When I was in high school, my AP English teachers would always give us a list of essay topics to choose from, related to whatever we were reading at the time. I would always scan the list and instantly go for any topic that mentioned imagery, symbolism or extended metaphors. I always found it easy to draw connections between two items or ideas that might not normally be related. Girlfriends and Dreamcasts
, for example.
Yeah, I don't know either, but it's funny, right?
Today, though, I'm going to do something a little different. I've been playing Patapon
for the PSP. I won't bother sharing my impressions as I feel that Jim Sterling summed them up perfectly in his review
Rather than present you with a diatribe about how Patapons are a symbol of the human condition (and, trust me, I thought about it), I would instead like to discuss an aspect of the game that I wish we could import into the real world: simple little songs with a potential plethora of meanings. At this point in my Patapon
playing, I know of four songs/beats. Each one serves as a different battlefield command for the game's tiny little eyeball-shaped soldiers. I strongly believe that if all humans learned the songs from Patapon
, the ease with which we communicate would increase tremendously.
Patapons in the office are the first step toward increased communication.
Pata Pata Pata Pon
In the game, this beat/song tells your Patapons to move forward. I can just imagine the usefulness of this phrase when I am doing hall duty at work. Rather than screaming, "Let's go! Get to class!" I could simply walk up behind a group of students and croon, "Pata pata pata pon.
" It would be nice to get the added bonus of those students having to automatically obey, but I think that would go against the laws of physics and/or psychology.
My eyes really do turn read when I walk into school.
Pata, pata, pata, pon
could also be used as words of encouragement to a friend who's a little down on his luck. It would be great in a greeting card. Keep going. Forward march. Hang in there. It would mean all that and more. What an inspiring little rhythm you are, Pata pata pata pon
Pon Pon Pata Pon
Though this is the attack command in the game, I imagine it to mean something more along the lines of "Let's do this!" It could also be a great pick up line. Or, in reference to a person who is a "real go-getter," except we could just call him a Ponponpataponner
Additionally, it could be used as a euphemism for terrorism. A newscaster could report, "The London Underground was Ponponpataponned
today." Along the same lines, ten-year-olds could scream it over their microphones while playing XBL, "You just got Ponponpataponned
, you stupid noob!" Of course, they would spell it Ponponpatapwnd
for effect. Pon pon pata pon
, the catch all for passionate acts of any sort.
Chaka Chaka Pata Pon
This command tells the eyeballs--I mean Patapon soldiers--to stick close together and defend. They put up their shields and fire less shots. For us, it would mean an apology of sorts. "Honey, I traded in the Wii for a PS3. I know how much you love Wii Sports, but the PS3 has a BluRay player and it's a much better investment. But, Chaka chaka pata pon
Additionally, it would serve as a replacement for both "my bad" and "don't tase me bro." In fact, if you read Jim Sterling's review
, you will notice the way he ingeniously slips it in at the very end. Perfect usage of the chant. Oh, and if you were one of the people that posted mean comments about Jim's review, all I can say is, "I'm not trying to pimp his review. I just thought it would be informative if you had no clue about Patapon. I also liked his last line. Chaka chaka pata pon
Another good use of a semi-chaka chant. Well done, Sir.
So far in the game, all I've used this song for is to make the miracle of rain. I'm assuming I will be able to use it for more miracles later on. For practical use, I basically see this as the superlative form of the other three songs. When someone needs an extra dose of encouragement, "Come on, Peyton Manning, Don-dondon-dondon
!" When a particularly serious attack occurs, "Today, the President was Don-dondon-dondonned
." Or, if you need more protection than the Chaka chant can provide, "I know I gave the game a 6.5 and you're not happy with that. Don-dondon-dondon
Blink and you'll miss the Don-dondon-dondon moment.
Okay, so I know this idea is a bit mad. I guess I'm just trying to say that I'm intrigued by the idea that a few little nonsense phrases could so easily take the place of so many things we already say. Plus, like the Patapons, if we wanted to show understanding, all we would have to do is repeat back the song. There's something simplistically beautiful about that. I really, really wish I could incorporate these songs into my everyday vocabulary without people looking at me even more strangely than they already do. Maybe it's the red eyes.