It’s official: I have seen “The Avengers” more than once. I will not say how many times more than once I have seen “The Avengers”, because that would shatter my reputation as someone who hates almost everything.
I come to you today as a news reporter: the film references the classic Namco arcade shooting game Galaga during one of those scenes where Tony “Robert Downey Jr.” Stark (aka “Iron Man”) delivers a tightly scripted virtuoso monologue displaying his smartness and intelligence. “That man over there is playing Galaga,” he says, interrupting himself. “He thought we didn’t notice. We did.” Then he interrupts his own interruption of himself, slashing right back to the stuff he was saying about gamma radiation and government conspiracies. He does this all while wearing a “Black Sabbath” T-shirt — one featuring an image of the Triforce from The Legend of Zelda. He’s wearing a Black Sabbath T-shirt because they’ve already used the AC/DC song “Shoot to Thrill” to introduce Iron Man’s heroic swoops into action twice across three films. Here is where, maybe, the producers at Marvel Studios made that same error that the BBC’s “Look Around You” once made, when they flat-out called AC/DC “Heavy Metal”. “Iron Man”‘s producers might have been going for a subtler pun, though the takeaway is this: AC/DC is not heavy metal. They are not metal at all. They are classic rock. If you call AC/DC “metal”, you also consider Frito-Lay a food group.
When Stark’s monologue is over (thirty seconds after the “Galaga” comment), we see a quick shot back into the bridge of the flying aircraft carrier where The Avengers hang out and argue for half the film. (It’s pleasant-enough arguing (I saw the film More Than Once, after all (it was research: I wanted a deeper understanding of a logistical particulars of a billion-dollar-earning film which genuinely uses dialogue as an attraction and not a boring thing that the writers couldn’t figure out how to get rid of).))
There he is: a man playing Galaga! Man! Why the heck did it have to be Galaga? Why not Pac-Man?
Well, if you watch the credits of “The Avengers” — and who wouldn’t, when movie studios these days have to promise two post-credits fun-nuggets at least just to keep up with the Joneses — you’ll see, after the seemingly endless part wherein you realize they employed Literally Every Special Effects Company Out There, a “special thanks” section that expresses gratitude for all the usuals (fire department, police department, et cetera), and then . . . “GALAGA [TM] & NAMECO BANDAI GAMES [Copyright symbol] courtesy NAMECO-BANDAI Games America Inc.”
So, there’s that: the person tasked with typing up the credits for “The Avengers” didn’t spell “Namco” correctly. This means Galaga is not adequately credited in the film. This means Namco can probably sue. Hey, Disney and Marvel Studios — just settle out of court. Offer them five hundred dollars — they’ll take it. That’s enough for them to make another Tekken game EPIC BURN
Oh: you want to see photographic evidence? Just click that image up there, bloggers of the world. Sorry it’s a bit blurry; my hands were shaking vigorously with the thrill of Hot Scoop Action.
Man! Imagine how many other typos there are in the credits sequence of this movie! The real title is probably supposed to be “The Avengrs”.
Serious comment: that no one caught that typo is a little jarring, and kind of says a tiny little thing or two about how even the legendary Japanese game developer who made Pac-Man never quite became a Real Mainstream Household Name.
John Cadice, creator of Tentacle Bento, says that while the game is full of sexy girls, and a “horrid, tentacle flailing, slime oozing monster from outer space,” his game is not about tentacle rape, but rather tentacle…tickling. And cake baking. Anything but rape.
Cadice says the game is a satire of a “horrid genre of anime,” but I simply don’t see the satire. It’s cuter, it’s lighter, but that does not a satire make. So I am meant to believe that while the game is based on the genre of tentacle rape anime, it is not about tentacle rape. There’s clearly a fundamental disconnect between our consideration of inference and implication versus intent.
I got an email from Cadice not two hours after my initial article, and within 24 hours the Kickstarter was canceled. We had a dialog all along the way, which was a very curious process. First Kickstarter limited the game’s searchability. The game was now only viewable through direct links. At the same time, my article, as well as Kotaku’s, had given the game greater media attention, and after my article went up the project rocketed up from $23,000 to $30,000 in funding. Clearly, as we scrutinized and criticized the project, we also popularized it.
After the project was canceled at Kickstarter, I wondered to myself – while I felt I had struck a blow against a game I found to trivialize rape and molestation, had I also struck a blow for censorship on Kickstarter? In the end, I feel this project shouldn’t have been allowed on the site in the first place – most of the approvals process at Kickstarter happens at the front end – it’s allowed, or not, based on what Kickstarter decides. I think this one simply fell through the cracks, and simply got canned much later than it should have.
I’ve been asked by some what part of the Kickstarter terms this game violates. It’s entirely subjective, but it’s right here: “Offensive material (hate speech, inappropriate content, etc).” There are some who don’t find this game offensive. Its creator claims the game is clearly not about rape or molestation. I maintain, based on looking at the Kickstarter itself, that it is, he just has a much higher threshold for it than I do. You could also make a case for it glorifying acts of violence, depending on which side of the “does this infer rape” argument you fall.
In the end though, I couldn’t stop the game from getting funded. The project had moved to its own site, and appears to be well on its way to coming out. I still maintain that the game is a trivialiation of rape and molestation, and that those supporting it are supporting that mindset. Cadice disagrees. In the following interview, Cadice speaks his mind about his project, and where he says it’s really coming from.
A card game was recently brought to my attention. It’s called Tentacle Bento, and it is currently overfunded on kickstarter by $10,000. Go on and watch the video.
This is a game about tentacle rape – you are meant to “get your slimy tendrils” on as many girls as possible within the given number of cards. But there are other tentacle monsters out to rape girls before you can! And dastardly school officials who can get in your way! Just choose some girls (sexy, sporty, smart, et cetera), a location, and a “sneaky snatch” to grab them with.
The style is a cute, lighthearted, pastel-colored look at the wonderful world of forcing your way inside a female against her will. There are, to my mind, a lot of things wrong with this.