"Funnier than the time the BBC Multimedia man demanded to know why we weren't reviewing his Noddy game" - Tony Mott

FairPlay - Don't purchase a new videogame between 1st -8th December
It's the week to make your voice heard, those titles you've been eyeing up to play over the festive season, can wait just one week (and purchased the following one). One week in which to make a statement, a statement that you are sick and tired of seeing our once burgeoning games industry disappear down the toilet partly as a result of ridiculous and unnecessary game prices, which put games beyond the reach of the average household, save for a 'safe' purchase once every couple of months.

To give an festive example: Lowering the price of videogames would put software within the price bracket relatives and friends are normally prepared to spend on presents. Little Timmy would get far more than his traditional two ludicrously priced games this year. He'd get them from Uncles, Aunts cousins and older brothers and sisters. Far more money being generated for the gaming industry.

Make your voice heard: Don't buy a videogame between 1st - 8th December.


Bored of Videogames Week 5: Uncle Clive provides the solution.
It has arrived, your own cut out and keep 'Uses for an untouched gaming console'...


Uncle Clive Exclusive:
We speak to the worlds most dedicated arcade game player: Andrew Arnold Armstrong.
His scores dominated the scoreboards of arcade machines in every town, city and country across the entire world throughout the 1980's and UncleClive has been granted the exclusive interview with the man who never stopped playing. "I wish to put that period of my life behind me" Armstrong told us speaking from his Cheshire home through his letterbox, "now please go away or I'll call the police" he added.

21/5/02 Super Monkey Ball triggers spate of underground simian rolling clubs across Britain.
Following a tip-off from an anonymous gamer,
Uncle Clive was directed to a disused warehouse where he was told that secret Monkey Ball inspired 'tipping contests' were being held. The footage I captured may shock some readers.
The terrified proto-hominid screams in terror as the laughing players set the board in motion...
Clawing desperately at the sides, the spheroid-encased pseudo-anthropoid looks horrified as he is slowly tipped forwards.....

The pathetic limp body of the non-apposable thumbed mammal slams brutally against the sides of the perspex container with an ear shattering crack.
Sadly, we were discovered by the instigators, and were forced to make our excuses and leave. The last thing we saw was the weeping chimp being placed back into the ball.
Uncle Clive has made this video available to the authorities, but the question begs...where did these otherwise law abiding gentleman learn how to do these appauling acts of cruelty? Well done Mr Sega, I hope you can live with yourself after this, you've made a monkey out of animal rights.

Dear Uncle Clive....
I spotted this letter in a national newspaper a couple of weeks back, and I think it only highlights the lack of balance you would get from having an additional 'Agony Uncle'.

Deidre, as much as I'm sure she can dish out sage advice, can only do so from her limited female perspective. Here's my suggestion to the young lady, had she written to me for advice.

You did what? Here we have a young man on the doorstep of life, ready to go out into the world and sow his wild oats with his teenage friends, and he gives it all up for you? Undoubtedly he puts up with your demands to stay in every night or your tantrums once you've got two bottle of Bicardi Breezer inside you. No doubt you've gone absolutely apeshit with him when he's spilt a few drops of red wine on your IKEA cushion covers.

The only escape from the drudgery of his domestic arrangement with you is his Playstation, something he can call his own, a place he can grab a few minutes of excitement once in a while between the hours he spends loving his girlfriend.

That is, until she comes along with her clumsy arms and scant regard for other people's property and smashes his dreams into small - out of warranty - plastic pieces. Lets imagine for a second that was your Habitat dinner service set or glass animal collection laying there broken and useless on the living room floor.

As Deidre says, you must learn from this relationship. You need to learn to respect other people's stuff or they'll dump you.

Gaming curiosities No. 54 - The Nintendo Wavebird
What is it with Nintendo and screen visibility?

Not only do they make the GameBoy Advance's screen unusable under anything but optimum lighting conditions but they now seem to be asking gamers to voluntarily restrict their viewing potential (see photo left). Nothing like giving your 36" Wega the appearance of a blurry portable TV eh Nintendo?

I can't honestly say that a lead between my controller and the console has ever proved restrictive in my gaming pleasure. In fact I'd go as far as saying that it's enhanced my gaming hours by preventing obstacles (hoovering girlfriends, stoned friends, packs of wild dogs ect) from wondering in front of the screen during heavy bouts of life-wasting.

The fact that it doesn't have a 'rumble' facility only adds to my displeasure, as regular readers will know I've always championed rumbling as a vital element of the console experience, as it allows the game to reach beyond the confines of the 2D screen and put tactile feedback into the real world.

Official Nintendo monthly says of the Wavebird: "It uses two AA batteries and life is estimated at around 100 hours, although this may vary depending on the way you use it"

This may vary depending on the way you use it? What does the hell does that mean? Gamers will use it for playing videogames.... in what other ways CAN you use it?

If players are as absent-minded as me they'll now have TWO things to search for to enable them to play games... the TV remote AND this new controller. No doubt Wavebirds will turn up down the side of sofas, in kitchens or next to toilets up and down the country.

The Nintendo Wavebird publicty photo (from Official Nintendo Monthly). Answering the prayers of telescopic-eyed gamers the world over.

FairPlay - Campaign for Cheaper Videogames
More and more development studios are going under and the industry as a whole continues to lose millions of pounds (and thousands of jobs) every year as a result of gamers paying out for fewer titles and having to be incredible picky and 'safe' due to the high prices the industry continually perpetuates.

A pressure group has been formed called 'FairPlay' which believes that lowering game price of videogames into the 'impulse' purchase range will not only increase sales across the board (and therefore pump more much need money into the gaming industry) but will attract a new market (those not normally prepared to pay up to £45 for a videogame). Naysayers need only to look at the money they've spent on their CD or DVD collection compared to their videogame collection to understand the concept. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/new_media/1368921.stm

Despite the fact the campaigners wish to help the gaming industry and gamers alike, the industry's reaction has been despicable, using everything from legal threats to blackmailing magazines who want to run stories on the campaign.
FairPlay is calling for a 'games boycott' for one week in December (1st - 8th), encouraging gamers to purchase before or after that week as a protest. At best videogames will come down in price and the industry will start to recover, at worst the campaign brings the questionable pricing policy of the games industry out into the public for debate. No bad thing either way.

Read more about the campaign HERE

A mutilated child, yesterday

Tu-rocks don't make a right 2
Acclaim's advert for Turok 2 seems to suggest that their flagship title is so incredibly real you will suffer genuine injuries as a result of playing it. Having tested it myself I will say that it has at least the ability to scar players for life.

What is a surprise is the lack of (arguably justified) tabloid outrage at some of these press adverts. One Sunday newspaper was even promoting the title using a 'page 3 stunna' and images of children playing the game with the "What a Fantastic game! - Jason, Wilkshire" captions all present and correct.


Poorly-conceived Money Making Idea of the Week Award
....goes to 'Games Clearing House Inc' who suggest we should sell videogames to our "Friends and Neighbours".


Ok, so the advert is 20 years old and the company went under, but its principles live on in the form of the school yard pirate. Who said the young aren't enterprising eh?

Runner-up prize goes to Johnathan 'Fatality' Wendel, the World's No.1 Videogame player, who will provide the winning e-bay bidder with a personal visit and teach them the latest tricks, techniques, and tips on the hottest new games: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1385608081 "Photography and autograph requests are acceptable."

Tu-roks don't make a right
Acclaim's new marketing boy seems to be trying to stir things up a little, not only were they offering money to the bereaved in exchange for advertising 'Shadowman2' on their loved ones graves: (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print) but they are now (apparently) plugging Burnout 2 in this months MCV using images of vehically-killed celebrities including Princess Di, Ayrton Senna, Marc Bolan and Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopez. An advert taken out in the same publication depicts a mutilated child, how very sensitive.

Also last month saw Jason Read queuing up for 50 days outside Electronics Boutique for his copy of Turok Evolution (http://www.gamesdomain.com/news/7991.html), sadly Jason went missing days into his record attempt (perhaps he saw sense after playing the demo).

Now it seems Acclaim are offering anyone the princely sum of 10,000 dollars if they legally name their newborn child 'Turok' (http://www.turok.com/baby/) Any potential parents out there thinking of cashing in on this generous offer should remember that having the 'Turok' name linked to their offspring will invariably mean he/she will be poorley conceived, overly hyped and will ultimately fail to live up to all expectations....

Nintendo in 'predict-o-the-future' shocker
Trawling through the old Uncle Clive archives I found this remarkable piece of Nintendo merchandise from the 1980's which seems to predict Mario Sunshine's central concept by over 10 years: VIEW IT HERE

I'd normally dismiss any notion of Nintendo giving us clues regarding future games as pure coincidence were it not for this image from a decades old Nintendo advert: VIEW IT HERE Yes, Luigi crying out "Mario, where are you...?" a la Luigi's Mansion.

Don't worry though folks, I'm sure Nintendo wouldn't go as far as turning Link into a primitive cartoon character like in 1990's CDi 'classic' The Legend of Zelda: Faces of Evil (HERE), now that WOULD be ridiculous.

Updates by Uncle Clive
Its been a relatively quiet month games-wise for the industry, the calm before the inevitable Christmas storm, and as publishers gear up to flood the shelves with hundred of titles (in what the industry apparently refers to as "the month of death"), titles simply won't get purchased due to gamer's pockets only being finitely deep, especially at the prices we are expected to pay ;-). Uncle Clive is predicting some high profile disasters. When will the suits who prescribe to this 'all or nothing' business strategy learn?

In other news I received this e-mail from 'a concerned reader'

Dear Sir Uncle Clive,
Your "mathematical certainty" equation is incorrect - the divisions should be multiplications. If your equation was correct, and each of the four figures was an optimistic 1% (or 1/100) then the chance of a girl playing with a communicator is 10000 = 1 million percent. Rather than being "no chance whatsoever" this is a record-breakingly high probability being 999900% higher than the previous best ever recorded probability.

Thank you for your time.

After consulting world's leading mathematicians, I confirmed what this gentleman was suggesting was correct, so I have adjusted my calculations accordingly. I apologise for any inconvenience my error caused.

Until next time.

Dr U. Clive, BHons, IPA
Sales and Marketing Director, Findus UK

"Intellivision plays much more like real basketball"
Why can't they advertise systems like in this 1980 Mattel commerical anymore?


A Mr Chalmondley-Warner type comparing games side by side for advertising purposes would certainly help gamers decided which games/systems they should play.

"Lets look at Halo when compared to Goldeneye... it just feels much more like you are killing real people".