Warning: The first portion of this column is rated “R” for violence and graphic descriptions of a kung-fu movie.

The latter half of the article is more of a “PG” or “PG-13” sort of thing, with a lovely bit for the whole family about global domination.

This weekend was one of pure, unadulterated kick-ass. Apart from the basic wonders of a weekend ? sleeping late, staying up late, laughing at my RA when she tries to enforce quiet hours two hours early ? I invented the greatest game in the history of board games, and I watched the finest film ever produced by Media Asia, “Ricky-Oh.”

While you bask in the glow created by the mere existence of a weekend that great, I will attempt to explain what made these unique activities so mind-blowingly great.

Starting with the movie, I’d like to explain that my knowledge of Far Eastern culture is sadly incomplete If the movie is accurate, I think it’s about time we embraced Asian culture. A non-stop, no-holds-barred culture of kung-fu kick-ass.

The movie falls into a category called “Chambara,” which is a kung-fu/action movie where the line between “impressive martial arts talent” and “flying fists of death” is crossed.

There are a lot of really cool legends about the history of martial arts. Many of these are probably exaggerated to some extent.

Chambara movies, in their infinite wisdom, decide to portray some of the more unbelievable legends as reality. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” fits into that style, in that the mastery of the lead martial artists is exaggerated to impossible levels.

What Crouching Tiger didn’t have, that Ricky-Oh does, is a scene in which “evil guy” attempts to strangle our hero with his own large intestine.

Gross? Yeah. Entertaining? Hell yeah. The movie has this mixed aura about it. On the one hand, it seems to take itself seriously. The movie has a plot ? the hero is fighting against corrupt authorities to prevent the abuse of the prisoners. On the other hand ? which, coincidentally, is karate-chopping your neck ? the DVD is advertised as “featuring the exploding head scene from ‘The Daily Show.'”

There is an equation that you can use to calculate how good a movie is going to be. Low production values plus a plot that thinks it is deep/important, minus any integrity the film might have had (through bad translation and American marketing) equals an amazing foreign film.

Impressively though, this movie was not the coolest part of my weekend. Any other weekend, hands down, Ricky-Oh would have rocked the competition with a flying tiger kick to the jugular. Unfortunately, it got caught in a calvalry charge from Boardwalk to Madagascar.

I used to love Monopoly. Then I realized that it was only slightly less random than Candy Land. Monopoly is a great idea, but there isn’t a whole lot of strategy to it. You buy things when you land on them, collect rent, and repeat until you have all the money in the game.

I thought about what games have serious strategy elements to them. “Chess,” I thought, “that has lots of strategy.” Then I remembered that 1) I am not good at chess and 2) the white queen from “Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass” turned into a goat. While I pondered whether or not that should have any bearing on the game I was making, I remembered Risk.

A surprising number of people on my floor had not heard of Risk. I shudder to think of what deviant households don’t teach their children Risk. Risk is the game of global domination. Not just a game ? the game.

So I tried to merge the two games. One of my friends suggested that you play a game of Monopoly to determine the outcome of individual battles in Risk. That would take, roughly, 11 years per game. Plus, it didn’t fix the problem of “Monopoly requires no skill or intelligence to play.”

The rules are complicated to explain, but once you start playing, they come together. I got a six-player game going on my floor.

Three people quit mid-game. Mid-game, by the way, was three hours after we started playing. We got others from the floor to take their places. Then ? at hour five I think it was ? we declared the game over. I’d say who won, but we didn’t care. We had practically lost the will to live, and barely mustered up the power to stop the game.

Hopefully, one day, everyone in the world can know the joy that is Riskopoly.

Powell can be reached at lpowell@campustimes.org.



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