Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Homage/IP Theft

Although I already posted one example of IP theft cultural homage in Fallout: New Vegas, I found another common one so I thought I'd share it. The famous holy hand grenades (count ye to three...) from Month Python's Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Some cultural items (or I could say cultural texts) are canonical to certain cultures, and knowledge of them serves as a cultural identifier. In the previous post, it was The Princess Bride, here it is Monty Python. References to Monty Python can be found in many geeky places, for instance there is fleshwound armor, a reference again to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in both World of Warcraft and EverQuest II.

So why do we do this kind of thing? Because we, as a species, love to play, and we love to play with the things we love. It's what we do. Belonging to a group is also very important, historically speaking we don't tend to survive on our own. Play is often done with others, and aids group-formation, and showing knowledge of in-group references like "holy hand grenades" shows group membership. Humans have been called hyper-social beings, and now we have all of this social media and here I am using some of it to show the sociality of some other people using a Monty Python reference. Of course I am also showing my group membership to this geeky crowd, since I am playing Fallout: New Vegas and I knew what the holy hand grenades were.

However I have reached a bit of an impasse with Fallout: New Vegas. One of the quests is glitched and you can't get past it, so it effectively stops your game right then and there, no way around it, unless you are on the PC. (I can maybe work past it by going back to my last save and ditching the companion who causes it.) I am not, however, the only person to feel that there are too many bugs in the game. One thing that bugs me is the large number of floating rocks and corners of houses where light comes through. There is even one rock formation that is not "closed off" on one side, so you can walk into it (to the far SE by the miner's camp near the lake, a bit to the left of the camp on that slope).