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The 6 greatest pot reefer-ences in gaming history

Yes it’s 4/20, which, among otherless 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.


6. GTA series

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.


5. Mass Effect 2

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???????!!!!!!!!!!


4. Modern Warfare 2

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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31 comments

  • SeekerofSith - April 20, 2010 11:31 p.m.

    Lol that Mass Effect 2 reference was joint-tastic!
  • SeattleSound - April 20, 2010 11:45 p.m.

    Its the time 4:20 not the day 4/20.
  • GR_HenryGilbert - April 20, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    @SeattleSound Dude, but 4:20 on 4/20 is like double getting stoned time. Everyone knows that.
  • SeattleSound - April 20, 2010 11:51 p.m.

    I don't wanna come off like a douche, but a bunch of hippies explained to me, that its the time not the day, yeah.
  • SeattleSound - April 20, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    Dear mista Henry, true that.
  • may.be.vital - April 21, 2010 12:32 a.m.

    ya it started out as the time (as the story goes) but now its the day
  • 510BrotherPanda - April 21, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    This is the first time I've heard of this whole 4:20 business, and I've been living in San Francisco my whole life; why the heck am I so ill-informed? Not that marijuana has any significance to me. Chris Antista says: "Do NOT smoke the dope kids."
  • Strangleme - April 21, 2010 1:20 a.m.

    Happy 420 Hank!!!
  • soren7550 - April 21, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    Don't really know if the Kroganime counts, but alright, whatever.
  • ShortDude - April 21, 2010 1:42 a.m.

    aww you missed the more subtle MW2 reference, the guy named roach aka roach clip.
  • skyguy343 - April 21, 2010 2:46 a.m.

    Or Roach like cockroach. Just sayin'. Also, this is the best article I've ever read. But that might be the drugs.
  • Cwf2008 - April 21, 2010 3:06 a.m.

    So you get high today to commemorate Columbine and Hitler? WTF?!
  • reverandglass - April 21, 2010 3:07 a.m.

    i don't get it. it's 20/04/10. where's the 420 come into it? that's like saying "I'm off to the 11/7 for some beers" I agree with 510brotherpanda (or is it 150brotherpanda?) I've never heard of 420 before and it's all just kinda lame if you ask me. (which i know noone did)
  • PH1NN3Y - April 21, 2010 3:12 a.m.

    420 is the police code when they pull over stoners I'm pretty sure ReCaptcha: reforest confessions lol^
  • milesgregory - April 21, 2010 3:35 a.m.

    whoa nice artical man. Great job. I live in weed town USA and I still am not sure why exactly it is 4:20 especially since a lot of schools get out at 3:15 not 4:15. Allwell.
  • aguilanthony - April 21, 2010 4 a.m.

    I hate people with the weed signs in MW2, don't know why though.
  • The4X - April 21, 2010 4:02 a.m.

    you've been noticed!
  • GR_HenryGilbert - April 21, 2010 4:29 a.m.

    OK, so look, however 4:20 came about, to millions of stoners that time of day and the date of April twentieth, when written in the US style of 4/20, makes it a special day for those obsessed with getting high. Tons of other stuff did happened on this day in history, like Hitler's birth, Columbine, among lots of other stuff and those have nothing to do with why people smoke weed today. Perhaps it's a counterculture holiday that's only really celebrated in America, I dunno. So there, hope that clears it up for all you squares who aren't hip to the lingo. @510BrotherPanda Wow really? You live in SF and you never heard of it? That's crazy. I live in Berkeley and it seems like every day is 4/20 here.
  • gmilf71 - April 21, 2010 4:32 a.m.

    @SeattleSound It's both you idiot. You've never smoked weed before. You have no idea what you're talking about. http://www.420chan.org/ check it out.
  • gmilf71 - April 21, 2010 4:32 a.m.

    The reason is because 420 is the police code for possesion of marajuana.

Showing 1-20 of 31 comments

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