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Shoot a bear in the face

Joe Piarulli | Thursday, March 30, 2006

No, it’s not baseball or barbequing. It’s not being obese or yelling at poor drivers – America’s favorite pastime is shooting bears in the face. Too bad America doesn’t know that yet. Fear not loyal bear shooters – I bring the word.

Some people go to church or look inside themselves to find the rewards of life. You need travel no farther than an arcade equipped with Big Game Hunter.

This glorious digital escapade, complete with two giant orange guns, gives you both a choice of prey and weapon. As all enlightened people know, the greatest combination is bear and slingshot respectively. Yet it’s not really about what weapon you choose, it’s about shooting the bear as many times as possible while aiming directly between its computer-generated eyes.

This game, if I may stoop as low as to call it such, requires the ability to wait at least three seconds for a bear’s face to appear on screen, as well as the critical skill of discerning a cub from an acceptable bear. Be forewarned – if you miss a bear or shoot a cub, you will lose one of your three precious orange hats. Lose all your hats and the unspeakable will happen – you will need to put more quarters in the machine.

No other activity in American history can hope to match the long seconds of hunting adventure – which can occasionally seem like almost an entire minute – or the constant video stimulation of shooting a pompous woodland creature up to 16 times with a slingshot … in the face.

According to Mike Ippolito, one of the foremost experts in the field of shooting bears in the face, “killing bears makes you feel at one with nature. Yet it’s more than shooting a bear in the face, it’s shooting that smug ‘I own the forest’ attitude in the face. You’ll notice bears abandon their swagger when you completely obliterate their faces with a slingshot or crossbow.”

It’s not all trophy bears and perfect shots. Big Game Hunter gives all of life’s emotions within seconds of each other. It’s like a rollercoaster, but with bears.

Imagine the crippling frustration of firing a well-aimed, semi-panicked shot only to find that you have murdered a helpless cub – a.k.a. objects getting in the way of shooting a monster bear – and lost one of your beloved orange hats, even though that cub probably deserved it for hanging out with all those crazy bears.

Anyone can see that Big Game Hunter is just like real life – you get rewarded for killing furry things that are bigger than you and every time you fail to achieve this goal you lose an orange hat. That’s life, my friend, and if you don’t know that then you aren’t living. Those who are offended – I have encountered others like you.

Once while out bagging some big game (that’s technical phrasing) with Mike, a woman walked by and exclaimed, “They’re shooting animals!”

Allow me to put this into context. We were in a giant arcade shooting digital bears while the young arcade-goers to our right were shooting people with sniper rifles, and those to our left were using semi-automatic weapons to kill zombies and hostages. Come on, lady.

As you can see, I am quite dangerous with giant orange plastic guns, so I suggest you listen carefully to my demands. I want a Big Game Hunter console installed in my dorm room, or at the very least, in that useless arcade in the basement of LaFortune. I urge you to bring this crucial issue to the attention of University administrators. Together, we can make a difference; we can make America a better place, one bear at a time.