Scott Jones, Crispy Gamer

During my short-pants years, there was a word that struck fear into the hearts of gamers everywhere; a word so terrible, so awful, that the mere utterance of it caused us to fall to the ground and rend our garments.

That word was: edutainment.


Thankfully, aside from that pesky "Brain Age" series, games no longer have didactic aspirations. But games actually do teach us things. Example: The Wii version of "Tiger Woods PGA Tour" (EA) taught me that a bad golf shot is not necessarily always my fault. (It's perfectly OK to blame the touchy IR interface.) Another example: "Real Heroes: Firefighter" (Conspiracy Entertainment) taught me to never keep gasoline in the house. That's one of the many "useful" tips the game displays during load screens. Finally, I learned from "Ghostbusters: The Video Game" (Atari) that everything Bill Murray says is not always funny. Thanks for teaching me that, Atari.

Here are 25 more things that videogames taught me:

25. That the old women of Ferelden can still have very large, very supple-looking bosoms, and still insist on dressing in a way that accentuates said bosoms, despite the fact that they are old women.

(See: "Dragon Age: Origins")

24. That denizens of Florence circa the 15th century talked in two ways. Way 1: Like they were auditioning for the part of Chachi in "Happy Days"; Way 2: Like they were auditioning for the role of "my nephew, Little Ezio from Passaic" on "The Sopranos."

(See: "Assassin's Creed II")

23. That all this time Batman has had a second, secret Batcave underneath Arkham Asylum JUST IN CASE.

(See: "Batman: Arkham Asylum")

22. That Chinese people are just delighted to be pulling rickshaws and Indian people very much enjoy using expensive carpets as a mode of transportation. (See: "LittleBigPlanet PSP"; "Punch-Out!!")

21. That, yes, a person can eventually grow weary of hearing the word "arse."

(See: "The Saboteur")

20. That a feral rabbit in a G-string is somehow, someway infinitely funnier than Will Arnette and Neil Patrick Harris combined. (See: "Rabbids Go Home"; "Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard")

19. That, even if you despise the music, there are some tracks in "Rock Band" that can still be fun to play. (See: "Grateful Dead DLC")

18. That removing the blood from a game and replacing it with spooky blue gas is never a good idea. (See: "Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2")

17. That Japanese developers think that Americans are both fat and spry. (See: Bob in "Tekken 6"; Rufus in "Street Fighter IV")

16. That being a spider isn't so bad after all. (See: "Deadly Creatures"; "Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor"; "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2")

15. That a guilty pleasure is not a guilty pleasure if the developers forget to include the "pleasure" part. (See: "The Wheelman"; "50 Cent: Blood on the Sand"; "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"; "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra")

14. That a storybook aesthetic and dreamy New Age music aren't enough to make me tolerate broken gameplay. (See: "Lucidity")

13. That I will happily play an iPhone game during the entirety of a 10-plus-hour flight from Tokyo to Vancouver and not once feel the desire to reach for my PSP or Nintendo DS (or to reach my destination; yes, in dreams, I'm still on that plane). (See: "GeoDefense Swarm")

12. That a perfectly awesome game can still wind up at the bottom of the bargain bin. (See: "The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena")

11. That Lego has finally had its nuke-the-fridge moment. (See: "Lego Rock Band"; "Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues")

10. That I am willing to look ridiculous, as long as there is fun on the far side of looking ridiculous. (See: "DJ Hero")

9. That soldiers in wartime situations frequently tell one another to "stay frosty."

(See: "Modern Warfare 2")

8. That Activision's czar Bobby Kotick is not a vampire or a shape-shifter; he is, in fact, quite human after all.

(See: "Tony Hawk: Ride")

7. That sometimes DS games really should stay on the DS. (See: the PSP version of "Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars")

6. That The Beatles were perfect human beings who got along perfectly, and who only made perfect music.

(See: "The Beatles: Rock Band")

5. That Nolan North is apparently the only voice actor getting any work at all these days. (See: "Assassin's Creed II"; "Shadow Complex"; "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves")

4. That bug-shaped robots, when left to their own devices, will race. (See: "ExciteBots: Trick Racing")

3. That taking a picture of a charging rhino is boring. (See: "Afrika")

2. That a female character who originally did not seem the least bit hot or sexy can eventually become hot/sexy in the subsequent sequel. (See: "Elena in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves")

1. That the Master Chief and I most definitely needed some time apart, but that Kratos has been gone from my life for far too long. (See: "Halo 3: ODST"; "God of War Collection"; "Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny")