‘The Simpsons’ is the longest running animated television show in the world, still running with millions of fans worldwide. Back in September 2003, the very popular and well-received video game, ‘The Simpsons: Hit & Run” (Hit & Run) hit selves, selling one million copies six months after its release. The game with its obvious adaptation from Grand Theft Auto was a playful way for the successful television series that was aimed at a mature audience, to interact with the show in a different way, with 3-D renders of the cartoon characters, hundreds of original quotes and several in-game references to the show.
It is safe to say that animated shows since ‘The Simpsons’ aimed at mature audiences, such as ‘Family Guy’, ‘Rick and Morty’, ‘South Park’ have had a cultural impact on humour, television, and also, video games – which all three of those examples have had. ‘Hit & Run’ pathed the way for various shows to dive into a new way to interact with fans. In a time before internet, instant feedback such as on social media and quick online consumption, to really engage with fans needed to be in a way that was inspired by various other media forms.
Children’s cartoons before ‘Hit & Run’ had video game adaptations, such as Pokemon and Spider-Man, which allowed those young audiences with video game consoles an exciting, contemporary and interesting way to interact with the media they were watching on their televisions. To create an exciting experience, ‘Hit & Run’ took inspiration from games that were trending around the same time, eg. ‘Crazy Taxi’, which inspired the spin-off, “The Simpsons: Road Rage”. To combine the format of the game, and add an original plot, challenges with various characters and full of humour, the game was addicting, interactive, and extremely fun.
My childhood was filled of hours of playing the game. I enjoyed the show a lot, and I believe it helped form my sense of humour, despite many adult jokes flying over my head. ‘Hit & Run’ was an experience that has not been topped for ‘The Simpsons” in the video game department since, despite a few efforts. I also have noticed many other people had the same experience in their childhood, also telling me that they believe the game deserves a remaster, memes being created about the nostalgia the game brings them, and Youtube channels dedicated to looking into various aspects of the game, from it’s Easter eggs to its software design.
I believe the game is timeless. Grand Theft Auto has survived decades of popularity with obviously, a more adult and realistic look into that lifestyle, which was parodied perfectly and still remains to be one of the best releases of the 2000’s to many fans of the game. I even personally bought a second copy on eBay because I lost my original because I adored it so much. I’ll always consider it one of my favourites of all time.