Jack Speaks. The Industry Collectively Rolls Its Eyes.

It takes the CEO of a multi-national corporation to remind us all that the world of videogaming hasn't really grown up much, if at all. I'm curious to know if those electrical impluses which sparked up the catalyst of an idea to kick the beehive of "those other dudes" came from his own chemical reaction or one inspired by someone on a higher plane. Kaz? Did Kaz send him a text message so worn and used, he's got it saved as a template?


I imagine Hirai-san sends his texts in caps like that. I also imagine that deep down in the recesses of Jack Tretton's brain, he would love to send a press release in ALL CAPS because he realises it would piss off even more people. Yep, that Jack Tretton. The same bloke who has repeatedly dissed the competition through carefully-worded brainfarts which magically transform into fully-formed, viable news stories. I would point you in the direction of these news stories of the past, but a quick Google search reveals that Jack's latest brainfart has had the desired effect; there will be no research of the past tonight.

It has happened in the past though. Multiple times. I know my 35 year old brain has been through a lot of shit, but I do remember the anger which a younger me experienced. Younger me was a lot more fanatical about allegiances to faceless corporations and inanimate objects. I used to be a die-hard Dreamcast fan. When you're fanatical about something, it's very easy to get upset when someone comes along and disses the thing you love the most. There's not a care for the radical art stylings of Jet Set Radio, the balls-out bravery of releasing Rez or the batshit-crazy Samba de Amigo with a maraca peripheral. Maracas! Actual maracas! Maracas of the future! There was the online which was waaay ahead of its time, one of the most expensive adventures involving a young man looking for sailors in a hyper-real area of Japan. How could I not be a fan of that? How could anyone?

Playstation 2 came along, Dreamcast floundered. I was embittered, so embittered. I learnt though.

The more wise of us know that console wars are a load of bullshit. They are just as futile as the news stories which breed out of them like nasty, cancerous, creeping turds. Analysts report that PS3 will overtake 360 in sales soon? Really? Who gives a hoot except the fanboys adding that to their cerebral scrapbook of fact-ammo? Not me, sir. Give me consoles which are successful. Any console, I don't give a hoot. As long as it keeps me in biscuits and booze I'm happy.

I really want to like Jack Tretton. He seems like a nice guy. He has a confident Sensodyne smile and a suit starched up to the balls with confidence. I'm sure if I shook his hand, I'd be hypnotised by his highly-polished hyperbole. Truth be known - Jack Tretton is the ultimate in fanboys. Not only that, he's a corporate fanboy too. A fanboy who means business if business means throwing mud at the competition. It doesn't get me mad in the way it did when I was myself a fanboy, more that it gets me mad as a fully-paid-up member of the games industry.

C'mon, Jack. What's with this?

 "Our view of the Game Boy experience is that it's a great babysitting tool, something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting twenty-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He's too old for that."

I'm a self-respecting thirty-something and I have had some great experiences on the DS. That's a classic throwdown that any self-respecting fanboy throws out there - Nintendo is for kids. Far from it. Say what you like about the Wii, it's expanded the gaming audience like you wouldn't believe. Jack failed to mention that massive percentage of females who game on the DS too. Surely Jack knows that this is only good for the very industry he's a part of? Those "self-respecting twenty-somethings" probably have more than just their Nintendos to play with. Heck, they probably own something Sony-branded too.

Nintendo were creating gaming experiences with playing cards waaaaay before Masaru Ibuka - co-founder of Sony - was even born. I Wikipiedia'd him too. He looked like a decent bloke. He wouldn't diss the competition, Jack. Have some professionalism for once in your life, sir. Maybe some measured judgement? Maybe realise that the world's pretty fucked up right now and some solidarity wouldn't go amiss?

I don't think he cares though. Stuff like this only turns people against each other even more than usual. The more mature members of the gaming community (of which there are quite a few and thanks to the passage of time, continuing to grow) all sigh a collective "Oh, Jack. Not again." as we double-facepalm ourselves once more and watch with horror as the younger members of the gaming community take Old Man Jack's kneejerk press release as a pointless call to arms. Comment sections of the world implode with pedantic fact shouters and die-hard dick-comparing deviants. A part of me fears that the Sony Research Machine is already going through those comment sections with a virtual comb, gleening some kind of viable information out of this familiar debacle.

Where's Jack now? All that hate and nauseous poison has to escape sooner or later. Straight after the lobster dinner with the PR folks, he's on his knees and throwing up his guts in the usual restaurant cubicle. Jack crumples into a sullen heap as he hears the muffled cries of joy and celebration from the nearby table of faceless suits behind the facing cubicle wall. One last trickle of glistening mucus leaves his lips. The words "Never again" drowsily uttered from them.

He knows that'll never be the case.