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Power Button - Episode 158: Christmas In Videoland

Revisit Stephen Colbert's Greatest Gaming Moments

On NoticeAs Stephen Colbert prepares to sign off from Comedy Central's The Colbert Report for one last time tonight, I thought it was only right for us to take a look back at some of my favorite moments from the show that intersect with my love of video games.  Colbert didn't go to the gaming well that often, but when he did, the results were golden. Revisit some of these classic moments as Stephen credits the BP oil spill solution to an anonymous plumber, points out how games influence children, coins new gaming catchphrases, dismantles GamerGate, launches his own MMORPG, and so much more.

Stephen Credits BP Oil Spill Fix To Super Mario

One of those great rules in life is that in most cases, the simplest explanation behind a question is also the correct one.  Consider the recent attempt to cap the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill that was suggested by an anonymous plumber, for instance.  Who is this mysterious figure?  How can we possibly identify him or her? Leave it to Stephen Colbert, as he knows the answer. It could only be Mario behind the fix! After all, he had just as much to lose in the spill as anyone else. Also, we know for a fact that he has experience cleaning up spilled gunk. Just ask the residents of Isle Delfino.

Stephen Is Right About SimCity

In this segment discussing potential gun control legislation and how/if video games can influence human behavior, Stephen points out that games do influence children by pointing out how many children played SimCity years ago and have since gone on to become urban planners.  I had a good laugh at that notion until I realized that I'm a perfect example of Colbert's theory.  I played a lot of SimCity as a kid.  I had the Super NES version of the game and spent many, many days off from school laying out the familiar residential, commercial, and industrial zones.  I placed power plants around the landform like there was no tomorrow.  Airports?  Seaports?  No problem.  Over the years I shifted my SimCity habits to PC and picked up SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000, and SimCity 4 along with all of the expansion packs (and I still play them; over the holiday break last month I created another thriving city in SimCity 4).  Do you know what I do for work when I'm not writing about video games?  I work in urban planning.  For nearly fourteen years now I've designed construction concepts in a large community of over 50,000 people to maximize building relationships and encourage efficient design.  I am the culmination of Stephen Colbert's gaming nightmare.  Somehow, I think I can cope with that.

Stephen Wants In On Catchphrase Trademarks, Too

When Nintendo announced that it had filed to trademark the catchphrase "It's on like Donkey Kong", Stephen started thinking about all of the potential money to be made in dated catchphrases and has decided to file for his own trademarks for other Nintendo-centric expressions. Watch as he outlines his plans for Duck Hunt, Castlevania, and Kirby's Adventure and the outdated exclamations that go with them.

Stephen Tackles GamerGate

Stephen tackled the ongoing toxic cesspool that is the GamerGate movement and tore it apart with his usual deft comedic style. First he explained just what has been going on in the gaming community and then invited media critic (and frequent harassment target) Anita Sarkeesian to offer her commentary on the matter.

Stephen Thwarts Video Game Surveillance

When it came to light that the National Security Agency spied on online gaming services such as Xbox Live, World of Warcraft, and Second Life, Stephen invented a foolproof method of keeping the government from spying on you while you play. Preorder your Total Analog Personal Encyption device now.

Stephen Wants Games To Influence Reality

In the second segment of the Threatdown, Stephen wants to see less realism in video games. When Madden NFL 12 added a new feature that removed players suffering from concussions from the game, Stephen railed against the idea that video games should be influenced by reality by citing that we don't have to go to traffic school in Grand Theft Auto, but suggests that real war should end the same way that Call of Duty battles conclude.

Stephen Launches World Of ColbertCraft

Not one to shy away from additional revenue streams, Stephen dipped into the game development business with his MMORPG, Stephen Colbert's World of ColbertCraft. It's sure to be even more popular than his previous game, Stephen Colbert's Escape from Skateboard Mountain. Note that for budgetary reasons, World of ColbertCraft takes place on Skateboard Mountain.