Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

‘Ghostbusters: The Video Game,’ is Based on the 1984 Film Co-Written By Harold Ramis

Haunted Ham: The new ‘Ghostbusters’ videogame rewards the kosher

Print Email

It was going to be a Shabbat to remember. After a long week of work at Tablet Magazine, I was looking forward to leaving the Jews behind and focusing instead on the ghosts. I left the office Friday afternoon, dashed over to my favorite video game store, and bought a copy of “Ghostbusters: The Video Game,” the newly released title that’s currently the hottest property for joystick jockeys everywhere.

My hands quivered as I inserted the disc into my gaming console. I revere Ghostbusters, the 1984 Ivan Reitman comedy, the way some men worship sports teams, rock bands, or organized religions. I quote it often. I think about it frequently. I sometimes pass by 14 N. Moore Street in Manhattan just to look at the firehouse that served as Ghostbusters HQ in the film. A chance to play as a new Ghostbusters’ recruit, to slap on a proton pack and blast some ghouls, felt less like a game and more like a childhood dream come true.

After completing a short training session, I found myself joining Dr. Peter Venkman (voiced in the game, as in the original film, by the peerless Bill Murray) in the lobby of the Sedgwick Hotel. Slimer, the green and gluttonous ghost, had escaped from captivity, and found his way back to his old haunt, seeking refreshments in the hotel’s luxurious ballroom. But the hotel’s manager, a pixelated persnickety dude, told Venkman and me that the ballroom was off limits. The Rodriguez bar mitzvah was about to begin, and, ghost or no ghost, the hotel couldn’t risk alienating its customers.

As Venkman snuck us in through the kitchen, blasting everything in sight with his proton beam, my mind wandered. The Rodriguez bar mitzvah? Sure, I thought, there were probably Jews named Rodriguez, but why choose such an atypical name in a medium not usually given to nuance? Finally finding my way into the hall, I realized that their last name wasn’t the only thing that made the Rodriguez’s simcha unusual: there on the buffet table, right next to the wine bottles and the silver candlesticks, were a few huge chunks of honey-glazed ham.

I froze in my tracks. It was time, I realized, to make a major decision about my identity. Was I a Jew first and a Ghostbuster second? Or was it the other way around? Do I catch the ghost? Or do I take care of the treyf? My heart beat fast. Then, suddenly, I knew just what I needed to do.

Ignoring Venkman’s repeated pleas to help him with the manic Slimer, I walked decisively over to the buffet. I took my time, making sure my aim was just right. Then, I pressed the button, and blasted the offensive ham into smithereens. I stopped and smiled. But what happened next left me astonished: a bright-colored tag popped up on the upper left-hand corner of the screen. I had accomplished, the game informed me, one of its many hidden mini-missions, little puzzles meant to keep gamers on their toes and help them score more points. “Achievement unlocked,” read the tag, followed by one more unexpected word: “Kosher!”

So the mission, I thought with amazement, wasn’t just about capturing the fugitive apparition. It was also about making sure the Rodriguezs enjoy a halachically proper party.

I refocused my beam on Slimer with renewed zeal. My heart was at ease. In this strange and wonderful game, I realized, busting ghosts and blasting pork were just two sides of the same coin. I was a Jew and a Ghostbuster, just like I always wanted to be.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

LOL!! I love this video game (of course, I saw the movie like a million times…)

These are incredibly comfortable shoes and do seem to be working my thighs and butt as I walk around.I have bought many pairs of MBT Katika White Fur Women Shoes and loved them. These are no exception.

Here is the kind of information I’ve been looking for. Thanks for posting this information.

I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

English Proverb~ He that lives in a glass house must not throw stones.

I’ve said that least 2475381 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

Thanks so much for this. I thought I discovered a lot of beneficial stuff here yesterday after spending all day going through this private area.

I found a lipstick that helps you lose weight…..its called super glue! :)”

Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your website in internet explorer, would check this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of people will miss your excellent writing because of this problem.

As I site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling wonderful , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

‘Ghostbusters: The Video Game,’ is Based on the 1984 Film Co-Written By Harold Ramis

Haunted Ham: The new ‘Ghostbusters’ videogame rewards the kosher

More on Tablet:

Why the World Should Test Netanyahu’s Newfound Commitment to Peace

By Yair Rosenberg — Bibi announces support for Arab Peace Initiative. It doesn’t matter if it’s real.