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Over The Edge

6 Online Curiosities To Help Strike Out Boredom

Colin Slark | Team Member

Strikes are no fun for any of the parties involved. Students can’t learn, instructors can’t teach, and administrators don’t have anyone to administrate. After you have finished all your homework, you are probably wondering what to do with your spare time. The sensible choice is, of course, to scour the Internet for interesting things, hoping to find an elixir that will cure you of your terminal boredom. Thankfully, there are tons of things online to interest people with a wide variety of tastes. Here are 6 online curiosities to help strike out boredom.

Breaking Madden/NBA Y2K: Sportswriter Jon Bois messes with settings and player ratings in popular NFL and NBA video games to create strange scenarios. Sometimes Bois sets up a game to show off the skills of a real life player he admires, and other times he sees how Tom Brady would fare if all of his teammates were as small as possible and didn’t understand the concept of football. Bois is able to create interesting narratives from games that usually do not have stories, and even non-sports fans will be able to appreciate the physical comedy.

Chip and Ironicus Let’s Plays : You may have heard of Let’s Play, in which people record themselves playing video games for your enjoyment. Many of these people tend to shriek constantly while cultivating annoying cults of personality. You may have seen one of these videos and thought that the entire Let’s Play movement is a waste of time. However, it is possible to be done right. Chip Cheezum and General Ironicus offer interesting commentary on games and are remarkably in-depth when it comes to showing all a game has to offer. For instance, I had played many of the Metal Gear Solid video games, but I had no idea about some of the secrets they showed off, making the experience feel fresh. If you like what they have to say, they even have a podcast!

Reefer Madness: I mentioned this horrid 1930s anti-drug film earlier in the school year in my bad movie article. The nice thing about this film is that it is in the public domain, so you can download it for free, without any guilt. The depiction of the effect of marijuana on the human body is completely overblown, creating an amusing spectacle every time someone pretends to smoke a joint. Keep an eye out for the actor that is both an omniscient narrator and character in the film, showing that the filmmakers did not understand how to write points-of-view or narrative structures.

Atomic Robo : Atomic Robo is a webcomic by writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener chronicling the adventures of an adventurous robot created by Nikola Tesla.  Robo fights a sentient dinosaur, extra-dimensional horror, Nazis, and science experiments gone wrong. If you like Hellboy, you will enjoy this series that is similar in concept, but is lighter hearted. This comic was originally a print comic, but is now being uploaded in its entirety online so there are frequent updates with a promise of much more content to be uploaded in the future.

First Person Tetris : Do you like Tetris? Are you the Tetris master? Well, I’m betting that you’ve never played Tetris like this. In this version of the popular Russian video game, you play from the perspective of the game pieces. When you rotate a block, it also rotates the game screen. There’s even an “existential crisis” mode where you can only see the area directly around a block, making it hard to plot its trajectory. First Person Tetris doesn’t have much staying power, but it’s good for a laugh, especially when you expose it to an unwitting friend unprepared for the swirling vortex that awaits them.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – 30th Anniversary Edition : This is not the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie, nor is it the book, the TV show, or the original radio dramas. This is the 31-year old text adventure game co-designed by creator Douglas Adams made to work in modern web browsers. It has all the same wit you love from the other versions, but is brutally difficult. You will die frequently, you will die before you exit the first room of the game, and you will die because you did not feed a dog a sandwich an hour and a half ago. While this might seem unappealing, the descriptions of your untimely demises are hilarious and this game has sections of narrative not featured in any other iteration of the series.

Hopefully we will all be sitting in a classroom sometime soon, but, until then, try one of these Internet curiosity to keep yourselves occupied. I guarantee that Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will keep you amused for hours before you throw your mac out a window.