Press Start!: John Hughes and the Death of Guitar Hero.

Oh, here there! Welcome to Press Start! The only weekly..uh, biweekly, uh…semi-regular…maybe…column about video games. In theory, this pig is a weekly column counting down the top five things in video games from the prior seven days. However, as of late I’ve been jackknife powerbombed by the real world, and I totally slipped off the map.

For those who (don’t care), you’ll find this son of a bitch regularly on Saturdays from now on. Enough with the bureaucratic bullshit. Let’s dance.


#1: Microsoft Tried To Get In Conan’s Pants.
Remember last year when Conan threw up the deuces and left NBC after Chin McFuckerton took back his old time spot? Of course you do. This week an interesting little morsel came out of that news: Conan was wooed by Microsoft. Yes sir, they tried to get the grand ‘ole Irish bastard onto Xbox Live. Imagine that shit! I don’t know if that would have been a Biblical sized bomb, or a watershed moment. Last week executive producer of the Conan show, Jeff Ross, shed some light on the whole thing:

Ross said it was “interesting to sit and look at it,” Microsoft’s proposal lacked a clear vision, and he recalled that “a lot of the conversations were, ‘Well, it’s a show, but it’s not a show and there are no breaks, but maybe there are breaks and it’s not 60 minutes – it’s this,’ and nobody really knew what it was.”

“So it was really going to be a leap of faith to jump in with these guys and figure something out which we didn’t know,” Ross said, later reiterating that “we had some eventual television offers and we basically shied away from the [Xbox thing].”

While it doesn’t seem practical at this juncture, I can imagine something like this heading down the road. Not necessarily on Microsoft Live, but why not online? As the integration of your televisions-computers-phones-video game systems march to the inevitable point where we have hardware in our head that projects digital hallucinations, something whacky like this shit is a given down the road. In my fanboy fantasies.


#2: Legend Of Zelda Imagined As Hughes’ Movie.
A group of enterprising people have answered the question you’ve probably never asked: what would Legend of Zelda look like if it was shot as a John Hughes movie? I’m going to level with you; I’ve only watched a good three minutes of the five minute video. Why the fuck am I posting it then? I find the concept endearing. I’m a sucker for coming of age flicks, and goddamn it if I didn’t come of age while working through Ocarina of Time. My balls were all a-twitter for Sheik, and even though it was released markedly earlier, I enjoyed myself some Breakfast Club.


#3: Kevin Butler Retweets The PS3 Root Key.
I used to think the Kevin Butler PS3 commercials were pretty fucking funny. They certainly dragged the PS3 marketing campaign out of some weird, abstract, pseudo-minimalistic realm and put a human face on them. It Only Does: Everything? Cool enough. At this point however, Butler has overstayed his welcome. Case in point: “Butler” has a Twitter account.

With this in mind, I was amused this week when everything went awry on said account.

Last month, the PS3 was cracked open and its soul, its root key was released to the public. Since then, hackers have been able to dance on Sony’s filthy Corporate corpus, and entire thing has been amusing to watch from afar. This week a Twitter peep Travis La Marr tweeted the root key at this Butler character. Understandably, whoever the fuck maintains the account had no fucking clue what the numbers and letters meant. I mean fuck, I wouldn’t have. Butler retweets them shits, and BOOM!, a whole good shitload of his followers were greeted with the PS3’s soul.

Well done.

#4: Guitar Hero Dies.
Guitar Hero dies this week. Yessir. Activision announced that they were killing the series that introduced the world to gimmick music gaming bullshit. I shed a single tear of hilarious release. I’ve always viewed Guitar Hero as the gaming equivalent of Dane Cook. At first people thought was hilarious. Everyone couldn’t get enough of him. Then Cook stayed around and his stock was diluted, and diluted, and overexposed and he has died an acrimonious death. Even the people who were throwing up SUPA FINGAHS were tired of the bro.

In both cases of Dane Cook, and Guitar Hero, overexposure will kill a motherfucker. Cliffy (Dude Huge) B, the man behind Gears of War and Unreal said it best, “You can have an IP that you lovingly care for and release every so often that can last forever, or one you ride hard into the ground.”

A quick aside: His proclamation coming the same week that it was hinted at that there’s an On The Rails version of Gears dropping for Kinect. Ah, irony.


#5: Bulletstorm Accused of Promoting Rape; Violence.
I like me some Bulletstorm. I don’t think I’ll be able to buy it when it drops, for I am awash in graduate school. But I’ve been covering it with a priapism truly respective of my permanently juvenile status. It features super-violence, profanity, and Skillshots that have names like Gang Bang.

I think these are awesome.

Fox News does not.

There was a huge brouhaha when Fox News teased the headline, Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” I wouldn’t expect anything less from Fox News. But then they went into full sensationalist mode:

The in-game awards system, called Skill Shots, ties the ugly, graphic violence into explicit sex acts: ‘topless’ means cutting a player in half, while a ‘gang bang’ means killing multiple enemies. And with kids as young as 9 playing such games, the experts [that] spoke with were nearly universally worried that video game violence may be reaching a fever pitch.”

Listen. This game is rated mature. If any nine year-olds are playing this video, they have been yet another subject of continuing parental failure. It’s such a tired situation. Sensationalist news groups puking everywhere over something that is questionable – I’ll give them that – and then refusing to acknowledge that A) Nine year-olds probably won’t be playing this and B) If they do, it’s a parent’s fault.

But the senationalism doesn’t stop there, no sir. Apparently Bulletstorm will PROMOTE RAPE.

Carole Lieberman, an infamously noted author and psychologist dropped:

“The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.”

Again, it’s amazing how such unmitigated bullshit can be thrown out into the world without any sort of shame. The fact that Lieberman is actually a psychologist is enough to point out what a joke the whole educational structure is, no? And even moreso, that it can be taken seriously and run with it?

Fuck, maybe I’ll pick this game up despite how busy I am. Just so I can support it in my dark dangerous bedroom while rocking out to Marilyn Manson and wearing a trench coat.


What caught your eye this week, peeps?