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HSW talking about ET and his involvement in a movie about it


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#1 cparsley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:00 PM

From Games magazine, issue #116

Ha! You’ll never live /that/ down.” This is a phrase usually associated with pub crawls, panty raids (if anyone still knows what those are) or the best intentioned public moments gone horribly awry. We all have one or two. Remarkable nights of debauchery, stunning flashes of stupidity and the occasional confusion between thinking and saying. That’s the stuff of which Never Live That Down moments are made. Oh yes, and there is one other category that appears to fit the bill: video games.
The funny thing about Never Live That Down moments is how they evaporate into the ether quicker than we ever thought possible. Not mine though. I made E.T. for the Atari VCS. Whatever one might say about that game and the dubious circumstances surrounding it (most of which has already been said several times over 30 years), one salient fact remains crystal clear to me: I will never live it down. How do I know this? Simple. They sent me the script.

Over the years there have been many allusions to and discussions of the great Alamogordo, New Mexico dump site and its substrata of E.T. game cartridges. There have been reports, songs, investigations, articles, YouTube videos, infrared analysis, folk lore/mythology and literally hundreds of interviews on this subject. The New York Times, Snopes, Wall Street Journal, Wikipedia, IGN and uncountable forums and blogs opine about it. All this activity principally comes down to ‘Is it true? Are there millions of your game cartridges buried in the desert?’ I’ve been hearing, speaking, reading, seeing and joking about this for nearly three decades. But just when you think there couldn’t possibly be anything new to say about the E.T. fiasco, someone comes along with something new to say about it.

This time, that someone is James Rolfe of CineMassacre Productions (creators of the Angry Video Game Nerd video series). He and his cohorts are putting together a movie about the E.T.-carts-buried-in-the-desert controversy (http://www.indiegogo.com/Angry-Video-Game-Nerd-The-Movie) and, as I said before, they sent me the script.

Why did they send me the script? Well, it turns out I’m actually IN the movie. So they figured since I’m a real person and I’m in the movie and I’m actually me and they wanted to use me as me in the actual movie and I didn’t even know yet that I was me in the movie although I did know I was me but I didn’t know I was in the movie, they had better let me know that I was in the movie as me and let me see if after I knew I was me playing me in the movie that I would be okay with being me in the movie as myself now that I knew there was actually a movie with me in it. Maybe that’s too much legalese, but that’s what movies are all about.

I read the script. I’m not issuing any spoiler alerts here because I’m not issuing any spoilers, but I do have to say one thing: this is the freshest take I’ve heard on the subject in 30 years, and I’ve heard a LOT of takes on this subject. After all these years, someone surprises me with a script that redefines my relationship with E.T. Astounding!

This reassures me I will never live E.T. down. I don’t regret it. I enjoy its infamy. Between E.T. and Yars’ Revenge, I have the greatest range of any game designer in history. I still get a kick knowing I made the worst game of all time and it feels cool to be powerful enough to have brought a billion dollar industry to its knees with just 8K of 6502 assembly code. People frequently ask me: How can you be so happy knowing you made the worst game of all time? I tell them it’s merely pragmatism. I’ll never live it down so I might as well live it up.

-HSW

#2 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:51 PM

So THAT's what the AVGN movie is about. Awesome.

#3 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:44 PM

James already gave that away many months ago.

Howard is still boasting about being responsible of the worst videogame of all time?

Idle man...

He's not even close.

There are zillion games worse, including dozens of VCS games.

8)

#4 davyK OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:07 PM

James already gave that away many months ago.

He's not even close.

There are zillion games worse, including dozens of VCS games.

8)


Indeed.....though even back in the early-to-mid 80's I was sensible enough to be suspicious of licenced games - still am.

Yars' Revenge more than makes up for any licenced-related shenanigans though.

#5 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:25 PM

I didn't know the plot either but I don't follow the "nerd" as much as I did in the past.

#6 Animan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:28 PM

Well, now I'm even more excited about the AVGN movie. With HSW himself on board, it's sure to be interesting, whatever the actual plot is.

#7 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:56 PM

I wonder if he could coerce Bushnell and Miyamoto to be in it :ponder:

#8 Desfeek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:25 PM

I will never live E.T. down. I don’t regret it. I enjoy its infamy. Between E.T. and Yars’ Revenge, I have the greatest range of any game designer in history. I still get a kick knowing I made the worst game of all time and it feels cool to be powerful enough to have brought a billion dollar industry to its knees with just 8K of 6502 assembly code.

-HSW


holy shit this is absolutely amazing

#9 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:41 AM


I will never live E.T. down. I don’t regret it. I enjoy its infamy. Between E.T. and Yars’ Revenge, I have the greatest range of any game designer in history. I still get a kick knowing I made the worst game of all time and it feels cool to be powerful enough to have brought a billion dollar industry to its knees with just 8K of 6502 assembly code.

-HSW


holy shit this is absolutely amazing


You know, its hard enough to explain to bandwagon jumpers and people who are generally unfamiliar with video game history, that ET is far from the worst video game ever made but when the games creator starts saying it, it becomes that much harder to defend. :roll:

Edited by AtariLeaf, Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:42 AM.


#10 Zwackery OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:03 AM

Does anyone have a contact email for Warshaw?

I have a discussion of E.T. in the first chapter of my dissertation (the whole thing is about video games based on movies), and as I am turning the manuscript into a book, it would be very useful to get HSW's input if possible. E.T. has really been historically maligned and it would be nice to see this issue corrected.

#11 Pong OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:51 AM

E.T. is far from the worst game ever made. I've played MUCH worse games, and compared to them, E.T. is like a gaming gem that's as great as Street Fighter or Mario or whatever was huge back then.

#12 toiletunes OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:10 AM

"I enjoy its infamy."

Yes, I kind of got that impression.

#13 Master Phruby OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:24 AM

It's weird how the internet will take an idea and turn it into the truth. I guess if you get enough people to say and think something it becomes true. Heck even the programmer that wrote the game now thinks its bad. I don't think he would have said that in the pre-internet days.

We make our own reality. If I were to say the sky is gray and get enough people to say the same thing it becomes true even though you can clearly see it is not the case.

E.T. is a fantastic game. When I was a kid, I would play that thing for hours. I got so good at it that I would have speed runs on the hardest level and get the highest score I could by constantly giving Elliot my reeses pieces. Kids today can't play the game without gettting fustrated at falling in the pits. Getting out of the pits is easy if you master the technique. It's too simple for them that they lack the skills to play the game.

#14 Lord Helmet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:35 PM

ET is far from the worst 2600 game...but it might be the worst high profile major release..

#15 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:42 PM

I heard there's a scene where the nerd takes a dump on a laptop screen that is displaying this Web page:

www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-et.html


[Not really.]

#16 Chuck D. Head OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:47 PM

I heard there's a scene where the nerd takes a dump on a laptop screen that is displaying this Web page:

www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-et.html

Well, I guess he is an idiot then. Your site hits the nail on the head perfectly; ice cream cones do suck!

#17 Animan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:16 PM

Well, who knows. If we're super, super lucky, perhaps the movie will mention games worse than E.T.? Besides the brief details we've been given, we have no idea what's going to happen in the movie.

Even outside of his AVGN show, James Rolfe is an awesome filmmaker, and I'm sure this movie will be very enjoyable anyways.

Edited by Animan, Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:16 PM.


#18 Torr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:20 PM

It's weird how the internet will take an idea and turn it into the truth. I guess if you get enough people to say and think something it becomes true. Heck even the programmer that wrote the game now thinks its bad. I don't think he would have said that in the pre-internet days.


My thoughts exactly. Granted yes, ET was a flop, but for reasons beyond it's gameplay. Anyone who hates ET must LOATHE Raiders of the Lost Ark because ET is easily much more playable/beatable than ROTLA. Both are good games. Both are adventure games. ET is more trial and error whereas ROTLA requires thinking, and THAT puts ROTLA in a spot worse than ET, ESPECIALLY if you do not have the intructions. But I don't hear a fraction of the people complaining that ROTLA is a POS.

In HSW's corner, I must say it's no wonder he's riding the wave of ET hate, Fame is Fame be it for good or ill.

EDIT: on a side note, as much as I love AVGN I must say a lot of what he says/does in his videos makes me wonder how much he knows about the games/systems he talks about... I've found myself watching his videos and either A) Wishing I could just call him and tell him the simple info he seems to have no clue about (or any of his friends for that matter) or B) Just flat out upset at knowing what he's saying sometimes is an absolute falsity, which in turn is miseducatating people who assume he knows all there is to know since he has many games/systems... a collector he is, but a professor he isn't.

Edited by Torr, Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:29 PM.


#19 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:23 PM


It's weird how the internet will take an idea and turn it into the truth. I guess if you get enough people to say and think something it becomes true. Heck even the programmer that wrote the game now thinks its bad. I don't think he would have said that in the pre-internet days.


My thoughts exactly. Granted yes, ET was a flop, but for reasons beyond it's gameplay. Anyone who hates ET must LOATHE Raiders of the Lost Ark because ET is easily much more playable/beatable than ROTLA. Both are good games. Both are adventure games. ET is more trial and error whereas ROTLA requires thinking, and THAT puts ROTLA in a spot worse than ET, ESPECIALLY if you do not have the intructions. But I don't hear a fraction of the people complaining that ROTLA is a POS.

In HSW's corner, I must say it's no wonder he's riding the wave of ET hate, Fame is Fame be it for good or ill.


He talks about that here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUKPZFva9JA#t=10m01s


Full section about E.T. starts here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUKPZFva9JA#t=8m19s

#20 Amstari ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:45 AM

He talks about that here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUKPZFva9JA#t=10m01s


Full section about E.T. starts here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUKPZFva9JA#t=8m19s


So it's a video of HSW talking about ET and it even shows a site by RT about ET. RT says ET is OK. :)

#21 2600Lives OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:03 AM

EDIT: on a side note, as much as I love AVGN I must say a lot of what he says/does in his videos makes me wonder how much he knows about the games/systems he talks about... I've found myself watching his videos and either A) Wishing I could just call him and tell him the simple info he seems to have no clue about (or any of his friends for that matter) or B) Just flat out upset at knowing what he's saying sometimes is an absolute falsity, which in turn is miseducatating people who assume he knows all there is to know since he has many games/systems... a collector he is, but a professor he isn't.




That's sort of the point. The Nerd is a character that James created, nothing more. The Nerd is angry at playing through the shitty games he's collected over the years, and is totally unconcerned about getting the details correct. The point is to exaggerate the negative points about certain games, like Castlevania 2, which I happen to love, but I can totally see where he's coming from on certain points. The same goes for Metal Gear, another game I love, but the points he makes about it are valid. And for the most part, he's spot on in his information. Care to give some examples of where he's really gotten things wrong? Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything other than some very minor details.

#22 ZylonBane OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:15 AM

Getting out of the pits is easy if you master the technique.


*head-desk*

Everything is easy when you've mastered the technique. That's why it's called mastering it.

#23 townparkradio OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:58 AM

It's weird how the internet will take an idea and turn it into the truth. I guess if you get enough people to say and think something it becomes true. Heck even the programmer that wrote the game now thinks its bad. I don't think he would have said that in the pre-internet days.

We make our own reality. If I were to say the sky is gray and get enough people to say the same thing it becomes true even though you can clearly see it is not the case.

E.T. is a fantastic game. When I was a kid, I would play that thing for hours. I got so good at it that I would have speed runs on the hardest level and get the highest score I could by constantly giving Elliot my reeses pieces. Kids today can't play the game without gettting fustrated at falling in the pits. Getting out of the pits is easy if you master the technique. It's too simple for them that they lack the skills to play the game.


Check out the Wikipedia page's comments. They can't find a single source from the time saying the game sucked, or even that it sold poorly (it didn't, it was just overproduced) but everyone is SURE it was awful. And I don't think HSW believes it was bad at all, he just decided it's better to go with it than go down the path which would eventually lead to being angry about it.

#24 townparkradio OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:01 AM

Getting out of the pits is easy if you master the technique.


*head-desk*

Everything is easy when you've mastered the technique. That's why it's called mastering it.


Considering that "technique" is "go sideways out of the pit" it's not hard to master in the first place.

#25 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:16 AM

Considering that "technique" is "go sideways out of the pit" it's not hard to master in the first place.


That works for most wells, but it's not always the best thing to do:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh4U3BwlTcY&list
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh4U3BwlTcY&list




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