Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
20 December 2006
Videogame gaffes and blunders of the year, director's cut kindly asked me to reprise my curmudgeon role for an end-of-year post, and I obliged. The result has now been posted here.

To all who offered editorial comments on various topics this year -- Ruffin, John H., Michael, Dustin, and Kyle -- thanks for the help! Hopefully I remembered everyone.

Some bits ended up on the cutting room floor and I thought they'd be worth sharing. I should emphasize, perhaps, that everything past this point is mine, not's, so if you want to yell at someone (or sue someone, if that's your thing), I'm your guy. In fact, if you just want to yell at someone, the comments are always open.
  • The name - Originally I called the list "The 2006 Nelsons" after Nelson Muntz and his immortal "ha-ha" laugh. That got nixed (as I half-expected, but I held out hope until the end). My second choice was to award #1 the prestigious 2006 Foo Cup (say it out loud) and the others could be the 9 runners up. Apparently that didn't make it either. Gaffes and blunders it is!

  • Linkification - The original version had well over fifty links (all internal to, incidentally) which were changed to just standard text. I'd rather hoped they'd make it, because they provide the documentation for everything I wrote, and for the sake of business didn't go off-site. Ah well.

  • The text went through several revisions. This bit about Nintendo never made it into any final drafts, but is pretty high on my list of flubs this year.
    Wii was region-free before it wasn't - What's worse than a region-locked console? Announcing a console is region-free and then correcting yourself to make it to region-locked. That's what Perrin Kaplan and Nintendo did to us with the Wii this year. I'm still angry about that one.
  • The following was one of the entries, but got edited out. Along with this, I also considered putting in the big brouhaha over the Neverwinter Nights 2 review on 1UP and this bit by Simon Carless on how Xbox 360 sales were reported (poorly). Anyway, here's what got cut:
    Blogger Ethics Panel to Convene Soon - In September the popular videogame blog, Joystiq, posted about "a scoop for some important news with one of the next-generation consoles." Leaving details to the overactive imaginations of an army of commenters and forum fanboys, post author Robert Summa assured everyone that "this announcement is something worth waiting for." Was it a secret, unannounced feature of the Nintendo Wii? Was Microsoft going to announce that Halo 3 would be on shelves this holiday season? Maybe Sony would relent, drop the price, and put the PlayStation 3 within reach of upper middle class Americans with spotless credit ratings. Not to be left out, rival blog Kotaku's Brian Crecente posted about the upcoming announcement, saying "expect to hear some kinda interesting news about a very interesting upcoming console", but similarly gave away no details.

    What was that burning scoop? Here it is: "IBM announced that their Broadway chip custom-designed for Nintendo's Wii console has been shipping to Nintendo's since July."

    Oh, the humanity!

    Predictably, the firestorm sparked by this little stunt was ferocious. Robert Summa was summarily fired (yes, bloggers sometimes get paid) and Joystiq editor Chris Grant posted an apology. Summa shortly appeared on another site, Destructoid, and penned what amounted to a "f--k you" farewell to Joystiq, tastefully incorporating Martin Luther King Jr's famous "Free at last" speech and a picture of Mel Gibson in a battle skirt.

    And they wonder why we think the videogame press is less than professional sometimes...
  • Hurricane Jack - When I wrote about Jack Thompson, I used the term Hurricane Jack to refer to him, since he hit the Gulf states of Louisiana and Florida. That term got nixed in the editing.

  • Core Design and the Tomb Raider trailer - I wanted to include the mess surrounding the Tomb Raider PSP trailer that showed up this summer. I wrote a two long posts about: original post and the update. Unfortunately, one of the ground rules for the article was that I had to stick to facts, and unfortunately neither Core nor SCi/Eidos have provided a definitive version of just what did happen. We will probably never know exactly what it was, but you can at least read my take on it.

  • Other ideas that didn't make the cut - Capcom's ongoing struggle to use larger fonts (in Dead Rising and Lost Planet), Nintendo DS absolutely destroying the PSP month after month, the coming rush of ridiculous MMOGs (Romero, Cartoon Network, James Cameron, and Dave Perry).
I'm sure there were other deserving screwups that I missed. Feel free to leave them in the comments.

Labels: , , , , ,

--Matt Matthews at 06:00
Comment [ 8 ]

Comments on this post:

You probably had this done too early to throw it in, but the "" fiasco really should have gone in there.

Ah well, perhaps next year?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 December, 2006 16:29  

Well, the final draft was pretty much done over a week ago. One of the many items I had on Sony was the Black/White adverts they had for the PSP plus the corporate-sponsored graffiti. The fake would have fit right in there, but none of it made it.

For what it's worth, I was already at about twice the initial word limit, and even that was trimmed by the editor further.

By Blogger jvm, at 20 December, 2006 16:43  

Well, at least you aren't sharing a hot tub with the editors.

By Blogger Zachary, at 20 December, 2006 23:17  

I hereby present you with Destructoid's favorite critical person award. You never let me down :)

By Blogger, at 21 December, 2006 11:31  

It's interesting to see some of what was changed. Thanks for the elaboration.

By Blogger Mordrak, at 21 December, 2006 19:56  

Nice insight.

It's interesting that you comment on another blogger's professional conduct and directly after note that "hurricane jack" was nixed. I don't live in the US admittedly, but would you expect such a term with its associated reference to be accepted in the credible mainstream press?

I'm not suggesting anything either way, simply that your comment on the editor's omission doesn't really cover your opinion on it.

Had I been asked to comment on appropriateness of the term given the topic, I'd say to associate jack thompson with a natural disaster is an affront to the non-malicious (but still quite malignant) hurricane...

By Anonymous The Australian, at 22 December, 2006 02:28  

I don't live in the US admittedly, but would you expect such a term with its associated reference to be accepted in the credible mainstream press?

Well, with a number of the curmudgeons living on the east coast, I'd remark that, for me, "hurricane" still brings up pretty strong pictures of the big'uns that have passed over our collective heads. N'Awlins has no monopoly on hurricane damage, even deaths.

And though the move was pre-Katrina, once such east coast state managed to name their major league sports club "the Carolina Hurricanes." Go figure.

Now though Thompson has done work in Alabama, I don't believe he lives there (and his work certainly doesn't limit itself to that state). If he had, the comment might have bordered on inappropriate, but as such... *shrug*

As a sidenote, about all I catch now about Katrina in the "news" are anecdotes regarding the perseverance of those still in NO and the occasional story about how empty it still is. Perhaps we'd live in a better country if "hurricane" was a touchy topic. ??

By Blogger rufbo, at 22 December, 2006 08:50  

The Hurricanes are North Carolina's hockey team. North Carolina is no stranger to hurricanes, though the worst have been in years past, and recent years have been really sparse.

(Hrm, things improved *after* naming a pro-sports team...)

By Anonymous Baines, at 22 December, 2006 20:03  

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