Off to a Bad Start: Q*Bert
Welcome to Act Classy’s Off to a Bad Start! This is the only place on the Internet where I, Act Classy’s Joe Lyons, walk everyone through the precarious first moments of your favorite video games. This week, we look at the arcade mega-classic Q*Bert. We start at the foot of a strange glowing pyramid…
Must have been built by Disco Egyptians…
OK, everyone. I want to thank you all for taking the brave step of being here today. Anyone need coffee or a refreshment or anything? No? Good. Well, first I’d like to take turns going around the room as we introduce ourselves and tell each other why we’re here today. My name is Percy and I’m a psychiatrist and I just want to help people with their problems. How about you?
My name is Q*Bert. I’m mainly into parkour. I’m here because I can’t stop swearing.
OK, and you?
Coily. I’m a ssssnake. Other people’sssss happinessssss irritatessss me.
And that’s an OK feeling to have. And you?
Ugg. Brother to Wrong-Way. He not here cause he go wrong way. Me want more freedom to do things on own.
That was a brave thing for you to say. And finally we have…?
Slick and Sam. We’re here for refreshments.
There’s nothing about yourself you two want to improve?
Our current lack of refreshments.
OK then. Maybe you’ll feel better about opening up later.
Anyway, the reason group is meeting here today is I want you to take a look at what’s behind me. You see this?
The gigantic f$%*ing pyramid?
Uh, we’re going to try and not swear today, OK, Q*Bert?
What’ssssssss with the pyramid?
I’m so glad you asked. This pyramid is an exercise I like to call “Trust Pyramid.”
It name is what it is. Ugg appreciate that.
What’s it for?
It’s why we’re here today. You all currently have issues that you need to work on, but you need to learn that you’re never going to help yourself if you don’t occasionally rely on the teamwork of others.
You’ve got to be fff…orking kidding me.
Now, I can understand some skepticism, but I need you all to trust me that this trust exercise can help you all with your problems.
What do we need to do?
I’m glad you both asked. You’ll see that this pyramid is completely covered with colored lights, right?
Can you just say “accurate” or “correct” or something, you goddamn snake?
Perssssssy, he’ssssss mocking my lisssssssp.
Q*Bert, couldn’t you call Coily anything a little more constructive and a little less horrible?
I’M GONNA KILL YOU!
Stop! Everyone stop! I’m blowing the tranquility whistle now, so stop! Now, this is exactly the opposite of why we’re here today.
Ugg wasn’t misbehaving.
I know that, Ugg.
Ugg do good?
Yes. Anyway, what you all have to do, IN UNISON, is turn all the lights on the pyramid the same color as you make it to the top together as a team.
So there’s jumping involved?
Yes there is.
But remember Q*Bert, we’re looking for COOPERATIVE jumping. The only way we can get to the top of Trust Pyramid is if we do it together. Now are there any more questions?
What is a pyramid?
It’s that pyramid shaped thing right there.
Ugg sees now. Ugg do good?
Uh…yes. So, when I count to three, you all have to work together, as a team, and light up every light on the way to the top. You need to communicate with each other so you don’t change the color of a light someone else has already changed. Got it?
Ye… I do.
Let the healing through teamwork BEGIN!
Psssh! I got this like donkey t!&s.
I’ll light up the ssssssidessssss.
Couldn’t have said “edge” could you?
Get out of our way!
Ugg make one block light up. Ugg do good?
Look out — I’m getting that one!
We find this tiresome.
Remember, everyone — you have to work together!
Hey, guys! I already got that one.
We like the way we got it.
You devious little f%^*ers!
SSSSSSWEARSSSSSSSS!! PERSSSSSSY!!!! SSSSSSWEARSSSSS!!!
Guys! This isn’t working!
There’s no “s” in “Percy”, dipsssssssshi$%!
OK, look, let’s just stop.
We’re changing all of the lights now. We’ve decided.
No — that’s not right!
Hey, can I just ride this weird-ass disc on the side up to the top?
No! There’s a whole separate lesson that goes with that!
I’m jussssst going to undo everything Q*Bert did!
UGG LIGHT LIGHT! UGG DO GOOD?!
NO! UGG NOT DO F#&$ING GOOD! GODDAMN IT YOU LOUSY, WEIRD LOOKING PIECES OF S&^T! YOU HAVE RUINED MY F&*^%NG TRUST PYRAMID! I QUIT!!!
What’s his problem?
No “s” in “anxiety.”
Pssh! Good one, Ugg.
Wanna jump all over the f&#^ing pyramid?
It really was a filthy game…
Are there any other starting moments of video games you’d like us to examine? Leave your suggestions our classy comments box below!