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Vol. 2, Issue 13
February 22, 2000

Thinking Outside the Box:

3DS Tutorial #1: CyberGuy

by Paul Steed



ow.  When I wrote the last edition of TOTB about reviewing the reviewers I expected everyone to either ask me to stop whining or simply ignore my rant as some sort of chest-beating therapy.  Wow.  Shockingly I’ve received about 200+ e-mails to date voicing their agreement with my assessment that reviewers are somewhat spoiled/jaded/myopic/not-very-damn-objective.  Not surprisingly I did receive about a dozen mild to vehement flames…10 of which were from reviewers themselves.  Also (not surprisingly) most of these unhappy people missed the entire point of the rant. 

Before you roll your eyes thinking I’m going to start into that dead…equine again don’t worry - just wanted to say (sniff) thanks for the support.  I did get some very well-thought, passionate and LONG e-mails, though.  The nerve I struck still causes me to pause and think on the whole Internet thing.  It especially gave me insight to an observation I’ve had since Q2 that has always bothered me. 

I used to complain to Blue pretty regularly (e-mail, phone, conventions, etc) that he needed to take more of a stand on issues instead of doing the fence-walking thing.  I felt he was too damn impartial yet when compelled to be partial he veiled it in thinly disguised sarcasm or off-hand comments.  “BE MORE OPEN!”  I decried from my pulpit.  But since last week and after 3.5 years of exposure to the ‘net I have finally come to the realization that people like Blue came to long ago: YOU CAN’T HAVE AN OPINION.

That’s right.  These high-profile web pimps like Blue, Scary and Redwood CAN’T have an opinion.  No one on the Internet in fact can have an opinion.  How dare they?  If they even remotely say something you don’t want to hear, hoooo-boy.  By God, YOU are going to let them know about it!  Sure they can dick around and kid around and jovially cater to you from time to time.  That’s okay…but let’s face it.  Making a stand on an issue alienates them from you.  I’m definitely not saying they don’t HAVE and opinion.  I happen to know they damn well do.  I’m just saying they can’t let YOU know they have one.  They have to be this open-minded, non-committal entity that referees public issues instead of participating in them.  Otherwise you crucify them.  Yeah, you.  That 1 or 2 percent that hates his/her life and derives undiluted glee from pressing the buttons of someone/anyone to watch them react and acknowledge your existence.  It puts a smile on your face and warms your cold heart ever so slightly…ever so briefly.

Taking the referee analogy further…I’m the middle linebacker who occasionally will take out a ref going after the guy with the ball.  Hell, I’ll take out anyone in pursuit of the goal…camera man, side line spectator, cheerleaders…doesn’t matter.  In fact it’s an accepted part of the game.  Sometimes the ref will get even…sometimes not.  But I’m ON the field making the plays, taking the hits and digging all the perks of playing ball.  Of course as much as I wish I were I’m not indestructible.  Even though I wear the pads of ‘opinionated-artist-at-a-well-known-game-company’ I’ll get banged up just like any other player.  But I can honestly say all this experience and play time is great!  I feel it’s helped me out of my introverted shell and the internet has honestly turned me into a better person.  No one calls me ‘shy guy’ anymore.  And with the help of Charles Atlas no one kicks sand in my face, either!  You have helped me.  So let me help you by following the advice of one of your more demanding brethren:

“That was nice…how about some helpful stuff now ya whiny bitch.”

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Credits: Illustration © 2000 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 2000 Paul Steed. All other content is © 2000 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, bitch.