|Great Moments in Game Writing 2002-01-31 Erik|
|Thanks to JH Tompson. Happy anarchy day.|
From a review of The
Sims: Hot Date by a member of the ripe staff of Strategy Informer:
This game has some pretty bad faults in home-life. A
character usually requires a 30 minute shower (or bath) per day which is not a realistic
standard since many people shower every two days, and not for as long.
|Bi-Annual Q&A 2001-12-12 Staff|
|Thanks to everyone who wrote in.|
Once every two
years, we like to take time out from our packed schedules to answer mail sent to us by
you, the OMM readers. As you already know if you've read our FAQ, we try to make these
Q&As more of an informal rap session than a quiz or some other test of knowledge on my
part. By letting the mail gestate for a couple of dozen months, we're able to really
give long, hard thought to our responses and formulate ex post facto justifications for
our opinions, all sanctioned by hindsight. This system's primary drawback is that
two years is a long time to keep track of where anything is, much less some old emails
calling one or both of us a cunt. With that in mind, this bi-annual installment of
Q&A consists of two questions we received yesterday:
Which is better, GamingGroove or Voodooextreme?
Chet Responds: Hi James. The best thing about
VoodooExtreme is that it doesn't involve Billy 'Stupid' Wilson, while, clearly, the
biggest selling point for GamingGroove is its complete lack of Robert 'Apache'
Howarth-Stupid. So it's a tie.
Are you guys excited about the Lord of the Rings
Erik Responds: As a longtime fan of the dee-licious art
of the pun, I'm excited about anything that inspires the press to use the words 'Hobbit
Forming!' over and over and over again. I'm also pleased that my struggling
trademark catchphrase, "I'd rather stick my dick in the volcanic crack of Mount
Doom!", will finally be understood and embraced by a large mainstream audience.
That doesn't mean that I don't have reservations, though.
A few days ago, I was in Barnes and Noble wating for some surly looking teenage girls to
vacate the young women's magazine section, which is right next to the muscle and fitness
magazine section, where I like to read about muscles when I'm not actively planning to
work out or sipping creatine monohydrate muscle drinks in preparation for planning to work
out. While I waited, I flipped through an issue of the Advocate that I hadn't read
yet. In it, I found an interview with Ian
McKellen, who plays Gandalf in the movie. Here's a disturbing quote:
Says Armistead Maupin, the author of the Tales of
the City novels and McKellen’s confidant for 20 years: “I think the fact
that an openly gay actor is going to have his face all over Burger King cups in a matter
of months is really quite significant.”
Believe me when I say that I absolutely do not want to
live in a society in which gay people such as Ian McKellen are forced to conceal their
sexuality. However, I absolutely do want to live in a society in
which old people such as Ian McKellen are forced to conceal their
sexuality. And I especially don't want to have to think about any
gender combination of senior citizens having anal sex while I'm trying to eat a
Croissan'wich. Not to mention that Burger King is going to have to issue of series of
Retort to the Rebuttals:
For those of you who plan to write in to complain about
this update's mischaracterization of homosexuals as sex-obsessed, here is the introduction
to the Advocate's "Gay Guide to Middle Earth",
a companion piece to the McKellen interview:
"As Ian McKellen points out,
no one in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth seems interested in sex, much less sexual
orientation... But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing in the story for gay and
In other words: We know you're likely to dismiss anything
that isn't directly about cock, so here're a few things in Lord of the Rings that might
remind you of sex enough to get you through three hours spent not fucking.
explicitly commemorating the time Armistead
Maupin treated Mr. McKellan to a really incredible blowjob to have any chance of being
more openly gay than this 1983 glass featuring both Ewoks and C3PO:
|12 Days of Christmas, Complaints About Return To Wolfenstein 2001-12-03 Erik|
Day 3 was
originally going to be "Complaints About the Multiplayer". But since
Wolfenstein's multiplayer is perfect, we don't have anything to complain about.
Lucky for us, a vigilant reader noticed several factual errors in our Day 1 coverage and
was kind enough and Luftwaffe enough to report them to us:
From: "Banzai-Bug" email@example.com
Subject: Have u ever thought of the things you are writing?
Date sent: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 08:19:01 +0100
I’ve just read your the article, "12 Days of Christmas,
Complaints About Return To Wolfenstein".
First of al I’m a german. I can not understand why you are
writing such stupid things about the German people.
"But, luckily, nobody cares. Without Nazis, Germany has
absolutely no export that might possibly be of interest to anyone."
The most popular cars come from Germany like Mercedes Benz, BMW,
VW, Porsche. These firms have BOUGHT American firms like Chrysler or General Motors. BMW
has developed the basic motors for any airplane that’s in the air nowadays so your
stupid US Army couldn’t bomb Afghanistan today if they hadn’t done it. (PS: You
know the word in english language: Luftwaffe).
The USA has 230 Mio people (2 people per square kilometre) and
has the most powerful economy! Germany has 80 Mio people (120 people per km²) and is the
second one. So think if we get an really European Union HOW’s the first one?
Do you know what are the most sold weapons in the USA are?
Heckler & Koch! An American firm? NOOOOOOOOOOOO lol a German one. Without such famous
German people like Werner von Braun, Albert Einstein, Werner Siemens ….. the USA
hadn’t build any atom bomb to throw over Japan to finish the war.
Did you know the in the early American history the decision of
which language to talk was between GERMAN and ENGLISH?
The USA has killed millions of Indians and NOWBODY harms you for
SO WHY ARE YOU WRITING SUCH THINGS if you do not know anything
about the germans?
First of al - obviously - my bad! Cry uncle and let
slip the dogs of surrender, because I stand corrected. Banzai is clearly a big
longtime fan of OMM, but he's not afraid to take me to the mat - and then roll me up in
the mat and toss the whole thing into an incinerator - when I screw up. I need more
people around me willing to be this honest. And thanks for not rubbing it in by
mentioning even more of Germany's most famous products, such as your country's
market-cornering ventures in soap made out of homosexuals. My only excuse is
that I actually did forget about the common English word 'Luftwaffe'.
This whole thing reminds me of a funny German joke that maybe will bury
the hatchet between us:
Banzai's Mother: Son, our scientists have discovered that the Jews can
survive under water!
Banzai's Mother: But not for very long!!!
Banzai: Oh, my, hahahahaha. Stop, my Luftwaffe!
|12 Days of Christmas, Complaints About Return To Wolfenstein 2001-12-02 Erik|
|Day 2 - The Nazis Don't Speak German.|
Science has no
rules. But like the similarly rule-free Ultimate Fighting Championship, science does
have a few laws. One of these is the Second Law of Themodynamics. For those of
you who don't follow science, the Second Law basically states that as terrible as things
are, they're bound to get worse.
Like the UFC's law against eye gouging, the Thermodynamics Law was enacted
in order to protect the sport's participants. When scientists spend decades trying to
prove something - such as the existence of Bigfoot - and then ultimately don't prove
anything, the Second Law of Thermodynamics acts as a figurative version of the inflatable
cushion stuntmen land on when they jump out of a helicopter. As a scientist, you
never have to feel too bad about your total lack of success, because, after all, science
has already predicted that all your hard work and your nice things are bound to get ruined
sooner or later.
Another law of science is called Manifest Destiny. Trying to explain
this one without the underlying math and without referring to the periodic table of
elements is almost impossible. But, roughly, it predicts that the United States of
America will eventually grow to encompass the entire planet.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein is all fucked up because the Nazis speak
English. While neither Chet nor I are happy about this, we acknowledge that two
immutable physical properties of the universe - the Second Law of Thermodynamics and
Manifest Destiny - made the situation more or less inevitable.
Further Research: Aliens vs. Predator 2 or Walter Keane painting?
|12 Days of Christmas, Complaints About Return To Wolfenstein 2001-11-26 Erik|
|Day 1 - The Boss Monster.|
Dr. George Gallup's 1956 Pocket Almanac of Facts, "Germany, Federal Republic of"
has a population of 47,695,672, and its main exports are pig iron and yarn.
That's the latest solid piece of information I can find about Germany.
Though there was a brief "Germany craze" during the 30s and 40s - thanks
to Adolf Hitler's rise to power and the massive jet-fueled knuckle sandwich we
subsequently dealt him - once the Nazis were gone, people lost interest pretty quickly.
What's Germany like today? Do its tiny, chattering brown natives still make a
lot of yarn? Nobody knows. But, luckily, nobody cares. Without Nazis,
Germany has absolutely no export that might possibly be of interest to anyone.
The one piece of news that did emerge from Germany back in the late
nineties is that, evidently, the German government has forbidden the use of Nazis in
games. It's tough to decide what's worse: being the country that invented and then decided
to actually try out Naziism, or being the country that prohibited the best video game
villains ever. It's a tie, I guess.
I wish we lived in a world where all games were required
to include Nazis. Though, now that I think about it, I'm describing a world where
Germany won World War 2, such as the one portrayed in every novel, play, tv show, and
movie about time travel. So let me qualify that: I want to live in a country
that prohibits games that feature any type of enemy other than Nazis. Soldiers,
robots, dogs - anything goes as long as they're Nazis or, in the case of dogs,
German Shepherds. And this is exactly the type of harebrained law a few hundred
thousand dollars can buy you in Charles Taylor's Liberia. So it's not just a crazy
dream. If we take up a collection, we could probably get this legislation passed and
still have enough left over to save Something Awful during its next Fred Sanford-esque
The law will also state that any game featuring Nazis - which is every
game in my proposed Israel for gamers, Liberia - should have Hitler as the final boss.
Because, seriously, making a game about Nazis and not having you somehow fight
Hitler - whether he lives in a robot suit or flies around in a jet or maybe he's an
armored dracula now or whatever - is retarded. If a game doesn't let you fight some
form of Hitler - for instance, a giant Hitler - then that game will receive a warning
sticker, in much the same way that the U.S. Goverment currently requires awful games to
display on their box the universally understood symbol for unnacceptable quality,
With that out of the way, here's a picture of Return To Castle
Wolfenstein's final boss and a nice painting of Hitler and a promotional photo of the best
reason for a strictly religious mother to let her kids get Halloween out of their systems
early, Rob Zombie:
Now, I'm not a big man. In fact, I'm a small man attached to a big
man's penis. But small as I am, even I'm not afraid of Rob Zombie. I guess
someone over at Gray Matter confused being dirty with being scary. Believe me,
dreadlocks and a sleestack helmet don't make you the Predator.
|Great Moments in Game Writing Part 2 2001-11-22 Erik|
|Thanks to J. Preston and site of substance Avault.|
|From a review
of Project Gotham Racing on Avault:
Recent developments in the PS2's racing scene, including the
oft-lauded Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, ensure that any racing game released for the
X-Box will have to face competition from not only its own system but the competition as
|Great Moments in Game Writing 2001-11-14 Erik|
|Thanks to R. Dulin, and big thanks to IGN for protecting the public from most of its content by locking it inside a virtual safe.|
|The first sentence of a recent Deus Ex 2 preview on pc.ign.com:
"There's a tendency among the press to attribute the
creation of a game to a single person," says Warren Spector, creator of Thief
and Deus Ex.
|Pool of Radiance - A Voice of Reason 2001-10-03 Erik|
|Thanks to site of substance Avault for reporting that the Pool of Radiance install program will wipe out your hard drive if you don't install with the default options, more or less.|
|The disconnect between last
Friday's monstrous dose of fantasy game reality and the self-righteous drivel and outright
deceptions being peddled by public figures and Usenet commentators is startling,
depressing. Where is the acknowledgement that this was not an
"incompetent" attack on "your" hard drive, but a clear act of protest
undertaken as a consequence of specific user actions? Like everyone, the Pool of
Radiance Install Program's desires are ultimately quite simple; it would like to deploy
its parent software into a default directory - in peace and without interference from you.
That you chose to ignore the Pool of Radiance Install Program's clear wishes in an
attempt to further assert your hegemony across the entire C drive and quite possibly drive
D gives the admittedly unfortunate episode the distinct odor of chicken shit,
chicken sex pheromone, and fish. For those of you too biased by your own
"benevolent" directory maintenance imperialism to recognize smell metaphors,
that's the odor of chickens coming home to roost and snatch. The snatch image is a
reward for those of you who didn't actively oppose the Pool of Radiance Install Program.
Everyone else should mainly focus on the chickens coming home to roost area of the
metaphor. But if you mend your ways, I say go ahead and think about snatch. As
an added incentive to get your head screwed on straight, I know some other sexy words that
evoke pussy, and I'll post them if I sense a positive shift in attitudes.
|Logrolling In Our Times 2001-08-18 Erik|
Avault's Editor-in-Chief David Laprad writes an embarrassing editorial lamenting the demise
It’s clear, now more than ever, that the Gathering of
Developers was one of the great alternative publishers in this age of industry
consolidation... Here was a group of people who loved creating PC games, and watching the
Gathering disappear into the embrace of corporate arms is to feel the electric tingle of hope fade.
August 17, 2001: Former Godgames CEO Mike Wilson's upcoming failed
project, SubstanceTV, names Avault its first
substance". News of the big announcement is also exclusively granted to
Avault. And exclusively reported by Avault. Except for here.
So what's a site of substance? If Avault is any indication, it's the type of site
that can drum up a highly substantive number of words - say seven thousand - to
review DeathKarz. The average person has a greater chance of feeling the electric
tingle of hope's sinister doppelgänger, the electric tingle of getting hit by lightning,
than ever making it through an entire dry-ass Avault article.
"Substance" might also refer to the substantial benefits offered to
advertisers in the form of Avault's fully sponsored info-tainment content. Here's an
old intercepted email to remind everyone of Avault's dubious "substance"
credentials (I've highlighted the important parts in green to get you processed through
this update and on your way):
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kimberly V. Vizurraga)
Organization: The Adrenaline Vault
Do you have a new product or title to be released before
Typically this is the busiest time of year for the gaming industry
and we at the Adrenaline Vault are ready to help you get the word out!
Between now and the end of the year for every company the that advertises with us we will
run a feature article on their game or hardware. That is like having a seperate site
devoted to your product exclusivly ...a site complete with interviews, screenshots, and a
preview. See our our most recent features at:
As you can see the " Feature Article" along with an advertising banner is a very
effective and informative tool. If you are interested in scheduling it is important that
you contact me asap, as these articles are time consuming and
require coordinating the times of both our writers and the artist with the necessary
personnel from your company.
These Features run for approximately one week and we have had several request from
advertisers already...so as you can see time and space is limited. Also keep in mind that
our rates will go up the last quarter of the year, so to lock in today's rates it is
important that your insertion order is completed before these changes go into effect.
BTW, it is another record month for the Adrenaline Vault, we are on track to receive
approximately 1.7 million unique visitors this month and climbing. We will reach the 2
million mark before years end. It is a great time to be in the Vault!
Kimberly V. Vizurraga
Vice President of Sales
The Adrenaline Vault - http://avault.com
And unlike your local
corporate-embraced TV station, Avault's too busy keepin' it real to ever mention that what
you're about to see is an advertisement expressing the views of its sponsors. The
SubstanceTV staff might be interested in this potential
site of substance, the only alt-media outlet brave enough to expose how awesome
Nad's Hair Removal system is.
|G.O.D. Employees To Start DVD Magazine, Burn In Hell 2001-08-16 Erik|
|Thanks to Hebrews 10:29: "How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, ...and has insulted the Spirit of grace?"|
|Last week, as news of the
closure of G.O.D. reached the public, pundits scrambled to live up to their name and
squeeze one last pun out of the hard, dusty G.O.D. Games pun sponge. Quickly giving up,
they settled on "G.O.D. is dead." We're not sure why they weren't more
prepared for this inevitable outcome to the G.O.D. saga, though we suspect it may be
because they were all too busy thinking up cutting-edge jokes about God's Word to ever
actually read any of it. Hell, 2 Kings 2 verses 23 and 24 give you all the
information you need to know:
Then [Elijah] went up from there to Bethel; and as he
was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him,
""Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!''
When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the
name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads
of their number.
To summarize: A mob of little kids teased Elijah - kind of a
Cooter-level major recurring character in the Old Testament - and God immediately had
forty-two of them murdered. And he didn't just regular kill them, he had them bear-mauled
to death. The primary component of G.O.D.'s failed business plan was mocking God
herself [I'm just kidding: himself -ed.], so anyone with any knowledge
of history is only surprised that the consequences weren't both swifter and bloodier.
Between their employer's name, its offices in an old church, its highly subversive Last
Supper promotional photos, its Bible satirizing press kits, and all the bravely
confrontational E3 Jesus costumes that I'm sure scandalized the powerful "your
Grandma" lobby, G.O.D. employees should thank whatever pan-denominational bullshit
Unitarian false idol they won't admit to praying to when the airplane hits bad turbulence
that most of them got off with just losing their shitty day jobs. If your preferred
method of acting tough is to beat up the myths people create to give them comfort when
everyone they love eventually drops dead, at least pick one whose motto isn't "turn
the other cheek." Pussy. I've said it before, I'm saying it now, and
Marvin tells me I'll say it again: If the G.O.D. people want to really tempt fate and show
some truly ballsy impertinence for once, a good name for their new DVD magazine would be
"Fuck You Islam".
||Speaking of losing your day job, Jason 'Looniboi' Bergman has
left Blues News and joined the staff of
re-reporters paid by Steve Gibson's girlfriend to update Shack News. As expected, Blues News now sucks.