I am easily amused

So io9 did this thing called the 10 Suckiest Fake Video Games That People Play In Science Fiction. Spoiler Alert: The Game from, uh, The Game is number one.

1) Suckdisk from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Actually, we don’t remember this game having an actual name on the show, but “suckdisk” feels like a good name for it. The object of the game is to suck a disk into a tentacle with a mouth. That’s it. And it’s not even a game of skill – you win by “letting it happen.” D00d. At least the UI is simple, but basically this episode is a cautionary tale about improved technology – once we have the ability to stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain, you may be ridiculously satisfied with some pretty weak gameplay. Actually, I like this episode, despite the game looking seriously ridiculous.

So when I saw that they decided to call it "Suckdisk", my mind immediately crafted the following scene:

INT WESLEY'S QUARTERS.

Wesley looks down at the game, then up at Robin. 

WESLEY

Um, this isn’t the game I wanted to play.

LEFLER

But you asked me to come to your quarters and play Suckdisk!

WESLEY

Right. I think you misheard me.

Tip your waitress, folks.

66 thoughts on “I am easily amused”

  1. Wil, I remember this episode very well, primarily for the interplay between you and Ashley Judd as Robin. My wife looked over at me very strangely just now when I started chuckling over your rewrite of the script. That was great!
    On a slightly more serious note, I always thought they wasted the set up between the two of you … could’ve led to some interesting episodes in the last few years of the show. At least, IMO.

  2. I must admit–I totally remember that episode, and the game, and not only that but I instantly knew what game you were talking about and could visualize it (in all its liquid-CGI yumminess).
    And I would like to think Wesley would have been a bit more of a gentleman than that, but I will defer to your judgement.

  3. Great minds think alike. I read the same thing.
    Maybe “great” isn’t the right word there.
    However, and I say this as a fan of The Game for the kind of TNG episode it was (entertaining, light, and fun) — do we really need a spoiler alert that it would be #1 on the list. Again, no offense, but it’s kind of a given.
    The only way it wouldn’t have topped the list is if Bart Simpson was making it. “What’s going on here? Am I destroying these triangles or trying to assemble them? What’s does this button do? Now my ship is pooping more triangles.Oh, no. I won a free game.”

  4. I read the article; I remember some of those games from their respective movies/shows.
    That ends with Wesley not trying “The Game”…but does he later in the episode? I’m trying to remember. It would be cool if he tried it out, then thought it was lame, all Tom-Bombadil-like.
    But I don’t think he did. I have a vague memory that the game sucks in everyone, and Wes is about to be forced to play it to bring him in too, when…well, I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it.

  5. ZING!
    Doesn’t that episode feature Wesley attempting an escape into a Jefferies tube, shouting “Let go of me!” in a voice seemingly 7 octaves lower than we thought him capable?
    I heart that episode. Don’t do drugs, kids. But DO smooch on Ashley Judd.

  6. We just watched this one a few nights ago! Had to call my husband at work just now to read this to him. Good part: He’s rolling at work. Sad part: None of the people he works with would even understand. lol
    Thanks for the laugh today!

  7. Brilliant! They should have put that in the XXX parody. ;)
    My memory fails me, I can’t remember if you mentioned it so I have to ask again, did you have a thing for Ashley Judd then? I certainly did and I only saw her on the small TV screen.

  8. Now we know what you were really thinking during that scene! Right now I’m wondering if I would A) Get Slapped B) Kicked in the Nads or C) All the above if I tried to invite a random lady over to my house with such a phrase. :)
    As memory serves…that whole SuckDisk fiasco was due to Riker not being able to keep his disk in his pants in the first place. And Data absolutely ruled in that episode…one of my favorite scenes of him. ^_^

  9. I recall this as one of the episodes where I came in near the end. Though I’m a consumate Trekkie, I never went back and sought out the episode again, which is unlike me. In particular I recall it as one of the most haunting episodes (even though I didn’t see all of it) because as with many episodes of Trek it speaks to deeper things. UNLIKE many episodes of Trek it largely speaks to aspects of the human experience without some clear and almost painfully noble solution that of course only humans could come up with. I mean seriously, how many sci-fi stories in general feature a glowing alien who says something like “of all the species in the universe, only humans” blah blah freakin’ blah. It winds up being more than a little self-congratulatory, and in the Starfleet universe, we serve that purpose too. I mean sure, we’ll put a few token aliens on our ships, but we largely crew them with white anglo-saxon protestants who graduated from the best schools. But this episode speaks to something very, very dark in the human condition:
    we are easily amused

  10. I have to pick a more than minor nit with that game list – specifically, #7.
    And truthfully, Wil, with your gaming experience, I would have expected you to have picked up on it as well.
    Not all games played on computers are “action video games”. Truthfully, from what we see, Sheppherd could as easily have been checking off spam from his e-mail account prior to mass deleting it – but even if he was playing a game, it could have been any one of thousands of turn-based games, including various RPGs, 4X games like Civ or AlphaCent, or puzzle games such as sokoban, sudoku and shisen-sho, or even card games like Solitaire.
    Maybe he had XMAME/XMESS up and running, emulating the original Final Fantasy game.
    Damn game community has convinced itself that immersive 3D shooters with highly detailed hyper-polygonized models are the only thing you can play on computers. And damn near, they’re convinced that that’s the only thing that actually qualifies as games.
    There’s kids growing up today that don’t realize you can play D&D with three people, an active imagination, and no dice or paper at all! (Ok, it’s not necessarily extremely D&D like, but really, the essence of the game is the role playing, not the roll playing.)
    But that’s just how I role, dudes.

  11. Loved that episode! I didn’t have to read the last line of your rewrite…I KNEW what is was going to say!

  12. Yipes! And here I thought the message was more like:
    “Beware of women who after seducing you, invite you to play video games capable of enslaving entire Starships. Unless there’s an android onboard and a smarty-pants young kid”.
    :)

  13. Randall Munroe’s XKCD said it best: “The most powerful gaming systems in the world still can’t match the addictiveness of tiny in-browser Flash games.” [ http://xkcd.com/484/ ]
    It’s true, and what ties this together with the topic of the depiction of video games of the future is the realization that the most simplistic of games are the ones that feel the most futuristic. There’s an Estonian Flash Game maker whose website is http://www.tonypa.pri.ee/start.html , and this features simple, elegant games that are about as addictive as Suckdisk is portrayed to be. Of particular note is “ShoOot 2: Revenge of Square” [ http://www.tonypa.pri.ee/shooot2.html ], because it feels exactly like a 80’s movie depiction of a console game on an ennui-besotted starship, all primary-colored vectors bouncing around a blank arena. Go ahead: you won’t be able to control when and where you shoot in this game, but it hits all the pleasure centers of the amygdala. You won’t even look at the clock again ’til 3am, because you know you can make it to Level 19 this time. Like I did. Once. After I hallucinated that I was late for making my rounds to check for hull breaches before we enter Neue Regel’s orbit.

  14. The best part of this post is that this morning was my very first tweet ever and I used my debutant tweet to tell the world (my three followers so far) how smoking delicious you looked giving a little lip bite right before you asked robin out for coffee in this episode.

  15. The game is crap but I like the episode anyway. It is TNG! All the early episodes are a little funny to watch nowadays but it is a treasure of tv history to me! :-)

  16. I know it’s not a video game, but that other game they played in the hologym, with Riker dressed up in red plastic armor, was also quite funny.

  17. I like that episode for the reasons stated, but I’ve always wondered what kind of direction you actors were given for it. “Pretend like you’re about to have an orgasm” is what it seems to have been — but it’s interesting/amusing that you two younger actors didn’t end up being filmed doing that kind of emoting.
    Incidentally, now that TNG is on Netflix, I’ve been getting my 9-year-olds hooked on it, and your character is one they really like. And they were thrilled when I pulled out my Technical Manuals for this and TOS. It’s fun raising geeklings.

  18. Agreed! I was absolutely smitten when the episode first came out. But her filmography is pretty short and it was near impossible to find other clips of her. (About all I ever managed to find was her appearance in a certain commercial I can’t remember the details for.)
    Ashley Judd is quite attractive, but Jaime had that certain geek appeal in that particular episode.

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