Game Company Exec: “I’m worried about our latest game; it doesn’t really stand out in the crowd.”
Marketing “whiz”: Well sir, I’ve done research and kids like any of the following buzz words: gnarly, rad, bodacious, extreme, tubu….”
Game Company Exec: Wait…..WAIT! what was that one that started with an “E”?
Marketing “whiz”: “Extreme?”
Game Company Exec: That’s it! Now everyone will buy our mediocre kart racing mascot movie tie in game!
If you are like me, you notice that it seems like this conversation actually occurs sometimes in game development. The thinking seems to be that if you slap the word “extreme” to something, it suddenly gains some sort of mythological “street cred”. Problem is that the games that “extreme” usually gets slapped onto, are completely off-base for any such word. Take for eample, the following scene from the film Harold and Kumar go the White Castle:
Note that “extreme” does not make everything cooler.
Here is a list of quite possibly the ten worst, most “extreme” offenders, in no particular order.
Rosco McQueen Firefighter Extreme
Not to belittle the great job that firefighters do to keep us all safe every day, but the implications of Rosco here being an “extreme firefighter” make me think that he bungee jumps the fires out.
Active Life Extreme Challenge
Note the huge “X” in the word “extreme”: That’s code for “some old guy thought this game up while using the restroom at P.F. Chang’s, and thinks that some of the young folks he sells games to might think that it’s gnarly”.
This game sounds like some kind of horrible misunderstanding where a tourist ends up in Bangkok trying to win his daughter back from a horde of triad goons. He is lured into the secret world of high stakes hangman in a back alley using real rope and men. Nice try guys, but no matter how “in your face” this game is, it’s still friggin’ hangman.
Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure
Oh Disney, trying to capitalize on the X games fad from fifteen years ago a bit too late. I see you have all the bases covered here with….HOLY CRAP! When did Buzz Lightyear start looking like a PCP addled lunatic?
Not to mention that if I was going to choose a skate team entirely comprised of Disney Characters, Simba flying around on a tree stump would not be my choice.
Antz Extreme Racing
What a better way to try to sell your lackluster movie game than to slap “extreme” on the cover. Shame there wasn’t a game called “Bug’s Life Extreme” because I bet Pixar would have whooped Dreamworks’ butts again.
Shimano Xtreme Fishing
You better be dangling over hot coals and fishing for rabid chupacabras for this title to make sense. Also note the guy bow hunting for fish on the cover. Not to say that it isn’t extreme, but you might as well go for dynamite if you’re going to go that far.
AMF Xtreme bowling
A Google search for “extreme bowling” unveiled this:
Heh, could be fun…
Egg Mania Eggstreme Madness
What makes using a cliché worse? Making said cliché into a bad pun to make that one 60 year old cat lady laugh at Wal-Mart. Nice try guys, but Eggstreme just sounds like something you can order at Denney’s late at night.
It is sad to see an indie developer resort to a cheesy buzzword to get some sales. And it looks so tacked on as well. Good thing that this game was successful, so I guess it worked.
Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears
When I think “extreme” the popular kid’s book franchise The Berenstain Bears does not really come to mind whatsoever. Then again, some of their books were pretty crazy: