Pee-Wee’s Crackhouse and the Advancements in Multi-Player Gaming

One wonders what the greater tragedy is, the fact that a social pervert like Paul Reubens was once a children’s icon for his role of a clinically insane character that goes by the moniker of “Pee-Wee” Herman or the irony that someone looked at the character that was obviously inspired by a crazy night of cocaine and Saturday-morning cartoons and decided they saw a posterchild for anti-drug PSAs.  

To anyone has ever seen the television show “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” or any of the movies following said character afterwards, it is abundantly clear that having Pee-Wee tell kids to say no to drugs is roughly equivalent to having John Goodman tell you to “Eat a salad, you fat fuck”.  Besides, we all know that Pee-Wee was already part of the best anti-drug message in film (until Requiem for a Dream) with Large Marge scaring the hell out of kids of what they could eventually become.

Cocaine's a helluva drug.

Cocaine's a helluva drug.

I used to love nothing more after school and on weekends than going to my friend’shouse and playing GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64 for hours.  In the earliest days of multiplayer gaming (as playing with more than one other person previously was almost unheard of or futile attempts by third-party to pawn their overpriced wares), the Nintendo 64 broke ground in the concept that maybe more than two people would like to play a game at a time, which was part of the only real appeal the console had over consoles that had the edge in graphic and hardware superiority at the time.  This being said I realize now that the reason I loved GoldenEye so much wasn’t because its a good game but because of the “remember-the-time” moments shared with three other people.

Upon a retrospective look, GoldenEye really isn’t that great of a game.  While it follows the movie very faithfully, and a great movie it is, the controls were sticky (although we didn’t know better at the time), graphics were relatively ugly as the PlayStation was able to pump more out with full audio tracks, aiming was literally hit-or-miss with many of the semi-automatic weapons and the single-player campagin lacked much replay value as barely anything would change with difficulty setting.  The one thing GoldenEye did have going for it though, that kept the game alive in my and the hearts of all, was it delivered an extraordinary multi-player facet that would keep friends going until the late hours of the night.

It is rather unfortunate, in a way, that this type of gaming is a rare commodity when talking about next generation (or rather current) gaming.  It is unfortunate that there is no longer a reason for friends to get together at the same house for hours to play a game and just generally enjoy each other’s company.  However it is outweighed by the convenience of the ethereal force that is the internet connecting up to 2 – 100+ people to a single game to interact and enjoy together.  By not even having to leave the house one is able to meet up with friends or family on an imaginary plane of existance and spend time together, which in this day is invaluable as a means of staying in touch to ruthlessly slaughter eachother.

Now I want to spend hours finding my Nintendo 64 and friends just to play GoldenEye again.