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The Year of the Detachable Head
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on August 25, 2006   |   Episode 63 (Show Archive)  


What I want to know is how these headless characters are able to find another head so quickly?
Last year our government took time out of their busy schedule of dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq and slammed the video game industry for a trend of cannibalism in recent titles. They singled out F.E.A.R. and Stubbs the Zombie as two games that glamorize the eating of other human beings. You would almost need to be brain dead to think that our youth may want to imitate the eating of humans based on Stubbs the Zombie, you might as well boycott Katamari Damacy for influencing players to roll up a giant ball full of stuff around town.

So far in 2006 we have had very few run-ins with cannibalism, we might end up making it through the year without one scene of humans eating humans. So if

No no no ... I'm not talking about that kind of Face/Off
2005 was the Year of the Cannibal, then what would this year be? What obscure non-trend deserves this year's top honor? I think that we're looking at 2006: The Year of the Detachable Head.

At this year's E3 developer Vicious Circle showed off their upcoming horror action game, Dead Head Fred. In Dead Head Fred you play a private detective who is savagely murdered and then resurrected in a bizarre scientific experiment. This action game has you changing and upgrading your head for various challenges, you're a body that can take just about any head you want. That has to be worse than cannibalism, right? Well, even if it's not it's still a pretty disturbing situation.

I assure you, Wonderfalls is decapitation free!
Oddly enough, Dead Head Fred is not the first piece of pop culture to reference interchangeable heads this year. The Sci Fi Channel recently ran the pilot for The Amazing Screw-On Head, an animated series from Bryan Fuller (Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me) and Mike Mignola (Hellboy). It's the story of a superhero that is only a head, but he can screw himself on to any body he sees fit. He takes orders from a large Abe Lincoln painting and battles David Hyde Pierce (Frasier).

So there you have it, that's two different products glamorizing the removal of the human head. If all goes well 2006 will be the year that

Apparently Game Fan was attempting to win the "brightest magazine cover of all time" award!
the government stands up and notices this trend of decapitation. Two different pieces of entertainment is enough to demonize a whole industry, they proved that when they went after cannibalism ... now it's time for the government to come together to keep the senseless act of beheadings away from our youth. It's the patriotic thing to do.

But wait ... if the government really wants to prove its side then I suggest they go back in time and trot out some of the classic video games that glamorized decapitations. They can bring up Decap-Attack, the silly 2D action game on the Sega Genesis. But

Is a game based on a satirical news show a good idea? No worse than a game based on some anime!
then, Chuck D. Head, the mummy hero of Decap-Attack, didn't really change heads in his adventure. Instead he just threw his head to defeat the enemies. And best of all Decap-Attack is relevant in the year 2006, Sega is featuring Chuck and the rest of the gang in their upcoming Genesis Collection disc for the PSP and PlayStation 2.

And it's not just Decap-Attack, the government (or advocate blog) can get their hands on Treasure's troubling follow-up to GunStar Heroes. This is the perfect example of a character sending the wrong message, not only does Headdy throw his head to kill bad guys, but he also changes heads to solve puzzles. How can a young child resist that? I can already hear Senator Lieberman's heart going out to all those kids who tried to saw their heads off because of Dynamite Headdy. These games have to be stopped!

Of course, it won't take much to make people forget about the gruesome act of decapitation. All the government needs is something more controversial, like the hint of incest or Solid Snake coming out of the closet. This year doesn't need to go down as The Year of the Detachable Head, there's still a chance we can turn this non-trend around. If somebody could get around to releasing Stephen Colbert: World of Colbertcraft perhaps we would be able to get the government off our backs once and for all.

(Footnotes: You can watch the entire pilot episode of The Amazing Screw-On Head over at Sci Fi's website. We also suggest that you view the entire Stephen Colbert's World of Colbertcraft video. We can only imagine that Nintendo never imagined that anybody would pronounce the name of their next generation console like Stephen does.)


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