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April 18,1999 -- Previous Mailbag
Letters are edited for
spelling errors only. Commentary by Jason "loonyboi"
Looks like I've been found out...
Subject: religion degree
wow, now that's interesting. So who is it
with the theological degree, and what sort of degree is it?
From: Jeremy Williams
Subject: Read my Watchtower?
Hello, brother, I just thought I'd write in
to say I'm one of the other Religion majors. Always good to hear there are more. So, have
you found a practical use for it yet? The rest of us are in need of some divine
Alrighty kids, you caught me. In a few
scant weeks, I will be the proud owner of an undergraduate degree in religious studies. As
you can see from the work I'm doing here, it's being put to good use. Just wait until I
get my graduate degree...then I'll really be doing some great news updates on Quake
From: Sennan Lagaluga
Subject: Starship Troopers from GT Interactive(?)
Starship Troopers... game based on the movie,
have you heard anything about it? release date etc. I am dying to give this game a go!
I know of two Starship Troopers games,
actually. There's the one by Kesmai that's been live
for quite some time now over on GameStorm, and then
there was one that was in the works from Microprose,
but that seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. If you're looking for
Starship Troopers-esque games, look no further than good ol' fashioned Doom (which if you
ask me is so much like that movie, it's scary) and of course, Quake II. Paul Steed has
said on a number of occasions that the intro movie to Quake II was inspired by Starship
Troopers (the Heinlein novel, not the Verhoven movie).
More on the lawsuit...
From: Paul Furio
Subject: Mailbag letters about Teen Murders Lawsuit
Greetings. I just read through the mailbag
letters regarding the lawsuit by parents against various entertainment firms. I thought
I'd add a little heat to the fire...
First: It is truly tragic that these children were killed. However, it would seem to me
that the only person who stands to gain anything from this lawsuit is the lawyer who is
presenting it, and he will probably not get much more than his retainer. No precedent
exists for this kind of case to go forward, and it it doubtful at best that this will
change with this case.
Second: I don't think this particular crime
is any indication as to "The Decline of America." The notion that this country
was once a great and stable nation is sadly an illusion. Things are now simultaneously as
good and bad as things have ever been, give or take, and will probably remain as such. Any
solid research into our domestic history will attest to that. People tend to think that
things were "better in the old days" simply because of the lack of accumulated
life experience they had back in "the old days."
Third: Preventing or at least minimizing the
chances that such an event will occur in the near future is not the responsibility of some
nebulous presence known collectively as "the media" or "game makers"
but is the responsibility of every citizen of the country, and even the world. Taking the
time to think rationally about matters, teaching our children and even our adults to find
constructive outlets for their emotions, tolerating that which is different instead of
fearing it, all these things take effort and time. And yet it is these things, not
legislation written on paper, not suits debating in a pristine chamber of government, not
more soldiers of peace parading the streets, which breed a society that may hope to reduce
it's own misfortune. Sadly, how many people will ever consider this option in their lives?
I have a great respect for the people who
contribute to this site, either by creating content, making the games that are featured on
it, or just checking in now and again. On the whole, we represent a reasonably well
educated open minded segment of society. Yet, our focus is on generally violent games. It
is a testament to our ability to realize that these games are an outlet, not an end, and
that we and our parents take the effort to instill this ability to reason within us, that
makes us good citizens. If only the world could emulate these qualities, and realize that
even in great tragedies it is better to fix the flaws in ourselves and work for
improvements on a local scale than to point broadly waving fingers at distant entities,
how much better a place would the world be?
Thanks for your time.
From: Travis Schneider
Subject: re: this ID lawsuit thing
I am totally blown away by the greed shown by
these parents and their "representation". Do they ask for counseling or
psychiatric care or neutering or something for their kid? No, they ask for money.
And as for that "Doom made him kill
better", hell, all those kids had to do was climb UP something, and the killer
wouldn't have been able to track them.. Unless he learned that "+mouselook" from
Quake. And he wouldn't have known how to jump either.
On to their "games taught him that
killing was OK", I mean, are you people IDIOTS? Since the dawn of time absolutely
EVERY primitive culture has recognized that killing one another is morally wrong. Some
scientists believe its even hard-coded in our genes. So this clown somehow was able to
undo millions of years of social evolution with a few sessions in front of a video game?
Then there's the issue of where he got 5 guns
from. It's not exactly from Aisle #9 at K-Mart now is it?
This lawsuit has no merit. Any judge with
half a brain will throw this out, and slap an extreme stupidity fine on the parents and
Hi, I was reading the mailbag about the
lawsuit against id (frankly, I could care less about the other companies) and I noticed
that almost all of the things that people were saying had a common flaw. About 95% of the
mails I read were written by people who thought the parents of the GUNMAN were suing, when
in fact it is the parents of the victim. I just thought you might want to clear that up.
In fact, now that I am done reading that
mailbag on the lawsuit, I did not read a single mail that had the facts straight. Every
single letter I read said that the parents should take the blame instead of placing it on
others, and only the truly sadistic would actually try to blame the parents of the victims
for this shooting.
From: Martin Edelius
Subject: Unreal Shareware?
"... (though it doesn't mention if it
will be out before the Unreal shareware)."
Well, it seems more and more as Epic is
taking a Monolithic approach to the Unreal shareware and will ignore it until nobody wants
it anymore. I hope not but that's how it looks... 8/
"Just the facts, ma'am."
What I find strange about the Unreal
shareware, is that there's an OEM demo available that comes with various hardware. Why
Epic doesn't just package that up as a massive download and call it a shareware version is
beyond me. It would probably be about 100+ megs, but hey...at least they'd have a demo out
Oh, and for you pop culture fans...here's
a quote in response to Martin's sig file:
"Anything else, sir?"
"Just the fax, ma'am."
Balls of Steel?
From: Dave Pletcher
Subject: Balls of Steel
Thanks for the link to the "Balls of Steel" patch. It's a great game if you
don't have it, buy it. When I'm not playing Quake II, that's what I'm playing.
Admit it. You're just playing it so you
can say you have balls of steel.
To each their own...
From: Dennis Gorrie
Subject: Q3 wallpaper - Quake/Quake2/Quake3 monsters
Is it just me, or does ID have a hard time
making scary looking models? This Q3 model that's been shown around, with alien looking
creature with spikes out of it's back, is just plain stupid. I don't know if I should
laugh or cry? Many model son Q2pmp are much scarier looking. Steed knows how to make fine
models, but it sure would be nice to see something that looks at least half-scary for a
change. Baron of Hell, Cyberdemon, Arch Vile, Revenant etc. all look a lot more scarier
Gotta love our readers...
From: Tom McLeod III
I know I'm not the regular guy to send in
these kind of itty-bitty things, but I thought I might as well, as he might be sick today.
(Ant? I can't remember who it is you always mention, Blue.)
Anyway, in the Review section for today, you have a semicolon instead of a colon in your
mention of "Requiem: Avenging Angel." It's possible that you only have part of a
colon left, with taxes due today, but I thought I'd point it out.
By the way, why not put hardware bits in bullets also?
Have a nice day, all.
PS - Thanks *so* much for that support link
of the day, I've been able to clear out almost 3 megs so far on an old 486 (caught a great
deal on floppy disks at onsale.com)... =o)
Hey Tom, any relation to Conner MacLeod
(of the Clan MacLeod)? :)
Taxes really hit the Blue tower hard...for
a while there the only punctuation we were allowed to use was commas and ellipses...you
can't imagine just how tiring that gets...trust me...it's a pain in the tuchus to not be
able to use periods at all...
From: John Hodorowicz
Subject: q3test file found
Hey look at this directory
Look for the 100+ MB file q3test.exe. (Seriously!)
Too bad I get permission denied w/ cuteftp (any suggestions?)
Looks like someone's pulling your leg
there...for starters, if I recall correctly, the file size on Q3Test was estimated around
20 meg, not 110 like that file is. Also, that says it was uploaded on April
4th...we would have heard something by now, don't you think?
More Daikatana feedback...
From: David Krider
Subject: Daikatana Updates
"From: Nolan Bailey
Can you please post something positive about
Daikatana...? and cover it with some of your frequent updates...? I've really become
frustrated how you never seem to post anything about this game... when you do post about
the company or the game... it is usually a link to a slam article... or some sort of
Huh? I've seen two years... count them... TWO YEARS of press on Daikatana, and have NOT
seen so much as even a "test" of the game. I have heard PLENTY about the game.
In fact, I think we all have heard plenty about the game by now. So much so that I think
if Romero and Co. didn't say another word until shipment, there'd still have been enough
said about the game.
Seriously, it seems Romero started his company specifically to make that game, and he laid
on the hype thick and heavy for the first year. I thought he was just a couple months away
from shipping when Ion was first founded because of all the press. It gives other shipping
games an unfair slight when a company with as much reputation that they have (or had, as
the case might be) give so much time and money to promoting their game.
In fact, it's much like Microsoft's attempt
to divert the corporate world from a shipping product (Novell's NDS) while they hype their
still nonexistent and two-years-late product (Active Directory.) Let's get coverage on
SHIPPING products, or at least games that are due Real Soon Now (TM). Games (and software
in general) that isn't anywhere close to market ought to have a mention, but it's not
worth anyone's time - no matter how much you salivate over a particular product - to give
complete coverage to something that will change before you get it.
David "Dunkirk" Krider
In all fairness it should be pointed out
that there is a Daikatana "test" out there, the Mplayer demo. Of course, some
people simply refuse to use Mplayer, so I guess that doesn't count for them.
One for the conspiracy nuts...
From: John Nevaquaya
Subject: Re: An impassioned plea ( Daikatana )
Let me guess. Nolan Bailey is a pseudonym for
John Romero. Heh, what's next - a cardboard sign and the streetcorner?
Yes, that was The
Romero. He's also written every article about ION Storm (except
that Dallas Observer one) under various pseudonyms. In fact, it's
true...I'm really John Romero. And no, you can't touch my hair,
Just kidding. Everyone knows my hair is way
better than Romero's.
You want me to plug that where?
Subject: re: ultimate mouse
Optical mice are all right, but they require
a flat, stable area. You can't get food anywhere near the pad, and if you get fingerprints
on the pad, forget it. The ultimate interface would link your brain to the PC.
But I like the Keytronics mouse that doesn't
use a ball. Instead it uses two wheels to make direct contact with whatever surface the
mouse is on. The wheels are connected directly to the optical trackers. Use PS2rate to
kick up the sample rate, and you get some great tracking. You really gotta see it for
I'm sorry, but I've got a hard enough time
dealing with a Microsoft OS on my hard drive...you think I'm going to plug one into my brain?
And don't get me started with Linux...I ain't uploading anything that's open source into
my head either. That's just nutty. With my luck, it'd be a Trojan horse that'll make me
act like a chicken or something.
I just like saying "wacom"
From: Ken Alverson
In response to the laser mouse letter, I'd
first like to say that I still have one of those mice at home, I've also long since moved
on to "regular" mice, my Logitech MouseMan+ suits me very well right now. I
think the true future of mice is in the direction of large Wacom style tablets with mouse
shaped pointing devices. There already exist tablets that take any number of different
pointing devices including pens, mouse type devices, cad pucks and others. The resolution
is great, depending on which pad you get, my cheap Wacom Penpartner (I only have a pen for
it, no pucks or mice) has 1000 dpi resolution, compared to the 300-400 dpi of most mice.
The tablets can even detect pressure, which is great for Photoshop and could be used
innovatively in gaming as well. The biggest problem currently is price - my small tablet
(4x5, low res for a tablet, only have a pen) was $60, for a higher end 4x5 it costs around
$100, and for larger tablets the price jumps significantly.
Programmer, Desktop Publisher, Network Consultant
I've got a Wacom tablet, several mice, and
my lovely Trackman Marble...I use the tablet and trackball for graphics stuff, and my
mouse for games. You ever try playing Quake with a Wacom tablet? Yeow.
Maybe that's giving her a *bit* too much
Subject: Regarding Alanis' Irony
Joe Kennedy said, posted in your Mailbag:
"Heh heeeee! Got a grin by way of "Out of the Blue" today. Nice to know
it's not just me that has a problem with Alanis Morrisette's perception of irony. Although
I really dig the song, it's pretty clear to me she's clueless on the subject.
"...Like rain on your wedding day," "A traffic jam when your already
late." Those things
aren't ironic in the *least* bit. Frustrating maybe, but irony???
I think not.
(edited because, well, it was boring.)
-Malcontent (Joe Kennedy) "
This guy, Joe Kennedy, is a twit. Alanis is smarter than this. She knew perfectly well
that those situations were not irony--the simple fact that none of those situations were
ironic, yet the song is called Ironic, makes the entire thing Irony.
The same goes for her new song, Unsent. They were Unset love letters. Well, they're no
longer Unsent. Alanis knows this.
LordXar_, of the Nexus
I like exclamation points!
From: Chris Sibert
That little search box is a neat idea. But what is the origin of the propensity for
programmers to put exclamations on things !? What is the purpose behind it ! Why are they
shouting at us !? What gives !?
A good software developer has to have reasonable people skills in order to write good
code. Other developers will be using their code in the future, and good communication
skills equate to well written and understandable code.
As a developer myself, it's always a dead
giveaway for the incompetent, in my opinion. These incompetent programmers have to yell at
people constantly, "Don't do that!", because their software is written so
poorly, it will trash itself quite freely. Bad programmers think that mistakes that the
user makes are the user's fault but in general, it's that they've written the software so
poorly in the first place. I think that it boils down to that the exclamations are just a
form of yelling and obnoxious condescension towards the user. Exclamations show a real
propensity for blaming others for one's own incompetence.
Actually, you can blame me for the
exclamation point in there...it wasn't in there originally, and I thought it looked a
little...unenthusiastic. Once we added the exclamation point, it looked much happier,
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