A quick glance at the computer games section of your local supermarket or digital entertainment emporium reveals that the medium, despite the polite dismissal of your gran as being 'for the kiddies', is serious business. Presented with a tedious array of armour-clad lads clutching heavy artillery like one would their first-born, you'd be forgiven for believing there's not a single shred of humour to be found anywhere on gaming's range of big black boxes.
This might be the case for earnest po-faced mass market triple-A titles, but it's actually a million miles from the norm. Almost since their inception, video games have, probably as a direct consequence of a mainstream media which for the longest time denied them any artistic legitimacy, came with a tongue firmly planted in the cartridge slot. It was hard not to when pub punters were being asked to suspend their disbelief in the face of a dozen pixels as an abstract for tennis.
From Earthbound and Undertale to Frog Fractions and Fat Princess, we've gradually seen games ridicule even their own conventions. But best of all are those which put the target on their own back. Take note Duke Nukem Forever: If you can't laugh at yourself, how can you laugh at anyone else?
Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know).
He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.