some guy (self) wrote,
some guy
self

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One moment in last night's Angel episode...

This is absolutely brilliant, and so subtle that I have to wonder if it was even deliberate.

    Spike's sitting on the couch playing video games. The camera is behind the TV, so we can't see what game he's playing, but the sound effects are clearly recognizable as "Donkey Kong". A spoken line confirms that this is what he's playing.

    At this moment, I pause the recording. I am thrilled that they got this insignificant detail right, since no one ever does. When are TV characters ever playing the game they say they are?

    But then I notice in the corner of the screen, an XBox. Microsoft's game console, direct competitor to Nintendo's. Nintendo, who owns "Donkey Kong." They would never in a million years release their games in a competitor's market.

    Well, let's give them the benefit of the doubt. The XBox was prominent in the frame, but he could still have more than one game console.

    I unpause the video, and the camera completes it's pan to reveal that he's using an XBox controller. As opposed to a Gamecube, Super Nintendo, or Nintendo Entertainment System controller. Or even an Atari 2600 joystick, since there was a time when the Big N didn't have a console of their own. The sound effects would have been slightly off at that point, but it'd still mark some great attention to detail.

    That's all right. Prop guy got it wrong, but mad points to the sound editor anyway.
Cut to this morning. I receive an e-mail confirming that I'm not the only person to have noticed the discrepency. Somehow, this revelation that I'm not actually special triggers an epiphany, and the answer is obvious:

He's running an arcade emulator. MAME, most likely. If you're technically adept, it's actually not hard to install such a thing. So, for him to be playing this... Spike's got a modchip!

Take a moment to savor that. Spike's got a modchip.

Am I describing his game console now, or what the Initiative did to him (which more or less defined his character for several seasons of BtVS, and acted as catalyst for his personal redemption)?

That's a very odd parallel. Coincidence, maybe. But I like to imagine David Fury hunkered over his keyboard, laughing at his own joke because clearly no one else would ever get it.

Mainly because I like the word "hunkered."
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