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Monday, July 27, 2009

Before Fining Your Ass For Failing to Compost, City Unveils Educational Computer Game

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 12:01 AM

With the city now poised to extract green from residents who fail to put rotting greens in the green bin, Mayor Gavin Newsom unveiled a novel new way of cajoling us into following the rules. Earlier this month, to surprisingly little fanfare, Newsom announced the creation of "Recycling Slam," a charming, eight-bit videogame none-too-subtly meant to instruct locals what crap should be hurled in what bin.

Reading through Newsom's introduction of  this game, I was struck by two things: First, we can add "penning smarmy copy" to the skill set of our multi-semi-talented mayor (assuming he writes these things). Second, our mayor notes of the game, "I warn you, it is a bit addictive." Oh boy. Where to begin? How about here: When my father was a young man in Brooklyn, a couple of small-time hustlers pulled in front of him in their Impala, popped the trunk, and shouted, "Hey kid! Do you know from cashmere?" You know what? When it comes to addiction, Gavin Newsom knows from cashmere

In any event, it is a cute little game; those of a certain generation may realize it's a modern-day retooling of the old Activision game "Ka-boom!" (which forced you to pull out the old dial controllers -- a pain in the ass that usually dissuaded anyone from opting to play). In that game, proto-Ted Kaczynski hurled anarchist-style bombs that the player caught in a basket. Those failing to catch the bombs got blowed up real good. Here in the city, you'll just get fined (sadly, that's not part of this videogame).

Finally, would it have killed the programmers to have Faye Dunaway's voice shouting "No wire hangers!" when one of them lands in the blue or green bin? 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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