E3: Kings Of Whorey And 'Tard

« June 2006 »

Memo to E3: YOU WERE DUMB.

It's now June, and some of you may have been wondering why I never said anything about E3 like I did in previous years. The answer is the Wii.

Nintendo's new name for their new console was dropped like a sulfur bombshell on the gaming community in the weeks before E3, in the hopes that they'd all get it out of their system by the time the show came around. And it worked - the Wii was a huge success. But it's still a fucking awful name. I don't care - I've bought consoles with stupid names before, and will again - but I knew any dumb wrapup of E3 would have to address the Wii, which means I needed to find a list of things dumber than the name from the show. And that took time.

But now, at long last, I can present to you my list of the three things at E3 that were completely, unequivocably, more dumb than the name "Wii".


When it comes to giving you shit that you don't want, nobody's been doing it longer, or better, than Microsoft. Most new features from Microsoft are like the cole slaw that comes with your Kentucky Fried Chicken - unpleasant, not actually resembling in any way the name given to it, but you paid for it anyway. Enter XBox Live Anywhere.

I'm not that fond of XBox Live where it was, to be honest. Online gaming? I thought the whole purpose of Artificial Intelligence was that we could compete against spastic opponents who seem barely able to tie their own shoes without having to hear them yell "pussy" into a microphone and giggle every ten seconds. But now, thanks to Microsoft, I can take that experience anywhere? THANK YOU.

When they say "anywhere", what they mean is on your Vista PC or your cell phone. You can start a game on the 360, and finish it on your cell phone! This is an experience that no gamer has ever craved in the history of the art form. More people have dreamed of using a game controller to hula dance than of finishing your console game on a cell phone. Cell phone games are games of desperation. They're what you play when the rest of the world around you is a desolate wasteland. The DMV. The bus. Guantanamo Bay. That's how bad it has to be to resort to whipping out your Nokia and draining its battery for ten minutes of Bejeweled. So keep cell phones the fuck away from XBox Live. The people on there now are desperate enough.

#2: THE PS3D0

Sony wants to sell you a six hundred dollar box you can connect to your TV. In addition to playing the hottest new form of disc-based media, its makers claim... well, ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"We believe that the PS3 will be the place where our users play games, watch films, browse the Web, and use other [home] computer functions. The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC." - Phil Harrison, high muckymuck of Sony's US gaming operation.

My god. It's like some mad scientist found the corpse of Trip Hawkins' dreams right next to Jimmy Hoffa's unmarked grave, dug up the bits, and reanimated them in the form of a steel-grey breadbox. They're chasing set-top convergence like a dog chasing a car, not knowing what the fuck they'll do if they catch it. Thirteen years ago, Trip Hawkins tried to sell the world a $700 game box that could also play exciting new formats like... audio CD. And CD+G (CD's with low-res slideshows of the band included). And Video CD. It'd replace the PC and sit on top of the TV.

Do you have a 3DO on top of your TV right now? Or a 4D0? Or a 5D0? No, you do not. And at this rate, you may never have a PS4 on top of your TV either.


Save the best for last. LB:EF is a real-time strategy game based on, as you might expect, the Revelationtastic series of Left Behind books, movies, and of course self-help guides like Chicken Soup For The Left Behind Heathen Soul. And now it's a Christian video game.

But it's not some crappy, racked-next-to-the-angel-figurine game like "Bible Adventure", or "The Bible Game", or "Sweet Jumping Jesus II: Leper Abortionists Of Doom". No, this is a big-budget title, with voice acting and violence! Just like real games!

There is a universal truth that only die-hard conservative Christians are immune to realizing. Christian versions of non-Christian art forms suck. Christian rock? Sucks. Christian adventure fiction? Sucks. Christian politics? Sucks. Christians need to learn to stick to their strengths. Stained glass, angel statues, country music, and manifestations of the Virgin Mary in nontraditional media.

And it's the same with the entire Left Behind franchise. Spend all the money you want on glossy covers that make it look just like the other novels, but inside, it's still crap. Spend all the time and effort you want crafting your epic direct-to-video feature, but that's still Kirk Cameron's name showing up first in the credits. And no matter how lovingly you model and animate your warriors of virtue blowing away the apostate hordes of the Antichrist, every time it happens and you hear "Praise the Lord!" come out of your PC speakers, you'll gag and go back to World of Warcraft.

The only good thing about the game's violent content is that it's got evangelical marketing fucks locking horns with Puritanical opportunistic fucks. Everyone's favorite crusading attorney, Jack Thompson, does not approve of LB:EF at all. And I'm sure he'll approve of it even less once the PC modders make everyone naked, an event that I predict will occur 45 minutes after the game hits shelves.