Video Game News From Trotting Krips


Well, mostly I'm tired of computer games being demonized by ignoramii who are looking for a cheap and easy scapegoats for all of society's ills. It really irritates me when people go out and sell an agenda that is easy, lazy, inherently incorrect and hypocritical. Real sorry if I happen to like my entertainment interactive, rather than sit -- drooling and slack jawed -- as a mediocre writer tells me a mediocre story via mediocre acting and directing. We've reached an age where we're not sitting in caves attempting to survive as a species. We should have something to say about the universe and conditions we live in -- if only for there to be any sort of ultimate human progress.

Now that I've justified the existence of video games to you, let the whacking begin!


October 17th, 1999

Family PC Fakes News Story



Login: randyp Name: Randy Pitchford
Directory: /home/randyp Shell: /bin/bash
Last login Thu Oct 7 11:29 (CDT) on ttyp0 from randy
No mail.

Half-Life: Opposing Force


This is something I don't like to do in a .plan update, but I couldn't just ignore this one...

In the November '99 issue of Family PC (Ziff/Davis) on page 121 there's a sidebar titled "Buyer Beware". This article once again makes a case against the sales of the type of games that our community is built around.

Here's the quote which really disturbs me:

> Family PC (Ziff/Davis), Nov. '99, Page 121
> CompUSA
> As soon as we arrived in the games section, Half Life: Opposing Forces [sic] (Sierra Studios, hit us
> square in the jaw. This shoot-em-up war game received an M rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board
>, meaning that it's designed for ages 17 and older. With cash in hand, Tricia walked up to the checkout
> line and bought the software--no questions asked. In fact, the only glitch in her purchase came when the cash register needed
> a new roll of receipt tape. Later, at the Customer Service desk, we played the role of incredulous parent and complained that
> nobody questioned Tricia's purchase.

What I'd like to know is this: How did "Tricia" purchase a copy of our game (Half-Life: Opposing Force) when it isn't even on the shelves yet?

It's must be an invention of Family PC magazine - an invention designed to make a negative association with the games we love and to point the finger at the business of entertainment software design and sales.

The article goes on to jab at Xatrix Entertainment, Software Etc, and the South Park game after which it appeals to "Mr. President" for "another press conference." Presumably the objective of the writer is to influence public policy in ways potentially bad for our industry.

Does anyone know how the law protects a company like Gearbox Software from the press making such an injurious fabrication with malicious intent? I am very bothered that something like this can appear in a high-volume magazine like Family PC from a huge publisher like Ziff/Davis.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has some legal experience with this sort of thing. Could this be considered libelous?

I would also be interested in hearing from someone with CompUSA on how they might react to this since their sales methods are the primary target of this article's attack.


Very little, in terms of personally developed snide comments, need to be added by your friendly neighborhood software reviewer. I think it's great because most likely some over-zealous intern piped up with, "let's make this story topical! Use a game that'll probably be released right around the time this goes to print!" and then got burned because Sierra, as a company, is unable to announce a release date that has anything in common with reality.

(No, that's not me banging on developers. Just publishers.)

The imagery is great, too. Oh, you saw a big rack of Half-Life games, huh? That game has been out for almost a year. I'm guessing Sierra isn't still paying for primo floorspace, seeing how as a company they are too cheap to include printed manuals. What a complete crock.

Video Games are not evil. I can't believe there are actually human beings on this planet who think so. And furthermore, it's not against the law for a minor to buy a game rated "Mature." Even if you ignore the lies and deceit that Family PC is trying to play on us, it's not like little "Tricia" bought a bottle of vodka and ivory wastebasket. ISDA's got about as much influence over the lives of actual human beings as the upcoming harmonic convergence.

You have to also like how Family PC decided to give a lot of crap to the poor kids working in customer service. Ignoring, for a moment, that it was probably all completely fabricated, there's nothing like making life hell for some underpaid bastard who has found himself in a position of "power" at CompUSA. Make them pay!

Family PC is a total joke.


October 15th, 1999


Kingpin Software Developer's Kit Released, No One Can Find It

Robb Sherwin
Reviews From Trotting Krips

The Kingpin SDK mentioned below was released a couple weeks ago, to the apparent indifference of everyone involved in the on-line gaming community. I mean, wtfman? I can accept that the Kingpin sites, a sometimes spotty bunch, did not have it obviously linked, but I couldn't find it at Xatrix or Interplay either.

I put it up on my webpage. It's at sdk . Give me mad props.




September 19th, 1999

Kingpin Software Developer's Kit To Be Released

Ryan Feltrin
Technology & AI Programmer, Xatrix Software

Sep. 19 - "The [ Kingpin ] SDK will be released  free of charge."

Kingpin is a rather realistic first person shooter that was released on June 26th, 1999, prompting video game sales associates everywhere to ask for ID, thus giving them something in common with local theatre clerks besides megaboogered children and generally chubby motos. The really cool bit about Kingpin is that it allows the player to interact with some of the game's denizens in a positive or negative way. For instance, in, say, Quake II you might see a guy in a new room, walk in, and shoot him in the back. In Kingpin, though, you can walk into an alley (!!), tell a guy that you will "fucking bury him," get taunted in return, and then whip out your concealed weapon and blow his goddamn head clear off. Course, if you happen to miss (and the shakes do inevitably get the best of us from time-to-time) your target will often run like a frightened poodle around the level. Hilarity ensues as you attempt to corner the gangsta bitch and pop a cap through her skull.

The best bit of this is that it will allow for software developers to incorporate conversation within the first person shooter genre. This could seriously work if mixed correctly, as traditionally the weakest part of FPS were the characters and conversation, while combat has always been awful for text adventures. The SDK is still in development and the team at  Reviews From Trotting Krips will keep you updated as to developments with this story.


September 17th, 1999

Pastor calls Pokemon 'poison'

By Erin Emery
Denver Post Southern Colorado Bureau

Aug. 14 - COLORADO SPRINGS - A minister used a blowtorch and a sword during a church service this week to drive home his belief that Pokemon games and toys are only sugar-coated instruments of the occult and evil. ... To make his point, [ Pastor Mark ] Juvera burned Pokemon trading cards with a blowtorch and struck a plastic Pokemon action figure with a 30-inch sword. Juvera's 9-year-old son then tore the limbs and head off a Pokemon doll. During the demonstration, the children chanted: "Burn it. Burn it,'' and "Chop it up. Chop it up.'' .. [ Fellow Pastor Mark ] Cowart said the sword was used in the demonstration because the Bible says that the "way you come down against the powers of darkness is with the sword of the spirit. We don't do things just for the sake of being sensational like the World Federation of Wrestling.''

Yeah. You wouldn't want to be like the "WFW." Attention Fucking Morons: justify your existence. Yes, your church got press. Yes, you've managed to further isolate the Christian religion from a largely cynical and unaffected teenage generation. Yes, you've managed to come off as a couple of dumb, lazy-minded idiots to the entire world.

Was it worth it?

OK. Just for the record. It has to be said at least once. Pokemon is not evil. I somehow hardly feel refreshed and happy about it -- especially since it has single handedly kept Nintendo in business as they churn out one tired game after another for their capitalist-hating, underpowered game console. Pokemon is about a bunch of little pixels fighting a bunch of differently mapped pixels. It allows its player to get attached to the individual pocket monsters while also challenging him or her to collect all the available characters. For the love of Christ -- have they got nothing better to do? This kind of senseless rhetoric is all you have to sell in order not to have to pay taxes?

And geez -- real nice effect, burning them with a fricking blowtorch. What, the rocket launcher and tesla cannon were not available? When your actions become more like that in the game Blood II than in real life, I'm guessing you've officially become part of the problem rather than the solution.

Remember when all we had to worry about were pastors and priests molesting little boys? At least you knew where you stood back then. Who'd have thought we'd be longing for those good old days?

(I must admit, though, if more Methodists were packing blowtorches and free video games, I'd probably be more of a church-goer. But they'd have to add booth babes and hard cider for me to enjoy it.)

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