Oooh, I got mail. Could it be OSI banning me? My fingers trembled with anticipation as I worked through the clunky Telnet PINE interface…

Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 13:11:40 -0400
From: Dan Groose

Hey there guy. You play on Catskills sometimes, right? Or at least you used to? I’d love to meet up with you once to get a screen shot. That way I don’t have to say my entire UO existance was a waste because I never met anyone famous. Seems like all the famous (famous = those with popular/well done web pages) UO players play on Baja. So like I said, I just want a snap shot of meeting you or something. tHaT w0uLd B k3wL d0oD!

- Phoenix

Aaaaaaaaaah… I can see I’m going to have to get rough. Well, at least Dan got his name mentioned. 8P

While checking out Old Man Murray’s news today, I spotted a link to an article in some non-publication called Salon regarding the Columbine H.S. shootings. Yet again. Wagner James Au is looking at the influence of violent PC and video games on the minds of would-be goth assassins, and somehow coming to the conclusion that there is a connection. Read the article… I did, although it took me a while, since loose associations and circular logic make me sleepy. Maybe Wagner can explain what the “grid” is and why it seems to follow him around after playing Quake, invisibly tormenting him and him alone. It probably has something to do with the fact that he actually bought Doom II.

I remember an extremely bad TV movie with a typically inept Tom Hanks called Mazes and Monsters, at the height of the “D&D will make your child into a Satan worshipper” craze. In it, some kids played some game which was supposed to be D&D and go crazy from it. Maybe it was the fact that the show’s directors forced them to go to every game session armed, in costume, and start off with a candlelit pagan rite, instead of bumming a ride from the only guy in the group with a car and ruining your complexion with a steady diet of Doritos. My moronic parents made me watch this unbelievable piece of tripe and bobbed their heads like a pair of Mr. Met dolls: “See? D&D is evil I tell you… EEEEEVIL!” No doubt they thought D&D was responsible when I took a broadsword later that year and slew every living thing that lived in the 2-story colonial next door, burning the stronghold to the ground and salting the earth so nothing would ever grow there again. Maybe the fact that I screamed “D&D IS MAKING ME DO THIS” while hewing into their pets had something to do with it. I should do it again and blame it on Magic: The Gathering. I hate that “game”.

Because I so hate to see conflict between people, including game designers and pseudo-parents with orangutan intelligence, I would like to make a proposal here. Just something to keep in mind when your kid goes nuts and blows away some people while dressed up like Marylin Manson and quoting White Wolf RPG sourcebooks. This is an idea to reduce the amount of blame that people place on each other when such a tragic event occurs.

How about: the blame rests with the kids who did the crime because they were FUCKING IDIOTS. If some jerkoff kid puts on a black trenchcoat and acts like a moronic self-pitying outcast, then gets mad that people treat him like one and opens up on them with an assortment of Walmart small arms fire, he is a FUCKING IDIOT and should be treated like one. “ABC news here, at the scene of the tragic deaths of about a dozen students at the hands of some retard classmate of theirs. Duh, what a dumbass!” This line of thought should help pacify rabid parents who wish to shift the media’s attention away from the fact that they were never home because of long power workdays and late night affairs with other bad parents, as well as game company representatives who fervently deny an association between real life violence and the videogame they are trying to push using this sort of thing as publicity. (Actually, that’s unfair… only crappy game companies try and push their products based on the violence alone. Those companies deserve to be sued, but only because their games suck.)

The people least likely to go for this sort of attitude, of course, would be the parents of the little rabid psycho darlings, who are tragically heartborken by this loss that can never be recovered from, except by suing a game company or something. For these people, I would propose that you invest more heavily in your little kiddies’ college funds, which you can then loot and pillage after they put a gun in their mouths. Sure, at first this may lead to more insane kids as their parents encourage them to become murderous loonies in order to get that cash, but eventually the wackos will start shooting their own parents more often, which should put a damper on that sort of thing.

For those people who might agree that the jerkoff kids are responsible for their own actions (what a concept), yet find this outlook unsatisfying because there’s no one to punish after they off themselves, there is hope as well. It is rare that an angsty teen assassin would choose a method to kill himself which would leave no body, since that ruins the fantasy of having everyone at you wake looking at your perfect, angelic-of-death face and weep, “Oh, I never understood him! If only I had believed in him/shared his pain/given him some!” Because the bodies tend to remain intact, that means endless possibilities for public flayings, post-mortem mutilation, feeding to coyotes, what have you. Not only would this generate significant revenue via live pay-per-view broadcasts for the satisfaction of the victims’ families, but one can hardly say they weren’t satisfied with justice after watching their enemies’ corpses impaled on jagged stakes under the hot sun and slowly devoured by beetles.

Anyway, I hope this editorial was helpful to everyone out there, game companies, idiotic parents, and would-be gun-toting pathological killer teens alike. See ya soon… I gotta go play Ultima Online now so I can cultivate my desire to attack everyone at my company with a poisoned spear. Well, I always felt like doing that.

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