South Park: The Stick of Truth
South Park: The Stick of Truth is an RPG based on the South Park TV show, known for its tasteless, offensive (but entertaining) humor.
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Story & Themes
Those unfamiliar with the show: South Park is a comedy cartoon that addresses social issues through the eyes of a group of 3rd graders using incredibly raunchy humor. In other words, this is not a game for kids, and many adults may also find it too obscene to enjoy.
The game's premise is that a new kid, nicknamed "Douchebag," has arrived in South Park, Colorado, the setting of the show. The New Kid teams up with some of the other kids and becomes involved in a imaginary game they're playing, wherein one side—the humans—fights the other side—the Drow—for the mystical Stick of Truth.
The game switches between the imaginary world and the real one as the boys fight over the Stick, and various plot elements get involved as the game progresses, including Nazi Zombies, the 3rd grade girls, aliens, and the kids' parents.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is, at its heart, social commentary as comedy, and it doesn't pull its punches. Settings include an abortion clinic (where the player will have to pretend to perform an abortion), an alien spaceship where anal probes resembling genitalia are used, and Facebook, which the government has deemed dangerous to itself. The kids use their own (literally) explosive farts as weapons against their enemies. The humor is very smart, but not exactly high brow—which is, of course, the point.
If a kid or teenager is playing the game, it's pretty essential that parents are familiar with its content and both okay with the messages it sends and willing to discuss those messages and imagery.
- Are negative, stereotypical depictions of certain groups of people acceptable when done in the name of humor? Are there reasons why those people might find the depictions less funny than someone not the butt of the joke?
- Is there a way to do humor that doesn't hurt already-marginalized people?
- Is this type of humor okay if the creators (in this case, white, heterosexual, middle-class men Matt Stone and Trey Parker) are making fun of themselves as well?
- Is it okay to find something funny without necessarily endorsing it?
- Was there anything in the game that made you uncomfortable?
Action/Adventure, Role-Playing (RPG)
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