So many millennials spent a large amount of their childhood crowded around their favorite console, fighting over first party controllers and who would get to play next. Arguments over whose turn it was would arise, settled down by a raft of snack foods and soda pop, and eventually, permanent bonds were formed between friends who found their way to one another over a shared love of hardcore gaming.
Gaming is now a titanic industry, producing profits that outpace even those provided by the film and music industries combined, according to The Huffington Post UK. Just a few short years ago in 2016, consumer spending on video games reached $92 billion, with movies coming in at $62 billion and music at $18 billion — unable to beat the gaming industry combined in terms of receipts.
Back in 1997, the release year for the iconic first-person shooter and licensed property GoldenEye, the landscape was a lot different. Gaming as an industry was just beginning its nascent rise to the top — fueled by releases such as GoldenEye, Final Fantasy VII, Quake 2, and hundreds of others. Amongst them all, however, GoldenEye holds a special place in the heart of many aging millennials as the title that kicked-off a lifelong obsession with multi-player first-person shooters and the sense of challenge and collegiality that comes with them.
One common argument that took place in front of CRT screens in basements across the developed world was, of course, whether or not using the special character OddJob — of James Bond adventure Goldfinger fame — was to be considered cheating.
In the game, OddJob was famously short, standing at perhaps a little over half of the height of a typical character model. Perhaps most pertinently, this meant that he was harder to hit, his hitbox being much smaller than that of his typical opponent such as, say, James Bond himself or the looming Jaws.
Now, according to MEL Magazine, two of the lead development team members for the 1997 blockbuster have chimed in with their own views on whether or not using OddJob constitutes cheating — both giving an unequivocal nod of support to the notion. Karl Hilton, lead environment artist on the project, and Mark Edmonds, gameplay programmer on GoldenEye, gave their opinion during a recent interview.
“We all thought it was kind of cheating when we were play-testing with Oddjob, but it was too much fun to take out and there was no impetus from any of us to change it,” said Karl Hilton. “It’s clearly become part of the culture and folklore of the game — I noticed playing GoldenEye as Oddjob was mentioned in Ready Player One, so ultimately, I think it’s fine.”
“It’s definitely cheating to play as Oddjob! But that can just add to the fun when you’re all sitting there next to each other and berating/poking/hitting the person who chooses him,” added Mark Edmonds. “Personally I like to pick Jaws [originally appearing in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me] and then beat the person with Oddjob just to show them! We could have put something in to stop this blatant cheating, but why not just let players decide on their own rules?”
The matter now being settled, it may be officially appropriate to shamelessly ridicule or scorn those gamers who pick up the N64 controller and choose the relatively silent assassin that is OddJob.