[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Child as Executioner

March 24th, 2008 by Benj Edwards

Talking Whiz-Kid 2 Player Hangman Program CardExhibit A: Talking Whiz-Kid Program Card #43 (1987)

Nothing captures the childlike zeal and enthusiasm most kids have to murder grown adults like this illustration from 1987. A young boy mercilessly withholds the “answer” from a balding, middle aged man — ruthlessly toying with his life — while the innocent adult faces imminent death at the end of a hangman’s noose.

And for what? I couldn’t tell you. Is the enjoyment of a “game” worth a man’s life? Maybe the answer lies somewhere in the deep, sordid archives of Vtech.

Discussion topic of the week: How many child players of Hangman grew up to be murderers?

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8 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Child as Executioner”

  1. Layne Says:

    I’m sure the number of murders (specifically those that murdered through hanging) is much higher than the number of people who murdered someone using a chainsaw (Doom)……but then I’ve never really liked stats that just talk about totals and do not include percentages because it doesn’t take into account how many had the potential to do it and didn’t or how recent any of the numbers were. Hangman has been around a lot longer than chainsaws, so the number of opportunities for a player to become a murder is much higher, even though, these days, murder by hanging isn’t as popular as it once was (there are just to many easier ways to do it)…..I would still figure the percentage of players who became “hangers” is lower than the percentage that became “chainsawers” from their respective games.


  2. Zoyous Says:

    The exclamatory text, “[lightning bolt]A![lightning bolt]H” is perhaps the finest expression of a frantic choking sound I’ve seen in comics in quite some time. The boy’s expression and posture — aggressive, yet vacant — brings to mind the horrors of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Ulp…

  3. Kitsunexus Says:

    Furthermore, two beans are making out on top of a banana that is sitting right below the man’s flesh colored teeth.

    The man is also a post-op.

  4. Guy Says:

    Had one, and haven’t killed anyone yet.

  5. apronk Says:

    I think the game has nothing to do with the murder. The kid simply realized this guy’s apparent lack of taste. I mean, a brown sweater, orange shorts and saddle shoes? Hang this walking gonad!

  6. Palad Says:

    “…haven’t killed anyone yet.” The operative word here is ‘yet’. You see, every adult who played hangman as a child has grown up to become a POTENTIAL murderer. (In fact, the same has happened to all the people who ate white bread as kids.) And that’s the real tragedy, folks. When will we learn? When?!?!?!

  7. Geoff V. Says:

    you were so right. This morning I ate white bread and played hangman.
    Just four hours later I was bathed in the blood of my enemies.

  8. Benj Edwards Says:

    If we ever held a clever comment contest, I think Geoff would win.

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