by    in Popular Lists

The List of the Day Off

It’s Labor Day once again! For those of you reading this outside of the US, a bit of background. Labor Day was originally a celebration held by labor unions in September 5, 1882. (It was made a national holiday in 1894 as an olive branch to unions, following the deaths of workers during the Pullman Strike.)

Today, it is largely recognized in the US by giving employees a Monday off. Even employees who may not actually deserve a day off, like these nearly unemployable video game characters.

Think we’re being too hard on Mario? Consider this: He knows all these pipes are broken, and are warping him to another dimension instead of carrying water and sewage where they’re supposed to go, but he never bothers to fix them. Yet he still seems to have a lot of time left over for parties and go-kart rides…

Labor Day is also universally recognized as the end of the “summer” season, and therefore the last time you can acceptably leave the house in white pants until May of the following year.

NOTE: Wearing a sport coat over a futuristic jumpsuit is acceptable only on April Fool’s Day, Halloween and for a few hours on Yom Kippur.

On Ranker, Americans recognized the holiday much as they did in real life. First, by voting on their favorite places to eat barbecue. (This list has actually become a real nail-biter with some later additions rocketing up the charts. Will Murphysboro, Illinois’ 17th Street Bar and Grill overtake Moe’s Original Bar B Que?)

The weekend also saw a lot of activity on the Best Tasting Light Beers list (Less Filling!), in which 27 nominated brews are duking it out. This was particularly surprising, as none of us at Ranker were aware that light beer had a taste.

Yes, there’s nothing more satisfying on a hot day than a tall, frothy mug of Hop Water.

As this weekend also marks the symbolic end of Summer 2011, Ranker users also enjoyed taking a look back at some of the season’s hottest hit songs. Adele’s holding strong in the top spot with “Rolling in the Deep,” which has as-of-today received not a single downvote.

The next 5 items on the list? Smarmy, winking, ironic hipster covers of “Rolling in the Deep.”

by    in Popular Lists

Today's List of the Day is a Spoiled Brat

It’s Saturday, so if you’re going to Disneyland, the mall, a park or anywhere that’s riddled with kids, you should empathize with the parents of the people on today’s list of the day. 

Sticky hands, loud yelling and crying out for toys, though, are nothing compared to kids who take everything you do for granted and even ones that try to kill you.

So, from The God of War, to character from Mortal Kombat, here are video game characters who completely took their parents for granted. Figures.

Top 10 Most Ungrateful Kids in Video Games

by    in Popular Lists

The List of the Day is On Point

We love video games, in part, because they give us a sense of accomplishment. I didn’t just sit around my apartment for 12 hours teaching myself all about the physics of an imaginary teleportation gun! That would be silly. No, I was unlocking ACHIEVEMENTS, dammit! And maybe, just maybe, in the process, saving a young woman from the clutches of an evil Science-obsessed corporation. Anyway, you’re welcome.

So, yes, despite what your snarky friend my say (I hate that guy!), games DO in fact have a point. Otherwise, we’d just give up on them right away. (Ecco the Dolphin, I’m looking in your direction). Often times, however, the best parts of the game aren’t the more narrative bits, driving the story forward. And they aren’t even the mazes, puzzles and boss fights that keep things challenging. They’re the little moments, the side jokes, the small details that game creators threw in there to keep things interesting on repeat plays, or just to make people smile before pressing forward. These Great Pointless Moments in Gaming are under-appreciated, so Ranker’s own Adam Thomas collected them into a list.

Tidus, why you stop and play Blitzball all the time? You can’t breathe underwater, get out of there. World is being destroyed!

There are some examples from new games, but it’s hard not to notice that most of the really great “little touches” in gaming history came before the advent of modern graphics. Perhaps games back then were less about placing you in an immersive world that was compelling in its own right (creating a setting like, say, Rapture in the mid-’90s would have been challenging), so game designers had to get crafty about keeping the player engaged? Or maybe players are less patient now and too eager to jump into the next challenge? If you have your own theories, leave them in the comments below.

What I’m saying is, they should bring back Chao Garden. I miss those little guys…

by    in Popular Lists

The List of the Day Got Skillz

Yesterday, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal announced using Twitter and a relatively new video sharing service called Tout that he was retiring from professional basketball. Of course, like all other fans of surreal post-game interviews, the team at Ranker was saddened by this news. But we were also delighted to scour the Internet for some of the highlights of Shaq’s long and storied NBA career. The result was this list of Shaq’s Career Highlight Videos and Greatest Moments.

Yes, “Shaq Fu” made the list. Weren’t you paying attention when I just described what it was about?

Compiling one list of 20 items to sum up Shaq’s massive influence on not just sports but pop culture was a challenge. Where to focus first? His bevy of creative nicknames? (Did anyone ever actually call him “Dr. Shaq,” we wonder?) His brief but memorable success as a hip-hop artist? That movie he made with the kid and the magic jukebox?

That’s where you come in. Check out the “Shaq’s Greatest Moments” list, and vote for your favorite videos. We’ll reorder the list based on the Ranker community’s tastes. Because we know you got skillz.