For no particular reason other than having nothing better to do, I recently decided to get my kids (two daughters, 5 and 7) to look at a bunch of random game covers and tell me what they thought each game should be called based purely on their interpretation of the box art.
I would hold up a game box, taking care to cover the title, they would look at the game box and then say, “Dad, this is stupid, can we go outside and play please?” Obviously that’s not what I wanted them to say. So I bribed them with sweets and empty promises of a pony and then they were much more willing to help the old man out. This is what happened.
Gears of War 3: “At War”
No surprises that the younglings correctly identify the ridiculously over-sized, miserable faced man-blimp on the cover as a soldier that is ‘At War’. Let’s face it, with a gun that enormous, Marcus Fenix is definitely not ‘At Mr Tumble’s Fun House’ or ‘At the park feeding the ducks’. Even little people that are still 50/50 on the Tooth Fairy being an actual person that is real are perceptive enough to see that.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare: “Mountains”
Completely bypassing the soldier with the gun running towards their tiny eyes, the kids choose to focus instead on the innocuous top-left area of the box-art where a mountain peak can be seen. So, using the discombobulating science of child logic, in their minds this game should quite clearly be called ‘Mountains’. I suggest they try harder if they want a real chance of ever getting that pony.
BioShock: “Crazy People”
Personally, I think this is way better than ‘BioShock’, which I’ve always considered to be a bit vague and science-y. But ‘Crazy People’ seems a lot more appropriate. ‘Crazy People Underwater’ would have been perfect, but ‘Crazy People’ is good enough. After all, if Rapture is full of anything, it’s crazy people.
Fallout 3: “The Adventures of Robots”
It sounds so jolly. Like all the robots go to have a lovely picnic at the Hundred Acre Wood but there’s an elephant that has got lost so they help it find mummy elephant again and then they all drink oil and live happily ever after. In fairness to my offspring, they don’t really have any concept of nuclear holocausts or post-apocalyptic futures, so are as yet unequipped to recognise any visual imagery meant to be evocative of such things. Perhaps it’s time I showed them the playground nuke sequence from Terminator 2.
Bayonetta: “Gun Girl”
She’s a girl. She has guns. She’s ‘Gun Girl’. I like how kids think.
L.A. Noire: “Smart People”
Incredibly perceptive observation that works on two levels in relation to the game: 1) In L.A. Noire you are a detective and detectives have to be smart otherwise the bad people don’t go to prison and 2) the people in L.A. Noire are generally smart dressers that wear hats and drive around in cars that are smart and drink drinks that are also smart. Also, my kids are smart.
Next page: my crazy DNA dwarfs take on Portal 2, Halo 3 and more…