Versus Mode: Halo, the VGAs, w00t, and More

Former GC writer Neal Iannone and current GC writer Eric Regan discuss whether Halo is a casual game. the Spike TV VGAs, the word w00t, and more.

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Welcome, one and all, BACK to Versus Mode—the column that calls upon GameCola writers as well as denizens of the videogame world at large to talk about what’s up in gaming.

This month in Versus Mode we’ve got:


Eric Regan vs. Neal Iannone!

Eric Regan is a current GameCola staff writer known for Captain Eric’s Psychic Thumb Feature Presentation, a column that previews upcoming games, and for Digital Championship Wrestling, a column that pits videogame character against videogame character in pro-wrestling matches. He’s also the artist behind the drawings in DCW and The Gates of Life, and he’s created most of our banner logos and backgrounds. This is Eric’s fifth appearance in Versus Mode, having written previously with Steve HamnerCasey LevineSteve Hamner again, and Alex Jedraszczak.

Neal Iannone is a former GameCola staff writer who was known for his reviews as well as for a comic strip called Loafy Carl and a column called Neal is Awesomer Than You. He’s also one of the original seven GameCola staff writers who was with us in 2002. This is Neal’s third appearance in Versus Mode, having written previously with Paul Franzen and Steve Hamner.

1. Halo is more for casual gamers than real gamers.

Eric: Yup. Purple Monkey Slaughterfest only sells about 300 copies of each of their CDs, but they are the most beloved hardcore band around. Only true fans ofmasterchief good music know this, though, and that’s what makes the band so great. Halo 3 sold about 56 billion copies, and 90% of the people playing it are your grandparents who, even though they play this game, still think a Xbox is something that shows naughty pictures.

It’s common knowledge that if everyone loves something, it must really, really, really suck. Gamers know that Halo 3 is just another mediocre shooter in a long line of mediocre shooters. However, you have to buy it because, well, you need people to kill when you play shooting games, and when you play Halo 3, there is a hell of a lot of other dudes to go kill.

Neal: All right. If that was their aim, kudos. If “real” gamers prefer a more serious game, they can play one of the first two. No need to segregate classes of gamers, here.

2. It’s totally worthwhile to buy a crappy videogame just to boost your gamerscore on Xbox Live.

Eric: Yes, and it is also worthwhile to give your banking information to disposed royalty of Nigeria. Gamerscores and worthwhile are two things that will never, ever go together.  Would these people so desperate to boost their gamerscores take easy classes in high school to bump up their grade point average and get into a better college? No, of course not, because that would be a smart thing to do. In fact, I really doubt they attend school anymore, because they are to busy at home pumping up their “gamerscore” because xboxluvr696969 has 12 more points than them! OMG!

When you go outside—you know, where the real world is—would you be ashamed to tell normal everyday people about your radical gamerscore? Yes, yes you would be.  That should tell you something.

NealIncorrect. It is totally lame.

3. Spike TV needs to just give up on the VGAs.

Eric: Yes, but that goes for all award shows. They are really, really bad and spiketvcompletely pointless. Look—everyone has a job making sub-par things, but they don’t go around having award shows and tooting their own horns about how amazing they are. OK, they do, but we don’t have to pay attention to them.

SO, award shows really just need to just go away. They never will, but they really need to. Videogame award shows featuring tons of things not related at all to videogames with a bunch of people who don’t play videogames need to go away. They won’t go away, though, because videogames are big right now. People like feeling important. Award shows make people feel important. Videogame companies pay out lots of money for advertising on television.  All of these things come together to support the fact that we will forever be subjected to these Spike awards.

Neal: Oh, mercy me. I wish there was something in GameCola that expressed my sentiment toward the VGAs.

4. As Meriam Webster’s “Word of the Year,” “w00t” should definitely be in the dictionary.

Eric: Really? “w00t” is the word of 2007? When was the last time anyone said that, like 1999? Shouldn’t a word of the year need to have actually been used in that year?  Either way, w00t should most definitely NOT come anywhere NEAR a dictionary.  It doesn’t even contain only letters. Sure, it’s fun to type and say, but only in the “hey, I’m not saying an actual word, how cool am I” kind of way. If w00t ever comes NEAR a dictionary, I fear that the next inclusions might be “r” and “u” as WORDS and not LETTERS! The madness with this lazyass Internet lingo must stop! A line needs to be drawn, and the dictionary is that line.

Neal: I didn’t think I could be more angry about this, but the o’s are replaced by zeros. I am now more angry about this.

5. Videogame versions of board games will be the next big thing in gaming.

EricWell, since the world is filled with fat and lazy people who would much rather triviallook at a screen and hit buttons on a controller than move three feet and actually roll some dice, one might think that videogame board games COULD be the next big thing. I, however, know that they won’t be soon and won’t ever be. First off, videogame board games have been around practically forever and have never been a rocketing force into the mainstream. So why would that change?  The people who buy and play lots of videogames are not the same people who love board games. So, while I know the entire world is salivating over the splendor that is JENGA: The Video Game, it is not the beginning of any sort of board-to-videogame revolution.

Neal: Without getting drawn back into a debate about Lego Star Wars, why not just play the goddamned board game? I only feel the need to say more about this because the rest of my points were so concise, but that’s it. Just play a board game. I know this is a gaming newsletter, but Jesus. It wouldn’t kill you, you know.

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