The Office: Win a Date with Pam
June 22, 2007
Sadly, I don’t think NBC is planning on running a “Win a Date with Jenna Fischer” contest anytime soon (at least not as long as she’s in bed with a broken back–although that would make for an interesting date), but it does make for the most likely plot scenario of The Office Video Game. While I’m a fan of the show, I can’t real see its potential as a video game. After all, sitcoms don’t make for particularly great games.
The “Gilligan’s Island” game is frequently mentioned as one of the worst video games of all-time. This is mostly because Gilligan is always falling down holes. The games defenders, however put it differently: “It could easily be argued that the “bad behavior” of the A.I. Gilligan was representative of the way the character was always fouling the castaways rescue attempts on the show on which the game is based.” (from wikipedia. It’s often not too hard to discern the different authors in wikipedia articles.) In my opinion, the biggest problem with the “Gilligan’s Island” game is that it is a pretty straightforward puzzle solver rather than an investigation of the Island’s mysteries e.g. how celebrities seem to have a magical ability to make it onto the island, the preponderance of cannibals in the vicinity of the island, how Mr. Howell’s antics do not result in widespread class conflict, and whatever happened to the Dharma initiative.
The only really good Sitcom video game is “The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield” which was a Myst like game in which characters walk around investigating the various Springfield attractions. I thought the game was great, as the Simpsons’ success is its mythical universe. Sadly, the German PC Gamer was not very fond of the game.
“Eine Handlung gibt’s in Virtual Springfield nicht, die hätte bei der Entwicklung wohl zuviel Arbeit gemacht; stattdessen können Sie diverse Gebäude betreten und werden z. B. in Apu’s Kwik-e-Mart oder in der Noiseland Arcade mit billigen Mini-Games à la Slugfest abgespeist – unterstes Shareware-Niveau! Fans der Serie werden sich darüber vielleicht kranklachen und die erwartungsgemäß derbe Sprachausgabe mit den Originalstimmen zu schätzen wissen. Wer Bart & Co. jedoch nicht unbedingt zum Leben braucht, sollte Virtual Springfield weiträumig umfahren.”
“The Office” hasn’t built up anywhere near the fabula of the Simpsons, and certainly not enough to necessitate a world-exploration game. The plan is to make it a puzzle game about office pranks, but that seems pretty silly. I’m sure the game will be terrible. On the other hand, it’ll probably be better than “Enter the Matrix.”