Readers uncover the fake secrets of the White Man Can’t Jump video game

Readers uncover the fake secrets of the White Man Can’t Jump video game

Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.

Duped

This week, we put together an Inventory that highlighted some of the stranger playable guest characters from the world of video games. One of the Inventory entries pointed out Bill Clinton’s spot in the original NBA Jam. useless beauty used this as an opportunity to drop a reference to some of the weird lingo from the old White Men Can’t Jump video game (lines that were made famous in an Electronic Gaming Monthly article by Seanbaby):

Bill Clinton is banging it up high on the handle n kickin it downstreet on the flip flop timepants!

Although he does know where to get some tang around here.

This prompted Ghaleon Q to share one of the ridiculous team biographies from the White Men Can’t Jump game, which describes a supposed infant team you can find on the court:

Baby Einsteins

Leibniz, Newton and Planck are three super-smart babies with attitudes. They’ve been hustling the courts for years to pay for their Ph.D. programs, but when Cal Tech starts charging extra in an effort to get the babies to drop out, they have to supplement their street cash with new jobs as cable technicians. With their astronomical IQs, cable installation is a breeze and these babies are raking in the cash in no time, until one day when they show up for a routine upgrade at a mafia kingpin’s pad and witness a murder. Can these brainy infants untangle the web of lies and accusations? Or will the mafia make sure that their VCR clock hits double zero?

Good God.

Unfortunately for Ghaleon, who I’m guessing got that passage from the White Men Can’t Jump Wikipedia page, it appears that several of the more egregious team bios on that page are completely made up. Atari Age has preserved the text from the White Men Can’t Jump instruction manual, and the three most bizarre teams listed on the Wikipedia page—Baby Einsteins, Standards And Practices, and The Icey Icey H.A.C.K.E.R.S.—are nowhere to be seen. That’s right: It’s a distinct possibility that someone has gone out of their way to elaborately vandalize the Wikipedia page of White Men Can’t Jump, the video game. Sure, maybe the dubious teams are really a secret buried deep within the game, and one intrepid Wikipedia editor just happens to have the scoop. Judging by the Wikipedia biography listed for the team “Standards And Practices,” I’m guessing that’s not the case:

“By day, Randy and Joshua are a pair of stick-in-the-mud suits who work for the FCC, issuing fines for indecent exposure and adult language. But by night, they’re both male harlots, licking, teasing and kissing their way across the hot Los Angeles underground…regardless of gender.”

It only gets more homophobic from there.

Elsewhere in the thread, talk turned to Resident Evil characters, a reaction to our mention of the criminally under-explored secret character Tofu. The_Helmaroc_King shared a scene with another Resident Evil character who was given similarly short shrift:

I’m not sure anything from Resident Evil will be able to top the emotional roller coaster that was Mike.


The Beginning Of The End      

Twitch Plays Pokémon, the wacky Internet experiment where thousands of people attempt to simultaneously play the same game of Pokémon through a chat on Twitch.TV, has taken the Internet by storm. Expanding on the subject of experimental ways to play, NakedSnake linked to an article about a simple artificial intelligence that can learn to play NES games. It’s pretty amazing.

This reminds me a lot of that guy who designed an AI that can teach itself how to play Nintendo games via experimentation with different button inputs. He just tells the computer to try to increase the score and level count and it goes nuts.

Here’s a video from the programmer of the software bot:


Have It Your Way

This week’s Wiki Wormhole was all about advergames—games made as promotional tie-ins with restaurant chains, snacks, sodas, and the like. ElDan has experience with this unloved quasi-genre:

My favorite tie-in video game was Sneak King, a promotional game Burger King sold for a while. You played the creepy King guy, and the point of the game was to surprise people with Whoppers and other assorted sandwiches. And to answer your question, yes, I was smoking a lot of pot back then.

And bringing Wikipedia back into this Keyboard Geniuses for one last time, Dr. Clint Handsome provided us with a choice excerpt from Sneak King’s page:

The Wikipedia entry for Sneak King has easily my favorite sentence on all of Wikipedia:

“Common criticisms of the game include unexciting graphics and a limited amount of dances available after delivering sandwiches.”

I, for one, judge games mostly on the number of celebratory sandwich delivery dances they include. I don’t like that many games. 

Thanks for reading and commenting! We’ll see you next week. 

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