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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You Don't Know Jack

You know, I always told myself that no matter what happened, I would never get myself addicted to a video game application on Facebook of all places.

To me, Facebook applications are nothing but trouble, as far as I am concerned.  A lot of them suck you in with the promise of a good time, and at first, they are a lot of fun.  But then after a while, you need to accomplish certain things in order to progress to the next level.  Like, you need to have a particular item to be able to complete your dream kitchen in Cafe World, and the only way to get that item is to spam your friends list constantly with game requests asking you to help them out by signing up for the game. 

Yeah.  Just in case you weren’t sure...I don’t play games that have that annoying feature.  So, here’s a heads up.  STOP SENDING ME GAME REQUESTS IN WHICH I HAVE TO SPAM PEOPLE TO PLAY IT! 

I also don’t like the idea of games forcing you to spend actual money on tokens that can be used to “enhance” your gaming experience.  I mean, I suppose I COULD spend $25 to buy a bunch of apple trees for my Farmville game...but why would I do that when I can get a bag of REAL apples from the grocery store for a sixth of the price?  I mean, priorities, people!

But, so help me.  I got addicted to a Facebook game, and have played it at least once a day all this month of September.  I got so addicted to this game that I actually purchased a copy of the Nintendo DS version of it from eBay last night (at a relatively low shipping cost too, might I add).  And, I am so addicted to this game that I am going to devote a whole blog entry towards it.

I’d also like to thank my Facebook friend Sarah L for turning me onto this game.  If it weren’t for her, this blog entry would not have been written.

All right, here’s the topic of the blog.

That’s right, it’s the recent game phenomenon that goes under the title of “You Don’t Know Jack”...or, YDKJ, if you want to deal with abbreviations.

I got turned onto the game via a request on Facebook, but to my surprise, the game has existed a lot longer than I initially thought.  Would you believe that “You Don’t Know Jack” has been around for seventeen years, and that the idea was thought up some time before that?

If the idea for “You Don’t Know Jack” was born in the same year that Super Mario World hit the scene, Paula Abdul’s new day had a lot of promise, and the Soviet Union split up, what year was it?

A)     1981   B)   1986   C)  1991  D)  1996

If you said D, you obviously didn’t read the earlier paragraph, did you?

Of course, the answer is C.  Back in 1991, a multimedia company known as “Learn Television” had released a film entitled “The Mind’s Treasure Chest” for children.  The film received a lot of praise, and ended up winning some awards.  It was largely due to the success of this film that the company decided to branch out into the computer software market so they could use the technology to create a new learning experience for young children.

Teaming up with Follett Software Company, the computer game “That’s A Fact, Jack” was born.  It was a game that came in CD-ROM format that focused primarily on young adult fiction.  The game would give a title for a child to read, and then asked them questions based on what they had just read.  The game’s target audience was between the ages of 8 and 16, and it became a great learning tool.

It was around the time of the release of “That’s A Fact, Jack” that the idea that spawned “You Don’t Know Jack” was born.  Right around that time, the founder of Learn Television, Harry Gottlieb, had decided to make a couple of changes within the company.  With the company shifting focus from television and film to computer games, Gottlieb changed the name of the company to “Jellyvision”.  The second change came from a partnership that Jellyvision entered into with Berkeley Systems.  I could tell you what the changes were, but I think this statement on the Jellyvision official website does a fair enough job on its own.

“Way back in the early ‘90s, Jellyvision decided to test the waters of mainstream interactive entertainment by beginning a partnership with Berkeley Systems, of ‘Flying Toasters’ fame.  Berkeley Systems asked us if we could apply the concept of a game show to an adult trivia game.  Since no one at Jellyvision at the time liked trivia games, we tried to figure out how to make trivia questions fun and engaging to us.  When we realized that it was possible to ask about both Shakespeare and Scooby-Doo in the same question, “You Don’t Know Jack” was born.”

Really...Shakespeare and Scooby-Doo in the same question, eh?  Let’s see if I can try coming up with one that uses both.

If Scooby-Doo were to eat a Scooby Snack that was flavoured with the last beverage that Romeo drank, what would happen?

A)     Scooby-Doo would end up Scooby-Refreshed

B)      Scooby-Doo would end up Scooby-Dead

C)     Scooby-Doo would end up Scooby-Drunk

D)     Scooby-Doo would end up Scooby-Cured

Now, unlike the last question, I won’t reveal the answer right now.  Besides, you probably already know this one already, as I am not nearly as clever at the “You Don’t Know Jack” writers.

The first edition of “You Don’t Know Jack” was released on September 12, 1995, and the host of the game was the never seen Nate Shapiro.

TRIVIA:  And, here’s some trivia for all of you.  The voice of Nate Shapiro was provided by Jellyvision founder Harry Gottlieb.  And, keeping the business in the family, Harry’s brother Tom provides the voice of the most recent host, Cookie Masterson...also unseen.

Over the years, there have been a grand total of twenty different versions of the game released, the most recent being the Facebook application in early 2012.  But there have also been versions with only Sports trivia, versions geared towards teens and young adults, and even versions for video game consoles and mobile phones.

I think a part of the fun of the game is the fact that in some cases, you never know what kind of questions you will end up getting.  There’s one question type that pops up in more recent versions known as “Cookie’s Fortune Cookie Fortunes with Cookie “Fortune Cookie” Masterson”.  Literally, you hear Cookie eating a fortune cookie while he reads a fortune.  Then you answer a question that is related to the fortune inside the cookie.  Like this one.


If you were looking for a house that has a prime number in its address, which house should you buy?

A)    2 Rose Street

B)      15 Violet Street

C)     77 Tulip Street

D)     1989 Willow Street

Another popular question type that can be found in the game is the “Put The Choices Into Order Then Buzz In To See If You Are Right Question”.  I really wish I had video clips to insert into this blog, but all I could find was a clip of dancing fours, which makes no sense.  Oh well.  I can still ask this question.

Place the following video game characters into order beginning with the one that debuted first:  Sonic the Hedgehog, Spyro the Dragon, Samus Aran

A)     Sonic, Spyro, Samus

B)      Samus, Sonic, Spyro

C)     Spyro, Sonic, Samus

D)     Spyro, Samus, Sonic

Don’t worry.  I’ll post the answers later on.  Trust me.  I hope you’re keeping score.

There’s also a question known as the “Flickerpiss Nosescum”...ah, I mean “Ticklefish Western”...oh, wait, I know.  The Gibberish Question!  In that question, you’ll see a phrase that is written in complete gibberish...but in reality, the words actually rhyme with the words in the phrase.  An example can be something like “Quit cakes, you do mango”...if you really examine it, the phrase really is “It takes two to tango.”

Confused yet?  Try this one, courtesy of this screenshot from one of the games.

(If it’s too small to read, it goes “Flask snot butt four guntry ran two more flew.”)

Now, at the end of however many rounds you play for (depending on the version you play, the game can be anywhere from five to twenty-one questions), the last round will always feature a phenomenon known as the “Jack Attack”.  You’ll be given a clue, and your job is to select the choice that fits best with the clue.  For instance, if you’re given the clue of “City Nicknames”, and your clue is New York, you’ll want to buzz in the moment you see the words “Big Apple” flying across the screen.  Here’s an example of this below, although this example is not exactly the best one.

Now, you’ll want to be quick because you don’t want to miss the correct answer.  At the most, they only appear for four seconds.  And, also, you don’t want to click on the wrong answer.  You’ll get penalized if you do.

So, let’s do a “Jack Attack” right now, shall we?  I didn’t create this one, and the last three questions are repeats, so just answer the first seven, okay?  Good luck!

That’s about all that I have to say about the game “You Don’t Know Jack”.  Now, if you excuse me, I have a game to play.

Now for the answers to the questions, which are blended into this blog post.  Just scroll over them to see them.

2WO – Since Romeo drank a bottle of poison at the end of Romeo & Juliet, I think it’s a safe bet to say that if Scooby-Doo ate poisoned Scooby Snacks, he’d be as dead as the zombies in Michael Jackson's Thriller video..

3HREE – The number two is the only prime number on that list...and the only EVEN prime number.  A prime number is one that only can be divisible by itself and one.  15 is divisible by three and five, 77 is divisible by seven and eleven, and 1989 is a multiple of nine.

4OUR – Samus Aran from “Metroid” debuted in 1986, Sonic the Hedgehog’s first game came out in 1991, and Spyro the Dragon first hit PlayStation consoles in 1998.  So, the order would be Samus, Sonic, Spyro...or B.

5IVE – “Ask not what your country can do for you”.


Siegfried & Roy, Click & Clack, Frick & Frack, Heckle & Jeckle, Goofus & Gallant, Flotsam & Jetsam, Cheech & Chong

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