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Webb: Cow Tools

Posted Jan 12, 2010 by Jon Wood

Webb: Cow Tools columnist Justin Webb uses this week's space to discuss a Gary Larson cartoon and its relevance to game design.

During a design meeting this week I was forced to make the following reply: "Nope. That's 'Cow Tools'." There were a couple of blank stares in the room, mostly from the new guys. I often forget that not everyone knows about Cow Tools, or my propensity for using obscure pop-culture references as examples, so I had to explain. I'll do so again here. Here goes ...

In 1982, Gary Larson drew a Far Side cartoon called Cow Tools. It features a cow standing behind a table. On the table are four objects: two blob-like things, a weird stick, and something that looks remarkably like a saw. In the background is an American-style farm barn. It's kind of like American Gothic, but with a cow. The caption reads "Cow Tools". I'd love to link it here, but Larson is well known for keeping his Far Side cartoons off the internet. However, there are copies of Cow Tools out there if your Google-Fu is strong.

Read Cow Tools.