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Wednesday, March 2 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


Write a story about a video card that can see through clothes and you're bound to get some Believers...

From: ty
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 5:44 PM
Subject: Mach smack 500

Hey, I have been googleing around for quite somtime and I have yet to find a card for sale. Could you point me in the right direction?

I told him it had been discontinued.

I'm surprised the story about Congress banning urban legends hasn't gotten any Believers, but at least there's one...

From: Amy
Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2005 9:52 AM
Subject: Representative Simon Heedsmore of West Virginia

so tell me who in the hell is this guy.. lol no web site for he in a cave or is google blocking his site with the feds...

I told her he was abducted by black helicopters. She replied...

From: Amy
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 1:47 PM
To: Brian Briggs
Subject: Re: Representative Simon Heedsmore of West Virginia

NO didn't get it...Who is Representative Simon Heedsmore of West Virginia? LOL I have seen to many of those lately... too close to an airforce base lol.... Musta have been some tragic satire... take care

Funny. Accusing me of not getting it.

Now someone who's worried we might give Apple some ideas...

From: Christopher
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 1:33 PM
Subject: VERY Uncool

Your story on "New Ipod Firmware" Is REALLY uncool. With the increasing frequency of your site appearing on the first page of google results, how long do you think it will take before some coked out advertising exec reads your article and decides, "Hey, ads on portable music players! I could make billions!!". Then the next thing you know there's an ad for Hormel Vienna Sausages on your iPod screen every time you play a song by the Blue Öyster Cult.

And we won't be able to complain to the companies that ads suck, because they would just come back with, "By using an advertising based revenue stream, we are able to give you, the consumer, better products at a lower price.", like they are doing us a favor. Then, one day while listening Rammstein's latest album, you will be forced to listen to stupid jingles about fast actin' Tinactin sung by Jewel between songs. And you won't be able to skip through it, no, because skipping commercials is like STEALING!

Because of you, Brian Briggs and Francisco Rangel, the luxurious, ad free world of the portable music player is in danger of becoming a worse source of music than FM radio. Hell, they could put a small radio receiver in your next iPod, so that next time you walk by a Foot Locker, your favorite song will be interrupted by a message telling you that your shoes are old and you NEED new ones. And your iPod will know how old your shoes are because it will read the RFID tag embedded within them.

Woe unto you, Brian Briggs and Francisco Rangel, for you do not know the evils that have been released from the Pandora's Box that you article has opened. I hope that on that day, when advertisements for Baby Gap appear on iPods world wide, you realize the horror you have unleashed upon society and drown yourselves in the the very Jello Instant Pudding being pandered to the public by your perverted brainchild! Until then, thanks for the humor and keep up the good work!

I just hope Apple gives us 10%.

Praise the Box

Some people really like the game box reviews, and I mean REALLY...

From: Kamron
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 6:39 AM
Subject: Box reviews...absolute genius.

I just wanted to drop my two cents and tell you that I absolutely LOVE the idea of reviewing the boxes of games. This is one of the most original ideas on the internet I've seen in a long time. Now, this is a really goofy e-mail but I don't think I'm alone in my ramblings. In my opinion, I believe that the box is one of the most important features of any game; it's what we see in the store, look at, sweat our palms all over and finally bring to the register when we are about to make the big purchase. I think that game boxes are the bodies of PC games. Without boxes, I don't think I'd ever buy another PC game.

Being an artist, I NEVER, unless the game is extremely rare and can't be found with the box (Commander Keen comes to mind), buy games without the box. Why you ask? Not because I can't see what the game is like but because the box is a piece of art aside from the actual game. My friends think I'm crazy because I say this but I buy well over 70% of my PC games just for the box.

As a computer game collector, I've long since developed what I call a "big box fetish". If you're an elite PC gamer and have been buying and playing PC games for a while now, you'll have undoubtedly noticed that boxes are beginning to die out. In the 90s, the boxes were huge, offering a great amount of space for art and promotions that publishers could stick inside. Until recently, the boxes have shrunk to about 1/2 the size, probably to save shelf space and money. Unfortunately, this move to reduce box size has not only taken the beautiful art but also the manuals. Manuals are growing thinner than ever and are sometimes eliminated completely in their physical form and placed on the CD to save money. Though I'm not one to read these shabby, last minute scribblings of the developers, they're a piece of the game that goes with the collection.

As I said before, I have a big box fetish. Just last week I discovered that No One Lives Forever 2 and Icewind Dale II come in big boxes. Until last week, I owned the small box versions, thinking they didn't come in bigger boxes. When I saw these big boxes, I seriously lurched for them on the shelf and immediately shelled out the money for them. In that same store, Half-Price Books, a second-hand store that treasure-hunters like myself prey on rarities like this, I found Unreal II: The Awakening, Unreal Tournament 2003 and Neverwinter Nights in the large box format. To further illustrate my obsession and collection fever over big boxes, I refuse to buy a PC game that I know comes in a big box. I also refuse to buy Game of the Year editions, even if it would save me money.

Where I thought it couldn't get any worse when the publishers reduced the box size, they're now beginning to stick them in DVD cases. Call me crazy but I think this takes away that specialized feature of buying a computer game. The computer is the only way you can buy the game boxed, but now ignorant publishers are attempting to break the tradition and lower the PC game medium to that of the run-of-the-mill console game in the DVD case. This is undoubtedly cheaper which is why it's beginning to catch on. This has always been the format for console games which makes them ubiquitous. Copies of console games are worth practically nothing in a few years time but PC games, with their boxes of course, appreciate in value. In my opinion, it's strictly for the box. Don't believe me? Go look for a copy of the Quake I Mission Packs in the boxes and see how much they go for or an original copy of Doom when it initially came out in 1994. Even more difficult is an original copy of Half-Life, not the "Game of the Year" edition (I grind my teeth when I see those editions replace the originals). I've only seen one on eBay of that title. Sure you could pick up a copy of these games in cheesy compilation collections but my point is us collectors are going after the originals and these goddamn penny-pinching publishers are trying to destroy our future market of finding these treasures by putting them in DVD cases. DVD cases mean the game will be printed much more and worth much less in future time.

In conclusion to my seemingly insane ramblings, I really appreciate BBspot taking notice of something that I believe goes entirely unnoticed. If there's any way of posting this e-mail on your box reviews to show to people this unnoticed issue, I think it'd add light to something very overlooked. Thanks for your time.

And to think I just wrote them, because I couldn't come up with any Geek Horoscopes.


Apparently, somebody didn't like us linking to them...

Fuck off

Thanks to Bill K for sending that in.

That's all for this week!

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