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volume 1, issue 34

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

Real Life: Check out our newest comic strip, Real Life! Updated daily!

User Friendly: Updated daily!

T-Shirts: Stylin' loonygames t-shirts from Berda Compugrafix!

Artwork: Hey, dig the artwork on loonygames? We're selling some of the original art.


You've got an opinion...voice it! Drop a line to our Feedback column...you could end up with a free T-Shirt!

Random Feature :

The Community Summit: Our exclusive chat with the folks who run your favorite gaming pages (from our seventh issue).

Search the Archives!

The Matrix SUCKS dept:
MailBag for Issue #34





Comments by Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman

Jason "loonyboi" Bergman

A major technical difficulty popped up, preventing my sister from turning in this week’s mailbag (and postponing the planned Community Profile to next week, unfortunately) so you kids are going to have to deal with my Matrix-hating ass today. Live with it. :)


Oy with the Matrix-mail

From: Iikka Keranen
Subject: the matrix - go loony!

I read Raven's post in the mailbag, and just couldn't help writing a quick little response...

Yes, The Matrix indeed has very "cool" special FX, and very "cool" design (except for the "matrix code"... Even Terminator's C64 asm code was better), and very "cool" martial arts. However, comparing it to a religious experience like Star Wars is just plain blasphemy. No, I wouldn't say The Matrix is bad, as I actually enjoyed watching it. But there's something that separates a special effect rollercoaster ride from a classic.

I call that difference unused potential, and that's what The Matrix was all about. It does a lot of things that make you think "this is gonna be used later for something spectacular", but it never happens. It establishes a world where literally anything could happen, and hardly uses half of its potential. It just isn't satisfying!

Remember, there is no spoon.


Damn straight, dude. I think Marc Laidlaw summed it up just right in this week’s interview by saying, "people who think that The Matrix contains one single original idea should probably not try to read a Phil Dick novel. Their heads would explode."


From: Ben Ruppel <[email protected]>

Subject: You Liked Mortal Kombat?!

Okay, I hate flaming. This is a gaming column, not a movie review page... but you compare the Matrix to Mortal Kombat? This brings my opinions of your taste into serious question! Next you'll be comparing Star Wars Episode I to Starship Troopers!

Mortal Kombat was a cheesy commercial attempt to capitalize on an established name. It took a game with a stupid plot and made a movie out of it with special effects. The only movie that has come close to the rankness of this film was Spawn, which Hollywood hyped beyond belief before spewing this atrocious insult to the human race out of its

bowells and into theaters.

Matrix on the other hand was a home-grown masterpiece by the the directors, who wrote and directed it themselves. Unlike most of the other crap out in hollywood today, the plot wasn't dumbed down and spoon fed to an audience which has grown used to being treated by toddlers in the theater. The special effects were great, but they weren't really the focus of the movie. Indeed, I found myself saying wow, but the SFX were more seamlessly integrated into the cool aurora than the central focus.

I hate stupid action/sci-fi/whatever movies. I hated Super Mario Bros., Rush Hour, Blade, Mission Impossible, Spawn, Alien Ressurection... all of these movies had pathetic plots and worse scripts--all hollywood hacks. The Matrix is the only movie I have come out of for YEARS where I was really impressed with the final product as compared to the trailers and hype.

I implore you to reconsider this film. I am not a crazy psycho who has seen it twenty thousand times. I just feel that it is really a shame that someone could fail to recognize the quality of a good film when we are all surrounded by so much garbage.


Yes, I liked Mortal Kombat. Starship Troopers and Blade too, actually. The rest of those are horrible flicks, no question (although Josh Vasquez totally digs Mission: Impossible). None of those are "good" movies by any means (Starship Troopers is the best of those three, and that’s still far from a classic) but they are something that I didn’t find about The Matrix: they were entertaining. The Matrix was annoying. Plain and simple. It had 90+ minutes of needless exposition. If they had simply accepted the fact that it wasn’t going to be a serious, or even mildly intelligent sci-fi movie, and instead focused on senseless violence and cool special effects, it would have been a decent movie. Mortal Kombat does this. MK doesn’t make any bones about what it is: from the second that movie starts, it’s just stupid, senseless violence. But it’s entertaining, and Keanu Reeves is nowhere to be found.


Regarding our choice of interviews...

From: 007david

Subject: Come on...

I've noticed that Loonygames likes to do interviews with well known, but never interviews people. But now <begin sarcasm mode> you do Marc Laidlaw, who has been interviewed about 5 times already <end sarcasm mode>. Although it was a good interview, I would just like to say, I did it first! I had the first, post Half-Life release, Marc Laidlaw interview. So next time interview someone like Tim Wiltis, or one of the Xatrix guys.


Mr. Z World

I don’t try to get to any particular person first, actually. Plenty of people have interviewed Mike Wilson dozens of times, but how many people actually mentioned the fact that he got Howard Stern to do a Hexen ad? Our interviews are different because of their content, not their timeliness. Well also there was the whole fact that we did our g.o.d. issue during Passover/Easter…how twisted was that? :)


This is the sort of letter I love getting

From: ap40

Subject: Myth II and Dragon's Lair

Dear Josh Vasquez:

Thanks so much for your piece on Myth II and Dragon's Lair. I remember feeling just what you felt when I first came across that game, at about the same age. It really took my imagination by the throat.

I played it once myself, too, partly because it was an outrageous 50 cents, and partly because it was, as for you, far too fast.

Just because of you, I'll get my hands on Myth II, and have already broken down and bought Dragon's Lair I and II for the PC, even though I own a Mac. I'll find someone with a PC.

Thanks again, and keep it up.



Tired of Scot Rubin?

From: slappy white

Subject: come home




when is shooters returning??

im tired of scott rubin.

-Captain SPlenDID

HAH! I wish my sister was able to respond to that one, as she works for AllGames, and would have gotten a kick out of that Scot Rubin crack. ;)

ANYway, me and Blue are working to make sure that when Shooters returns it will totally rule. Seriously…it’s going to be a heck of a bunch better than the "two drunk guys with a camera" setup we dealt with for so long. Be patient…it’ll be worth it.

Oh, and as for the shirt…sorry…I just liked this next letter too much to pass up.


And the winner of this week's shirt...

From: Zemke, David

Subject: great interview with Marc Laidlaw

I read your interview with Marc Laidlaw and really enjoyed it. Thanks for the refreshing look at an overlooked part of the development process: good writing.

A few years ago, when I was a fresh young newbie in the gaming industry, I came across an feature in Information Week on industry pioneers of Silicon Valley. Nolan Bushnell was in one article and he had a quote which really stuck with me:

"The computer gaming industry faces the same dilemma as Hollywood: good technology cannot rescue a bad story."

(I liked it so much that I still have it in my cube)

How true how true. And Half-Life is the perfect example of how good writing makes a big difference in a game.

David Zemke

Electronic Arts

[email protected]

Amen, dude. That’s a shirt-earner, if ever there was one.


- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor in chief here at loonygames. He's one weird dude.


Credits: MailBag logo illustrated and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. The MailBag is © 1999 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited and not nice.