Blips

Last week I said I’d look at my other video game joke book. Well here it is. Blips! may have Pac-Man on the cover (yes, that is Pac-Man) but this one is more about what we would today call “gaming culture”, and outside of the fact that arcades existed and people aren’t swearing at each other over the internet there’s not really that much difference. Except that adults seem to be defining gaming culture instead of kids. I mean “adult” like “college age”. I wonder if they take themselves too seriously to find this book amusing. Well, I like it anyway.

Blips!

PUBLISHER: Scholastic Books (1983)

WRITER: Bob Stine

ARTIST: Bryan Hendrix

Blips! is like last week’s joke book in that there are numerous kids of jokes, but there are two big ways in which they differ. The first is that it’s more like comic strips than a joke book.

Blips Pac-Doc

The other is that it’s not just about Pac-Man.

Blips army

Or even just about video game characters.

Blips essay

But there are other non-strip jokes as well. For example, you have the Video Game Hall Of Fame

Blips Hall Of FameOr the “Video Games That Didn’t Go Over”.

Blips Lost Games

They actually do have Family Feud games now. You actually play Family Feud, though.

There are other bits like interviewing a champion gamer (who is kind of a nut), how to clean your games and TV, arcade etiquette, and other gags. The book even ends with a fake video game in the book you can pretend to play but will always lose.

Stine breaks out some great jokes that isn’t intended to insult gamers (a term that did not exist when the book was published) but does poke fun at video game obsessions or the world video game characters inhabit. Hendrix’s art compliments the gags well. While he took some liberties with Pac-Man (who usually looks like a circle with a piece missing) I rather like his design as a ball with a mouth. It allows Pac-Man to emote, which his usual game sprite doesn’t do quite so well. He looks like a video game Pac-Man but without throwing on arms, legs, or a nose to do anything with. I kind of wish this became the official design instead of…

Pacman Champion

Pacman Champion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not that I have anything against this version. It’s just second best. But easier to have as a mascot so I can’t really complain.

As much as I like The Pac-Man Riddle And Joke Book this is my favorite of the two. Just having dragged them out for the review I went over this again and again even after I read it completely for the review. I like the art, I like the jokes, and if you come across this somehow I highly recommend getting it if you or someone you know grew up along with these old video games and remember the arcade and Atari 2600 or Intellivision days. It’s nostalgic and quite funny.

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