Kids who don't want to have fun need not apply
August 15, 2011 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Wow, "interactive media" in the 90s has a lot of sins to atone for.

Are the Rat's verbal tics some sort of modern video editing or is this game basically one giant Max Headroom homage?
posted by Nelson at 7:48 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ya know, I met Max Headroom. That is all.
posted by tomswift at 8:06 AM on August 15, 2011


It was the fashion. This was before everything had to have f**king shaky-cam the whole time, and also before our current time when everything has to have a tilt/shift effect.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:07 AM on August 15, 2011

This reminds me of my family's attempt to play Banzai a few Christmasses ago. I had just moved into my first post-college apartment, and had claimed a carload of old boardgames collecting dust around the house for my own. I should mention that these games, by and large, were either classics (Scrabble, Monopoly, etc, or trivia-based).

My mom, who I know was just trying to make me happy, decided to give me "the hottest new board game" that had been receiving "rave reviews" all over the internet. OK, great! Sounds good! The game is Banzai. It comes with a DVD.

The premise is basically a betting game for that unique set of people who 1) love Japanese game shows but 2) don't know how to use youtube. The DVD has clips (that take waaaay too long to play through) of people engaging in Japanese game show-type stunts, which you then bet on. You watch the setup, you place your bets, then watch the whole clip and see who wins. Seems simple enough, but the game tries to thwart you at every turn.

First of all, you can't just place a bet. You have to do so by moving your color of plastic sushi pieces (these are small, thin, and slippery) into a bowl with chopsticks. This is extremely difficult. And there's a time limit for betting. By physics alone, betting is effectively capped at two or three sushis, even if you're good with chopsticks. Then, whoever has managed to get some sushis into their bowl controls how the betting goes down, so that means that the most dexterous person ends up winning the game, regardless of how bad they are at betting. And then the stupid videos. They're all voiced-over with a somewhat racist, exaggerated "I so Japanese!" type voice. And they are really long. And completely moronic. It's been a while, but I think one of the challenges was "how many times can this fat guy belch in this other guy's face before the guy getting belched on wants to quit?"

It was awful. Awful. And the worst part was that my mom was SO excited about it and expected me to love it, so it pretty much broke her heart when we all collectively realized that the game sucked balls.
posted by phunniemee at 8:18 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I know Max Headroom. Rap Rat is no Max Headroom!
posted by Splunge at 8:23 AM on August 15, 2011

That Rap Rat is one outrageous dude. He's totally in my face!
posted by Copronymus at 8:26 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

That Rap Rat is one outrageous dude. He's totally in my face!

Come now, stop it with the Poochie love.
posted by Nomyte at 8:31 AM on August 15, 2011

So many thoughts all at once:

- Peter Jackson's demo reel?
- Imagine Rap Rat's lines read by Christopher Walken. "I'm a legend. In a lunchtime. I'm, a once-a, in a LIFEtime."
- Are these FFF folks related in some way to Everything Is Terrible or are they just blatantly nicking the aesthetic?
posted by cortex at 8:33 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

That's not a rat rap. This is a Rat Rap!
posted by veedubya at 8:43 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Worst board game I've ever played was The Olympiks. Looking it up just now, I came across this; the Long Description section made me laugh until I cried but I'm not sure why.
posted by cog_nate at 8:45 AM on August 15, 2011

Just based on that "Rap Rat" character design, by all rights Ed "Big Daddy" Roth should've taken these people to the cleaners. Blatant thievery, or outright stealing?
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:49 AM on August 15, 2011

cortex: FFF is not related to EiT. They are a bit newer and they do less editing and more just showing terrible stuff as is. Also less bad movies, more cable access, workplace training, etc.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:52 AM on August 15, 2011


That video proves that machines digitizing humans would be painful. Kurzweil was undoubtedly sent by them to make us compliant.
posted by DU at 9:23 AM on August 15, 2011

Wow. That's atrocious. If there were an episode of the Twilight Zone (or maybe Monsters) that parodied Full House doing an episode about an incredibly awful kids' show that made the girls cry and have to skip school due to post-traumatic stress, that still would be more entertaining than what I just watched.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:37 AM on August 15, 2011


I vaguely remember actually playing this game when I was a kid. From what little I remember, it basically devolved into my friends and I yelling at the Klingon whenever you demanded that we respond.

"You! The one who is moving right now! RESPOND!"

posted by asnider at 11:54 AM on August 15, 2011

you = he
posted by asnider at 11:54 AM on August 15, 2011

I saw this episode of Glee last week.
posted by Fizz at 12:52 PM on August 15, 2011


Holy jumping Jah! You just managed to crack open some dark recess of my mind. A place where I had stored long forgotten, short-held obsessions.

The ether of thoughts that managed to escape were of... toys.

Of course! Interactive toys!

Requests for these toys befuddled my Father who had worked his way up to middle class and couldn't understand these ridiculous requests for things. Things I could sit around in front of TV with and... and...

I don't know.

Anywho, I remember it looked cool in the commercial, but then again I hadn't hit puberty yet.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:57 PM on August 15, 2011

VCR based board games... Ah yes. Some of them could be quite fun. Nightmare was a blast on mushrooms, and is even mildly fun when sober. I keep thinking I should rip that VHS to a DVD.

Clue VCR Mystery Game was completely one of my most favorite things, but I could never get anyone else really into it.

Hrm. I may have just found a couple of new FPPs to make. Shhh. Nobody read this comment.
posted by hippybear at 4:02 PM on August 15, 2011

Hippybear, I too loved the Clue VCR game! My family played it a few times, but everyone else lost interest in it. I spent years trying to get someone, anyone, to play it with me again. Thinking of that dusty box is bringing back memories of wanting to play Clue and instead being stuck playing Let's Go to the Races, which was my sister's favorite interactive VCR game. You bet on the horses, then watched the races to see which horse would win! Lame. I ended that by memorizing the winners of enough races that she lost every time we played. But even after getting rid of its competition, poor Clue couldn't gain any traction at my house. I wonder if my folks still have it hidden somewhere...if so, VCR clue party at my house!!
posted by pupperduck at 4:35 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Pupperduck, in an interesting case of older technology being better, there were several vinyl LPs of simulated horse-races, created with multiple grooves on each side so it was nigh-impossible to know in advance which horse was going to win. I don't recall any actually being released as board-games but I'm not an encyclopaedia.
posted by Hogshead at 5:27 PM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

And there you go, I was wrong.
posted by Hogshead at 5:29 PM on August 15, 2011

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