Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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GX notes - december, 2000

sunday 24 december

I sit near the art department, so I have witnessed the birth of this high holiday art we are hosting.

wednesday 19 december

This is a real mind-number: Police Fail to Seize Violent Games

thursday 14 december

Colin our illustrator, welcoming a young woman into his car the other night:

"oh, that, that's a raccoon skull from when I was skinning roadkill in high school."

*   *   *

Due to a strange twist of departments and duties, I am now in charge of dealing with hundreds of responses to our email newsletter.

or this one:

fuck u fucking ass nedledick stop sending mwe stuff!!!!!!!!
and dont send back say sorry we cant just do it fucker

-fucking ass
or this one:
"For the love of god, PLEASE, let me unsubscribe!
- Andrew

I'm learning about our users - we have one young man named "LamerBurn" from Germany.

I sympathize with people's sense of control-lost from getting so much email. I know I hate getting unsolicited CREDIT CARD OFFERS EVERY GODDAMN DAY. This is the shittiest work I've ever had to do, it's a fantastic lesson in humiliation. I'm so psyched to set up an automated response to these swearing profane unhappy users. The human touch may be important, but it's driving me insane.

I was on the verge of screaming, running out of the room, taking off my clothes and swimming with the ducks at the end of the road here near Gamers. I held it together, walked in the wet air reading Ikkyu out loud to myself and breathing deeply. I came back resolved to ignore my urge to have an anxiety attack, I aknowledged my wounded pride, and I returned to a place of power and balance.

Amazing. Why bother?

tuesday 12 december

When you work for a startup, you can work on a million things. People need you to come out to their truck to load in the new chairs, they need you to listen to the new marketing brochure and give feedback, they need you to write some text for the "about us" page.

In a company that's matured past that point, there are people whose job it is to manage each of those things. There are departments and managers who streamline workflow and establish processes. Otherwise, you couldn't keep large numbers of troops marching in the same direction.

So here I am, Director of Innovation at, dancing a jig around the marching troops, banging on an old drum, trying to lead small groups in different directions. Sometimes it's hard to keep this up, especially when I haven't eaten breakfast.

*   *   *

Working for has been charming. A bunch of motivated young men gathered together to make a web site about their passion. It's been a real education teaming up with them for over a year.

I'm beginning to feel my brains leaking out my ears. Or to put it politically, I have talents and experience that could be better utilized by the company.

Tonight at 11.30pm I drove screaming shitlickers territorial bat rastards dragging my trunk with a next computer electric guitar neo geo books and my grandfather's lions club desk pen holder - scraping myself out my cubicle by night when the music's louder and I can hear myself feel.

thursday 7 december

The wisdom from the message boards continues to pour in. Here is someone touting the obvious virtues of the academy; brings me back to my college years.

"I personally think that education and 'the opposite sex' can go hand in hand. I am in college right now and there are plenty of girls around. So for all of you out there who are still young, I highly suggest aiming for college. Only there can you play video games (on high speed LAN lines none the less), meet plenty of girls, and get a good education. What could be better? Nothing in my mind.

"I couldn't count the hours I have sat in front of my computer in my dorm room or apartment playing Starcraft, but the best is when you can have an intense game, and then get laid right after. Oh you can't imagine."
- FS-Abyss

this fellow is trying to hold it all in perspective, by qualifying his previous posts:

"I have to say girls are better now because I have a girlfriend and I love her very much , but i'm not saying that games don't kick ass. "
- Samari6981

*   *   *

This video gaming industry lives on "Previews" - before the product comes out, you look at all the game's potential and the designer's dreams, you get a few pictures, and you post it for salivating game fans. You're asked to restrain criticism, so it's unfailingly positive and often ends up hyping the game. Of course all the magazines and web sites would rather talk about the cool new products, rather than reviewing the stale depressingly bad slate of games that are playable. So often, notable game articles are previews.

My first preview went up this week: Tropico. This is a game I've been excited for, for a long while. You play as a dictator, maybe a flatulent dictator, maybe an ugly alcoholic dictator. You run a small island nation. You can run a balanced economy of civil justice making export products to afford advantages of priviledge for all. Or you can push civilions into shanties on one side of the island, and have them work for tourist bars their brothers and sisters can't visit on the weekend. It's sick and a little strange to be playing a game like that when people are actually suffering from idiot leaders. I mean, here I am simulating dictatorship instead of helping oppressed people. So it was a unsettling game to be looking at, but far juicier than most idle gaming hamster wheel simulations.

tuesday 5 december

"Games rule heavy, and they provide a good substitute for women, but they're still a substitute. Sex is even cooler than games."
- PMWalker, message boards

One of my jobs at is to take care of the front page poll. This week I was able to post a fun one:

Which of these activities is most important for the good life?
Here are the results:
Work / School
The Opposite Sex
This is a big question I have been asking in my life, so reading the posts in the message boards has been especially enlightening. The Gamers are arguing about the relative merits of each of these things, sex work and games, and sex seems to be winning. Who woulda thunk it?

*   *   *

Gents around here are fond of chanting "Bukkake" occasionally.

Tim left the company but he still gives good link: CellPhone Gun.

monday 4 december

One thing I'm glad for - I never watch the clock during the day. I never wish my day was over earlier. I remember that from retail - the last few hours on a slow sunday afternoon, hoping there would be nothing to do, and completely bored that there was nothing to do, and waiting for all the nothing to be done. Here, I sit down at my desk, and I'm whipping along a wide swift stream. If I'm lucky I remember to grab a branch and hoist myself out for some lunch. Then at the end of the day I start looking for a large enough tree to snag myself on.

gamers | life

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