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Virtua Seaman
2000-08-24 Erik

It's been a slow month for games.  In a desperate effort to entertain myself without having to move around too much or talk to anyone, I bought Seaman for the Sega Dreamcast.  Seaman is the newest entry in the proud Japanese tradition of software that simulates having a friend.  It's kind of a sad testament to something that the rich fantasy lives of gamers have devolved from pretending to be Conan to desperately pretending that someone likes you.  The tricky part of Seaman is that Seaman doesn't even like you.  At one point I realized that I was sitting in the dark, alone, in my underwear, speaking into my Dreamcast controller and pleading with the television to be my friend.  This is what Alcoholics Anonymous calls the "Moment of Clarity": If I've ever sunk any lower, I luckily can't remember it. 

As the Simon Wiesenthal Center has said about the movie Cannibal Holocaust, "Never Again".  I decided that none of our readers should have to pay Sega for the privilege of talking to their televisions.  It took me about twenty minutes to steal some Seaman screenshots and a copy of Eliza, and then use them to create my own completely adequate Seaman simulator, which I call Virtua Seaman.  The real game is narrated by "Three Men and a Baby" director Leonard Nimoy.  I've hand-programmed in assembly language a substitute narrator called Counselor Virtua Leonard Nimoy.  As with the counselor character that appears in all of my previous games, you might not always understand what Counselor Virtua Leonard Nimoy is saying, but think harder!   He knows a lot about the eerie undersea outer-space world of Virtua Seaman.

Other than that, Virtua Seaman pretty much captures the full Seaman experience.  I cut out the real game's boring "egg-raising" phase, so that you can jump right in to the relatively exciting "talking to Virtua Seaman" phase.  Tell Virtua Seaman about your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your family - anything that's important to you.  Make sure you tell him your name.   The game does have a goal, which will be revealed at a later date by a famous Internet celebrity.  If you become frightened by Virtua Seaman, you can turn up the temperature in the tank and kill him.

Play Virtua Seaman

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