Mad Men is back in just a couple of days, and it’s in these last hours that you’ll need to reorient yourself with the show. It’s been a grueling year and a half since the last episode, and Don Draper left us with some rather surprising news at the end of Season Four. What could possibly possess the most lecherous man in New York to marry his brand new secretary? The answer is as enigmatic as Don himself.
A new YouTube-based game brings the ‘60s era setting of Mad Men about 20 years into the future to the age of Nintendo. Classic MIDI music, 8-bit graphics, and speech bubbles combine to bring you the lighter side of Mad Men in an interactive recap of some of the show’s major themes. Roger Sterling is a sleeze, Bert Cooper an eccentric, Pete Cambell a weasel, and Don steals ideas from Peggy Olson and speaks in short, meaningful bursts of language followed by lots of elipses…
The Fine Brothers and Dr. Octoroc collaborated on the game, creating a Choose Your Own Adventure-style experience that references the show itself, other entities of pop culture (Bert Cooper’s Kill Bill-style sword attack), and even pokes fun at some of the show’s very few production flaws, like Don’s son Bobby being played by three different actors through the course of the show. Each 8-bit action is a throwback to a simpler time, and each still is a piece of pixel art.
Play with this refresher course for yourself and waste a little time at work today. You’ve earned it. In fact, pour yourself a glass of bourbon and drink it at your desk. Kick your feet up. Smoke a cigarette. Smoke five cigarettes. Hey, where’s that attractive secretary of yours?