When it comes to entertainment, I need mine with a little extra “oomph“. That “oomph” can come in many forms, but it needs to be present. It’s like salt on a steak, or a dash of cinnamon on your french toast: something small just pushes whatever it is that I’m enjoying over the edge into the realm of edge-of-your-seat awesomeness.
I read “The Maltese Falcon” a few months ago. It’s largely considered to be the greatest private-detective novel of all time, and was later turned into one of the greatest hard-boiled detective movies ever, starring Humphrey Bogart. Great book, great movie.
But I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoy “The Dresden Files“…
…or “The Automatic Detective“.
Do you see where I’m going with this? The oomph I require to take a form of entertainment from “Yeah, it was good” to “Holy crap, that was awesome” is something out of the ordinary, and also probably impossible. I first noticed it years ago on the Nintendo64:
This rightchere was one of the greatest game systems of all time. It was the first, and also the last, time that my entire family sat down and got seriously into the business of playing each other at a video game:
Oh, the fun we had. But it isn’t Mario Kart that I want to talk about here. No, I want to talk about the game that is considered to be the greatest First Person Shooter game of all time. Yes, I’m talking about GoldenEye.
It was also a movie!
It wasn’t the first FPS (that honor goes to something else that I’ve never played and don’t know the name of… maybe Wolfenstein or something), but it was the best, and because it got in on the genre early and was just really really good, it’s like the grandfather of the genre that now includes HALO and Gears of War and Modern Warfare: basically, GoldenEye did it right, and became what other FPSes aspire to.
Me? I could take it or leave it.
While my brother and his friends were playing that, I was playing Legend of Zelda and Banjo-Kazooie. GoldenEye just didn’t appeal to me, and I assumed that that meant all FPSes were equally unappealing.
Then, Banjo-Kazooie got a sequel: Banjo-Tooie…
… and Banjo-Tooie had a FPS mode.
And I enjoye
d the crap out of that. That’s when it hit me: I needs my entertainment with a dose of the weird. As much as I love shooting Nazis in WWII…
… I’d much rather shoot aliens in WWII!
Pope Silgerissimo the Umpteenth is a writer (obviously), but he was having trouble finding a publisher. So, he decided to record himself reading his book, then give the result away for free over the Intertubes. The response was flabbergasting.
Now, Da Sigster is a New York Times bestselling author, and he’s still giving his books away for free online. By way of saying “Thanks for the Free Books”, his fans (called “junkies”, cause we’s always jonesin’ our Sigler-fix) then buy the books so he’ll keep writing more. It’s a cool system, and it’s working.
So, back to the Starter: it’s about football.
“But Tony,” you’re asking, “where’s the flavor? Wheres the dash of crazy that you love?” And I’ll tell you:
It’s football… IN THE FUTURE.
ooooOOOOOOoooooooooo! (Image from here)
And there are aliens who play the game as well. After years of galactic war, humanity and all the other fighting races have been conquered, and to appease the masses and promote inter-species harmony, our conquering overlords have created a Galactic Football League. It’s a good read.
The point is, I’m not crazy about boring ol’ football. I could care less about the Super-, Sugar-, Soup-Bowls. But you add in a bunch of aliens? It’s on like Donkey Kong.
All that said, I still won’t read “The Time Traveler’s Wife“. I don’t care how much salt you put on it, to me that sucker looks like ham, and I can’t stand ham.