As seen in: Venture (Arcade)
Distinguishing feature: Unassuming grin.
Strengths: Keeps up his spirits despite being overwhelmed by monsters.
Weaknesses: Overwhelmed by monsters.

Profile by Jeremy Parish | January 15, 2010

It takes a brave man to venture into monster-infested woods in search of treasure and fortune, armed only with a bow. It takes another kind of man altogether to do the same while wearing a manic grin the entire time. Not a good sort of "another," either. A very special sort.

Winky was basically the crazy gamer archetype your parents had in mind when they tried their best to dissuade you from playing Dungeons & Dragons. All those tales about kids who became so empathetic with the characters they'd rolled that they committed suicide when their character wiped out in a gout of dragon's flame were a load of hokum, of course. But Winky was proof positive that certain gamers -- again, very special gamers -- could eventually lose track of the line between fantasy and reality.

A slightly dim young man with no remarkable skills or traits, Winky played so much D&D that he one day decided to travel into the nearby woods in search of adventure. Armed with only a toy bow, he spent two weeks alone in the forests of Alberta shooting plastic arrows at squirrels. Eventually he developed such terrible frostbite that he was forced to lose both legs once his worried parents finally found him. And he never stopped smiling, giggling quietly to himself.

Exidy's Venture was developed with the support of the Winky trust fund as a cautionary tale, the futile journey of a legless, grinning man into the jaws of certain death. Of course, none of the underlying message came through in the primitive game, and doubtlessly inspired many young gamers to seek their own deadly adventures. The irony is lost on Winky himself, who spends his days fretting over the rotting stash of acorns he calls his treasure.

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