News, rants and footnotes from this week:

Our Top Story: Cho Still Insane

Earlier this month, government officials prepared a lengthy report examining the causes of the Virginia Tech Massacre. Apparently, “crazy as balls” doesn’t cut it anymore. While the report most likely ended up in President Bush’s “to do” pile with the “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” memo, the “9/11 Commission Report” and every science textbook written since 1800, if President Bush had read the report he would have discovered that the video games never appear as a cause. Of course, that didn’t stop Lyndon LaRouche and his Political Action Committee to point the finger at gaming.

LaRouche, popularly known for his conspiracy theories, is also known for his violence, racism and the fact he got 22%(!) of the Democratic primary vote in Arkansas in 2000. Oh and then there’s the LaRouche Youth Movement, which is to say the least, dedicated. While living in DC, I encountered the LaRouche Youth as they were handing out fliers and screaming at the top of their lungs are the ills of the American government. Being curious, I took a flier with the headline “Stop the Fascist Bush Government,” ok, not to bad. When I continued to the sub-heading “and the Jewish Co-conspirators!” I realized I needed to get out of there, fast.

This time, LaRouche is claiming that the video game lobby, which is about as strong as the NFL Players Union, convinced the authors of the Virginia Tech Report to drop any mentions of gaming. Yes, because Republicans just flock to the defense of video games at every turn.

Here’s the thing about LaRouche that scares me, he looks like anyone’s grandfather. He wears a suit, looks polished, but runs the most fucked up political cult of my lifetime. You look at Jack Thompson and he just screams lunatic. You look at Lyndon LaRouche and never think this guy was behind “Operation Mop-up.”

GameStop Invasion

Described as the Precipice of Hell by gamers, GameStop this week opened their 1000th international store. I have a weird relationship with GameStop, as I have two within five minutes of me. First there is Good GameStop, whose manager held a Wii for me while I was on my honeymoon, where they bend over backwards to accommodate my gaming whims and treat customers with nothing but respect.

But then there is Evil GameStop, with clerks couldn’t be more condescending and a ringleader manager who I want to punch in the face every time I walk in from either, the dirty look he gives me or because he tried convince my wife that Madden 2007 on 360 was “completely different” than the Wii version and that “any real gamer would love to have both.” Add in his proclamation to the entire store that my decision to not reserve Halo 3 was “risky” and we’ve got ourselves a grade-A douchebag. Risky? Telling my wife that I don’t like that shirt she’s wearing is risky, not reserving a game I’ll be able to buy at the gas station (seriously) down the street, not so much.

Despite my pleasant GameStop experiences, I’m pretty sure that odds of walking into a Good GameStop once I move are about 1 in 1000.

How about some good news.

Soul Calibur Online

Soul Calibur, also known as Exhibit C in the “game developers don’t understand women” argument (if Taki existed in real life, she’d have about 6 or 7 herniated disks), is going online with Soul Calibur IV.

I’m ecstatic about the news, as this looks like an add-on that will benefit the game (and let’s face it, Soul Calibur III for all of its great reviews, was still 75% garbage). Also, now I can play against someone like IVYSJUGSAR3HUG3, who unlike my best friend, won’t claim that Link’s bombs and arrows are “cheap.”

God of War, PSP – Maximum Mythology

The game that produced the most psychopathic Hellenic figure this side of Balki Bartokomous is coming to the PSP. Reports are the game will push the PSP to its limit just as it predecessors did with the PS2. While I’m sure it’ll be a great game, one thing I hope the designers leave behind are the glitches.

Nothing was more jarring than battling my way through a cave, triggering a cut-scene which froze the game, leaving me to attempt every trick known to man to fix it. It shifts the suspense from, “what will they throw at me next,” to “don’t you fucking freeze on me you piece of shit.”

While I have zero evidence that this will actually occur, if this installment has the same amount of glitches as either God of War glitches or simply causes smoke to come out of my PSP, I’ll be very disappointed.

World of Warcraft: the Movie

There are times life shits on you, like multiple car accidents in a year or discovering a leaky pipe after fixing a hole in the wall. But then there are times that the gods smile upon you. Wednesday was one of those good days.

Legendary Pictures chairman Thomas Tull Wednesday discussed the company’s development of a World of Warcraft movie.

A Warcraft movie. Just opening night will be legendary from the costumes to the gold-mining and utter sexual frustration. It’s too much for me to handle.

To his credit, Tull said all the right things (the usual video game movie cheerleading), claiming Warcraft has a compelling world to develop a script, that the movie will need to appeal to those beyond the Warcraft subscribers (that’s a no-brainer, half of the subscribers haven’t left their homes since the Clinton Administration) and choosing a video game to adapt purely on its sales history is “a really bad idea.” Wait a second. Isn’t that exactly what’s going on here?

From what I’ve seen and read of Warcraft, there aren’t many compelling storylines. The reason why people play Warcraft is so they can communicate with other social outcasts without some silly story getting in their way.

Hey, maybe without a elaborate canon for the fanboys to get all lathered up over, the producers can go out and make a great picture. Who am I kidding, this is going to be a trainwreck, a trainwreck of comedy!

That’s all for now.

*I found the story on the Playstation Blog. In the post, the author, Cory Barlog, refers to his “ghetto little blog.” I loathe the expression “ghetto” when referring to things as inferior. When someone uses it, I immediately tune them out for the rest of my life.