Best of Chatterbox: reveries, religion and really old arcade cabinets

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Step once again into the dangerous and provocative minds of the people who post comments on Chatterbox.

It’s another double session this week – uniquely, with a fortnight section missing in the middle. Just when you thought we couldn’t get anymore random and/or incompetent! First up Apic recalls the heady days of the World Cup, while Office Pest previews this Saturday’s Gamesblog Meat-Up.

The weekend starts here!Best of June 26 – July 2Edited by APic

Don’t Mention the FootballBy the time you read this, the World Cup will already have been won by England’s Auld Enemy… the Spanish. But back at the beginning of the week England had only just lost thanks to the Uruguayan referee not disallowing four German goals. The ignominy of this decision was taken well by the box, which, light discussion about changing the Absolute Rules Of The Hallowed Game aside, failed to succumb to the general media furore that usually follows England’s second round exit. Give yourselves a pat on the back, and a special round of applause to G33kwithCh1c who even managing to crowbar in a gaming reference:

“The football was like watching Mortal combat. Fight, Finish Him Humiliation…Germany 4 England 1″

My own team, Italy, had disappeared from the scene even earlier so I’ll not say another word on the matter, except to point out that everyone should have taken on board herselfthemonkey’s advice that:

“At least we can now enjoy the World Cup without worrying about England’s uselessness.”

Although, as the standard of games didn’t really improve much, SuperSmashIn found that ‘Cops With Cameras’ on Five provided a suitable alternative.

This is What Dreams Are Made OfThe blog made a foray into the metaphysical after HereComesTreble informed us of his frankly terrifying nightmares of paralysis and fat kids with dogs, which Simian countered with a classic chase dream ending with, “me being shot in both legs then butchered with a machette… Woke up and I had cramp.”

RobLindsay tried to tell us that he had a similar dream that night where he was chasing someone, shot them in the legs and cut them up with a machette but as Be4ch rightly pointed out, that was probably a flashback, not a dream.

Sage then told a tale of what seemed like a dream – wantonness, deprivation, rooftop hot tubs and 20-somethings with very little clothing. His claims weren’t readily believed and the cry went up for photographic proof, several bloggers (who shall remain nameless) valiantly putting up their email addresses purely for the purposes of validation. Once the evidence had been sent out, Sage appealed to pdmalcolm (oops) to confirm his submission to the next edition of Penthouse Letters. Hopes were deflated (amongst other things) however as, despite confirming Sage as an honourable man, pdmalcolm concluded that, “It doesn’t look as much fun as it sounded and Alice Cooper appears to have gotten in on the foreground.”

It sounded better as a dream.Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to BeA confession from alexp76 that he kept seeing distant birds as UAVs started a spate of various boxers’ experiences indicating “You Know You’ve Been Playing Too Long When…” Worryingly, these mainly involved fantasies about blowing up buildings and shooting people, although I’d quite like to have TheHillman’s suggestion of the Final Fantasy victory theme playing whenever I win or accomplish something in life. That and the Time Crisis music whenever danger was imminent.

The number of bloggers chiming in with their own tales suggests that we’ve all been playing too long, especially if, as HereComesTreble pointed out, “You know you’ve been playing too long when you find yourself spending your days on an internet games messageboard, discussing topics like ‘how you know you’ve been playing too long’.”

Over these many years, the blog has had a considerable number of names darken its comment box, some remembered fondly, others barely at all and yet all were brought to mind on Tuesday, as the box waxed lyrical about bygone days of ooh, 2008, and names such as DanBob, chubster2O1O and of course, GWX, were uttered with reverant tones. Sage then decided to prod this slumbering beast of blog anamnesis by wondering if the memory of the legendary GWX had been, “exaggerated by misty-eyed Boxers robbed of an easy and … willing victim.”

Such cynicism in one so young… Anyway, OfficePest was at hand, as ever, to give a reading from the Book of Weekes, and the faith in His true lunacy was restored. Although to the newer ‘boxers, take note of dizzyisnanegg when he says, “You weren’t there. You’ll never know.”

Let He Who is Without Sin Cast the First PostWhat better way to wind down on a Friday than a relaxed discussion about religion and homosexuality? Well, I can think of several ways, but this Friday the box decided that this was as good a topic as any to discuss as, well, it’s an endless argument and there’s nothing we like more than spouting out unproven assertations with no basis in either fact or logic that can’t be refuted over an internet message board. Sparked by some errant claim about Twilight, herselfthemonkey coped favourably as the blog united in its condemnation of the Pope and vampire/werewolf lust. Fantomex led the case for the prosecution via his personal brush with Christianity:

“I have a very personal anti-religion stance because of some zealots in my family who tried to kidnap me and ‘programme’ me to accept the love of Jesus as a child, because they believed I was tainted”

Hmmm… with powers of prophecy that put Nostradamus to shame, maybe there’s something to this Religion thing after all?

This being Chatterbox, however, the united front soon split over whether religion was an appropriate topic for the blog and then sidelined into a discussion about the Reformation, despite the best efforts of alimantado to keep it on track. We did learn, however, that the Irish see the Pope as the Max Clifford of the religious world, rather than the Voice of God on Earth as the Roman Catholics do, and that every time HereComesTreble hears the word ‘Religion’, the chorus of Higher Love by Steve Winwood plays in head, so include it in every post that you’re able, we may drive him crazy yet. Bring me a higher love… O-ho.


“I’ve put the Shakira set on (via the BBC page) Her hip wiggles are very distracting. I don’t think I’ll be getting much work done.”Riadsala enjoys the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage.

“Game staff have a higher level of knowledge on games than Boots staff, but it can be a close-run thing.”ImperfectRex practices the fine art of damning with faint praise.

“Spanish brandy has damaged me. I can remember midgets and some kind of parrot… or maybe a cormorant. I’d better check the local news.”alimantado relives his apparance on Cops with Cameras.

Best of July 13-17Edited by Office Pest

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting!Monday started with talk of the World Cup and De Jong’s ‘karate kick’ which ChairofRust found to be “…immense and horrifying at the same time.” General opinion though was that the final was weak, scrappy and not very enjoyable, with some general outrage at both Spain (for diving) and Holland (for constant fouling). Let’s face it though – it was still better than seeing England hammered by the Germans.

Points go to chubster2010 for this very tenuous games link – “It was almost like watching someone play Final Fight at times wasn’t it?”


Demons’ Souls ForumThis seems to be the game of the moment (Tuesday was practically Demons’ Souls Day) with many bloggers talking about Red Knights, Fire Lizards, Phantom Eyebrows, Leachmongers and Sticky Compound Long Bows. You couldn’t make it up!

Seriously though, there was lots of talk throughout the whole week of how to take down certain beasties and although it may sound bizarre and geeky, those in the know assure us that it’s really rather good. Time to get involved if you haven’t already. If you get stuck (which you assuredly will), at least you’ll have lots of help.

Decalcomania cracked quite early on in the week – “Dammit, I can resist no longer, think I’ll have to pick this up and join in on the impenetrable postings about strategies.” I am also nearly there myself – damn you all!

Blog Meat-Up #253Planning for this auspicious occasion started early in the week with bloggers discussing meat-up etiquette, such as what geeky t-shirts should be worn and whether you should refer to people by their real names or by their blog names. CunningStunt probably wouldn’t mind being called by his blog name, but it could be dangerous, particularly where there’s drink involved.

There was some breaking of blog protocol though with somebody mentioning that a specific blogger’s real name is ‘Dave’. We understand he’s had to leave the country.

There was also discussion about whether Henrypootle actually wears a monocle, whether Hayers really is as obnoxious in real life as he in the blog world (evidently much worse), whether there would be some cosplay going on (e.g. Cunning in full pirate regalia) and whether Keith really would be attending. [I really am attending. Though I have to head back to Somerset at 9pm, due to family ‘commitments’ – Keef]

Gis a job…Sorbicol admitted on Wednesday that he’s applied for 14 jobs in the last three weeks and has not been offered one interview. The blog then did a cracking job of rallying together to try and sort out his problems and find him a job. The general advice was:

Don’t tell them you’re currently unemployed – at least in your CV.Upload your CV to job sites.Condense your CV a bit.Don’t try and get a job in IT.

It appears though that this isn’t an isolated incident – Shawshank22 also admitted to 38 applications in the last 28 days and no responses. Perhaps they should both remove ‘gamesblogger’ from the ‘current occupation’ section of their CVs.

Tenuous linksI was fascinated to see on Wednesday how a discussion about a comic convention led to SerenVikity admitting to having seen “…a heavily pregnant lady do ‘gymnastics’ in a skin-tight neon catsuit at a Girl Guides theatrical show.”

This somehow led on to a discussion about eating placenta, which then led on to a discussion about other weird foods people had eaten – zebra, crocodile, kangaroo, ostrich, ox phalluses, lambs’ testicles, etc.

This then led onto [I’m not sure many of us are following anymore – Keef] ‘great breakfasts’ and was swiftly rounded off with a debate over whether you should put brown sauce with egg. No firm decision was made. [Yes. Yes you should. But only Daddies, not HP – Keef]

Love thy neighbourThis beautiful story came from Timthemonkey:

“Myself & herself were woken last night by the sounds of our upstairs neighbours’ passionate lovemaking. Sadly this gave me the barely contained giggles and despite her best efforts, herself joined me. This continued for several minutes until he (who seemed to be enjoying himself a lot more than her) finished with an almighty cry of “YOU TAKE IT!!!!!!!” at which point our resolve cracked and we dissolved into mass hysterics. I look forward to seeing them on the stairwell again.”

Uncle3en later admitted to hearing, “an old-fashioned but equally odd GRRRRRRR! from the chap upstairs.” Makar27 suggested that (a la Gerald’s Game from Stephen King) the woman was handcuffed to the bed and the man had a heart attack.

Cruisin’Thursday spawned a discussion about Tom Cruise’s acting skills with SageSmith6079 admitting that he’d re-watched The Last Samurai and quite enjoyed it, despite usually despising the man:

“Cruise is the spitting image of a friend who has the worst case of small man syndrome I have ever witnessed. I imagine him wearing elevated-heel shoes and standing on boxes for kissing scenes.”

Some of the ‘better’ performances thrown into the ether were Top Gun, Collateral, Tropic Thunder and Mission Impossible 2 and 3. CatZilla even admitted to liking him in Platoon. Personally, I thought he was excellent in Braveheart.[Outsiders and Taps were clearly his best performances! – Keef]

This inevitably led to a debate about Scientology, but I won’t post what was repeated in fear of legal action or aliens abducting us and sucking our brains out.

Farewell dear hamster…McBegbie was in a state of mourning on Friday due to his hamster – Dexter – passing away in the night. “Mrs McBegbie is still away so have yet to break the news.”

Many of the bloggers gave their condolences to McBegbie and suggested suitable funeral arrangements:PDMalcolm: “Surely a shoebox is too big for a hamster, he’d rattle around! A malteasers box is your only man.”

Milkncheese: “If burial is out, a visit to your nearest park with a pond is in order. Hamsters are ideally sized for an emotional Viking funeral. Invest in a good quality model boat and douse liberally in petrol. Just keep an eye out for the parkie…”

Fantomex: “The Norse funeral is certainly the one. Flaming boats all round. I fully intend to do this with my kids once I have them, and once a pet dies.”

HereComesTreble: “Why not have it stuffed?”

Robotron2000: “Get some fireworks or one of those little rocket kits. First hamster into space. He would be so proud.”

Good sensitive advice. Well done folks.

Favourite arcade machinesWhat would ‘Best of’ be without a good list to finish it off eh? Boring – that’s what. Friday’s list of choice was ‘favourite arcade machines’. Here are a few choice cuts:

Space HarrierGolden AxeOperation WolfNBA JamDouble DragonSega RallyDaytonaVirtua CopTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesGauntletGalaxians[Jambo Safari! Prop Cycle! Top Skater! House of the Dead! Star Wars! OutRun! – Keef]

Ahhhh, such lovely nostalgic memories! Fantomex even suggested “wandering 10 mins to the Trocadero” at the Saturday meat up for some arcade action. I suspect there would not be enough booze around though – particularly for TonyHayers.

Also discussedFavourite fonts (don’t mention Comic Sans to Fantomex). [Data 70! – Keef]Whether the person who cast Adrien Brody in Predators was on something.Disney songs (that was painful).Crocs and espadrilles – acceptable footwear?Fan fiction.Hog roasts.

Quotes of the week

“Chan even says to the kid he will teach him Kung Fu, yet the film is called The Karate Kid!”A good spot by Catzilla.

“I thought, being the most normal person on here, that I’d be surrounded by freaks, but I was pleasantly surprised by how few webbed hands I shook.”Re: the pending blog meat-up – this was posted by a man with a forked tongue.

“The ultimate breakfast must surely be a wholemeal bap caked in brown sauce with Black pudding, crispy bacon, a poached egg (yes, I said poached) and the still beating heart of an employee from within my company’s HR department. It’s only cannibalism if they’re human.”Catzilla on the other white meat.

“Oh sh*t BBC News has changed its look. It’s horrible, I’m confused, can someone hold my hand?” “Quite. Its disconcerting. I’m comfortably over 30 now. I hate change in all its forms. Technology and progress can stop now, for all I’m concerned.”VictoriousCupid and PhilosopherK1ng show just how much we dislike change.

Other stuff

Games: Demons’ Souls, Monkey Island, Monster Hunter Tri, Blood Bowl, Red Dead Redemption, Blur

Films & TV: Predators, Twilight, District 9, Mongrels

Welcome to: Tattersail, GrizzlyDeer, Milkncheese (welcome back)

And don’t forget to check out:

The Chatterbox wiki – for everyone’s gamertags, clans and more!

The Gamesblog Spotify play list – for great inspirational music!

See you on Saturday at the George Inn from 3pm! Get there early if you want to say ‘hello’ to Keef!


Keith Stuart © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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