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Yes it’s 4/20, which, among other, less whimsical anniversaries, is the day to celebrate weed, bros! WOOOOO! As the urban legend goes, 4:20 p.m. was the time of day that high schoolers would light up after a long day of class. Ever since, it has been seen as the correct time of the day to inhale, hold your breath, exhale and follow up with pizza rolls, Facts of Life reruns, and maybe videogames. Now, we at GamesRadar would never endorse the use of any illegal product, nor would we weigh in on whether weed is simply a natural laziness-enhancer or a horrible gateway drug that leads to mainlining heroin while pimping yourself for crack. (But if you want a good argument towards legalization that also involves gaming references, give a listen to UK rapper The Streets and his song Irony of It All.)
Above: Pot puns also lead to hilarious game-related shirts
But you know what’s perfectly legal (for now, anyway)? Digital characters smoking fake weed. Sure, it’ll get you slapped with a definite M-rating (think of the children!), but it’s a surefire way to get stoned goofs and mystified kids playing your game, as they chortle and nudge one another over it. So we celebrate now the slothful use of weed in games with this collection of the best/laziest appearances by pot and 420 culture in gaming.
The Grand Theft Auto series never shies away from controversial topics, whether it’s penises, prostitutes, or drugs. Weed is almost always featured somewhere, whether you’re dealing it in Chinatown Wars or making deliveries for Little Jacob in GTA IV. And let’s not forget Jacob’s companion, the perpetually stoned and nearly unintelligible Real Badman.
Above: Subtitles are a must for any Badman scene
But San Andreas is the cottonmouth king when it comes to weed references per capita. Not only are most of CJ’s pals often seen enjoying the herb, as does his nemesis Officer Tenpenny, but there’s an entire mission based around helping aging hippie The Truth – who’s played with vigor by Peter Fonda – burn down his marijuana crop before the feds catch him. While it should be noted that no GTA protagonist, including CJ, ever directly uses an illegal drug that they deal in, CJ does get high as a byproduct of the mission, which causes him to control like shit as his basic motor skills are being attacked by the demon drug.
This one isn’t as direct as some of the others, but Mass Effect 2 had loads of moments where BioWare got to show off its skills at humor. In the recently released Kasumi DLC for ME2, a television that some guards are watching in the background plays a trippy Krogan anime, also known as Kroganime. Anyway, that bit of weirdness is playing on channel 420. Get it? GET IT?!?
Above: GET IT???????!!!!!!!!!!
After a quick search of marijuana forums for the topic “great games to play while high,” Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2 kept popping up. Don’t these players know that if they got caught with that stuff while in combat it’d be an instant court-martial? Despite the real-world impossibility of shooting it out in Afghanistan while holding some sticky-icky, for some reason stoners don’t seem to mind and keep playing anyway, which developer Infinity Ward decided to recognize with these high-larious pun titles you can unlock.
Above: Seriously, do you get it, or is this too far over your head, square?
Now smokedog420, reeferbluntman and XXweedkingpotXXdope on Live can attach these titles to their profile and let everybody know just how awesome they are. They’re part of the counterculture, bro; they’re fighting The Man while they take part in this digital recreation of the military-industrial complex. Groovy.
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