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Mailbag
April 25,1999 -- Previous Mailbag

Letters are edited for spelling errors only, and may contain profanity. Commentary by Jason "loonyboi" Bergman.

It's out! Um...kinda.

From: Divine Comedian
Subject: John carmack and Mac Q3A release

Carmack said:
Gaming is not a reason to buy a mac, but Apple is taking steps so that it may not be a reason to avoid a mac if you have other reasons for wanting one.

Well shit John, now I want to buy a Mac just to play Q3ATest!!

You and everyone else out there, i'm sure...


From: Zak
Subject: W3rd of my mouth news :)

Good evening,

Be sure to read this full article if you read any of it, because if you read or quote parts of it, I can sound really one sided. I am not out to offend anyone, get anyone angry with me, or bash anyone... I just want my opinion to be known. iD Software is a great company. They have brought us many joys in the past, and, I hope, will continue to do so in the future. I would also like to state upfront that I am a PC user, and I hold nothing against Apple; I think it is great that they are trying to improve things and get on the band waggon with games, and what better game to do it with than Quake 3:Arena? This also means more players which extends the life of the game. I also work, goto school, etc. everyday, like most people on earth... however, I have not even a girlfriend at the moment (to my dismay).

So what do I look forward to other than seeing my family? Yup, you guessed it Quake 3. From the time I heard the first rumor, I started to save money for a new faster computer. Well, I got the computer, and was really looking forward to seeing Quake 3 mid-March, but it didn't happen. That's okay, I can understand a delay. So for the past month I have schooled/worked, and came home to look at PlanetQuake, tha ShugaShack, and Bluesnews to find it had not been released, I have to admit, the tension has built, but I think it just exploded. I think the releasing of the Mac Q3test first, then the Linux, then WIN32 is almost what I would call descrimination, or racism in real life! It seems that it would be only FAIR TO RELEASE THEM ALL AT THE SAME TIME, they haven't got to have the perfect drivers, its just a test remember? And even if it had to be unfair, it would make sense to release the test to the loyal crowd of people who made iD Software famous, by buying their products... the Windows/Dos users (no offense to you iMac Daddies out there). It was DooM that set the trend, "DooM for the Mac!" followed. I just feel this is highly unfair, especially for the people that were soo loyal that they intentionally avoided the IHV aplha test. After all this waiting, I got one thing to say... QUAKE 3 HAD BETTER BE GOOD, hopefully ALOT faster than Quake 2, and graphically better than Quake 1. Thanks for your time, and once again, I do not mean to offend anyone. iD and Apple are great.

P.S.: The tech support page at idsoftware's page needs to be fixxed, because I have filled out the form twice, and still have no response. Here's try 3.

My pak files for Quake 1 are about 500 kilobytes smaller than everyone elses that I know. They have not been hacked, and I have reinstalled repeated times, even on a different computer with a different version of Windows. I get errors for some missing frames, textures, and whenever I see the eye model. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for any mispellings.
-gweedz© (Formerly Greedo)

For the record, we don't have any particular inside-track to id Software's tech support. :)

We're whose bitch?

From: minigoat
Subject: Great Carmack!

Are you his bitch or what? Goddamn! Yeah lets all make fun of the Mac platform! hehe great scoop! Man, where did you get that idea from? Carmack? Well all it shows is that you and sCary are his bitches. you guys are wiggers and its sad.

Gotta love them readers...

From: Judas
Subject: Hyperlink THIS!!!

I've got news for you... You don't have an easy (for the moronic type) link for sending messages, or finding the email address, to the mailbag. After visiting the "guide", faq, and mailbag, there was no sucess so here I am, bothering you with the news@ addy. Am I supposed to just guess the addy?? mailbag@bluesnews.com ???

End rant....

Begin real rant...

I have always been a fan of your AK-47 wielding gangsta' reading the paper (probably while on the shitter...) Blue's News header on the main page but why in the world does it link to the very same page for which it is on? Is it for those that can't figure out thier F5 or CTRL-R buttons in order to refresh and prefer the pretty bald guy for their refreshment? I would have never noticed, had it not been for the following: In order to successfully maintain my status as a Blues News junky, I am forced to read from work...This can be tricky at times with our "internet security" so I turn on my 1280 res., get rid of all the browser toolbars, and surf on a browser no larger than my thumb... (ok, I exaggerated..). Anyway, due to the important strategy of keeping my right hand on the mouse for emergency browser minimization I am forced to use my left hand for scrolling down your page with the arrows. Now, your page, when first loaded, does not default to scrolling on the main area, so the user must first click on the main page area (some browsers allow a quick click on the scollbar, while others don't) before gaining the ability to use the keyboard for scrolling. Well, well....guess what part of your page is showing on my microscopic browser when I load it up... That's right, Mr. Bald Blue himself (refreshing hyperlink included). I must admit, I have become quite accurate in skillfully clicking that small black area to the right of "baldy" that does not hyperlink but we all have our days. I must also admit, I'm a lazy bastard! Summary: Remove the hyperlink and there´ll be one less chance that the rent-an-internet-cop will make HIS day.

End rant...

Ciao,
Judas

P.S. What about making a nice link to my local pharmacist for easy Prozac orders???

OH, please forward this message to the MAILBAG department... yeah, the one on the 13th floor...

For the time being, letters sent to news@bluesnews.com and directly to Blue himself are used for the mail bag. If you really want to, you can always e-mail mailbag@bluesnews.com, or feedback@bluesnews.com. It's the same as e-mailing the Blue-guy directly.

And for the record, the mail bag department is on the 4th floor of the Blue Tower (just next to the arcade and interrogation room).

Back to the shootings...

From: Andrew Smith
Subject: school shootings

I'd like to share a few indisputable facts with your readers:

1. Violent computer games DO make kids become violent. (I have no evidence to prove this, but it's true, and anyone who denies it is wrong.)

2. Violent films DO make kids become violent. (I have no evidence to prove this, but it's true, and anyone who denies it is wrong.)

3. Distributing information about explosives over the Internet DOES make people want to blow things up. (I have no evidence to prove this, but it's true, and anyone who denies it is wrong.)

If any of the people who were quoted in your last mailbag have a problem with any of these unsubstantiated statements then perhaps they should think twice before making equally unsubstantiated statements to the contrary, because that's exactly what they were doing.

Neither side of this tragic argument has any solid proof to support what they're saying, but one side doesn't seem to think it needs any.

The reactionary comments posted on your and many other web sites recently strike me as nothing more than a bunch of people crying because they think some big bully government might come and take their precious games away.


From: Zach Howell
Subject: Colorado Shootings

I speak from a different standpoint and want to project some light on the subject.

My girlfriends little brother was one of the kids killed at Columbine High, he was only 14 and just getting to the age where he would have "the best times of his life" of course recently everyone has heard that DooM, Rammstein, KMFDM, Marilyn Manson, the Internet have become responsible. We can all shrug aside the bands who have mostly all made statements clearing their names and offering the families sympathy. But the whole DooM one I wonder about. I play a used to play a fair amount of doom, duke nuken, and have done my share of quake 2 deathmath, but this whole thing skewed and changed my views on the whole situation. I'm not saying I believe DooM is fully or even halfly responsible, but in my mind and I think the minds of others, even here in the gaming community have said that they too believe that DooM and this strange obsession Dylan and Eric had with it, had to play some role in their situations. The fact the game is older, not so technologically inclusive, and almost cultish I think is the scary thing. I just wanted people out there and you Blue to understand what it feels like to be part of atleast the extended family of one of the victims.

Thanks, Zach


From: Clifton Green
Subject: Colorado Crap

Please save the phony, media inspired outpouring of grief and concern for other web sites. The "games inspire killers" debate is about as one sided as things get. Why continue it? I realize that this is an easy way to fool yourself into believing that you have a compassionate social conscience, but anyone with a circumspect outlook on the hoopla that surrounds this insanity knows that you are every bit as guilty as CNN for buying into this frenzy. You parlay this incident into attention and false controversy that is more offensively disingenuous than anything I have seen in a while. I know that you will continue to obey your sniveling, PC instincts no matter what I may write, but I hope this email delivers a glimmer of truth that is terribly lacking in your current perspective.

Clifton Green


From: MamaBlue
Subject: colorado

I logged onto your website because I wondered how you were handling the Colorado flurry of interest in Quake, Doom, etc. I think it's a good thing to have published all of the letters you got--opening up the discourse is so important. I realized, though, that the discourse was coming from primarily one perspective and although the letters are intelligent they are also, if I may, frequently defensive-sounding and do not allow that there may just be other valuable perspectives to at least consider.

I did think that the suggestions for pro-actively being out there as standing for non-violence were the most appealing as a way of taking a position which combines the two messages I think you would like to have out there--non-apologetic for the games, yet stressing the belief in non-violence in real-life. Someone has said that the sign of true intelligence is the ability to hold seemingly disparate points of view and perhaps that is the goal here--to make sense of a dichotomy. And to be open to questioning assumptions. I for one don't know how this all comes out on balance. I am disturbed by the first letter-writers admission that there is a de-sensitization to violence going on for him/her. There was an objection to this news even being part o the website, which seemed odd. I was wondering if Blue has posted a position which I missed and I don't know if it was personal interest or general interest which made me look for it.


From: Eric 'StarFury' Bakutis
Subject: 'Gamers Against Violence' Press Release

Dear sirs,

I am writing this e-mail to brief you about a cause which I feel strongly about, and which I feel that you will be very interested in. Please read this proposal carefully and feel free to send any thoughts or replies to me at starfury@shawneelink.net

I'm sure by now we have all heard about the horror that happened in Colorado a few days ago. First, I will tell you what we are doing and the specifics of why I am writing to you today. Once that is established, I will go further on to lay out why I feel that this is necessary.

A message in Blue's Mailbag inspired me to write this letter and to get you, the members of the Qmunity, involved... I believe it is time that gamers, as a group, came together and made a definative statement to America and the media, a statement which says that we do not support or condone this type of behavior, and that we never will. That gamers as a whole are some of the nicest, most nonviolent people you will meet, and that we cannot let the media and other groups partition blame and the focus of improvement to prevent something like this from ever happening again onto peripheal issues which have little to no influence on it.

In order to do this, I and the rest of Phantasm, as well as several other promiment members of the Qmunity, are starting a fund to donate to the victims and survivors of the Columbine HS shootings, which we have tenatively entitled 'Gamers Against Violence'. What this fund will do is to collect donations from various groups in the Qmunity, as well as gamers in general, into a fund to be donated to the victims of the incident at Columbine HS, and to make a statement to the media and America in general about what those who play these games and work in the community based around them are really like.

I am going to need your help to make this fund a reality. Clan Phantasm is making an initial donation of $100 dollars to the 'Gamers Against Violence' fund, and I hope that other large gaming related sites on the Internet are willing to do the same. In addition, these sites will get our message out to the members of the gaming community. If every person who plays a videogame and is even remotely involved in the Qmunity contributes just $5 dollars to this cause, we could raise a truly substantial amount of money that would do much to help the survivors of this horrible tradegy.

Right now this fund is still in the initial stages--what we need is a core base of sponsors to sign on and support this fund, as well as get it around the Internet. We also need an independent source where contributions can be sent. My father, who runs a local law firm in Ft. Worth, has already offered to set this up if we should need it, but I know that some of you in the Qmunity already have connections that may help us to do this, and if so I would ask you to use this connections on behalf of this fund and help us get established. The sooner we can get this out on the Internet doing some real good, the sooner we can get a substantial contribution to those in Colorado who need it.

What I want from you is your help in making this fund a reality, getting it known around the Internet, and getting it known to the media and America as well. As I've said, by putting together this fund and donating it, we can not only help people who've been involved in something truly horrible but also make a definitive statement that will, hopefully, get the media and others focusing their attention on where it needs to be to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again. I look forward to hearing your opinions and replies on this matter.

Now, a few words about why I feel this fund is necessary.

As those of you who have been keeping up with the news may know, suggested 'causes' for this event have been everything from industrial music to the videogame Doom. The sad thing is that, as the media is prone to do when faced with a tradegy, it is stretching out in all directions searching for a scapegoat, and I fear that games such as Doom and Quake may be the next in the line of convenient scapegoats that are focused on by the media in lieu of the actual cause.

I feel there are two major issues involved in the Colorado shootings. Regardless of what 'influences' may have been involved (so these kids listened to KMFDM... so they play Doom... so do millions of others) I think it _should_ be plainly obvious to the media and America where the biggest problem, or influence in this case, lies... what we had here were two seriously unbalanced kids without any sort of moral compass, and they did what they did because they had either never been taught better or were simply maladjusted. Regardless, attempts to shift blame for this onto any outside industry (whether it be videogames, movies, or music) is pointless.

The blame for this tradegy, and the focus of further work to prevent this from happening, again needs to go one place--into the home, onto the parents of these children. These are the issues that the media should be focusing on, and they are not. No matter how busy a parent may be with work or other issues, they have a responsibility to make sure that their children know the difference between fantasy and reality, the difference between right and wrong. The two boys who instigated the Columbine HS shootings could not make these distinctions, and this is not because of Doom or Natural Born Killers or Rammstein. It is because, at the core, they did not have the knowledge or the innate sense of right and wrong that 99% of human beings possessed, and as a result they were able to do what they did. Though it is a hard thing to say because we know how much pain everyone involved in these shootings has endured, it is a sad but true fact that the majority of the blame has to fall onto the parents of these children, and can not be conveniently partitioned off to outside influences which have only a passing grip on their view of life. Parents are, without a doubt, _the_ single biggest influence in a child's life. I am not saying that we need to hound the parents of these shooters or throw them in jail (they have suffered as much as anyone in this tradegy). What I am saying is that the issue of parental involvement in the creation of their children's morality, their view of right and wrong, is what needs to be focused on by the media, not violent videogames.

The second issue involved in this tradegy is, of course, where did these two kids get access to a pair of automatic weapons? The police force, the men and women who are out on the streets every day enforcing the law, putting their lives on the line, carry handguns. They carry revolvers and 9mms. Why, then, if the police are carrying this amount of firepower, would _anyone_, outside of SWAT teams and the Army, need to own any sort of automatic weapon? The simple fact is that if these kids had not had access to these sorts of weapons they could not have done what they did. This, again, is the issue that the media needs to be focusing on, keeping disturbed youths from getting weapons like this in the first place.

I feel that this message needs to get out to the public, to the media and those who accept the spoon-fed malarkly about Doom and other outside influences being serious factors in this tradegy. Hockenberry, on one of his recent rants, described the Columbine HS shootings as, and I quote "a direct recreation of the video game Doom". As should be plainly obvious to anyone who has played the game even once, this is about as far from the truth as you can get, and it seems obvious to me that the media is simply picking up on an old scapegoat from years back (if you remember Doom was one of the 'cash cows' from the violent videogames controversy that started with Mortal Kombat some years back) and, given the opportunity, the media has dusted it off and picked it up again to use as a scapegoat in this tradegy, not focusing on the issues where the blame and improvement needs to be done. The fact that there are few gamers out there who even _play_ Doom anymore (it is old news as far as shooters go) shows just how out of touch the media is and how quickly they are to blame things that they known nothing about.

We cannot let them do this. We cannot let them, in whatever confused cloud of reality they may live, deflect the focus of improvements that need to be made to prevent something like this from happening again off to peripheal things like videogames and music. As I've said, the focus of prevention in this issue needs to go to stopping it at its source, at the home, and gun control, preventing violent and disturbed people from getting their hands on automatic weapons in the first place.

I hope that you will all join together and make this fund, Gamers Against Violence, a reality. I hope that you will join together and help me to get the message out to the public that this behavior is not acceptable and that we will never condone anything like this, but that the focus of efforts to prevent this from happening again is going in the wrong direction. If all the parents who are contemplating jumping onto the the bandwagon of a lawsuit to ban violent video games and movies were to instead redirect this energy, take 10 minutes to _sit down_ with their children and talk with them, make sure they know the difference between fantasy and reality, between right and wrong, make sure that they know that _under no cirumstances_ is it acceptable to walk into a public place with a weapon and begin shooting, they can do far more to prevent a tradegy like this from happening again than they can do by banning every single violent video game and movie ever created. Help me get this message to them. It needs to be said.

I thank you all for reading this extensive mail, and I await any comments or suggestions for this fund, 'Gamers Against Violence' and the message behind it. This is our chance to stand up for ourselves and our community and contribute a _decisive good_ to the people who have been affected by the horrible tradegy of the Columbine HS shootings. Let's not let it go to waste.

Eric 'StarFury' Bakutis
Clan Phantasm


From: Gary
Subject: Ralph Gustavsen

I'd just like to remind Ralph Gustavsen that the kids involved in the shootings here in Colorado already were in possession of the firearms in violation of the law. What makes you think that adding an additional law that they were breaking would have stopped them? The only people that legislation against guns will take guns away from are law abiding citizens. The criminals will just have another law that they break.

--
Gary Denney
>>>-----The Archer----->


From: Seyil Yoon
Subject: Something concerning the Denver shootings

Living in Canada, I find it rather amusing that the ease with which one can obtain firearms in the United States is not more of a factor in this story than anything to do with Doom.

I've heard all the arguments before:

A gun is a tool, not a weapon.

Guns don't kill, people do.

Well, imagine what the world would be like if someone like, say, Saddam Hussein (just picking a popular enemy of the US) had nuclear weapons. You are giving a tool to a person who has the inclination to use it as a weapon. This is exactly what guns are.


From: Siegel, Chris
Subject: Shootings.


Any mispellings I blame on my keyboard-

with that said..the rant begins.

I'm a former evil news photog/editor/director who has since moved into game development. Now in my 7 plus years of running all over the country after the likes of the Oklahoma City bombing and the trade center bombing and numerous of local crimes and murders that would make a person's skin crawl it peeves me off when the out of control media starts a slander campaign vs. those scary computer types.

Yeah I guess that the TV medium feels threatend the same way that Radio did back in the 40's and 50's. It can't keep up. That isscary to them...so any time that they can smash on the 'bad' of the internet,gaming ,porn,child molesters exec exec they will.

Do games create violence. Let's break this down with numbers shall we? 3.5 million copies of doom and doom II have been sold (at least the last time I looked..it may be a bit less or more) and prolly a like ammount of Quake and Quake 2. Lets add 50k to each of those for the warez bastards. So we have a buttload of FPS games floating around...prolly about 5 or 6 million people playing them faithfully. Out of that Two loose thier minds and go on a rampage. Not bad odds.

As always in America we look for someone to blame. We need a Villain. It is in all our myths and legends from the Revolutionary War to Star Wars. As a society we seem to have a hard time with shades of grey. Is it anyones fault thse guys freaked out? Is just one thing to blame?

Hollywood? Nine Inch Nails? Quake? God? The Devil? If we are going to learn anything..I think we have to all look into ourselves to see why it is we like to Gib folks...why the thrill of the chase is wired into us...and if it is really a good or bad thing. I admit that the first few times I played Doom years ago I felt a guilty twinge for enjoying it. I'm not a violent person..at least when I have coffee in the morning...but I get pleasure from Doom and other shooters. Why? Easy for me really it is something i think our society has ignored. We have hunting wired into us..an instinct to hunt stuff down and well kill it. Now if we all ran around on the streets shooting each other that would be well, bad and I think most of us know that. (duh). So we do it with pixels and in an imaginary world. Does this make me more violent...Nah I think it has the opposite effect..I now have a tool to take my frustrations out without harming anyone for real. (Hurt ego's don't count).

And just one more food for thought....Why does no one freak out about the thousands that have died in Kosovo like they did about this...and did the leader over there play Doom before he started his ethnic cleansing campaign?

Peace
Chris "SolomonGrundy" Siegel


From: HappyEvil
Subject: Protest of the Media

First, I see the irony of using news pages to get this idea out. After the Columbine High School shooting the television media leaped on the idea that violent video/computer games were one of the causes, we all know that this is lunacy. I had the idea to smite the media with a taste-full, "non-violent" (you'll see why that's in quotes in a second) protest.

Not only should a DeathMatch level be made to resemble Columbine High School, but a demo should be made, from witnesses accounts, to reenact this event. I hope you see other ironic factors in this idea... using a violent game to make a non-violent protest.

Whether you choose to agree with this protest or not, I feel that it is one that has to be made. Not only for gamers, past to future, but for gun collectors and hunters as well. (I happen to play quake 4 hours a day and hunt, yup... more irony.)

I plan to find people to make the map and demo, fore I tried making maps 3 years ago and failed. Therefor, I am looking for map/mod makings to help in this project. If no one decides to make the demo, just getting the idea of this protest out is enough. You have heard rebuttals that sound similar on the television, but this is a protest that all gamers can support... just by playing on the map.

Thank you for your time.

HappyEvil
(Remembering that Wolfenstein runs on WinNT, hope I can find the floppy disk...)


From: Dave Magill
Subject: Mailbag Murders

I'm sorry, I must be sick, but i find it amusing that with all these people talking about shifting blame and where the blame should lie, (and a lot say the parents), I have yet to come across anyone who can see that the blame lies with the [alleged?] murderers. The kids. We all make decisions and [should be] responsible for them, yes, even kids at 13. We know the difference between right and wrong at around 10 or sooner, probably at around 7? Anyway, some don't care. That's the way they have decided to be (whether it be conciously or unconciously is irrelevant) The parents didn't bring them up right? Hell, they might have tried their best. We don't know. Give them a break, people! Guns don't kill people, parents do. Whoops, that's SUPPOSED to be Guns don't kill people, people do. (not that i think america's gun laws are appropriate at all - Australia's tight reform is the way it should be imho)

Thanks for listening to my dribble :-)

Machine


From: Eike Benn
Subject: DOOM in the News/the Colorado Shootings...

Hi there Blue.

I also was shocked when I saw the news about the two kids going nuts...and it is a pity itself that I have to use the term "going nuts" But these two boys obviously were.

That the media is partly (or to a bigger part) blaming the shooters DOOM and Duke Nukem 3D for this, didn't surprise me at all. Of course,it's the thing ignorant people have said for years now: The kid plays a violent game,shoots some zombies who barely look like their grandma to them and kill the same in real life. Boo-bad games! But that's all complete bullshit as every player in a decent mental condition can tell.

Okay,let me give you guys an equally dumb example:

In Germany (where I am from, and I can tell you: censorship sucks),there was a huge scandal about a businessman a couple of years ago..it wa sin '97 I think.Schneider, that's the man's name, he took up several loans on real estate and everything else he could get, and disappeared out of Germany with several millions.

Now did he do this because he played Monopoly once too often? Or maybe enjoyed L.A. Law just a tiny bit too much and thought he could get away with that since he knew the law so well? Then again perhaps he saw "The world's wildest police videos and chases", and thought he could drive better then the cops, fleeing from them all and living safely in Italy for the rest of his life. But you know that this is a bunch of crap, Monopoly didn't make this man take up the loans on real estate and disappear.

Neither it was DOOM that made these boys go nuts. They got made fun of in
school,were racist and their hearts were full of hate. I just can't believe that supposed to be qualified-news teams and tv-stations are giving out news like that.These are fallacies noone should ever hear, see...even get the smallest look at. Let's just hope that people will make the right decisions,and something like that will never happen again...

Oh,and by the way (attention:this is off-topic! <grin>):The fact that there is no nudity on U.S. television,but at 9pm I can see on the X-Files how someone is ripping the beating heart out of someone else's chest is ridiculous.

Thanks for reading (agopo@yahoo.com),
Eike


From: big0nes
Subject: Colorado Killings and Doom

One comment I have not seen made on the message board that I thought I would chime in with. I see lots of people stating the obvious, that DOOM had nothing to do with these kid's horrid actions. I have also heard many people state that the gaming community should do something to show people we are not all violent individuals ready to snap at any given moment.

The fact of the matter is, I do not think that the parents of the victims actually believe that DOOM had a role in the death of their child. There are only 2 groups of people that draw these absurd conclusions; the media and the lawyers.

The media does this, I think, because it makes a more interesting story that more people can relate to. Most kids these days play video games, which makes it easy for the media to "make the story hit home".

The second group, the lawyers, draw these ludicrous conclusions based on money. First off, I am not trying to bash lawyers here. But lets face it, these lawyers can sue the parents of the killers and get nothing out of it, or they can sue any company or group that has money and that can be somehow associated with the actions of the killers. If I remember correctly, after the Oklahoma City bombing Ryder Trucks was sued by lawyers representing the victims and their families. Why was Ryder sued? Because Tim McVeigh used a Ryder truck loaded with explosives to blow up the federal building.

My point to all of this is that by organizing a "gamers are good people" rally isn't worthwhile. Because other than a small majority of people, the news media and the lawyers, everyone knows that games and music, etc are not to blame.

Mike "big0nes" MacDonald

 

 

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