Monday, June 26, 2006

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

My wife tells me that I should really see Al Pachino in The Merchant of Venice. I suppose I must, for however progressive it was for its time, I find it hard to see how this play can be anything but anti-semitic (He is forced to convert to Christianity! O joy!)

VIDEO GAME
Let me say 'l33t' betimes, lest the devil cross my trigger
finger, for here he comes in the likeness of a board game.

Enter BOARD GAME

How now, Board Game! what news among the unplugged?

BOARD GAME
You know, none so well, none so well as you, of my
economic plight.

VIDEO GAME
That's certain: I, for my part, co-opted the word 'game'
that hast done driven you to the arms of babes.

COMPUTER GAME
And Board Games, for his own part, knew his time was
over; and then it is the prospectus of the investors
to fund us with capital.

BOARD GAME
And that is but a capitol crime.

COMPUTER GAME
That's certain, if a Board Game may be the judge.

BOARD GAME
My own demographic to rebel!

COMPUTER GAME
Out upon it, old ludography! rebels at such young ages?

BOARD GAME
I say, my appeal is to the hand, heart, and mind
Of all ages!

COMPUTER GAME
Then there is more difference between thine and mine appeal
to the hand, heart, and mind of this generation
than between the Ipod and turntable; more between our appeals
than there is between fusion and fast food. But
tell us, do you hear whether our games have had any
loss at governmental rulings?

BOARD GAME
There I have bad new for thee: some states, some
rulings, those who don't know an amendment
from an ameliorate; some retailers, that were used to sneer
so smug upon my market; let them look to new games
call me old-fashioned; let them look to new games: they were
wont to sell games of bloody violence and no value; let them
look to new games.

COMPUTER GAME
Why, I am sure, if we lose market power, thou wilt not
take it: what's that good for?

BOARD GAME
To bait the intelligence of our youth: if nothing else,
it will make them happy. They have disgraced me, and
hindered me many millions; laughed at my losses,
mocked at my gains, scorned my mechanics, assigned me to
bargain bins, wrecked my reputation with licensed copies
of poor games; and what's the reason? I am non-electric.
Hath not a board game fun? hath not a board game rules, players,
winners, tension, strategy, passions? played with
the same breath, poor by the same faults, subject
to the same arguments, won by the same fortitude,
dragged and rushed by the same gamer types, as
a video game is? If you ruin us, do we not break?
if you play fancifully with us, do we not make you laugh?
If you play vengefully with us, do we not make other players
Uncomfortable? and if you steal our market share, shall we not
market back? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that. If a board game is promoted over a video game,
what is his humility? A press release. If a video game
splash the front page, what should the board game's sufferance be by
video game's example? Why, blogging! The marketing you
teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
will better the instruction.

But that's not my favorite part of the play, it is two acts later:
...

KNIZIA
Alan Moon shines bright: in such a game as this,
When the sweet rails did gently cross the states
And they did score few points, in such a game
San Francisco methinks meeted the Eastern coast
And sigh'd his relief for scoring the longest route,
With only two tracks left to play.

KRAMER
In such a game
Did the Tigris fearfully meet the Euphrates
And built a monument unto himself
Giving points in both blue and green.

KNIZIA
In such a game
Stood the robber with a lumber in his hand
Upon the intersection of eight, four, and five
To block my brick production.

KRAMER
In such a game
The Bellsmith produced a work
That did race halfway 'round the scoring track.

KNIZIA
In such a game
Did Knizia play on the Spanish coast
And with cubes of red and brown, did lovingly
Steal the Basque country.

KRAMER
In such a game
Did young Kramer move his bidding piece
Stealing away all other player's chances
Of securing Mendes province.

KNIZIA
In such a game
Did Kramer and Knizia lose all hope
Of powering their plants, when Friedman bought all the coal.

KRAMER
I would out-game you, did no one ever need
Sleep; but, hark, I hear the calling of my bed.

Yehuda
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