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    GameGuy: The “Law and Order and Government” Edition

    By Mark H. Walker

    Road Trip

    It will soon be easier for North Carolina’s Red Storm to collaborate with Massachusetts’ Papyrus on future games. Not that the studio that brought us Ghost Recon would ever want to work with the kings of round track racing (NASCAR 1-4),  but the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has decided to give them a hand just in case. At least if the Red Storm folks want to drive through Virginia enroute to Boston.

    VDOT has decreed that the territory needs a new interstate. The asphalt and its attendant Wal-Marts, Burger Kings, and 7//24 Quick Marts, will uproot hundreds of thousands of Virginia’s White Pines, Red Maples, and majestic oaks. But who cares? Running through the mid-western section of the land, VDOT claims I-73 will replace/augment existing Highway 220, expedite travel, and alleviate traffic concerns. Problem is... there are less cars traveling Highway 220 than honest Olympic judges in Utah. The Army Corps of Engineers surveyed the situation and claimed existing roads were sufficient. Nevertheless VDOT intends to lay the road. Can’t blame them; construction looks like progress, progress smells like money, and money talks. It’s just a shame the trees have to walk.

    A Rose by Any Other Name

    Speaking of talking money, how about that State of Emergency (SOE)?  It’s selling like hotcakes and putting a large fecal ingesting grin on the savvy folks at Rockstar. Savvy is a good description, their public relations folks branded SOE the world’s first riot game... avoiding the obvious, and more accurate label –terrorism. Still, I don’t know a better description than terrorism for a game that has you bombing innocent people. Nevertheless, it sells well. I just wonder how many copies they’ve peddled to Ground Zero at the WTC, Army Special Forces troops, or Daniel Perl’s widow...  

    Georgia Peach

    Bo Jackson was the only good thing to come out of Georgia. Well, at least until now. Earlier this month four Georgia lawmakers proposed the Violent Video Game Protection Act. Bottom line, the bill makes it illegal to sell certain games –you have to be thinking it means the ones with “Mature” ratings—to kids under 18. The message is simple: If you want to make games with gratuitous violence, go ahead. On the other hand don’t expect to sell them to droves of eleven year olds.

    No doubt this will promote more whining than California’s vineyards. You mean you expect us to write GOOD games?  The developers will say. Damn, it was much easier to splash some blood on the screen and sell the gross-out factor.   

    I think it’s a good thing. The bill that is, not the whining (It’s never pretty to see grown men whine). If you can’t sell the crass, vulgar, and disgusting you may have to actually promote the clever, intriguing, and fun. Like maybe a collaboration between Red Storm and Papyrus. NASCAR Recon anyone?

    © Mark H. Walker, LLC 2001

    Mark H. Walker is a veteran interactive entertainment journalist who has written over 40 books including his recently released Medal of Honor and Wizardry 8 strategy guides

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    Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones

    An affordable, ultra-portable headphone set.

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