So Long, and Thanks for All the Tards, Internet

Slantmouth has enjoyed a hell of a journey here on the Internet. When it all began there was a purpose, some serious intent buried under the jokes. Clumsy intent at times, sure, but intent none the less. As things developed and a few years past we grew tired of the original vision. The site languished and sat without updates for months.

When it was finally rebooted properly, that new vision never really held. It wasn’t long before the updates became few and far between. There was something that was never quite right about it, but we tried to push on.

Recently, after some discussion, the plan became to re-imagine Slantmouth once again, but at what point does Slantmouth stop being Slantmouth? We feel we may have reached that point. Rather than doing something completely different and slapping the name and logo on the front, it may be time to move on.

So, with a heavy heart, we’re going to close down the hallowed digital doors of Slantmouth. The updates may stop but it will remain visible as a monument to a time in our lives were we did something we really cared about. It was a time that can never be relived or replaced. But now it’s time to move on to other things. We can only hope we ever care as much about them.

Colonel Moses and I will be alive and well, but running a website has put a major cramp in our adventuring muscle. It’s time for us to get back on the streets full force and unleash ourselves on the unsuspecting public. There are adventures to be had, men to be beaten to a pulp, and snide comments to be made about George W. Bush. It’s all a ton of hard work, but we were willing and able then, and we are more than willing and able now.

Thank you for everything.

- Julius Serpentine

Special Delivery: Thanks For Nothing, Nintendo

Leading up to the launch of the 3DS, Nintendo sent teams of women of varying levels of height and attractiveness to deliver 3DS units to several games journalism sites. The hired guns – in this case, I’m using “guns” as a thinly veiled euphemism – wore matching white pantsuits, which let everyone know that they’re professionals and, also, they are easily stained, so stay back weird game journalists. To top it off, each woman was strapped with a working 3DS. What is the point of them being strapped with playable demo units, when they’re delivering brand new 3DS systems, anyway? Much like a 3D picture of some journalist’s misshapen junk, it’s baffling.

But what’s really baffling is that no one came by the Slantmouth office to give us a free 3DS. I’m sure they had a few well thought out reasons, but I’d like to posit my own theory: racism. Also, maybe, sexism.

On the plus side, we don't have to own anything named Steel Diver.Pictured above, the blindingly white hands of journalism.

You may have noticed that all of the recipients in the videos and pictures are white. Well, I’ve got news for you; I’m not white. You may have also noticed that all of the delivery women, including those of various colors and ethnicities, were forced to wear all white, as if to cover up their multicolored heritage. Even the all-black 3DS’s being given are enclosed in plain white boxes, no doubt in an effort to stomp out what makes the 3DS unique and black [and proud]. This is a disturbing pattern.

I can already see someone arguing, “The games journalism field is made up almost entirely of white men. Also, you guys aren’t even games journalists.” To your first point hypothetical Internet-Man, I’m pretty sure that’s not my problem. I’m not here to dissect game journalism’s stance on affirmative action or whatever. I’m here to talk about people not giving me free things. To your second point, die in a fire, hypothetically.

I wish more of the woman in this picture weren't white to prove my point. Luckily, the woman third from the left (not white) has got my back.Welcome to the games journalism dungeon, ladies.

Earlier, I mentioned sexism as a possible alternate theory and if you’re looking for me to back that up at some point you’re going to be waiting an awfully long time, like until after the point where you’re a pile of dust. I don’t really have a lot to back that up, but I do know that where there’s accusations of racism, sexism isn’t far behind. I just wanted to keep my bases covered. Though, if I really want to go to bat for the women of color forced to wear strap-on electronic devices, purely in the context of hyping videogames, I will say it seems a little strange to have all of these ladies marching around from place-to-place just to deliver 3DS hardware. I think we have UPS for this kind of thing. At least they let people proudly display their brown heritage right on their sleeve.

I’d like to close with one of my patented reviews where I change my opinion drastically in the course of a single sentence: the 3DS was pretty neat when I saw it at GDC, but, you know, it’s probably going to make us all go blind.

Killing is Helping, For Once

I read an interesting article which suggests that playing violent games like Call of Duty can actually help people in the military have fewer war-related nightmares and sleep better. On the other less blood-soaked digital hand, Soldiers who don’t play those types of games found that their dreams were more violent and filled with feelings of helplessness. Jayne Gackenbach, who conducted the survey, believes violent games work as a “threat simulator,” which allows military personnel to deal with stress, as well as acting as a coping mechanism.

Thinking about this led me to ask myself, when videogames finally mature to the point where they’re not all about a man shooting a multitude of other men in the face/crouch/ass/thorax, will they finally be able to simulate the threats of people who sit at desks and stare at computers for a living? I ask because I’d also like to have less violent dreams – unless those dreams also include me being able to swing around like Spider-Man or fly like Superman or if that violence is being done to someone I don’t like – while simultaneously not feeling completely helpless.

The fun never ends, except inevitably in your characters death by fire.That’s pretty good, Will, but how do I add more computer screens and more chairs and more sadness.

I don’t know how far the medium is going to have to go as an art form to finally provide me, a person who happily sits at a desk and looks at a computer screen for most of his waking hours, with something I can actually relate to. Will there ever be a game that can act as an accurate threat simulator for my life? Other than the real world activities required to experience the existing killing simulators, like sitting in a chair and staring at a monitor or sitting in a chair and staring at the cousin of the monitor, the television, what can games offer me to prepare for my everyday life?

I don’t have a lot of conclusions to offer, just questions. Maybe, the videogame industry can get someone smart on this problem, like the master of simulating things in games, Will Wright. Simulate me something, Will.

Fecal Fantasy VII

I just spent an entire week surrounded by game developers at GDC. The main thing I took away from the experience is that the people who make games sit in front of computer screens for an incredible amount of time. Sitting that long in front of a radiation emitting monitor is bound to make something go wrong in a person, eventually. I would have guessed eye cancer or obesity. It never occurred to me that radiation from a monitor could penetrate a man’s skull and cause him to have visions of a legendary game designer starring in some sort of terrifying, Willy Wonka-esque scat fantasy.

In an effort to publicize Ms. Splosion Man, Josh Bear, the Chief Creative Officer of Twisted Pixel, spoke with Kotaku about the game and his dream in which Shigeru Miyamoto takes a dump.

In the dream, as Bear tells it, Miyamoto gets off the toilet, wipes, then gives Bear a hug.

It’s hard not to notice that Miyamoto fails to pull up his pants before embracing Bear. I’m sure in the excitement of meeting Josh Bear, maker of games he’s never heard of, he forgot that usually when a man embraces another man for the first time, the protocol is to firmly fasten your pants around your waist. Not here, pal. In this nightmarish dreamscape, the creator of Mario leaves his creativity divining rod hanging out there, so that, in the midst of a completely manly embrace, Josh Bear can maybe glean a little creativity to be used in Ms. Splosion Man.

Hey, kids! Want to see my creativity divining rod?Go ahead. Enter my factory of funness. Just follow the river of… err, chocolate.

Bear goes on to explain that Miyamoto took him “through his factory of funness.” I don’t even really want to think about that one very much. I’d prefer to leave the road to Miyamoto’s fun factory a path less traveled.

To complete the Poopy Wonka parallels, there is even a song in the dream, which goes, “Me and Miyamoto, strolling hand in hand / Me and Miyamoto, friendship never ends.” Needless to say, when someone is such a big fan of Miyamoto that they’re dreaming of him taking a crap, it’s probably of little consequence that they’re holding his unwashed, assy hand.

I’m not sure what anyone is supposed to be learn from all of this, other than that the place in your heart where all of your hurt goes is probably where dreams like this come from.

Don’t Die. Thanks.

Surprisingly, even to us, the Slantmouth web presence has been updated quite frequently in the last month. You can thank the the power of just talking about nonsense in front of microphones once a week for that.

The podcast publishing schedule has been all over the place, but we’re working hard to stabilize it. So, expect new episodes Wednesdays or Thursdays. While everyone likes a good surprise now and then, we feel like we’ve being surprising people more than enough by actually updating anything at all. We don’t want to be responsible for one of the geriatric, pill-huffing members of our audience dropping dead from surprise-related cardiac arrest because our latest podcast sprung on them like a tiger hiding in the tall grass. A little warning will go a long way towards us not being sued and having to take a court ordered ‘casting hiatus, registering the show on iTunes as a lethal weapon, and sponge bathing seniors at a nursing home to complete our community service hours.

In completely unrelated news, I’ll be hanging out with people who make videogames for a living next week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. I’ll try to count the number of anime tee shirts and pit stains while I’m there. Look for updates on an upcoming podcast.

Let us set sail on the good ship Podcast.

Greetings, good readers!

We’ve done our research. People hate reading. That is why we’ve decided, after all of this time, to join the rest of the internet and do a podcast.

Some may love it, some may hate it, others may even commute with it. As with most things Slantmouth, we’re not going to nail down a topic, so from week to week expect things to shift around.

Without further delay, we present Slantmouth Podcast Episode One: Liberation and Stuff!

If you prefer iTunes for your Podcast consumption, get it here!

If you have suggestions or comments about the podcast, feel free to email us at podcast@slantmouth.com. Enjoy!

Note: This podcast contains graphic content and may not be suitable for all listeners.

Both a mistake and a test occurred!

If you subscribe to our RSS feed, you may have noticed a test post go out a little while ago, which can be broken down into bad news and good news… I’ll go ahead and give you both.

Bad news: I didn’t intend for it to hit the RSS feed, it totally did!
Good news: The test totally worked!

Yes, this was a test for our new project, previously mentioned here, and yes, we’re actually on schedule!

You should look forward to checking out the first episode of this venture on Wednesday, most likely, but it could be any time this week. This means you should set your excitement settings to “holy crap,” only to be completely disappointed.

At any rate, prepare for greatness this week. I’ll be doing another post to announce the launch of the new project.

Stay tuned, loyal readers!

Things Are Happening. Seriously This Time.

It’s always exciting when Slantmouth sets out on a project’s maiden voyage. It brings back fond memories of past endeavors and experiments, like that time we brought a circus cannon into the office. We offered interns the opportunity to be fired from it for a chance to win a full-expenses-paid vacation to the approximately 3% of Mexico not controlled by drug kingpins who will sew your screaming face onto a soccer ball.

But this competition had an M. Night Shyamalan like twist: there was no vacation. Also, at the end we found out that all of the participating interns were dead. This was probably due to shocking twists number three and four: there were no helmets or safety netting for the interns shot out of the cannon.

So, back to our new and somewhat less deadly project. We were discussing how we could take advantage of the wonderful powers of the internet in ways we haven’t yet tried. Somehow, that conversation led to us going back to technology popularized before the internet was even a stain on some obese engineer’s sweaty Black Sabbath teeshirt. That technology? Radio.

Don’t get us wrong; we hate modern radio. It’s terrible. Between the constant rotation of three songs and the men shouting at each other all the time, it’s a depressing place. Also, no pictures.

Despite that, we feel that we can bring something unique to internet-based audio recordings. We’ve commissioned a group within the Slantmouth empire to record something we can only hope is not a complete and utter disaster. It will, at the very least, contain the type of [angry -ed.] cheer and positive [death -ed.] energy you’ve come to expect from Slantmouth.

So, you can expect that to happen really soon and I don’t mean “really soon” based on standard Slantmouth Time™. It’ll be here before you know it. Unfortunately, it will also include no pictures.

Rusty gears creak once more

It seems like we have this talk too often (or maybe not often enough), but here we are again on the cusp of another awakening.

Once more, we lost our way for a while, trying to pin down the nebulous, attempting to define the undefinable, clarifying that which needed no clarification.

It’s possible you’ll note some changes around here soon, and by changes, I mostly mean we’ll be updating things. What things, you may ask? Well, imagine that we’re updating something. Now, you’ll notice that once you’re finished doing the complicated math, that it is a 100% increase from the former amount of updating, which was nothing.

Come back when you’re finished being impressed.

Now that you’re back, let’s go into some of the things that we’ve been working or have decided without mentioning it.

  1. We’ve updated Instant Chewbacca: Not only is he using HTML5 (so you can use him on your mobile devices and modern, awesome browsers), he also has a Twitter account. Follow him at @instantchewie.
  2. I’ve disabled my personal Twitter account: In order to focus on official Slantmouth stuff, I’m killing off @MosesBlackwell. Not me, obviously, but the Twitter account. Officially, I’ll be publishing through Slantmouth’s Twitter account, which as you know, is @slantmouth.
  3. We’ve added a resource: While we’re not prepared to start making full disclosures quite yet, when we release a project that our new lad has worked on, we’ll be giving credit and making the official announcement.

That list sounded longer in my head. At any rate, we’ll be shifting some things around, updating more often, and making a pledge to be more productive.

For you, our dear readers/followers/ne’er-do-wells, thanks for bearing with us.

Finally, many of you likely don’t know this, but January 1st marks the passing of Slantmouth’s fifth year. That may not sound like a lot, but five years in internet-time is like dog years, only with a lot more full-frontal nudity. One would hope… or not…

While we haven’t worked on Slantmouth projects 100% for those incredible five years, we’re proud of the work we’ve done through this speaker box we call a site, and we’d like to thank all of the folks who’ve helped us, inspired us, and kept us going for this long.

Stay tuned for some more good old fashioned, Slantmouth-brand awesome.

Increasing lines of communication

If you’ll take a moment to remember, we here at Slantmouth delved neck deep into the social network, Twitter, in an effort to better communication with you, our dear audience.

Results, as we soon discovered, varied greatly. I, in particular, was scorned by the process; confronted with endless scores of Chinese ladyboys who undoubtedly wanted to take running leaps at my genitals for a few good ol’ fashioned American dollars. Needless to say, I was appalled and intrigued.

With this tear-inducing experience behind me—and now that Twitter seems to be a little more civil—I’m personally leaping back into the fold, no longer operating under the Slantmouth umbrella, which should stay, as it is, concerned with matters pertaining to Slantmouth Industries as a whole, rather than quality, classic violence, and/or whatever the hell else is going on.

Social commentary and related news articles will likely be the operation, but it will largely be dictated by my temperament.

Follow me here. Or die.