The Last Starfighter and Other Videogame Careers
The Last Starfighter is best know for, besides dazzling special effects (they’re timeless, I tell ya! Timeless!), for giving gamers hope, for giving gamers a reason to keep on gaming. You weren’t wasting your time at an arcade, you were training for the greater good. You were defending the frontier from Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada. If The Last Starfighter is any sort of guide to living (and there’s no reason to believe it shouldn’t be), what videogame you’re good at can decide what you will do with the rest of your lives.
For instance, if a giant ape escaped from the zoo and terrorized a local construction site, who you gonna call? I think Billy Mitchell, Steve Wiebe, or Hank Chien would all do wonderful job Monkeybusting—all great men, all great champions. In fact, I’m fairly confident Billy Mitchell could handle most gorilla situations. Climbing the Empire State Building, in the mist, speaking sign language… Mitchell can help with your gorilla problem. But how often does a giant gorilla run amok? Once a year? Twice a year... tops. It’s like a Burger Time champion could probably make one hell of giant hamburger, but how often do you need a giant hamburger? Those Burger Time skills might be more useful in demolition, knocking down the top floor to the bottom floor. We all can’t be Starfighters; the secret is to find the best career suited for your videogame skill set.
Best career option: Gardner at haunted mansion
You might think being a master of Pac-Man might put you line to be a professional eating champion, as Pac-Man is known mostly for his appetite and roundness, but what is he eating? Mainly ghosts. And where is he eating those ghosts? In a maze. And where do you find mazes filled with ghosts? Outside haunted mansions and/or hotels such as the Overlook. Duh. Which means gardener at a haunted mansion. Think of Pac-Man as your pruning sheers, pellets are weeds, and the ghosts are… well… ghosts.
Best career option: Psychotic Hitman
At first I thought a top Dig Dugger would make a good member of a NASCAR pit crew, filling air in tires and whatnot. But that’s not quite right. The tires would always burst and that’s no good. A Dig Dug champ might also make a good miner or a half decent exterminator. Except what kind of exterminator uses an air pump to blow up pests? However, what if you used an air gun to exterminate man? Think the compressed air powered cattle gun used in No Country for Old Men. Don’t mess with a Dig Dug top score because those guys are loco. Old School videogames also make you good at flipping quarters.
Best Career Option: Drive By Shooter
You would think that the best job option that getting the hi-score at the videogame Paperboy could get you would be as paperboy, but you would be best served as a drive by shooter in a gang. A bike is just a slow two-wheeled car and a newspaper is just a rolled bullet. It couldn’t be simpler. Think about it, what are the objectives in Paperboy? Roll through a neighborhood, hit everything you can, followed by a daring escape.
Best Career Option: Bouncer at Gay Nightclub
With all the dancing on colored blocks I’m fairly certain the game of Q*bert actually took place at a disco, so this really isn’t that much of a stretch. He spent most of his time dodging balls and snakes, while looking for the safety of magical rainbow platforms. The only way to kill enemies is to get them to follow you off the platforms, and that’s how I imagine a bouncer at a gay club works. If there’s trouble you just sort of dance people out of the club. Of course, this is mostly drawn from The Blue Oyster Bar in the Police Academy movies.
This is why jobs now have standard interview questions like, what’s your hi-score at Double Dragon? Or can you drive Rad Racer with a Power Glove? Or how far can you make it through Ninja Gaiden? Employers aren’t looking for employees; they’re looking for Starfighters and Wizards. Go to your next job interview in full Starfighter regalia; I promise you won’t be disappointed.
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