Funny Games – Getting In The Mood
In our culture today, the word “funny” can mean a lot of different things. But when it comes to funny games, they tend to fall into one of two categories: those that are explicitly funny games and those that are funny in a non-comedic sense–something that draws on the enjoyment of seeing people having fun, even if the object of their enjoyment is someone else. A third category that tends to get left out of this discussion is the phrase “funny games online.” These games may draw on different aspects of each of these other categories but, in essence, all of them fall under the larger umbrella of “games.”
A quick definition: The word “game” is used to refer to any activity that uses chance, interaction with others, and the application of skills in order to achieve a goal. It may sound like an incredibly broad and inclusive definition but it’s really only defining what kinds of activities we typically think of when we talk about games. For example, you might think of a game like solitaire as being a game, but if you’re playing it against someone who’s not actually trying to solve the problem or come up with strategies, it’s really not a game at all. Instead, it’s an interactive exercise where time isn’t on everyone’s side, but the player still has a goal in mind. And as such, it requires that the person playing it understand how to strategically use his or her time in order to attain the goal that’s been set before them.
That’s one way of looking at it: Funny games are those that require the player’s ability to think ahead and apply strategy. They’re also those that give the player a sense of triumph as they succeed in their objective. This is why there are jokes in games, because, well, it just sounds like another word for winning. If it didn’t have the word “joke” in it, then it would simply be a game that involves chance. We’ve come a long way since then.
When it comes to “hilarious” and “funny” games, however, we’ve definitely come a long way. There are now literally hundreds of games and programs available, many of which are free. Many are available as flash games (which means they work best with a web browser), while others can be downloaded for use on handheld game consoles like the PSP and Nintendo DS. The types of games range from the outright funny (think “arge” from Spongebob) to the more subtle jokes (think about the clever jokes seen in Sudoku, or the French maid jokes in MSN games). The variety can make it difficult to decide which games are best, but one title stands out: Solitaire: One Man’s Dream.
This game is a sequel to the classic game of Solitaire, and like the latter, it requires you to build up stacks of tiles by matching up pairs of cards. This time, though, the stacks of tiles are not sheep; they are moose! The funny thing is that you cannot see your sheep until you get them into play, so getting them is more like a guessing game. Once you have them, though, you can watch the ridiculous sight of the little moose passing you the cards, one by one, and deducing who among them is the culprit.
While some people might consider this a frivolous game, I cannot deny that it contains just about the purest form of humor. For me, this is an addictive quality that is hard to come by any more. In fact, this game has probably gotten me through some of my best chuckling experiences of late, and I’m sure it will help you laugh just as much. So, go check out the site if you happen to live in Canada (some English versions only); you won’t be disappointed. Or if you happen to be from the United States, try kicking back with Old MacDonald.