by Sara Black
Here’s how it works. There’s a question with two possible answers. You vote on your own opinion, then you vote on how you think the general population will vote. A few weeks later the results are in, and you get to see how many people voted the same as you, and whether you were right about popular opinion. You also get to see breakdowns in percentages, how the sexes, states and countries differed.
Welcome to “Everybody Votes” a surprisingly fun part of the Nintendo Wii experience that involves dropping a miniature version of yourself onto a pie graph. There is no real game play here, just the amusement of trying to predict how other people (well, other Wii owners) think in comparison to yourself.
A few random picks:
National Poll: What do you think of sushi? Delicious or Uncooked fish?
Uncooked Fish: 54.7%
Men: 46.0% said Delicious
Women: 43.9% said Delicious
Unsurprisingly the states with the most “delicious” votes were on the Pacific (California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii). While the rest of the country was anti-raw-fish, the sushi lovers in Colorado and Delaware surprised me.
National Poll: Which is luckier? Four-leaf clover or Horseshoe?
Four-leaf clover: 86.4%
Men: 87.0% said Four Leaf Clover
Women: 85.2% said Four Leaf Clover
Worldwide Poll: Do you have a cell/mobile phone?
Men: 77.1% had cells
Women: 78.7% had cells
Finland, home of Nokia, had the most cell phone owners. What caught my attention though, was that Canada, Japan and USA had the least. I imagine a group of kids hip enough to own the latest video game technology, but not old enough to sign binding contracts.
For more results check out this blog.
Sara Black has a degree in Cinema/Television from USC. She watches far too much television, eats way too much sushi and is always writing a romance novel. This is the ninth in a series of posts on Pop Culture.
She is about 300 meters away from popular opinion, and thinks that sushi is delicious.
by Sara Black
When my eighteen year old brother waxes nostalgic it goes something like this:
He turns on the ipod and hands me the headphones. “Listen to this, do you remember this?”
It takes me only a second, the sounds are so ingrained into my psyche. “Yeah, it’s music from Final Fantasy III.”
“Right! Remember when we used to play that?” He asks, as though there were any way I could forget the hours spent with the cartridge plugged into the Super Nintendo, the repetitive theme songs playing on endless loop when we got stuck, the hints found on the internet.
Luckily for Video Game Nostalgics like my brother and I the Nintendo Wii game system has an on-line system where you can download retro video games. They play on a “virtual console” which emulates all the previous game machines nintendo has sold us over the years. These games, most of them at least ten years old, have almost gotten more use from us than the new Wii games.
Unfortunately none of the Final Fantasy’s are available, but we’ve got both Toe Jam and Earl’s, Sonic Pinball, Mario 64, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Dr. Robotnik’s Bean Machine. The boyfriend, who is a little older than me, downloaded some of the games from before my time, like R-Type, Xevious, Ghouls and Ghosts, games he used to play in the coin arcades.
Nintendo updates their shop every monday with four new-old games so there are dozens of old favorites that we haven’t downloaded yet, like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Legend of Zelda and Lode-Runner.
Thank you Nintendo, for selling my childhood back to me.
Sara Black has a degree in Cinema/Television from USC. She watches far too much television, eats way too much sushi and is always writing a romance novel. This is the eighth in a series of posts on Pop Culture.
Her absolute favorite Nintendo game, Dragon Warrior IV, is unfortunately not to be found on the Wi virtual console.
by Sara Black
Sitting behind the register at my work I often know what it is to be a fish in a bowl. Only I get too see a lot more than the same boring family day in and day out. Passing by my window is an eclectic bunch of people, men holding hands, women holding hands, little old man in black suits with long curly locks, trendy young women on their way to eat, men who dress far better than me talking on their cell phones, and tourists in sandals and shorts with backpacks slung over their shoulders.
Lately I’ve been noticing the trendies, including the workers at the techno-beat filled hair salon next door, have a familiar style. Over sized T-shirts with metallic prints, leg warmers, leggings, large dangling earrings, and pointy boots. I haven’t seen any power suits or shoulder pads, but this may not be the right area of town. The 80’s appear to be on their way back.
I was too young during the 80’s to really accrue any humiliating pictures. I think you need to be a teenager to really emberass your later self with fashion choices. I do remember in about 3rd grade wearing some kind of ensemble that involved high tops, short green leggings, and a pink hair band and thinking that I was really cool, but this didn’t last long. A lot of people view the fashions of the 80’s with a horror normally reserved for the moment you spill a hot drink on your mother-in-law. They were a little, ridiculous, weren’t they?
Then I think about bustles, and corsets, and removing a rib or two for that perfect waist, or wearing a giant, white powdered wig, and really, leg warmers with high heels are relatively innocent.
Still, fashion remains mainly a spectator sport for me, something I observe from my fishbowl. I’m more into 70’s styles anyway.
Sara Black has a degree in Cinema/Television from USC. She watches far too much television, eats way too much sushi and is always writing a romance novel. This is the seventh in a series of posts on Pop Culture.
She will not be found in a pair of leg warmers anytime soon.
by Sara Black
“What’s that on the wall?” I say.
“I have no idea.” Says my younger brother, sitting next to me on the couch.
“Should we go near it?”
“No, let’s go in that door instead.”
We back our character away from the red, pulsing fleshy thing on the wall. It’s the middle of the afternoon and the doors to my apartment are open to allow the sunlight and the sounds from outside in, but we’re nervous anyway. Even after hours of playing we’re still freaked out by the monsters leaping out of the corners, blood smeared walls and corpses discarded in hallways.
When contemplating writing about video games someone suggested Grand Theft Auto to me. I didn’t want to, not because of all the controversy, but because of the plot. GTA is an amalgam of stereotypes from gangster movies strung together to create interesting game play, but not an interesting story.
The plots of Silent Hill II, III and IV are creepy quagmires, with Silent Hill II being the best. In Silent Hill II the main character goes back to the city of Silent Hill to try and find his dead wife after getting a letter from her. Instead he wanders through the fog obscured city and finds a bizarre cast of characters perpetrating unspeakable acts against one another. Things appear to happen for no better reason than to horrify the player, yet a deeper narrative exists.
The thing is, I don’t like horror films. I’ve seen a few, but rarely do I seek them out. I don’t normally enjoy being deliberately scared. Even my foray into another horror style game, Resident Evil 4, didn’t bring the same excitement. Just shooting zombies wasn’t nearly as fun as imagining they unlocked some hidden facets of the main characters psyche.
“I wonder why the telephone doesn’t work.” The main character of Silent Hill III thinks out loud.
“She’s not so smart.” My brother says.
“No, that’s exactly what I’d be wondering if I stood in the middle of a blood drenched hell dimension.” I say.
And despite being a one person game, I find it more fun to play with friends.
Sara Black has a degree in Cinema/Television from USC. She watches far too much television, eats way too much sushi and is always writing a romance novel. This is the fifth in a series of posts on Pop Culture.
She will probably spend this weekend playing more Silent Hill IV with her brother and boyfriend.