I never thought that I would be adding “Video Game Creator” to my list of (ahem) accomplishments. That was, however, before my latest trip to see my parents. Now, I have an idea for a video game which will break all sales records – well, at least in the New York area and in those places where transplanted New Yorkers reside.
The game is called (blaring of trumpets):
“Grand Prix: Florida Jewish Version”
The basic idea of the game will be simple. All that you need to do is navigate your car (an imported, luxury sedan, of course, because there aren’t any Fords or Chevys being driven by South Florida Jews) from deep in an unnamed community off of Route 441 and Lake Worth Road (maybe the home of a certain blogger’s parents) and travel in a Southeasterly direction to the mythical “Del Boca Vista” community immortalized in the Seinfeld show, which is placed, for purposes of the game, where Route I-95 intersects with Boynton Beach Boulevard.
All of the Floridians and NY/NJ Jews are still with me, right?
The concept seems simple enough. South Florida’s roads are a simple grid and very few, if any, even have any curves or turns. Presumably, therefore, all that one would need to do is travel straight, on some roads East and others South, to get to the final destination. Experienced gamers would argue that they could achieve this goal, and win the game, with their eyes closed.
If you have ever navigated these highways and byways, however, you know that such driving is anything but easy. The game will reflect the various difficulties and pitfalls that one would inevitably encounter while trying what seems to be such a simple task. First, you are not allowed to use turn signals. Blinkers are strictly prohibited. If a player attempts to signal before turning, that will result in a loss of points. On the other hand, bonus points are awarded for those brave enough to turn left when they are driving in the right lane, or to turn right from the left lane. The more lanes you cross in order to make such a turn, the more points you accumulate. There will be a slight penalty for hitting another car or person, but these are acceptable turns in the greater South Florida area, and are greatly encouraged both in real life and in Grand Prix: Florida Jewish Version.
This game also features different types of “obstacles” that one must overcome in order to get from Point A to Point B. I speak, of course, of the dreaded golf carts that populate, if not dominate, that area’s roadways, as well as the agonizingly slow walkers who can’t quite seem to get the hang of the whole red light-green light thing. Right of way? Never has this been a more fluid concept than in Grand Prix: Florida Jewish Version. Here (as is the case in South Florida), pedestrians always seem to have the right of way, crosswalk or not, bounding (well, more like creeping) in front of moving vehicles as if to dare someone to hit them. If Father Time hasn’t gotten them yet, then certainly they don’t think that you will be able to do them any harm.
Golf carts can reach top speeds of 20 (yes, 20!) miles per hour, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to cross in front of vehicles approaching at much greater speeds. Moreover, these incredibly annoying machines can travel not only forward and in reverse, but also left, right, and, seemingly, on a diagonal at times. Reflecting the local norm, ambulances and other rescue vehicles also appear at a seemingly frenetic pace, each either going to pick up a sick septuagenarian or octogenarian or to deposit one at one of the local hospitals.
In fairness, however, the ambulances, like in real-life, drive less recklessly than the majority of residents even when they are rushing another alter kocker to the hospital. When parked, however, they force players to essentially slalom their way through the roadways, all the while being forced to stay on the alert for the next possible ambulance passenger. The sirens of the ambulance, in fact, are the “background music” to the game due to their constant presence in certain communities.
Stop signs? To paraphrase one of the most famous movie quotes ever, “they don’t need no stinkin’ stop signs.” In fact, such stop signs are but another option in Grand Prix: Florida Jewish Version. Points are sometimes awarded for stopping, and other times points are awarded for proceeding recklessly through the signs. But if you guess wrong, you risk incurring the wrath of the drivers around you; and you don’t want to be embarrassed when you stop at a stop sign and get cursed out by another driver who is little more than a shock of white hair peeking above the steering wheel. Nor do you want to be the player who loses points for being taunted by other drivers who accelerate as they approach the worthless, red, octagonal-shaped signs.
“Stop?” the other driver may say with derision and as voiced by Jackie Mason, “Are you kidding me? I will stop when I am dead.” If you hear that taunt, your game is over.
The game will have different levels – beginner, adequate, advanced, and the highest level, “white-shoed”. To win the game, you will have to navigate the course at the “white-shoed” level, a level in which the action begins at 3:52, just as everyone is rushing to get to various restaurants before the “early bird specials” expire. The obstacles at that time include not only golf carts, pedestrians, and ambulances, but also a preponderance of Acura and BMW SUV’s, all being driven by Jewish grandmothers, women who can barely, if at all, reach the gas pedal and see over the steering wheel at the same time.
The game concepts are being tweaked even as you read this, but I am certain that the creation of this game will be my lasting legacy. Negotiations are on-going with various companies as I decide who will manufacture and market the game, but I can tell you for sure that it will not be made for the Wii, because we want to make the elderly Jews as life-like as possible. They need to be able to point their index fingers in order to scold the young players, and Wii figures do not have hands. Moreover, the Wii faces seem to smile, and the people in this game will, almost always, have a frown on their faces as if the prune juice just is not properly working yet.
Grand Prix: Florida Jewish Version – coming soon to a gaming store near you. Hopefully by next Chanukah at the latest.