This comic is a five star review of planet Earth, by Randall, depicted as Cueball in his profile picture. The review is written as a video game review, praising the size and aesthetics of the world. The comic's humor draws from the fact that gamers cannot use reviews to decide whether they want to "play" the Earth, and the fact that there's no place that the Earth can be reviewed (with the possible exception of Google, Yelp, or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). The "huge world" remark is a play on Open world games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which are praised when their size allows hundreds of hours of exploration; exploring Earth would allow more than a few hundred hours of novelties.
Earth (or humans and other life forms on Earth) has many problems at the moment, such as war, climate change, overpopulation, gun violence, sexual violence, censorship, poverty, and increasing depression, to name just a few. This comic serves as a reminder that, despite these issues, the world is a five-star world. It encourages us to look around: there's a lot of world to explore.
The title text states that the 'controls are hard to figure out', possibly alluding to the fact that it takes a lot of time to learn how to walk and talk, a rather basic thing in most video games, or to the fact that it is in general hard to navigate around in one's life, as has been the subject of many comics.
While there aren't any games that can recreate the detail that reality has (Due to the computing power required to do such a thing would be on an intergalactic level to recreate Earth 1 to 1 in a simulation), there are some games that attempt to have a map that is similar in area or graphics that look as detailed as reality. However, there are many games that have successfully implemented difficult game-play/hard to learn controls.
Examples of games with large worlds: World of Warcraft, Fallout 3, the Red Dead series, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Minecraft, the Grand Theft Auto series, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Elden Ring
Examples of games with difficult controls: the Souls series, Bloodborne, Stephen's Sausage Roll, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, Elden Ring
- [A profile picture of Cueball in a small frame is next to five solid yellow stars. Below this is a review:]
- Great graphics, huge world
- [Caption below the comic:]
- My overall review of Earth
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Earth : Terrible storyline, feel depressed afterward. Controls buggy.
- My advice would be to look at different storylines. 18.104.22.168 14:24, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- There's more than one? I wish I knew what the storyline was even supposed to be; it's not like the minigames where if you ask enough NPCs you can find one to clue you in on what to do next.
- Yeah, but you mostly have to get lucky for a good storyline. (Or a speedrun) 22.214.171.124 19:08, 6 January 2022 (UTC)
--126.96.36.199 10:29, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
- It is in our power to choose fear, frustration, and despair or the alternative story line of love, joy, and freedom. Rtanenbaum (talk) 15:06, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Mostly harmless - GreenWyvern (talk) 13:39, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- thank you for that :D Bischoff (talk) 16:26, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- I concur, absolutely perfect comment, :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 03:22, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
New servers opening soon! 188.8.131.52 13:42, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
He could discuss in greater detail at https://www.reddit.com/r/outside/ Poodlehat (talk) 13:43, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
I think the title text is alluding to controlling things like climate warming and the like, not learning to walk. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 13:56, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- "Huge World" would imply that the game type is first or third person, with the player taking control of a character in that world. In this sense, I think it's appropriate for the controls to be in reference to movement of the character. If the game type were management or simulation, I think you would be correct. Cgrimes85 (talk) 14:03, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- "Huge World" so much to explore, could take more than a lifetime. Very few ever reach master level but general satisfaction is possible for every serious player, and the game Creator is accessible at any time. Rtanenbaum (talk) 15:06, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- Game creator accessible? Seriously? When was the last time he fixed some bug? -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:39, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- The Earth is abandonware...
- I feel I can GUARANTEE he's talking about it's hard to figure out how to navigate the world, figure out life, etc. The usual "I'm awkward and other people aren't" stuff. I often deeply identify with him, LOL! Just like playing an unfamiliar game and having a hard time figuring out the controls, how to do things in the game, he's saying he's having trouble "figuring out the controls" of real life. NiceGuy1 (talk) 03:22, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps this is a reference to the recent Public Policy Polling survey http://publicpolicypollling.blogspot.com/2011/07/evaluating-god.html whcih asked people about God's job performance. God received his highest rating on his "handling of creating the universe" with 71% in favor of the universe and 5% opposed.
- correct link is http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2011/07/evaluating-god.html (but it’s a rather boring 8 year old fluff piece, I very much doubt that Randall was even aware of its existence) 184.108.40.206 01:55, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
- In the Beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. -D. Adams 220.127.116.11 04:58, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Dan Loeb [email protected], 11:50, 21 August 2019 (ET)
"gun violence, sexual violence, poverty", etc, are really human's problems rather than Earth's problems.
- It really depends on your point of view. If you consider Earth as just a rock flying through space global warming isn't really an issue either. Bischoff (talk) 16:26, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- Global warming is barely issue when you consider biosphere as a whole either. Neither insects nor bacteria care, and plants are looking forward to it. Now, pollution, that's different. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:39, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
To be honest I think this comic is a bit lazy for xkcd standards. The whole joke of "I went outside today, the graphics are amazing but controls suck" is years old and was never really good in my opinion. I've seen several comics where Randal reused old jokes and put a clever spin on them or extended them in a new fashion that I'm disappointed Randall essentially copy&pasted this one. Bischoff (talk) 16:26, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- Personally, I was hoping for something on the announcement of KSP 2 :P
- It might come in the next few days. I don't think he'll ignore it. Or he'll mention once there is a confirmed release date. Bischoff (talk) 11:01, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm reminded of this comic by the SMBC guy (better known as Emergency Backup Randall Munroe) which features a hypothetical site which can host such a review, and also two Black Hats. Some folks also made a subreddit that actually implements the idea. --18.104.22.168 18:03, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Multiplayer sucks. Needs to have a single-player mode. [unsigned]
Is this the first time that Randall has explicitly drawn himself in a comic? Does this make it official that Cueball is Randall (or Randall's alter-ego)? Stevage (talk) 05:09, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
- Nothing in the comic says this is Randall speaking, just like we assume Cueball is his main alter-ego, we assume when he says "My" he's talking more specifically as Randall rather than as Cueball. But that's our assumption. Really, all the characters in xkcd are speaking Randall, whatever he wants them to speak, and we can't know for certain to what degree their words and activities line up with Randall's own beliefs. -boB (talk) 14:52, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
- Actually it's widely accepted (myself included) that Cueball is essentially Randall. The way I see it, Cueball is generally Randall's self image (a la Tha Matrix) and/or his fantasy self. So maybe Randall has a thought "Look at those squirrels, imagine them hooked up to a mini Ben Hur chariot", which results in a comic where Cueball hooks up a couple of squirrels to a mini chariot. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:24, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
Is this serious: "Earth is a completely real object"? I never thought this could be fake news. :-) -- Jonhaug (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- It's a running What If? joke where Randall would put citation needed tags on obvious statements such as "The sun is very bright." We sometimes do the same things when writing explanations in Explain xkcd. Herobrine (talk) 12:39, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
- Awwww, it's gone now! There are some selfish inconsiderate jerks around who have decided the joke is tired and old and not funny anymore who remove them, they can't seem to get it through their heads that there are many of use who continue to find it funny every time. :) My favourite might be "a baby couldn't plan and execute a jewel heist ". This is the first I hear that Randall started it, LOL! Makes sense. It had looked like it started with the comic Citation Needed.NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:24, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
The solar system as a whole is even bigger, but nearly completely empty. Only one star. 22.214.171.124 14:10, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
Too many people play this just for the "game within a game" feature. The main game deserves more attention. Probably not Douglas Hofstadter (talk) 03:57, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, comic explanation, for turning what I thought was a silly joke into a reason for an existential crisis. V (talk) 17:45, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
There is no Tutorial. No Walkthrough. And the Instruction manual is missing. Saibot84 19:41, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
- There are lots of instruction manuals... and lots of debates about which is THE instruction manual. -boB (talk) 20:21, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
Huge? As worlds go, it's below average. — Kazvorpal (talk) 22:45, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
"Polygons are virtually unnoticeable (except for when intentionally not); they really got a handle on the 3D rendering engine; overall refresh rate is amazing. only fault: no save points" 126.96.36.199 04:58, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Universe contained a bobcat. Would not buy again. 188.8.131.52 22:20, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
A glitch appers when posting this image as whatsapp status
Posting this image as a WhatsApp status produces a glitch in character "E" of word great. Kinda shocking but it has been verified by me and my friend.