The 6 greatest pot reefer-ences in gaming history

3. Afro Samurai

This game, based on an anime of the same name, came out last year and didn’t make much of a splash, which is surprising for a title that boasts nudity, extreme violence and the iconic voice of Samuel L. Jackson. It also emulated the animated series pretty well, right down to the often-present cigarette/spliff in Afro’s mouth.

Above: Seriously, what are you smoking? 

Now, there’s a lot of argument in the Afro Samurai community (which is a small group, truth be told) about whether that’s a real joint in his mouth or just a cigarette. It’s never explained directly, but weed or no, he must have rolled it, as the sci-fi/Feudal Japan setting wouldn’t have many 7-11s around to sell him a new pack. So if he rolled it himself and there are no cops around to tell him otherwise, why go with just boring tobacco? Besides, how could anybody stand to be near the annoying jabberjaw Ninja Ninja let alone not keep their cool, without the aid of drugs?

2. Saints Row

Saints Row made a name for itself by trying to out-GTA GTA. When GTA IV took that series to new, more serious places, Saints Row 2 let you dress like Borat, shoot raw sewage out of a truck and have sex for money. Hell, your character could get full-on gender reassignment surgery. And then there were the drugs, as seen here in the first Saints Row.

Not only can your character take whatever drugs he can get his hands on, but he has multiple ways of using pot, including bong and joint. Hitting the wacky tobaccy causes your guy to be tough to control and it covers the screen in a smoky haze, which was probably already happening in many of the homes this game was played in. And for comedy’s sake, the cashier makes sure to make tons of pot puns as you buy it, just because 420 humor is just so great.


We’ll start with the most recent NARC, a value title that got dumped on the Xbox and PlayStation 2 and was met with rightfully poor reviews. Basically, it was a police game with GTA-ish combat (but no driving), and the two main characters were vice cops who dipped into what they confiscated. Several different drugs could be used as power-ups, but they also could make you addicted if you used them too much. What a great satire on our society.

Above: Use pot 15 times and you're addicted for life, just like in reality

But that lax approach to drugs was meant as a cute counter to the original NARC for arcades and NES. That game focused on operatives stopping drugs the only way you should: horrible, bloody murder. The mean streets were filled with evil dealers just begging to be gunned down. Pot growers weren’t safe either, as one level focuses on the siege of a weed-growing commune, and you see who really operates those places: not harmless hippies, but violent militia members out to kill federal agents. Are your eyes open now, stoners? See what damage your “harmless” drug causes?

Above: The truth about where weed comes from

We hope this article will inspire readers to stay on the straight and narrow and avoid drugs of all kinds, now that they’ve seen the digital alternatives out there. Never forget the immortal words of Space Pirates for the 3DO:

Apr 20, 2010


  • sleepy92ismypsn - April 25, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    its the time the day and anything else that has to do with the number 420. and i wish more games would have weed in them but its kinda hard to make it look like your characters high cuz your vision can do a million different things depending on what kinda weed it is but alot of its in your head and your body high. i think playing games stoned is good enough.
  • SenorHurt - April 25, 2010 3:47 p.m.

    Nice article but unfortunately I've gotta nothing funny to add. Thanks for the article.
  • gmilf71 - April 23, 2010 3:02 a.m.

    @zmason I just searched on that same website and it said the police code is 420. Lol n00b.
  • zmason - April 22, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    Anyone saying 420 comes from a police code is wrong. Ever heard of Google? Do your research. As for the article - thanks!
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - April 21, 2010 3:27 p.m.

    @avantguardian every day is 4/20 in humboldt. it's like that bill murray flick, um, caddyshack. sorry to hear that your drum circle got sogged on, brah.
  • philipshaw - April 21, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    Great article and I that video at the end was good
  • pimlicosound - April 21, 2010 11:09 a.m.

    What about the DOS classic "Ganja Farmer" - a simple clone of Paratroopers.
  • drewbian - April 21, 2010 11:05 a.m.

    lol seattle sound you made yourself look like such a nob, think you know it all but you dont ahah you got served.
  • TheElephantManchurianCandidate - April 21, 2010 10:50 a.m.

    What a waste of an article
  • avantguardian - April 21, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    yes, it is the date AND time, yes it is stupid... i live in humboldt county, its like a f'n holiday here...we get a ridiculous number of "visitors" this time of year, and i couldn't help but chuckle a bit as rain washed out our annual "festival"(can't really call it that, more like hippiefest)... oh and i do smoke it, a lot, but using it to define your personality is just straight laughable (i'm lookin at you 420blunts4eva guy on mw2)... recaptcha: swankier egypt
  • Ultima - April 21, 2010 6:16 a.m.

    You guys! I've just started a rare break from the you know what and now this! How could you do this to me? XD
  • gmilf71 - April 21, 2010 4:32 a.m.

    The reason is because 420 is the police code for possesion of marajuana.
  • 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. check it out.
  • 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.
  • The4X - April 21, 2010 4:02 a.m.

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

    I hate people with the weed signs in MW2, don't know why though.
  • 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.
  • 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^
  • 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)
  • Cwf2008 - April 21, 2010 3:06 a.m.

    So you get high today to commemorate Columbine and Hitler? WTF?!

Showing 1-20 of 31 comments

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