January 2008

Brazil Bans Everquest, Counterstrike; Orkut Still OK, Though

Apparently Brazil’s legal system has about an 8 year lag time, as they’ve just banned the top online games of 2000.

Both games allow players, typically teenage boys, to connect online to fantasy worlds where they interact with other players, form groups and carry out joint missions usually involving combat.

Kotaku has more details, which may or may not make things clearer, depending:

It’s alleged EverQuest is harmful because players are asked to accept both “good” and “bad” quests, the psychological burden of which is said to cause problems.

Well, that’s that, then.

Perhaps, With Luck, They Can Destroy Each Other. In Fire.

Step 1: John Romero takes on Mike Wilson.

People are now starting to get a clue about how Mr. Wilson operates. Hey everyone, he hasn’t changed in over 10 years – these are the kinds of jackass stunts he pulled at Ion Storm with Daikatana. Remember the bitch ad? Yeah. He also ran ads (“image ads”) that just had pictures of Ion Storm founders, himself and our COO. That was just the beginning of his madness.

Step 2: Mike Wilson strikes back.

I’m also grateful for your concern over my incessant partying, which has somehow led me to be married to the same beautiful woman for 17 years now, while raising two incredible daughters together. You should maybe try the partying, since your unparalleled work ethic and strong character has (just in the time I’ve known you) left only a bloody trail of ex-wives, fatherless kids, and ill advised breast implants strewn across this fair nation, even before you flew all the way to Romania for your latest wife. If she’s not still around, let me know, and I’ll see if I can pick another one up for you here in Russia.

Step 3: Tom Cruise saves us all.

I wish the world was a different place. I’d like to go on vacation and go and romp and play and just do that. You know what I mean? I mean, that’s what I want it to be. That’s how, there’s times I want to do that but I can’t because I know. I know. So, you know I have to do something about it. It’s not, you know you can sit here wish it was different and then you look at it and you go “Okay, this is it.” You know, I have to do something, don’t I? I have to do it, because I can’t live with myself if I don’t. That really is it.

Conservatives: Making Hillary Clinton Look Good Since 1999


I know that they all probably assume they have better, much more important, urgent, timely, things to campaign on, but I sure would like to get their individual takes on the new video game that one company is marketing to fifteen year old boys.


It’s called “Mass Effect” and it allows its players – universally male no doubt – to engage in the most realistic sex acts ever conceived. One can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to “engage” and then watch in crystal clear, LCD, 54 inch screen, HD clarity as the video game “persons” hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of.

With it’s “over the net” capabilities virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away.

Leaving aside for the moment the very real possibility that this whole piece may be cynically constructed simply to get as much outraged publicity and banner ad hits beforehand (hint: go here first), I refer you to the tag line in Mr. McCullough’s “About” page for his very aptly named “Musclehead” blog:

Show me how a man thinks, and I will tell you how he will behave.

So, given that, and given the thought processes betrayed by that blog entry, I’d advise those of you readers that happen to be female to be very careful before being alone in a room with this man.


Mr. McCullough continues to talk about things he clearly knows little about, including claming somehow that character customization equals sex abuse.

Look, if the Gamer-Nerds need their pervy outlets to find true release and inner peace – then make them drive to the outskirts of town and be forced to frequent those places that no one wants in the community to get them. By properly removing sexually explicit material from Best Buy, Circuit City, and Wal-Mart we take a step (one that did not need to be explained only a few years ago) in pushing back against the tidal wave of trashy cheap sex that society has ruled harmless, and thus meaningless.

Penny Arcade has calm, reasoned comment.



I was hit by this. When I got the bill for over $500 in my email, the first words in my response to billing were  “Holy CRAP.”

The Trek Curse

It appears that Perpetual’s version of Star Trek Online has been cancelled.

I had an interesting conversation at work about this today. Rather than try to overanalyze or punditize it, I’ll just quote it verbatim!

Me: “Did you hear about Star Trek Online?”
D: “Big shock there… that’s an impossible license. THE impossible license.”
Me (meekly): “I think I could write a decent Star Trek MMO…”
D: “OF COURSE YOU DO! EVERYONE does! That’s the Trek curse! EVERYONE thinks they can write the ONE Star Trek game that will boldly work where no Star Trek game has worked before!”
Me: “(You didn’t actually say that exactly, but I’m just filling in your lines with cool catch phrases.)”
D: “As long as they are GOOD catch phrases. But my point is that every designer thinks they can make a Star Trek game because they all watched Star Trek as a kid and think they *know* the license. But everyone has different expectations of the license…”
M: “Does it pass the wife test? Because my wife will watch Star Wars, but she won’t watch Star Trek.”
Me: “But see, my wife loves Star Trek, but she is bored by Star Wars. She thinks it has too many explosions.”
D: “See? Everyone has their own expectations.”

There have been a few good Star Trek games. Some of them even playable online.

There have been some Star Trek games that were good simply by being “Star Trek In Name Only” – basically ignoring the license and making, say, a fun shoot-em-up.

There have been some Star Trek games that should have been good, but, well, had some issues.

And then… oh god. The bad games. They are all so very, very, very bad.

Now, I have no idea where Perpetual’s version of Star Trek Online would have fallen, but I can say that this:


As a die hard Trekker of 30 years standing, the Diku-mud standard screenshot of a Rogue fighting a murloc – I mean a Security officer fighting a Gorn made me weep silent tears.

Which just means that everyone’s perfect Trek game is different. Much like, well, other licenses.