Orphaned Computers & Game Systems

Vol. II, Issue 7    December 1998


by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo

Video games are social as well as private events. Playing against a friend is always fun, but that experience can be taken to a new level if the proper procedures are taken. Follow these time-tested steps, and you too can gain extra enjoyment from your favorite games.

First, it is important to build hype about how great a player you are. Make sure the other player realizes that this is meant, not as a friendly jest, but as an act of war. You are not trying to be funny here, so don't smile. Make your "take no prisoners" approach to gaming well-known.

Second, it is very important to embarrass the other player at every opportunity -- even if no one else around knows what you are talking about. For example, over Christmas dinner it would be especially appropriate to say something like, "Pass the gravy, you loser of unicorns." Of course, you know you are referring to Archon, and your buddy knows you are referring to Archon, but everyone else thinks you just fell off a truck.

Third, make sure that when you finally do start playing, you have a backup excuse, in case you lose. The old standby that the joystick is broken doesn't fly these days, so you will have to come up with something else. Try some of these great excuses before a game begins: "My hands have been getting really sweaty lately." "This joystick is not one that I'm used to." "I've been thinking of letting you win" (this is especially good, because it just might be true).

Fourth, if during game-play you begin to lose, it is now important to follow up on the excuses that were previously laid out. "Man, this joystick is making my hands so sweaty, I can't even control the game!" "This joystick is terrible -- if I had mine, the game would already be over!" "Feels pretty good to win, doesn't it? Too bad I'm letting you!" "That's not realistic! You couldn't really kill me that way!"

If you win, it is of absolute importance that the other player knows. I mean, sure, they know you have won -- but do they know they lost? Let them know! "I've never seen anyone play that bad before. I could give lessons if you want." "Do you want to play again after you get over your loss?"

From the moment my fingers wrap around a joystick to play a game of Archon against my arch-nemesis, Chris, I know I'm in for a game of quick reflexes and even faster excuse-making. He is my only equal at either of these pastimes. I'm not sure what is more fun -- playing the game (win or lose) or trying to top the last smart remark that was thrown at me. -- AT

This is the tenth issue of OC&GS to be published (Volume I consisted of three issues, which Adam did by himself). In celebration of this anniversary, I've decided to bash Adam's talent at playing games. For instance, let's take Archon.

And how timely! We've just played a game. Sure, he happened to win. But Adam plays dirty, and there are specific reasons why he beat me.

For one thing, the joystick I was using got really sweaty. It had obviously been coated with some sort of warming substance to make my hands sweat. It was so slippery, I couldn't even control the game!

I should have known, though; it was Adam's joystick. If I'd had mine, the game would have been over much more quickly, and you can guess who the winner would have been.

The game also contains several instances in which the realism falters. There were a lot of times he couldn't have really killed me the way he did, had it been real life. I know that video games require a suspension of disbelief, but come on! Unicorns became extinct centuries ago.

But I'm sure it felt pretty good to win. Too bad I let him.

Anyway, enjoy the tenth issue of this ever-more-hefty hunk of hearsay, and especially dig the exciting stuff Adam's gonna lay on you, like an overview of some new Atari 8-bit carts (!) and a review of a new and actually fun Odyssey 2 game (!!). We're also proud to present the worst 2600 games ever made! And if that's not enough, there's an article about Atari's adventure games for their 2600 VCS and the usual provocative, wordy stuff about the state of gaming today. -- CF