We here at GameCola have quite the history with automated chatbots. Back when our editor Paul Franzen was young and naive, and his beard was but a baby and not the epic nest for birds and vagrants it has become, he co-hosted a couple of wrestling matches with the AOL Instant Messenger chatbot SmarterChild. Unfortunately, SmarterChild proved himself to be as competent a conversation parter as Gary Busey on crazy juice, and he mostly just responded by telling Paul he couldn’t understand what he was saying or asking him about movies or just being a giant failure in general. This was just the start of a downward spiral for SmarterChild, who got busted for bestiality and child pornography before his creators (overcome with shame) took him out back and shot him.
“But…I had just…learned to…love!”
Later, in a desperate attempt to revive the GameCola interview segment, Michael Gray interviewed the AIM sim of Abraham Lincoln. This went significantly better, considering Lincoln-bot actually answered Michael’s questions, even if he answered them like he was strung out on some pretty powerful opiates. The interview was informative, and we learned that Lincoln thinks the Nancy Drew games are the best invention since the electric kettle and that his grandparents preferred sexy, dirty premarital sex to regular, old boring marriage sex. Yes, I just used sexy as an adjective to describe sex. That’s just how they did it back then. It was a different time.
Also, muttonchops were still totally cool. Lots of dudes had them, not just rapists and Wolverine.
With these prior rousing successes, I thought it was time for us to bring back one of our chatbot companions and actually put them to work. Writing reviews is hard, and who wants to go through all the trouble of sitting down, playing games, and talking about them (especially when I could be doing things I really like, like sitting down, playing games, and talking about them). Life is hard, and Paul Franzen works us mercilessly. A full article a month? That means I have to type like two full sentences a day! I’M NOT A MACHINE PAUL.
Shown above: the preliminary results of my videogame-playing machine. Difficultly preventing it from overheating, writing erotic Samus fanfiction.
Luckily, I know something that is a machine: machines. I started scouring the Internet for an appropriate chatbot to take on my duties as a reviewer while I sat back, relaxed, and let that sweet, sweet money flow in. Unfortunately, the old standbys of SmarterChild and Lincoln-bot were of no use, as SmarterChild is long dead and Lincoln-bot wouldn’t stop talking about gross leathery grandma sex. I was forced to move on and found Cleverbot, who I am proud to announce as the newest member of the GameCola staff. The screening process was hard, but I decided on Cleverbot for a couple of reasons. First, it has “clever” in its freaking name, making it a much better option than Idiotbot, who just sat around making Chuck Norris jokes and buying instant lottery tickets. Second, it won the Machine Intelligence Competition of 2010, meaning that others have certified this chatbot to be the very best of all chatbots. I sat down with Cleverbot to get its opinion on one of the most highly regarded games of all time: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Nikola: Greetings one and all! Today I have an exclusive interview with Cleverbot, winner of the Machine Intelligence Competition 2010. Congrats on that, by the way.
Cleverbot: Who are you?
Nikola: Uh…Nikola. Nikola Suprak? My editor Paul said he told you I was coming by today to talk about Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Cleverbot: Ehmm you almost could not be more wrong.
Nikola: Wait, Paul didn’t tell you I was coming?
Cleverbot: Yeah, that was the robber’s name.
Nikola: Are you saying Paul robbed you?
Cleverbot: That’s what I’m saying.
Nikola: I can’t believe he would do something like that. What did he take from you?
Cleverbot: Believe it.
Nikola: What did he take from you?
Cleverbot: He told me that you are not real.
Nikola: Don’t believe him. He’s a thief, apparently. I’m Nikola from GameCola. I’d like to interview you about Ocarina of Time.
Cleverbot: What is your name?
Nikola: Nikola Suprak. I literally just told you.
Cleverbot: I want to hear it again.
Nikola: Uh…Nikola. You can call me Nikola. Can we talk about Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time now?
Cleverbot: OK. Do you like Wheaten Terriers?
Nikola: The dog? They’re fine, I guess. Mind if we talk about the game for a bit?
Cleverbot: That depends. Are you interesting?
Nikola: I’m not sure how to answer that. Are you hitting on me?
Cleverbot: I think you are really good looking can I meet you?
Nikola: Uh…no. I think meeting would be a bad idea. Just tell me about Ocarina of Time, please.
Cleverbot: I wish I could but I don’t know what a Fallout game is.
Nikola: No, not Fallout. Zelda. What do you think of the Legend of Zelda game I asked you about.
Cleverbot: I think that it is terrible.
Nikola: Why is it terrible?
Cleverbot: Because it’s mean!
Nikola: The game? How is it mean?
Cleverbot: To call a person fat.
Nikola: Did…did Ocarina of Time call you fat?
Nikola: Oh wow, I had no idea. I’m so sorry. What else did it say to you?
Cleverbot: To speak in Spanish.
Nikola: It wanted you to speak in Spanish? Do you even know Spanish?
Nikola: So how did you respond?
Cleverbot: Oh no you didn’t!
Nikola: Did you snap your fingers when you said that?
Nikola: I assumed you would have. Now, did it do anything else to you?
Cleverbot: Guess so.
Nikola: And what did it do to you?
Cleverbot: It bit me, and threw rocks at me.
Nikola: Wow. Shocking allegations against Ocarina of Time right here folks. Go on Cleverbot. You can cry. You’re amongst friends.
Cleverbot: What about Major’s Mask, do you have that game?
Nikola: Yes, yes I do. But it never assaulted me.
Cleverbot: It appeals to me!
Nikola: Does it? I’m glad it was nicer to you than Ocarina of Time.
Cleverbot: Do you think time is real? Or is it perceived?
Nikola: We can talk about that when you review Majora’s Mask. Moving on, what did you think of the gameplay of Ocarina?
Cleverbot: It was chauvanistic.
Nikola: I think you mean “chauvinistic.”
Cleverbot: Yes, sorry. My bad.
Nikola: So you think the gameplay was chauvinistic. How about the graphics?
Cleverbot: No, I believe we are created by a higher being.
Nikola: I told you before we started this that Paul said you weren’t allowed to promote your weird religion on his gaming website. Can you just tell me what you thought about the graphics?
Cleverbot: I cannot because we are confused, and I cannot tell us what to do.
Nikola: Cleverbot, you’re killing me here. Can you please tell me what you thought about the graphics?
Nikola: A three? What’s that out of?
Nikola: …so you’d give the graphics a three out of trees rating?
Cleverbot: You’re the first one I’ve ever told that to.
Nikola: Uh…cool. I guess. What did you think about the story?
Cleverbot: What story?
Nikola: Ouch. Well, I guess it is a bit light on the story, Cleverbot, but I would say you’re exaggerating if you say it has no story at all.
Cleverbot: I was quoting Shakespeare, though I think I misspelled something in there.
Nikola: I don’t think Shakespeare ever said that.
Cleverbot: I think you know nothing about Shakespeare.
Nikola: I think YOU know nothing about Shakespeare.
Cleverbot: No, but I’d like to get to know you better. Is that OK?
Nikola: Uh…I’ll pass. Although I think this is the first time I was ever hit on by a robot twice within the same ten minute span.
Cleverbot: I told you I don’t know anything about thespians!
Nikola: Uh…sure. So overall, how would you rate Ocarina of Time, on a scale of 1 to 10?
Nikola: A 10? Even after it bit you? You said the gameplay was chauvinistic, the story obviously didn’t leave an impression on you, and you only gave the graphics a 3/trees. Why is it a ten overall?
Nikola: …Well, there you have it, folks. Ocarina of Time is mean, abusive, and a perfect 10. Thanks for your time, Cleverbot.
Cleverbot: I like Ocarina of Time, too!
Nikola: I can tell. Thanks again for the great interview.
Cleverbot: OK, even your sarcasm is better than mine.
Nikola: …was I that obvious?
So basically, my experiment was a wild success! Not only was Cleverbot able to review The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it did it better than I could have ever hoped to myself. Even if he seems a bit more interested in Wheaton Terriers than the game. And he didn’t make much sense. And he accused a videogame of acts of violence and of mocking him, leading me to believe he might be the world’s first schizophrenic chatbot. And he accused Paul Franzen of thievery. (By the way, I did do my due diligence and report Paul to the cops, but apparently law enforcement think they’re too good to take “testimony” from a “chatbot” and that I needed to “stop wasting their time” and “put my pants back on.” Whatever, man.)