Processing - the References
Hey Fight Fans,
In this week’s news, we celebrate the host of sci-fi references in Processing: a Game of Serving Humanity. For a while I’ve promised this confession, but there's a lot of ways to breakdown this list. I decided to focus on where I got my specific inspirations rather than a more general historical or pop-cultural context. In this way, the list is sort of a bizarre personal history.
The Title: Processing: a Game of Serving Humanity
We’re channeling classic Twilight Zone “To Serve Man” season 3, episode 24 (1962) and the Simpson’s “Treehouse of Horror” season 2, episode 3 (1990.)
Alien probes were in the public consciousness but nothing brought it home like South Park’s pilot “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe” season 1, episode 1 (1997).
“... for Science.”
There’s a They Might Be Giants song “For Science” but that’s not where I got it. Hearing me yell, “Science” at conventions gives it away. I got my catchphrase from Thomas Dolby “She Blinded Me with Science.” Also, there is probably a little Dexter’s Lab involved: “Ah, what a fine day for science!” season 2, episode 24 (1997)
If you’re old and from Detroit, you might know “Bill Kennedy at the Movies”. My first exposure to cannibalism was Tennesee William’s Suddenly Last Summer (1959). I was way too young to watch that movie. If I’m a host from WestWorld, that might be my cornerstone. Also, human meat as an industry was part of the 1983 TV miniseries “V”.
I have issues with the movie but despite that I scream, “Freedom” from Braveheart. It’s also the plot to “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951) when Earth people must start living peacefully or be wiped out.
Aliens not differentiating between Cows and People
Back to “Carman Gets an Anal Probe” (1997), in which the classic grey aliens have their most meaningful communication with the town’s bovine populace.
Conveyor Belt No place on earth celebrated the conveyor belt and dehumanizing workers like pre-1980 Detroit.
Flying Saucer and Cover Art
Jody did a great job with the cover art! I feel like my love for this style started with the intro to Lost in Space (1965).
Though they are passing from public scorn just like “EMO kids” did back in the day, Hipsters were everywhere in 2017 when we were putting Processing together. You couldn’t swing a stick without snagging a man bun. The Hipster icon is not me. Though I dress like the icon, the model is actually Jody’s husband Matt.
42 minutes of the Earth’s invasion
Forty-two is almost always a Douglas Adams reference.
The Classy Grey - There’s no end of appearances of the “Greys” in Sci-fi. The Classy Grey’s proclivity for probing hipsters and turning cows inside out is a South Park reference. The cloak the Classy Greys wear is a nod to “Space Pants” with Peter Dinklage from SNL. We made one of these cloaks and Wendy wore it during the KS live streaming events. Wendy’s so awesome.
The Space Clowns - Killer Klowns from Outerspace (1988) meets the TV mini-series of IT (1990).
Tentacle Beasts - Galaxy Quest (1999) captures the nicer side of this staple of hentai. Also, keeping sweet is from the board game Consentacle (2014).
Minotaurans - What if “My Favorite Martian” (1963) was a Minotaur? Also, the Shrroomies are hanging out on his burger. Tiny races make appearances on the major race cards to give perspective on size and importance.
Grey Anarchists - So many alien conquers have a counter-movement in their race. V, Stargate, and The Day the Earth Stood Still are all examples. You might not be able to see it, but the Anarchy necklace is styled like a Startrek Starfleet symbol. This was one of my favorite touches by the illustrator, Graham Judd.
V-Z-Tors - Everyone was convinced that the world was going to end in the ’80s. Having aliens come to eat us like in the V TV miniseries was a nice change of pace. At least our meat wasn’t going to go to waste. The most heated argument during art direction was this card. Graham argued that V-Z-tors should be more like the Sleestaks from Land of the Lost (1974) and be flat-chested because reptiles do not breastfeed their young. I love my job for any number of reasons, but even thinking about this argument gives me the giggles. His protest noted, I then made him hold to the '80s femme fatale this card is an homage to.
Vegantors - The Iron Giant (1999) meets Giagantor (1963). Giant robots love little kids and want to save the earth despite earthlings.
Missionarians - I’m gonna blame South Park again (season 7, episode 12, 2003).
Sym-pathetics - Metropolis (1927) the ambition of that movie for the time it was made was coo-coo-bananas.
CAO-servationists - Cheech & Chong from Up in Smoke (1978) is the model for this alien. No lie. Also, the slugs show up in this one because they love cow science.
Body Snatchers - Film of the same name (1956 & 1978) I love that the original in particular is a story about American paranoia and communism.
Fabuluxians - All things David Bowie. I miss him so much. Not only the Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), his hair from Labyrinth (1986) and his music as Ziggy Stardust, but homages to Bowie like Velvet Goldmine (1998).
Psi-Cao - Invaders from Mars (1996)
Utterly Nutzoids - Futurama (1999)
Deranged Humies - The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) or maybe Howard the Duck (1986). Wanting to destroy the planet by possessing humans is one of the ways aliens will get us (see modern politics).
UFO’s - Batteries Not Included (1987)
Shrroomies - Mom and Dad Save the World (1992). Don’t judge.
Toybots - Stephen Chow’s CJ7 (2008) and ET (1982)
Tardigrades - themselves.
Fluffies - Critters 3 (1991) Leo’s best film to date.
Slugs - Though many of our references can be seen as a stretch, this one failed to hit its original goal and we gave up on the effort. Originally, I asked Graham to style the slugs in a bandolero like Sean Connery from Zardoz (1974), but Graham sorta fixated on them becoming banditos. He was so excited about it that I let my love for Zardoz slide.
The Quotes (all the lot cards have them):
“They ain’t from Cleveland.” - They Live (1988). Of all the wrestlers, Roddy Pipper was always my favorite.
“Have you ever been mistaken for a man?” - Aliens (1986). My favorite.
“Guess what I just found in a meat locker.” - Outland (1981). This statement on the evolution of technology vs our moral progress is still meaningful.
“You can’t fool us by agreeing with us.” - Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
“There's something not quite right about this.” - This Must Be The Place (2012). I was a goth at one time too.
“We don’t have a cow, we got a bull.” - Kingpin (1996). Probably the dirtiest quote in the game.
“... it’s people.” - Soylent Green (1973)
“What an incredible smell you’ve discovered!” - Easily the most remembered quote from some random movie in 1977.
“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” - Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut.
“Visits? That would indicate visitors.” - Plan 9 from Outer Space. Game or Gamer?
“We’re going to survive!” - Independence Day (1996)
“You know Tommy, you’re a freak.” - The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
“We’ll show the sky people.” - Avatar (2009). It’s funny because we were the alien invaders in that one.
“Klaatu barada nikto.” - I love Bruce Campbell, but this is from the Day the Earth Stood Still or Evil Dead.
“They’re eating her… and then they’re going to eat me!” - Trolls 2… I can feel the judging.
“It’s a cookbook!” - back to the Twilight Zone/Simpsons.
“Phone Home” - ET
“Negative. I am a meat Popsicle.” - The Fifth Element (1997). I always have time to rewatch this movie. It is so green; it’s super green.
“Tastes like chicken!” - GroundHogs Day (1993). There’s a host of good places to get this one.
“Great Scott! Hasn’t anybody got a penny?” - Invaders from Mars (1986)
“Get the cheese to sickbay” - Star Trek Voyager
“Come up to the Lab…” - Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
“See what’s on the slab…” - Rocky Horror Picture Show
“Don’t dream it… Be it.” - Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’m not sure how three got onto the conveyor belt, but I’m cool with it. I think I let Jody make a choice and this is what happened.
“I was giving myself a lube job.” - Forbidden Planet (1956). Get your head out of the gutter.
“People were always rotten. But the world was beautiful.” - Soylent Green
“Any planet is Earth to those that live on it.” - Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky (1950)
Okay, I think I got almost all of them. If you find one I missed or have questions feel free to reach out via email or FB. If you want to hear about the latest thing we’re on about, we make a summary of all things in Fight in a Box in our newsletter! Thanks for showing interest in our crazy.
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