[This piece was originally titled "Why Piracy Is Good" when I wrote it in August of 2004. I figured I'd make it gratuitously offensive clickbait this time, just for teh funz. If you don't understand the new title, start here.]
It's weird how the simplest games can have the longest stories. Today we're going to talk (well, I'm going to, anyway) about a couple of games (well, four games, but we'll get to that) that are about as Zen-basic as it's possible for electronic entertainment to be.
They're a pair of games which could be played by the one-armed dishwasher from Robin's Nest (one for the mums and dads, there), a duo that require all the brainpower of a starving dog pondering the best course of action to take with a pound of sausages that's just fallen out of an old lady's shopping bag right under his nose.
And yet, by the time we're done we'll have covered inspiration, plagiarism, moral flexibility, flagrant copyright infringement, public-spiritedness, cultural history, corporate pragmatism, collective short-sightedness and the proudest moment in your correspondent's career to date. Which is a lot of stuff, so let's get on or we'll be here all day.
I always like to try to salvage something of value out of the most worthless commodity of the digital age: spam. Most of the cast of characters in Hell Yeah! are named after the "senders" of spam emails, and earlier today I was going through the followers on the Twitter account of my Scottish politics site blocking all the pornbots and noticed a slightly odd shared characteristic in the process.
Almost every one had a single-word biog, and as I went down the list it seemed to have a certain poetry. I had just enough syllables to make two haikus (plus titles), with four left over. If you can do better with the words, send 'em in.
Alert readers may recall a few weeks back I gave an interview to a blog written by a bunch of – well, let's call them "games journalists" for want of a more accurate term. A straightforward enough business, you might think – ask questions, get replies, publish, done. It didn't work out quite that simply.
While the interview caused a huge hit spike on the site and an unprecedented number of comments (over 100 compared to their usual three or four), this sudden influx of visitors and attention caused great consternation among some of the blog's editors other than the charming and talented young writer who'd done the interview.
Two of them – a pair of particularly lily-livered Future Publishing corporate drones – whined all over Twitter and elsewhere that the (incredibly mild) arguments in the comments were so beastly and upsetting that they were considering deleting the entire site, rather than attract all these awful, horrid people (ie, readers) to it by speaking to such a nasty man.
Long story short, to spare the hurt feelings of the less-popular stories on their blog (which is to say, all of them) the interview has been quietly deleted. So I've retrieved it and posted it below for posterity.
Man, I've been waiting for this to happen for ages. A long long time ago, when I was barely half as old as I am now, there was a magazine called Cut. A sort of artsier Scottish version of the NME, it was a music-and-culture-and-politics newspaper that came out either weekly or fortnightly, I forget which.
Either way, in 1989 Cut began publication of a comic strip written by Grant Morrison (the eccentric/mental creator of Zenith and The Invisibles, among many others), called The New Adventures Of Hitler.
Thanks for pointlessly destroying the image widget, WordPress dickheads!
"If you've got the crowd behind you, you're probably facing the wrong way."
- S. Munnery
"Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children, not Fate that butchers them or Destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It's us. Only us."