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MailBag - September 28, 2001


MailBag - September 28, 2001
September 27, 2001
by Stephen "Blue" Heaslip

Hi Blue and Gang-

I commend you folks for giving coverage to the disaster in New York. This is something that affects everyone in America. Perhaps some of the younger folks might not think this is as big a deal as it really is, or perhaps I might underestimate the younger crowd. Thanks for making this a major focal point on The whole country is still in disbelief, shock and outrage. Prayers and condolences to all. God Bless America.


I was puttering around Zen in Half-Life Blue Shift, and being the nosey character I am, I decided to dive to the bottom of the deep pool (just before the waterfalls). I started hearing strange squeaks and chirps and noticed a small slit in the wall at the bottom of the pool. There are a couple of hairs sticking out of the floor in front of it.

I pulled out the trusty crowbar and started beating on the wall. I was down to about the last gasp of air when the wall gave way to a short passage. I popped up in a small cave and the game informed me that I was in "Chumtoad's Lair." There were three chumtoads sitting in front of impailer plants. I took a swing at one with the crowbar, and they all teleported elsewhere. The only thing left was a couple of snark pods.

I was curious if there was anything more to this area, or if it was just something the game designers threw in?

Jim Matthews

I'm getting rather tired of the redundancies that many websites are pulling now when downloading a file. What ever happened to having a link directly associated with a file. Just to download the AvP 2 demo I had to click three different links. Each of these links said the exact same thing is slightly different order i.e., "click here to download demo" or "click to download AvP 2". Why not save the time and energy and put the stupid file on the first link. It's not like it is required that I be sent to some stupid extra site where I have to wait 5 seconds to download the files. And who ever waits for that 5 second time anyways. I always click on the "if this doesn't work" link away and I get it in 2 seconds. It is all really quite pathetic.


Violence in video games, is it really affecting our kids?

200 years ago, instead of gaming with my sons, I'd be out teaching them to hunt and trap. I'd teach them how to defend my home against invaders. It is important to the development of the mental model that we refer to as "male", to inure ourselves against things like violence and killing. Why? As the provider/protector, the typical male that every female subconsciously views as a potential mate MUST demonstrate the ability to participate in violence (if necessary) and to remain unaffected by it, hence "being strong". Games are violent because we're subconsciously filling a gap in our behaviour pattern that's millions of years old. It's our way of ingraining a satisfactory level of "survival urge" in our kids, keeping our race alive. Imagine the impact when these "protected" kids are running the world, or when we die out.

My kids are affected already, by me!


To Whom it May Concern:

Despite popular belief Quake 1 still lives. There are quite a number of people who cannot play q3 due to inadequate systems, poor ping, or dislike for the game. Quake one is a classic and will always live with those who love it. What I'd like (as well as many others) is to see it's return. We need help though. Many people do not believe it will come back enough to play and have turned to games for amusement. I think a big tournament (sponsored) would help. I know you once loved the game - so you can understand my request. I cannot find the email of id Software - to offer this idea... a Quake 1 comeback... please help.

Egypt leader - clan kq

I've been a Blue's News reader since it was Blue's Quake Rag.

I'd rather see Blue's News go subscription than see awful intrusive ads start taking over. I think the awful ads are a dead end -- they may pay the bills now but advertisers will eventually realize they're just as ineffective in the long run as banner ads. And in the meantime they're annoying.

The free web was a nice dream -- but it's time to wake up. Eventually everything will end up being a subscription of some kind because running content sites isn't free and interstitial ads like TV are too annoying to put up with on a news site.

Blue's News is on a small list of sites I hit every day, and I have been for years. People that can afford net connections can afford to pay web site subscriptions.


People love your TV show. Even grown-ups enjoy Blues Clues so keep up the good work! Blues Clues your the best!

Love Monica

If the mailbag goes a year without being updated I am going to be irate.
I'm writing the mailbag to complain about a growing trend in gaming that is driving me batty. If you don't like rants then please stop reading here.

Today I was playing Black & White, another terrific game from one of the most creative minds in the industry -- Peter Molyneux. I was only on the second level of the game and was scrambling to answer multiple pleas that "your villagers are unhappy", "we need more food", and "your creature is hungry" when I finally snapped. My town was a shambles, my creature was dying and the incessant droning of suffering people was driving me nuts. It was almost time to restore an old game. Instead I uninstalled...


For some reason games have always centred around failure and repetition. If your strategy sucks the Protoss will destroy your installation and you'll need to start over. If a fiend eviscerates you, you need to begin again and hope like hell you saved frequently. But my question is, why have games evolved to all include a skill ladder that requires countless failures to master the proper way to interact with the game world? Why can't a game allow you to succeed until the end without trying to test you? Why can't a game be enjoyed from start to finish without puzzles, traps, increasingly difficult baddies, or countless deaths? In short, why can't games be enjoyed for their story, not their difficulty?

If this sounds ridiculous to you, consider television. Television is one of the most proven entertainment methods in existence, yet you're never forced to watch a show again and again from the beginning if you slouch in your chair or don't cheer for Ross & Rachael loudly enough. Why are games always about testing your skills when they could be about telling a story? I don't get it!

Quake deathmatch is popular because it has infinite replayability with no repetition. No learning curve -- the worst thing that can happen is you respawn and keep going. Yet single player games are all geared around making you fail an ever-increasing series of tests designed to illicit failure and train you how to perform the way the game expects you to.

I don't know where gaming went so wrong but it's time to look at TV and movies and books to realize that entertainment (even interactive entertainment) doesn't need to be centred around how fast you can click the mouse or how well you can manage resources. Why can't games just introduce us to a world we'd be interested in participating in? Without having to restore every time we lose a farm?

David Chase

What gives with Sierra and Valve? There's no Team Fortress 2 in their E3 lineup and the Valve guys are now working on CS:Condition Zero. Are they trying to milk the HL engine for all its worth and then some, or what?

Does the mighty Blue know if TF2 is even under development anymore? I smell another Daikatana here, or maybe they've already swept it under a big never-to-see-the-light-of-day rug.


For the past few weeks I have been on the hunt for a set of drivers that would work well enough to play on to drive my v5 5500 AGP card. I still like the card and wont be replacing it at least for a few months 'til prices for the G-force 3 come down a little.

When Nv took over, they PROMISED that they would suit all off 3dfx`s customers for support and keep up with the drivers for people who were left stranded due to the loss of 3dfx. I have come across a petition which has been signed by many to get them to make drivers for XP and yet they still have not. I'm thinking its political, or its their way of getting others to buy their products or a way to rid of 3dfx all together.

What I am asking for here, (this is only my second time EVER emailing to you after 10 years of having your site as my home page) is for a little help or some investigating by you or someone from your team to help us out. I've stretched all my resources and I have gotten nowhere. So this is my last straw sort of speak. So you see, I'm asking not just for me, but I'm thinking of the rest of the gaming community who still are using voodoo cards.

I cant thank you enough for even taking the time to read this, for Its an honor to get a response from someone who I have looked up to for so many years, who has kept me up to speed on the latest and greatest news of all time.

Thanxx VampiricuS

p.s. I was the guy who submitted the site. I was there recently and it has changed, due to recent events in New York. Worth taking a look.



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