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Thirty minutes inside the mind of Old Man Murray

Dying super-models, pipe-fitting and Thief 2 outrage - probing and poking at the cranial goo behind the quintessential "rebel gaming" site.

With its sporadically updated news, reviews, and features, Old Man Murray maintains an often edgy, sometimes offensive, yet always irreverent sense of humor while discussing whatever aspect of PC gaming crosses the writers' collective mind. The site's two main protagonists, Chet and Erik, are some of the gaming industry's toughest critics, although it can be difficult to tell how serious they are being at times. For example, the entire interview you are about to read is likely an elaborate tapestry of half-truths and misinformation, especially when our interviewer decided to use British spelling terminology for some of the questions. And of course, we'd like to point out that some of this freeform mind-probe could conceivably be deemed "inappropriate," or "offensive." You've been warned. Again.

Hello there. What possessed you to start the site?
Erik: Do you mean what inspired us? We were inspired by a lot of things. For instance, we both find the Special Olympics very inspirational.
Chet: You know, because it's funny.
Erik: Have you seen those "what's up!" commercials? Where the one guy goes to the other guy "What's up!!!!" and then the other guy says back to him "What's up!!!!"?
That's been a big inspiration. Gallagher is funny. He's always been an inspiration.
Chet: I'm more inspired by Gallagher's brother, who does his act now.
Erik: Yeah, I think that's the guy I'm talking about too: The new Gallagher.

Is running this site your job, or do you have a day job?
Erik: A few years ago, we invented a process that fools change machines into thinking that one-dollar bills are five-dollar bills. So money is something we don't have to worry about.
Chet: If I did have to have a job, though, I'd get one of those jobs that they'll still give you even if you're retarded. Like bagboy at the supermarket. Then I'd pretend that I was retarded. That way, nobody would expect very much from me, but I'd still get paid the same as the regular employees. And if I got tired halfway through the day or whatever, I'd just freak out and start waving my arms around and stamping my feet and screaming and they'd let me go home, but they wouldn't fire me. That's my dream job.
Erik: Me too. Well, I don't know if that's my dream job, but it's sound advice for anyone who actually has to work.

Pretend you're back in reality for a second. What do you do to earn a living?
Erik: In reality, we're both pipe fitters. We met the guy who showed us how to make a web page, in fact, at a Pipe Fitter Local 120 meeting here in Cleveland. We both worked for our dad's contracting company for a few years, then later both got jobs at Columbia Gas of Ohio. Both of us were eventually injured on the job in two separate incidents. So lately we mostly pipe fit vicariously while managing our workers compensation claims. But we're still in the union and technically still pipe fitters.
Chet: And yes, we've seen the "Pipe fitters do it with blowtorches!" bumper stickers, so don't send us any mail about it.

Where did the name Old Man Murray come from?
Erik: It comes from two things:
1) Murray is our last name.
2) Dr. Henry Murray was a psychologist who helped the OSS develop mind control techniques during WW2. Later, at Harvard, he conducted a study that was officially called "Multiform Assessments of Personality Development Among Gifted College Men" but is now generally referred to as "The Murray Experiment". In it, he subjected students to a three-year battery of grueling interrogations which Murray himself described as "vehement, sweeping, and personally abusive." While many of his subjects - including a young Ted Kaczynski - were irreparably scarred by the experience, Murray was able to gather valuable data that eventually made him a very rich and evil old man. Dr. Henry Murray (who died in 1998) is both our great uncle and our great inspiration.

Who in the world is Marvin? Is he a fictional character?
Chet: Marvin is our hateful, futuristic mascot. He is a former president of Crescent Electronics Corporation of New York City. He is a pioneer in the field of learning and teaching machines. He is also the author and editor of more than forty technical publications in the electronics field, as well as director of a number of research projects relating to the application of pain-causing technological devices to both primary and re-education.

Where do you get inspiration for the stuff you write on the site?
Erik: We steal a lot of material from our cousin's site.



The Top Five Old Man Murray Moments
What the kids want are, apparently, charts. With this in mind, we've perused the back catalog of activity from each web site and created a "greatest hits" of the best moments from each site.

5. The Blaze and Blade tirade
OMM's harshest review was of a game called Blaze and Blade. - "We'd like to thank whoever programmed the Blaze and Blade uninstaller, because it works, and we'd also like to publicly apologize to Mortyr: We're sorry, baby. We don't know what we were thinking. When we said playing you was like swallowing a Dixie cup full of fishhooks, we had yet to experience Blaze and Blade, which we've taken the liberty of subtitling 'the blurry, flickering headache game.'"



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