Well, great, whose bitch am I going to be now? Shortly after finally spitting out Anachronox, Eidos/Ion Storm spit out marquee-name designers Tom Hall and John “Hubris? Never heard of it” Romero. I guess the prospect of Daikatana 2 never really caught on\’e2\’80\’a6

Opposition to the addition of mongbats to the Tatooine ecosystem was pretty much universal: Joystick101\’e2\’80\’99s Ksquire lauded Raph Koster and company for the heretofore unheard-of design eureka of listening to the fans while building Star Wars Galaxies. It sounds crazy, we know, but it just might work.

Oh, that\’e2\’80\’99ll be helpful: Perhaps succumbing to one of Koster\’e2\’80\’99s Jedi mind tricks, John \’e2\’80\’9cKiller\’e2\’80\’9d McQueen, the president of Cornered Rat Studios, actually asked the official discussion boards what they thought he and the rest of the brain trust behind WW2O should be doing now to fix their troubled game. \’e2\’80\’9cI’d pretty much stay the course. I mean, let’s face it, the majority of your clients are idiots,\’e2\’80\’9d quipped one of the more intelligent responders.

Coming this week, Dinant cliff-diving: Other bored WW2O fans, filling the void until the Big Patch makes their lives worth living again, have started organizing Cannonball Run style road rallies. It\’e2\’80\’99s kinda like the Grand Prix, but with two-ton trucks. And strafing.

Scopes trial of gaming grinds on: Pre-trial motions continued in the Columbine families vs. the violent game makers in a Denver court room. The interesting news is that SquareSoft is no longer under the gun: either the prosecution theory that Klebold and Harris were trying to reenact the plot of all nine Final Fantasies wasn\’e2\’80\’99t holding up to scrutiny, or opening day revenues really help settle lawsuits, even after Baldwin took his cut\’e2\’80\’a6

That should solve the court\’e2\’80\’99s expert witness problem, anyway: Brad Bushman and Craig Anderson of Iowa State released their awaited meta-analysis of the game-violence connection this week, not surprisingly finding a link. (Anderson is famous for coining the phrase, much used by Republican senators these days, that the link of games to violence is stronger than smoking to cancer: makes one wonder why another study was needed, then.) Anderson was quick to note that he didn\’e2\’80\’99t get any funding for his research, no doubt a polite dig at his nemesis, the MPAA-funded \’e2\’80\’9cthere is no link\’e2\’80\’9d Jon Freedman, who equally politely stopped short of saying what he really thought of Anderson\’e2\’80\’99s “research.”

Our own worst enemies? Also last week, a Half-Life \’e2\’80\’9cColumbine\’e2\’80\’9d mod curiously dropped right off the radar screen. You know, teachers of America, all that effort you spend in keeping sixth-graders from bringing nail clippers to school could really be better spent tracking down the no-doubt adolescent geniuses behind that creation, and slapping some sense into them before they ruin things for the rest of us.

Well at least this hiatus is allowing them to clean up the Nazi problem: Letters went out this week to WW2O players whose in-game names break the terms of service. The rule is you can\’e2\’80\’99t change your name once it\’e2\’80\’99s chosen, but players who picked an offensive one (\’e2\’80\’9cKraut2go\’e2\’80\’9d and \’e2\’80\’9cNazisbob\’e2\’80\’9d are among those on the list) are being given a one-time only chance to change their name, or get booted. Predictably, Old Man Murray (the aforementioned \’e2\’80\’9cNazisbob\’e2\’80\’9d) has reacted with outrage. (Can Chet and Erik react with anything else?)

Wow, that metaphor fails on so many levels: HardNews mars an otherwise serviceable 3/10 truth job on Anarchy Online, with \’e2\’80\’9cThis game sucks up more memory than a wet-dry vac after a bukakke shoot.\’e2\’80\’9d