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GameSpot Column
The Monthly Spot
by Chet and Erik, GED
Editors, Old Man Murray

Why We Sold Out
March 31th, 1999

Our first full day of work mainly involved signing more legal documents, this time divorce papers. It was explained to us that when you're hired by a site as big as GameSpot, you need to get a GameSpot wife, a woman who looks good and can gaze lovingly at her husband for hours while he and John Romero discuss Atari 2600 Football. Chet chose a lovely 19-year-old juvenile underpants model. Erik, in a move that broke more hearts than high cholesterol, picked 'N Sync's sentimental sweetie Joey Fatone Jr., or, as he's now known, 'N Sync's unfortunately spoken-for Joey Erik-Fatone Jr. Although young looking, Fatone Jr. is actually a well-lit 27. GameSpot wives can be no older than twenty-eight, so, girls, next year little Joey's all yours again.

We began the second day - our first real day of work - by enjoying a liquid brunch then sobering up while spotting for a visiting Paul Steed as he lifted weights. We participated in the GameSpot tradition of daily communal bathing followed by the traditional knocking off early to go get drunk again and pass out in a soft pile of Wing Commander hats. That left little time for any journalism and led directly into day three. By now, we were becoming acclimated to the GameSpot lifestyle: envelopes full of cash, gold teeth, Dig Dug, blackouts, and replacing our outmoded notions of waking up refreshed with the more journalistic activity of simply regaining consciousness. None of this had prepared us for our first actual bout of writing.

We had to concoct a preview or a review or something - the only clear instruction was that it should be one thousand words, and, in response to Erik's repeated queries, not one thousand swear words. Here's how it went: The company sent over a complete, cutting-edge system that had been precision-tooled and tested to play their games perfectly. A marketing rep told us that when we were finished, the company courier might forget to pick up the system, and if he did, to take our time alerting them, if, in fact, we alerted them at all since we were such busy and muscular people. They sent over both an aromatherapist and a personal trainer. Long load times? Choppy gameplay? Between all the ab crunching and the refreshing scent of pine bark, we couldn't tell you. Sometime during the playtest, a company-delivered masseuse alerted us that some legal trouble Chet was in for a home burial misadventure had been resolved.

Unfortunately, late in the day, we discovered a real showstopper bug when the game deleted half our hard drive. Luckily, a patch was quickly delivered. Just a disk, though, no entire replacement system. "Am I supposed to install this myself?" asked a surly Chet. No, no the delivery boy assured us as he unzipped the file and sang to us in a lovely, otherworldy voice while he played the game back to our last save. The sound of that heavenly singing was intoxicating, like the milky rum drinks that coursed through our veins. We struggled for a critical thought. "But... will every game consumer get this kind of service when this buggy beta is released as a finished product?" Chet finally inquired. "Yes," said the boy. "Great. That's just great," we said.

And we mean it. Being professional game journalists is the best thing that's ever happened to us. We remember, like the fuzzy, half-imagined memories of our childhood ritual satanic abuse, that we once were enraged by the daily news of the game community and its inhabitants. We honestly can't remember what we were ever so mad about.

Chet is a successful architect. Erik runs an ad agency. They met at the funeral of the woman that was secretly married to both of them. Now they're sharing the laughter and love that ensues when two platonic life partners try to raise five inner-city foster kids, and one mischievous orangutan, while living in a haunted house and solving crime.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of GameSpot.

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