Glad to see that the gaming news machine has recovered from its holiday hangover and begun to churn once again.

Hopefully the money will arrive a little sooner than the games.

Earlier this week, Gamefly launched a beta service which will allow customers to trade in used games for credits on the service. As I’ve written in the past, my Gamefly experience, while having a few rough patches (partially because I live in a "rural area,” which apparent relieves the post office of any fiduciary duty), has been satisfactory. While I fear that the prices won’t be much different than the typical Gamestop raping, I’ll report on my experience.

A man chooses, a slave…um…er…line!

New year, new rumors for last year’s smash hit, Bioshock. While being Game of the Year is nice, it’s Bioshock’s remarkable sales figures that make a revisit to the title an absolute inevitability. The game however, according to the rumors, will not be a sequel. Instead, the next installment of Bioshock will be a prequel, taking place during the initial fall of Rapture.

While there is a segment of the fans that are hoping the developers will leave Rapture alone, I doubt 2K will be able to resist. But that’s not even the big Bioshock rumor.

Rumors started floating this week that developers from 2K and a “major Hollywood studio” are working together to develop Bioshock into a movie. Most likely, these talks are just the usual Hollywood runaround, and frankly, I hope so. I doubt anything would live up to the sheer brilliance of the Bioshock, especially when Dane Cook is asked to play Sander Cohen.

Trouble at M.O.D. Squad Headquarters?

Earlier this week, in an interview with The Times, McDonald’s UK Chief, Steve Easterbrook, while pointing out the improvements McDonald’s has made since Super Size Me, said "obesity is a complex issue…there’s a lifestyle element: there’s fewer green spaces and kids are sat home playing computer games on the TV when in the past they’d have been burning off energy outside."

But before piling on (and remembering that he has a point), let’s remember that in recent months the games industry has pointed its fat little fingers at the fast food industry when it comes to childhood obesity.

My question is, whatever happened to the good old days when we could blame all of our problems on the influx of Blacks, Jews and Mexicans?

Pizza Show

Having grown up in New Jersey, I’ve had the benefit of enjoying a superior brand of pizza. And before all the New Yorkers start flinging feces around, yes, your pizza is better, but when it comes to the rest of the US, unless you live in Jersey or a top four market, your pizza is donkey cock.

Even while I live out in the sticks, with a Tractor Supply Co. store only three minutes away, I am still blessed with having four or five non-franchise pizza establishments within fifteen minutes of my house. However, in times of severe laziness, only one place delivers, Pizza Show.

Pizza Show not only is the only place around that delivers, but also has at the restaurant a decent sized “Italian” menu, a television playing kids movies, seasonal decorations and theme giveaway nights.

The only problem with Pizza Show- the pizza is moose shit. So why has Pizza Show lasted? They deliver, the pizza is cheap and the entertainment is a distraction so parents can go out and have an actual conversation with their adult friends on a Friday night (welcome to suburbia). This has gone over so well that the other pizza places in the area have started playing kids movies on the weekends (trust me, out here this is the equivalent of discovering cold fusion). While Pizza Show is by far not the leader in my area, it’s doing quite fine.

So what does this have to do with gaming?

This week Sony confirmed that the PSP-lites will begin supporting the very popular Skype service and also confirmed that an add-on keyboard will be available in 2009. While I enjoy my PSP for its net-surfing, PS3 remote playing, internet telephone talking and music playing abilities, when I turn it on to play a PSP game, I get the feeling like I’ve just called Pizza Show to order a large with pepperoni.


This week, EGM editor Dan Hsu received virtually universal praise for “standing up” to the gaming publishers, by naming the companies who are refusing to give EGM early access to their games due to EGM’s poor reviews of their past titles.

Here’s what I don’t get. Why is he being treated as if he’s a student in Tiananmen Square staring down the barrel of a tank cannon?

You want to know why software publishers are pulling coverage from EGM, it’s because no one reads magazines anymore. At some point the gaming community has to realize that publishers aren’t mom and pop companies, with conventions existing to get to know the consumers and give some free shit away. The video game business is a multi-billion dollar industry that is run by big giant corporations.

Why would a software publisher offer early access to a magazine which hemorrhages readers worse than Eric Idle on a bicycle ride,* when all the publisher will receive is little exposure and potentially bad word of mouth?

Here’s my advice, want to get software publishers to give you early access and review copies, offer a quality product that attracts consumers. You know how I figured this out? Scroll to the top of the page for a second. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

See the movie being advertised at the top, it’s not there because Chud will automatically give it a favorable review, it’s there because Chud, by means of its superior product, draws a ton of viewers that match up to the demographics the movie hopes to draw. With a quality product and an audience, publishers will be breaking down the door for you to review their product.

So while its great that everyone rallies around the critics for their vigilance against the mega-corporations who are trying to change business, maybe it’s time the critics take a long hard look in the mirror and adjust to this new world of big-business journalism. Otherwise, the critics relying on the status quo and their publication’s “long-standing history in the business” to gain early access will be on the outside looking in.

That’s all for now.

*I didn’t even have to pay for my EGM subscription, I just signed up on Joystiq.