It’s not often that a silly Flash game is clever enough that it’s worth writing about. But one of the quickly-produced games for The Gameological Society’s “Play the Year 2012” retrospective is such a game.
Fresh off Friday’s news that Disney has officially completed its acquistion of Lucasfilm, I discovered via a MetaFilter post a game called “Star Wars Sequel Debacle Simulatron.” Put simply, the game lets you choose the parameters that you think could/would/should underlie the announced Star Wars: Episode VII and see how the public and critics would receive the film thus produced. Obviously, it’s all in fun, and in fact the parameters clearly only somewhat affect the outcome, as hitting the “Launch” button repeatedly with the same entries often produces wildly different results.
What I particularly love about the game is that its creators, Ben Johnson and Joe Kowalski, went to a lot of effort to create lists of possible writers, directors, and lead actors. I mean, anyone would’ve put J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon on the writers list, along with Michael Arndt — who is reportedly the person actually writing at least an early version of the film. But Warren Ellis, Harlan Ellison, and Neil Gaiman? Awesome. The directors list has a lot of the same names as the writers list, but with some obvious additions like Michael Bay and Ridley Scott, and some less obvious ones like Edward James Olmos. Weirdly, the lead actors list also has a lot of crossovers with the other two lists — I mean, I know Whedon’s done some acting, as has Sofia Coppola, and obviously Kevin Smith. But George Lucas? Neil Gaiman? I don’t think so.
You can then choose the percentages of the film that will be action, “epic SF,” comedy, and romance. And then you get to make a title for the film by choosing one element each from two lists, allowing such entertaining notions as “Again With the Hutts?” or “Endless Wookiees.” Star Wars
Anyway, it’s a really fun, geeky way to kill some time. Your kids may enjoy it, too, though they probably won’t get some of the humor, particularly as some of the names will likely be completely unknown to them. Still, there’s no objectionable content, so there’s no reason not to try. And the other three games for the “Play the Year 2012” project look like fun, too, though I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet.
Screenshots copyright Ben Johnson and Joe Kowalski.