Monkey Island taught me everything I know..
Anyway, in an forlorn attempt to move away from my traditional, Godin esque posts about marketing and advertising, I thought I’d spoil you, dear reader, with a nostalgic saunter down memory lane.
It concerns point and click adventure games – chiefly the Monkey Island series – and how they help you and get you thinking (I bet you’re wondering how I’ll work advertising into this…) in strange and different ways.
Well, for the uninitated (and any planner aged between 18-40 who hasn’t played these games should immediately down tools and go and play them now – you heard me), they are what’s described as a ‘point and click adventure game’, where you click on objects/use them/talk to various people.
In the first game, you play Guybrush Threepwood, a young wannabe pirate who seeks to earn his spurs in the fast paced world of pirating. As the games progressed, you went on all forms of random quests (including insult sword fighting, monkey kombat and all sorts of peculiar things).
For more information on the series, check out the Wiki page on it.
Anyway, it probably sounds fairly dry stuff. But, trust me, it was glorious. Bloody funny (and it’s very rarely any sort of writing makes me laugh, let alone a computer game – which are historically bloody po faced) and just very very random and peculiar. Check it out below:
But the most important thing it teaches is lateral thinking. Yes, so do games like Civ 4, and a case could be made that as those are less linear than the MI series, they are better. But I disagree.
Your average Monkey Island puzzle (or for that matter – Grim Fandango, DOTT or Sam & Max), though only having one solution, required you to use items in very strange ways – look at the second Monkey Island for examples of that – banana on a metronome anyone?
Yet they were all rooted in some degree of common sense, unlike some other adventure games, which just involved you clicking on random objects until they worked together.
And it’s this skill, this ability to think laterally whilst having your eyes set on the overall goal which I feel the communications industry has never required more of (aha, got a cheeky reference in there).
So.. why are you reading this? Go and buy them all (1+2 are hard-ish to find.. but look around). Be prepared to lose many days of sleep wondering how to get across chasms with only a rubber chicken to help you.