Best of Chatterbox: the longest day

All the good stuff that people talked about in our Chatterbox forum a couple of weeks ago.

This could be a first, even for Best of Chatterbox: a week’s worth of compiled discussion arriving a week after the following week’s edition. Yes, we’ve already reminisced over the week of January 17-21, so now, let’s head back, prequel-style, to the seven days that immediately proceeded it. Perhaps that way we can work out how and why the chat developed as it did. Though I seriously doubt that.

So let’s forget continuity; let’s embrace the concept of a quantum universe in which causality and linearity are mere illusions, rebounding along the planes of the multiverse.

Edited by Lazybones, this week’s Best Of may contain boasting, a Doom boardgame and a Chatterbox text adventure.


People have conducted studies and found the second Monday of January to be the most depressing day of the year. Some will have you think it’s the first Monday, or even the third. But they are wrong. The most depressing day of 2011 was Monday the 10th of January.

Misery loves company, however, and what better way to spend it than with a miserable bunch of borderline sociopaths, on the internet.

A day like this might read as follows:

People boasted. They boasted about their weekends. They boasted about how much they could drink. They boasted about how big and expensive their houses were, their cars were, their gardens were. People boasted about what games they’d played, completed, bagged platinum on, then traded away (at a profit). They boasted about how fast they could fall asleep in public. They boasted about what music they liked, what bands they had been in, how many millions of records they’d sold. People boasted about how their dreams were better than everyone else’s.

“A friend of a friend of mine is a professional footballer” said one.


A 90 minute break for lunch, and the inevitable sandwich boasting followed. People then began to moan about how things were so overrated. “The Day of Heresy”, they called it. Killzone 2, pensioners, Scott Pilgrim, Bob Dylan, fat people in mobility scooters. Star Wars. All rubbish. All cultural tat.

“A couple of choice efforts aside, The Beatles were a bit shit,” someone snivelled.

“**** off you ridiculously biased has-been”, came the reply.


Tuesday began, with several updates, from those with family affected by floods in Australia. No one had suffered any losses, thankfully, other than those of possessions and property. CountGinula offered his own balm to the Australian psyche: “Losing the Ashes in such a pathetic manner must burn deep.” Sensitive stuff.

The morning parade of gaming then began: AssBroHo, Blops, NFS, PES and BFBC2, followed by Blood Bowl chat as the Chatterbox Open League kicked off. This prompted the age-old quandary over which were the “cheatiest” Blood Bowl teams (Dwarves, Norse, or just anything CunningStunt picked.)

SerenVikity thwarted a James Bond wannabe attempting to inveigle her into a workplace fraud. Limni was particularly praising: “Well done dealing with James Bond. You should try and give him some work to do, then when he says ‘do you expect me to process all these invoices today?’ you can say ‘No Mr Bond, I expect you to die.'” You see, it is possible to have fun at work.


Were someone to picture the week as a typhoon – a whorling tempest of chat – then Wednesday would be the eye. The empty centre. Chat to not blow a house down.

1. Blood Bowl2. Football3. Marvel Pinball

Three ball-based games. The chat itself was like a ball, languidly chucked about.

The writing was on the wall but people would not format it. If this was graffiti, on the blank walls of the Guardian website, then it was penises and scrawled jokes. This was no cultural explosion. This was not the street …

EnglishRed was down on Gypsies.SerenVikity was down on London.SuperSmashin was up on London. A dunk in the net – a burst of positivity, but it was simply more boasting.

CunningStunt told SuperSmashin to “man up”.

People made their excuses and left.


Ever since übergeek Umboros fled the safety of the gamesblog to live the dream of working for Games Workshop there has been space for a new pretender to the bejewelled geek throne. One of the newest bloggers, R042, came out blazing: “If people are interested, I have been working on recreating the actual map layouts from Doom 2 to play in the board game, complete with secrets, where they should be and so on.”


At lunch, thoughts turned to alcohol, and ended up at the British Film Institute bar. Accusations of poor service unless impeccably dressed were met with quick rebuttal by BeardOfBees: “the BFI is a serious place, for serious people to watch serious films. I’m guessing the bar is also serious.”

There then came grumbling. Things weren’t as good as they used to be, people said. The chat had become moribund. Someone pointed out that making double entendres out of pedestrian statements was just well … lazy: “a poor joke. It’s not funny!” Seconds later new kid on the block Fegbarr earned his spurs: “Talking about your sex life again?”

“BOOM! That one is outta the park!”


A burst of life and Amipal greeted the dawn …

“Hello residents of Gamesblog City. To the south, we have the beach-side condos, where on any sunny day a bronzed TonyHayers may be seen topping up his tan. The financial district to the east is home to many bloggers whose unfortunate jobs are in banking, such as myself. Over to the west, the poet’s district hosts those who have a way with words – enter a pub, and you’re sure to find HereComesTreble holding a crowd transfixed with his rambling. And to the north, we have the suburban area for everyone else. Of course, we don’t really talk about the shanty-town that has sprung up on the outskirts, home to the lurkers. A dirty place.”

There was talk of Blood Bowl, Black Ops and Bad Company 2, as usual, while the Chatterbox’s NaN Clan appeared to be going from strength to strength. Some regarded this as a betrayal of the Clan’s core values – namely to have fun whilst remaining useless. EnglishRed explained: “Being generally poor at games is what NaN is all about –if you’re too good it smacks of being a socially inept recluse.”

SteveST cruised into view, gristly thighs pumping. The stogy being chewed? Classic D-Day film – The Longest Day. “… Couldn’t help wondering how much it would cost to bring so many big stars together in one film nowadays, and indeed whether such a coming together could work at all let alone as well as it did in TLD.”

Amipal referenced The Expendables as a modern-day equivalent. A spurious claim. Pdmalcolm mooted A Bridge Too Far and The Great Escape, boasting, as they do, similar all-star casts. EnglishRed posed The Thin Red Line. A good shout.

But the law of entropy soon took hold. The chat broke down into talk of “big ones”, implications and blood-stained pitches.

Another week gone. The cycle of chat, again, complete.

Quotes of the week

“Scadenfreude is a valid emotion. Stop oppressing me or I’ll bottle up everything and become a crazed gunman.”Sheep2 – many a true word is said in jest (and, just in case, we have informed the authorities)

“Most interview situations can be successfully resolved by the introduction of a signed picture of Dolph Lungren.”Loser flexes his life-coaching muscles

“I’m up to speak in 10 minutes. It’s been incredibly boring so far. Time to take it to the max. Or not. Whatever, I’m not really in the mood today. Probably all the James Blunt I’ve been listening to. Have you heard of him? Fantastically talented guy. Just listening to his lyrics, it’s like he can see into my heart or something. Powerful stuff.”Herecomestreble – man enough to listen

End game

Join the official Gamesblog spotify list and share your own favourite tunes. Last addition – ‘Sexy Music’ by the Meat Puppets [great choice, WeeCooper! – Keef]

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This week’s ‘Best of’ was written by Herecomestreble, Crispycrumb, Lazybones, RustyJames and Limni. It was edited by Lazybones

Keith Stuart © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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