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  Preview: “A Tractor”  
Posted 2003-03-14 by Tony Walsh
A Tractor (PC)

Publisher: The Island Network
Developer: The Island Network
Price: $Free
Availability: Download

"A Tractor" is, if you believe the Web site, "the future of tractor-related internet gaming."

Free to play, and very, very strange, A Tractor puts players on islands that other players control and/or create. The rest is really hard to figure out. It seems that one's purpose in the game varies with which island you're on, as the owner of the island has configured such settings as " you gain points to the speeds of the vehicles to what happens when you die. Some islands are about earning money and building businesses, some are about fighting, some are combinations of these and other features." Judging by what I managed to glean from their arcane Web site, a big part of A Tractor is vehicular combat... but there is also "Crowfighting." Nothing about the game makes sense to a newcomer, but for a 3.4MB download, I'm willing to try it out.

More detail can be found in the extensive New Player Guides, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some screenshots from an upcoming upgrade to A Tractor:

Shot 1
Shot 2
Shot 3
Shot 4
Shot 5

Links not guaranteed for freshness.
  Big Mac Attacked  
Posted 2002-11-12 by Tony Walsh
Remember when movie theatres only showed a few previews before a film? Remember when they added commercials to the mix? Videogames were advertisement-free once, too. Long lusted after as a vehicle for commercial messaging, games have finally joined the ranks of the rest of the entertainment industry.

In the soon-to-be blockbuster The Sims Online, players could find it difficult to avoid getting their fingers soiled on virtual McDonald's hamburgers. A deal struck between Sims publisher Electronic Arts and the fastfood mega-corporation allows Sims players to open up their own McDonald's kiosk and improve their game stats by consuming McD's greasy goodies. While news of this groundbreaking sponsorship deal fades quickly from memory, failure to address this latest barrage in the war on ad-free gaming could result in a super-sized sandwich of misery. Based on the success of previous Sims offerings, The Sims Online is an ideal high-profile backdrop in the war against "advergaming." The McDonald's kiosks that dot the imaginary battlefield are mere burger bunkers to be ad-busted in an anti-advergaming mission that could go down in the annals of gaming history.

Continue reading: Big Mac Attacked
  Bites:  GAG ORDER  
Posted 2000-10-05 by Tony Walsh
  • An Everquest player gets banned from playing due to a piece of fiction she posted to a fan site. This is some interesting stuff. [discussion thread here] Instead of pursuing her on some kind of legal grounds (i.e. the story was a "derivitive work"), the game publisher banned her from playing. This might be the easiest way for them to silence people... except for the fact that Blues News picked up the story, and now the company looks pretty bad indeed.

  • Mister T versus Pokemon... you knew it had to happen. Does Pikachu get his pi pi slapped? Only you can tell! [link>wendy]

  • Pig-Human hybrids, and "patents on life". Greenpeace reports that "...Stem Cell Sciences (SCS) (Australia) and Biotransplant (USA) have jointly applied for a patent covering the cloning of embryos, including human embryos, as well as mixed species embryos from pigs and humans. In addition the companies applied for an exclusive right for genetic manipulation of embryos produced with their technology...In their application, the two companies reveal in detail that their scientists have already produced embryos, which were a mix of the two species, a human and a pig ... The resulting embryos were then grown for about a week." Creepy.

  • If Gauntlet was real. Sort of. Well worth the read, but only if you've ever played the game.

  • Crazy proxy server over at my shitty ISP is now displaying the index page I uploaded 2 months ago, even though a day or two ago I uploaded a new page. And viewed the new page. But now, the caching server or whatever the fuck is going on over at Sympatico HSE decided to wind the clock back about 8 weeks.
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