…Booger!

I was browsing the Shantae Kickstarter page the other day and I come across a link to this:

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The Boogerman revival Kickstarter. Needless to say I chuckled a bit since my interest in this game was mildly rekindled a few weeks ago by watching some speedrun practice for it.

As long as hitboxes actually match up and boogers aren’t picky about when they register a hit, I’m interested. The game looks a lot less ugly of course, but I’m still deciding if that will actually detract from its charm. What charm Boogerman had, anyway. Furniss’ dirty and goofy soundtrack gave it an endearing quality usually reserved for unkempt, untidy, messy children, which I assume was the goal of the original’s music. We’ll see if/how Kirkhope captures that spirit.

The biggest question, of course, is this game’s appeal to modern audiences. The gross-out phase was a puerile era in early-to-mid 90s material culture aimed at children. It embraced the crass most children love to indulge in. It ran against the boundaries of acceptable behavior for children and allowed them to break the molds of etiquette in a socially-acceptable medium. It stuck out a big, slimy tongue out at the relatively-clean toy products of earlier decades and blew a big, fat raspberry. In short, it spoke to the sensibilities of a certain time. Its novelty has long worn off both in the corporate and the public sphere, and we’ve returned to comparatively-milder tastes (in certain respects). While there are plenty of people who fondly remember Garbage Pail Kids like the Boogerman page cites, is anybody really calling for a return to that aesthetic?

 Same goes for the Earthworm Jim bonus. Don’t get me wrong. I love EWJ. My ComicCon 2012 exclusive EWJ figurine is slyly glancing at me from above my desk as I type. I grew up in the town where Shiny was located. But who, outside of those who grew up on the game and show itself, look forward to his return? Then again, I suppose this fundraiser is aimed specifically AT that crowd in the first place, in which case it’s a question of the fanbase even being sustainable. 

Oh, yeah, and will all the bosses literally be back and forth again? That’s a small grievance with the original and nothing to get too picky about, but a grievance nonetheless.

If this project gains any steam, I’m interested in seeing where it goes, if only from a cultural standpoint. Yet I have a feeling it might just melt away.

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