and the point-and-click interface completely change what the thing is. It stops being some wink-wink "You're playing video games because you can't find a date but we're such losers we had time to make a game for you" and something commercial and knowing. If you knew about any of the Sierra titles you were almost part of a family. You could write to the people there or at Infocom or wherever and reasonably expect a response. Now video games are an industry and every possible niche is filled to bursting.
Then again, there's always some indie game or single-A title that drags me back.
I found it fantastic, but a friend hated it. We both were very perplexed by the other's perspective.
Anyway, worth a watch! Or you'll hate it!
I was discussing this last weekend with a mate. Neither of us have actually played the game but it was around when we were about 10. We were trying to imagine how bad this game could possibly have been that it was taboo, and yet it was around in his (and my friends) fathers collections. We speculated that it would probably be pretty horrific sexist geek humour.
I did a bit of Wikipedia research and it seemed like it pretty interesting game. Probably terrible, but ground breaking at least (though the wiki article and related material didn't make it sound terrible). Interestingly, apparently it sold well even though nobody wanted to admit to having it, due to the lewd nature.
Steve Martin and Mel Brooks still have their audience today. I think that kind of humor is timeless, just out of fashion; I think it will always have its audience, but it's almost surprising that it was mainstream at some point.
In the same vein, you won't see "dad jokes" going away any time ever.
That's overly generous. The game was funny (I played the Apple II version), but not on the same level.