Larry Laffer – Bachelor Uncle of the Week

Behold – one of the best-selling video game characters of the 1980’s.

Larry Laffer is a scuzzball. No doubt about it. But he’s got what it takes to be a Bachelor Uncle. He’s definitely on his second act, trying to get his life back together. Is he going through a mid-life crisis? Maybe.

I like to think that Larry is just trying to tap into his inner self. He’s described as a middle-aged balding nerd on Wikipedia, but for someone who is described so poorly, he sure does have a lot of confidence.

Inside early editions of this game was a napkin from the bar Lefty’s. I want that napkin. My copy does not have the napkin 🙁

One of my favorite things about the Leisure Suit Larry games is how early they came in the home computer revolution. They deal with sex and relationships and bachelorism, but it’s all done with a sense of humor. Early computer games were a mess, truth be told, but not without their charm. Leisure Suit Larry was all charm.

Check out this mid-80s digital example of the hot tub lifestyle.

You have to imagine it: This game came out in the mid-80s when the video game world was obsessed with space, fantastical creatures, medieval dungeons, and robot mechs. He was an unlikely star. A dumpy, middle-aged man in a leisure suit. Trying to get a date.

It sold like crazy. People bought up Leisure Suit Larry games like crazy. It was part of Sierra’s adventure game series and even among it’s similar sister-games, it looks weird. You had King’s Quest (Fantasy genre – check), Space Quest (Space genre – check), Police Quest (Police game – Check), and then Leisure Suit Larry: Bachelor Uncle Simulator ’87.

I want to believe that those windows are glass block – but maybe that’s just how graphics looked.

If you boot up the original Leisure Suit Larry, you’ll be greeted with some amazing CGA graphics that fully embrace a Memphis aesthetic. You’re dumped outside a sleazy bar with no direction other than “You’re Larry and you’re a middle-aged virgin. Go get laid”.

At the beginning of the first game Larry is 38 years old, and still lives with his mother. One day it hits him. He realized that his opportunity to live life was passing by, and so he decided to change. “No more Mr. Nice Guy!” he shouted “It’s time to party!”

Before the internet – we jerked off to this.

And so it begins. This guy decides, at the drop of a hat, to change his entire personality, don a polyester leisure suit and gold chain and venture out the city of Lost Wages.

This is why Larry is our Bachelor Uncle of the week. He decided to change his whole life. He changed his style and set forth to overcome his fears. He entered a world that didn’t know what to make of him or his games, and was successful anyway. Successful on his own terms and with his own style.

There’s a lot to love about Larry Laffer. Even if he is, ultimately, a creep.

Graphics technology did get better – but it still didn’t make much sense.

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