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Leonard Tramiel Exclusive Text Interview - Great Commodore & Atari Insight

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Perhaps someone can correct me but is Jane not incorrect when claiming:

 

All of Jack Tramiel's family died at Auschwitz, I believe Jack's Mother survived? 

 

Jack didn't start repairing office equipment until he joined the US Army? 

 

Jane claims Jack made ends meet by repairing the typewriters of reporters Sent to cover Auschwitz. 

 

Doug Champagne was not in charge of any Squadron of F-16 aircraft, scrambled to intercept Flight 93 on 9/11

 

 

 

Jaguar AVP was not the first title to let you play as the monster. 

 

Survivor (US Gold/Toposoft) ZX Se/MSX/Amstrad CPC did this in 1987.

 

You had to eat humans to survive. 

 

From the Wikipedia description :

 

 

 

 

The player takes control of an alien (who bears a striking resemblance to the race of aliens from the Alien series of films) aboard a huge spacecraft filled with many extraterrestrial creatures. The player must perpetuate the alien's race by finding ten pods on the ship and introducing them to the incubators.

The ship itself is split into 142 areas divided into four zones. These zones are joined by doors or air-vents (which the player can crawl through). The zones also consist of different levels connected by lifts.

The pods are found in large rooms which are different from the corridors and vents which make up much of the spacecraft and more closely resemble the sort of room found in 1980s platform games.

Some creatures on the ship are dangerous and the player can spit paralysing acid at them.

The player has a limited amount of energy which can be sapped by hostile creatures on the ship or defence systems. This energy can be replenished by managing to place a pod in an incubator or by eating one of the technicians which can be found wandering around the ship.

 

 

 

 

EON Productions not MGM approached Nintendo to make a Nintendo game based on Goldeneye. 

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46 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

Perhaps someone can correct me but is Jane not incorrect when claiming:

 

All of Jack Tramiel's family died at Auschwitz, I believe Jack's Mother survived? 

Screenshot_20210818-115535_Facebook.jpg

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40 minutes ago, ThatGuyMike said:

Screenshot_20210818-115535_Facebook.jpg

BINGO... 

 

There goes that sports car ancedote and with it the wodge of cash bonus payment for AVP. 

 

 

Chalk up yet another Tramiel Era claim shot down by the Tramiel family. 

 

 

Can you ask Sam for specifics on when and how he met Jane's Father, if Jane ever lived with the family as a mere teenager and if Jane flew back to the UK during AVP development, either for surgery and or because Mike Beaton got homesick... 

 

 

Amazing work putting yet another B. S claim of Jane's to bed. 

 

😎

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Its not me doing the questioning, but I can pass that along. I try not to stir up too much trouble myself for fear of asking the 'wrong' questions and causing some random damage to my career (more than working for Jane already did). For the most part I try to keep this fiasco away from my professional life, it just so happens my professional life is usually one or two connections away from most veterans Jane name-drops.

 

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8 minutes ago, ThatGuyMike said:

Its not me doing the questioning, but I can pass that along. I try not to stir up too much trouble myself for fear of asking the 'wrong' questions and causing some random damage to my career (more than working for Jane already did). For the most part I try to keep this fiasco away from my professional life, it just so happens my professional life is usually one or two connections away from most veterans Jane name-drops.

 

As long as the questions get asked and the answers shared, your still doing fantastic work here. 

 

There are no wrong questions in cases like this, Jane has made these claims repeatedly in public interviews, stated them as FACT and it's just basic due diligence to have them checked and common courtesy to the surving Tramiel Family to make them aware of what Jane is claiming and how he uses them to gain credibility. 

 

 

The more claims we can establish as being correct and those that are complete and utter fabrications, the better. 

 

 

The evidence already gathered is overwhelming and point to an established behavior pattern for Jane stretching back years. 

 

 

He's had ample opportunity to put the record straight, stop sprouting such nonsense, yet has chosen to expand the lies further. 

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22 minutes ago, ThatGuyMike said:

Screenshot_20210819-110113_Facebook.jpg

Holy crap, just how deep does this rabbit hole go? 

 

 

So Sam Tramiel puts the emphasis here on HE, not he and his Father, not Jack and I, so that renders Jane's story of Sam and Jack arriving at his parents house to whisk him away to live with them, null and void. 

 

The entire issue of getting a visa, legal guardianship of a teenage Jane itself raised a lot of red flags when Jane told the story. 

 

 

Sam doesn't say when i visited him and Mike during the crunch period of AVP and we had shipped resources to the Whittaker home. 

 

But the Whittaker Family is credited in the AVP manual, under the Special Thanks to... 

 

THE WHITTAKER FAMILY

46 WESTERN ROAD

 

 

So, just to recap on what's come to light about Jane and the Tramiel family... 

 

 

The coffee machine ancedote - completely false.. Sam wasn't a coffee drinker. 

 

 

Made a V. P of Atari aged 19-Acomplete and utter LIE. 

 

 

Being taken from the family home in early teenage years to live with Tramiel family in Sunnyvale, highly suspicious. 

 

Tramiel family didn't own a house in Sunnyvale 

 

Leonard Tramiel casts doubt on the entire claim. 

 

Purple Hampton made clear it was obvious Sam had never met Jane prior to his arrival in USA as part of the Rebellion AVP team

 

Jane did not see Jeff Minter working on Tempest 2000 whilst at Sunnyvale Jeff was in Wales, UK.. 

 

The Tramiel family sports car and cash bonus payment for AVP which was an utter mess having been told differently so many times, appears to have no substance 

 

 

Jane's account of Jack Tramiel is way off.. 

 

 

Jane has twisted Sam meeting his father on a solidarity occasion, into this fantasy story where they regularly meet up for a drink 🙄

 

 

If we can now nail down the living with Tramiel family, returning to UK at anytime for surgery and or crunch coding, that would be brilliant. 

 

 

Can you also get the question of Jane dropping the only Prototype STE abd smashing it to bits, put to Sam? 

 

 

Jane refuses to name when and where the alleged incident happened. 

 

We know Jane didn't work on ANY ST titles, Ashes Of The Empire wasn't on ST, he's lied about the Graftgold ST titles. 

 

Jane never worked on the design of the Jaguar hardware, nor the development libraries, we have John Maitheson, ATD etc to thank for clearing those claims up. 

Screenshot_20210819-115603.png

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1 hour ago, Lostdragon said:

Jane has twisted Sam meeting his father on a solidarity occasion, into this fantasy story where they regularly meet up for a drink 🙄

 

 

If we can now nail down the living with Tramiel family, returning to UK at anytime for surgery and or crunch coding, that would be brilliant. 

 

 

Can you also get the question of Jane dropping the only Prototype STE abd smashing it to bits, put to Sam? 

 

I don't think there is a point in digging for such details...it really is a rabbit hole. And going too deep will make you look a bit obsessive and will aid their "it's a harassment" charge.

 

Also, they will always be able to wiggle out from such hazy recollections, because "it's been so long" etc, and other people's recollections are also suspect to that. Plus, some of it seems to be actually true. I guess they did have a beer, visited and mainatined contacts, from what ST is saying. Of course JW puts an exaggerated spin on it all, but it's not something you can really challenge.

 

Imo it's best to focus on some more important and tangible things, like the "Atari VP", their alleged portfolio and other work-related claims.

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27 minutes ago, youxia said:

Imo it's best to focus on some more important and tangible things, like the "Atari VP", their alleged portfolio and other work-related claims.

This is mostly where my efforts have been focussed. Dismantling the professional side of Janes claims. Anyone can pretend to be a flying space bear for all I care, its stupid but whatever. But Jane is using an almost entirely fabricated professional background to trick people into working for them, and into investing into their schemes.

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3 hours ago, youxia said:

I don't think there is a point in digging for such details...it really is a rabbit hole. And going too deep will make you look a bit obsessive and will aid their "it's a harassment" charge.

 

Also, they will always be able to wiggle out from such hazy recollections, because "it's been so long" etc, and other people's recollections are also suspect to that. Plus, some of it seems to be actually true. I guess they did have a beer, visited and mainatined contacts, from what ST is saying. Of course JW puts an exaggerated spin on it all, but it's not something you can really challenge.

 

Imo it's best to focus on some more important and tangible things, like the "Atari VP", their alleged portfolio and other work-related claims.

The remaining Sam and Jack Tramiel claims are the last on the checklist, but i totally see where your coming from here. 

 

The unspecified V. P role at Atari was cleared up by Sam Tramiel and many other senior Atari staff many months ago, but a lot of the testimonials have been asked to be kept private. 

 

I'm actually genuinely surprised Jane hasn't at any point tried to claim he was quoted out of context or never even made such a statement, when it comes to magazine interviews. 

 

If he had, it would of been extremely difficult to disprove him, espically when many publications have been notorious for simply making statements from industry folk up. 

 

But no, Jane instead insisted on repeating the same claims, changing events a little here, exaggerating a little more there and any time he was challenged, he played the victim card and to a very strong degree, it worked. 

 

Many voices from Graftgold, Rebellion, Perceptions Bullfrog, Rare etc either stayed silent or refused to get involved when approached. 

 

 

The remaining portfolio claims are absolute time sinks and complete dead ends these days. 

 

 

Jane plays the game of refusing to specify... 

 

 

There's how many titles connected to The Sims? 

 

Spinoff's, console conversions etc. 

 

Similar situation with World Of Warcraft.. 

 

You could put months of work in, only to discover Jane was merely on yet another board that got mentioned in the Special Thanks section by default. 

 

 

There were other dead ends, someone i believe said Jane had once claimed he'd been an advisor on the very first AVP Movie, i couldn't find the claim, so let it drop. 

 

He was apparently interviewed by The Voice Magazine, would of been interesting to see said interview, never found it. 

 

 

You can challenge Jane's accounts and ask why Jane felt the need to exaggerate, why he couldn't just be satisfied with position of A. I coder on AVP, Sam Tramiel visiting his parents house once, working for a few months at Sunnyvale, playtesting Dark Seed... 

 

But he will never answer... 

 

Jane can also quite reasonably say he's not doing anything the likes of Jez San, Martin Hooley, Steve Wilcox, Jason Kingsley haven't done and continue to do, lie when interviewed and some of those have OBE's to their name and you can't dispute that angle. 

 

You can only say they didn't play the same type of cards Jane played (Gender, name dropping to the extent Jane does)..

 

 

The Tramiel family themselves were masters of using the press to ensure Atari remained in the spotlight, free marketing in effect. 

 

I'm sure this and people's testimonials where they say they have no recollection, no means of checking Jane's claims will form part of his defence. 

 

Maybe he was encouraged by a publicist to sex up his career? 

 

 

As long as material is documented and archived, rather than pulled from online so it's harder to present as evidence, there is hope people won't be blindsided by Jane. 

 

That's all we can hope for. 

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Maybe he was encouraged by a publicist to sex up his career?

Could certainly be an angle to use, however he would need to name the publicist to spin that.

 

Big Games Machine handled the PR for Whittaker's keystone games incarnation, however they later cut all ties with Jane.

 

Jane's professional CV contains all these wild claims too, as does his LinkedIn profile (or did, I've not checked it recently). Seems to me Jane can claim he was misquoted or whatever by the press all he likes, but he made the same claims in his CV and that'll be somewhat more problematic legally?

 

 

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Jane endorsed both the RetroGamer and GamesTM magazine interviews recently. No mention of any press inaccuracy.

 

 

457123277_TweetRetroGamer.thumb.jpg.14e51929040d7ae5a09935d05c23e4b4.jpg623060080_TwitterGamesTM.thumb.jpg.21947b94dfa4ea3b131b5a22cbd55116.jpg

 

 

Edited by MrUnwondering
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So proud that my bullshit and lies haven't been called out.

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Only times I've seen Jane claim misquotes are for their latest Athena articles a couple months back.

 

"Oh I didn't mean X and Y, I meant Z which happens to be so different that the fact it got mistaken for X and Y is amazing"

 

Of course Z is an equally absurd claim.

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9 hours ago, MrUnwondering said:

Jane endorsed both the RetroGamer and GamesTM magazine interviews recently. No mention of any press inaccuracy.

Well, obviously - that's JW's modus operandi after all. But RetroGamer and Games are well-known, established gaming magazines, not some random youtubers. They should be doing a whole lot of retracting, correcting, or better yet, writing proper follow ups to their fail-strewn hagiographies.

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1 hour ago, youxia said:

Well, obviously - that's JW's modus operandi after all. But RetroGamer and Games are well-known, established gaming magazines, not some random youtubers. They should be doing a whole lot of retracting, correcting, or better yet, writing proper follow ups to their fail-strewn hagiographies.

They should, but history has shown they don't and really don't seem to care about the damage it can cause. 

 

 

Steve Turner contacted the RG Team after the Jane Whittaker interview went out and was told it would never be reprinted, that's some comfort 🙄

 

No public apology or correction in the next issue. 

 

 

They've allowed Imagitec Design's Martin Hooley to blame the non-appeance of Freelancer and Space Junk , squarely on Atari and Martin to make personal attacks on Leonard Tramiel twice now, hardly balanced writing. 

 

 

John Skruch  mentioned Space Junk in an internal Jaguar Release schedule document dated February 1995 in a “Pending Titles and Agreements” list, saying there was no contract or script for the game supplied at that stage,which suggests it was never ever fully signed up by Atari and Martin can't blame the failure of the Jaguar for the CD32 and Sega CD versions. 

 

 

They allowed a Junior artist to take credit for work Jim Sachs had done on Amiga Defender Of The Crown, Jim never recieved an apology, magazine never issued a correction. 

 

 

 

Alexander Holland was misreportrd as having joined Argonaut and worked on Starfox II for the SNES, title was canned years before he joined, Alex at the time feared ex-colleagues of his might read the article and think he'd been lying. 

 

Again no apology, no correction. 

 

 

Jez San was allowed to sprout utter nonsense about the Mega Drive being unable to do polygon 3D out of the box 🙄

 

That the Mega CD not the SVP chip was Sega's answer to the SFX Chip... 

 

He gave a distorted view of doing Creature Shock on Jaguar CD, no way was he going to say it was canned by Sam Tramiel as code that was delivered for Milestone progress was late and of poor quality. 

 

 

From Jane's own LinkedIn page featuring the RG interview:

 
 
1520165754524?e=1634774400&v=beta&t=UQwe

Gaming's Unsung Hero?

Jane WhittakerClick here to view Jane Whittaker’s profile

Jane Whittaker

Published Feb 26, 2018

Guys, I am so delighted at the wonderful article on my background and life that has just been published in this months Retro Gamer magazine! As well as calling me Gaming's Unsung Hero, they refer to me as one of the most influential people in the games industry discussing my titles including Midwinter, GoldeneyeN64, Alien Vs Predator and many others!

 

 

 

 

 
Expand search
 
 
 
1520165754524?e=1634774400&v=beta&t=UQwe

Gaming's Unsung Hero?

Jane WhittakerClick here to view Jane Whittaker’s profile

Jane Whittaker

Published Feb 26, 2018

Guys, I am so delighted at the wonderful article on my background and life that has just been published in this months Retro Gamer magazine! As well as calling me Gaming's Unsung Hero, they refer to me as one of the most influential people in the games industry discussing my titles including Midwinter, GoldeneyeN64, Alien Vs Predator and many others!

1520214677380?e=1634774400&v=beta&t=F4mWJn5BxF0UZBbDDVfzCnNs_YOIvKaTMuC0Q5a3j4k

It is an amazing honour and I am so proud. They talk about my history in the business from the age of 15 right up to my current projects at the age of 50! I am so grateful to Nick Thorpe and Future Publishing.

They talk about all the games I have worked on, from my early days on the ZX81 and Stellar Trader, to the Sims, to Darkseed with HR Giger and so many other titles in my career of over 30 years full time in this business

Nick Thorpe
Thank you for the kind words, and the pleasure's all mine - I only wish we'd had more pages to run with!
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Reply
3y
Jane Whittaker
You were fantastic Nick thank you so much.
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3y
 

Good grief.... 🙄

 

 

Nobody even thought to check any of the claims with staff from Graftgold, Cyberdreams, Maxis, RARE, Rebellion, Atari, Bullfrog and Maelstrom, yet over the years they've boasted of having so many contacts in the industry. 

 

 

Use them to fact check your articles. 

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12 hours ago, MrUnwondering said:

Could certainly be an angle to use, however he would need to name the publicist to spin that.

 

Big Games Machine handled the PR for Whittaker's keystone games incarnation, however they later cut all ties with Jane.

 

Jane's professional CV contains all these wild claims too, as does his LinkedIn profile (or did, I've not checked it recently). Seems to me Jane can claim he was misquoted or whatever by the press all he likes, but he made the same claims in his CV and that'll be somewhat more problematic legally?

 

 

Jane doesn't name sources when Jane knows it leaves a paper trail. 

 

The Edge reviewer who visited him and became his friend, when he was working on Power Crystal.. 

 

The artist at Rebellion who appears to be the only other source on the planet that saw the cigarette smoking, beer drinking Predator code in Jaguar AVP.. 

 

 

The big name publisher having him start work on a then current gen version of Power Crystal using the originals script and quest data. 

 

 

The big name fantasy writer who would be doing the novella for Project Artemis. 

 

 

Who are these??? 

 

Jane knows how easy it now is to find people and put Jane's claims to them and the reaction they give. 

 

 

Jane has seen likes of Steve Turner, Jeff Minter, Patrick Ketchum, Sam and Leonard Tramiel, Wild Bill Stealey, many more, come forward and expose him as a liar. 

 

 

Isn't it so very convient for Jane the likes of Jack Tramiel, Lance Lewis, Salvador Dali, H. R Giger, John Hurt, Mike Singleton, Stan Winston and more he references and name drops, are  sadly no longer with us.. 

 

The ancedotes told happened so many years ago, others connected to them would really struggle to remember anything with clarity. 

 

 

Jane realise he messed up naming specific publications where Stellar Trader was supposedly advertised by his father, where Power Crystal was reviewed. 

 

 

Why else now tell Haptic etc  his dad advertised Stellar Trader in newspapers, that his time at MicroProse was on misc Amiga Flight Sims, doesn't mention Flying Shark (after being pulled up on fact Firebird weren't bought by MicroProse until years after it was published).... 

 

 

Jane is no longer born as a siamese twin, but mixed gender. 

 

What Jane can't have blocked or pulled from online, Jane reinvents. 

 

 

And despite everything we bring to the publics attention, they still hire him, they still have him as a guest, they block comments that expose him, accuse us of having an agenda and the lies and deciet stay online and act as platforms Jane can showcase to dazzle investors with. 

Edited by Lostdragon
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This one is one of my favourites. Highlights:

 

"Jane has held senior management and board roles at Atari (11 yrs), MGM (5 yrs), and EA (14 yrs)."

 

11 YEARS at Atari? How, exactly?

 

"At XR Games, Jane’s title will be Chief Hopping Officer. The title was coined initially by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to spotlight Whittaker’s wide-ranging expertise and ability to simultaneously hop between roles in a corporate environment"

 

What the actual fuck. Chief Hopping Officer my hairy arse.

 

"Jane has a long history in VR, including managing the VR team at Atari, developing titles such as the VR version of Alien VS Predator for the Atari Jaguar and is regarded as a lead visionary in 3D technology."

 

I've been in VR dev since Oculus DK1 and haven't seen a single thing from this "lead visionary".

 

There never was a VR version of AvP on the Jaguar.

 

More waffle about boards of directors and investment funds. From what I can see the only reason people get added to boards of directors is so companies can say "look at these important people on our board!" Do they ever actually *do* anything?

 

https://www.newswire.com/news/games-industry-legend-jane-whittaker-joins-xr-games-20154185

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2 minutes ago, Yak said:

"At XR Games, Jane’s title will be Chief Hopping Officer. The title was coined initially by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to spotlight Whittaker’s wide-ranging expertise and ability to simultaneously hop between roles in a corporate environment"

Weird that Bill Gates both named a specific role, and didnt know the term 'Generalist'

 

3 minutes ago, Yak said:

"Jane has a long history in VR, including managing the VR team at Atari, developing titles such as the VR version of Alien VS Predator for the Atari Jaguar and is regarded as a lead visionary in 3D technology."

During my time developing the NDA VR game for Jane, they struggled to set up a HTC Vive, didnt understand having to render 2 screens, nor why that results in double the render time per frame

'Visionary' indeed.

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I'm pretty sure the "Chief Hopping Officer" thing is nothing whatsoever to do with Bill Gates and more likely a way for him to refer to his predilection for jamming both legs into one giant sock and hopping round Tescos (he's referred to doing exactly that in his twitter). He seems incapable of keeping his sock fetish out of every damn thing he does.

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Mike Singleton is one of my all-time dev heroes. JW calling Midwinter "my game", and getting away with it in an allegedly serious mag, makes me all kinds of mad. Thanks, but no thanks, "Nick Thorpe".

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3 minutes ago, Yak said:

I'm pretty sure the "Chief Hopping Officer" thing is nothing whatsoever to do with Bill Gates and more likely a way for him to refer to his predilection for jamming both legs into one giant sock and hopping round Tescos (he's referred to doing exactly that in his twitter). He seems incapable of keeping his sock fetish out of every damn thing he does.

Fun fact: Jane will send pictures of their socks to employees to try eliciting some kind of conversation. If that employee is also wheelchair-bound or an amputee, they'll try to get a sock pic back, usually under the rouse of like "I gotta wear these socks because XYZ, what socks do you have to help with your issues" or something. At the time you just think 'Ok, weird but whatever its harmless I guess'

When the ball drops though it all just feels so disgusting.

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26 minutes ago, Yak said:

This one is one of my favourites. Highlights:

 

"Jane has held senior management and board roles at Atari (11 yrs), MGM (5 yrs), and EA (14 yrs)."

 

11 YEARS at Atari? How, exactly?

 

"At XR Games, Jane’s title will be Chief Hopping Officer. The title was coined initially by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to spotlight Whittaker’s wide-ranging expertise and ability to simultaneously hop between roles in a corporate environment"

 

What the actual fuck. Chief Hopping Officer my hairy arse.

 

"Jane has a long history in VR, including managing the VR team at Atari, developing titles such as the VR version of Alien VS Predator for the Atari Jaguar and is regarded as a lead visionary in 3D technology."

 

I've been in VR dev since Oculus DK1 and haven't seen a single thing from this "lead visionary".

 

There never was a VR version of AvP on the Jaguar.

 

More waffle about boards of directors and investment funds. From what I can see the only reason people get added to boards of directors is so companies can say "look at these important people on our board!" Do they ever actually *do* anything?

 

https://www.newswire.com/news/games-industry-legend-jane-whittaker-joins-xr-games-20154185

I always rolled my eyes when the magazines printed Jane claiming he was made V. P of Atari, aged 19.

 

Vice President of WHAT department for a start? 

 

What kind of writer is the likes of Nick Thorpe if he's not going to follow up such a high profile claim by asking for specifics? 

 

 

The people behind the Gamestm and Retrogamer interviews with Whittaker displayed absolute ignorance regarding the Tramiel era Atari, you'd always see the latest senior leadership position/change/appointment being annouced. 

 

Someone resigned, someone moved on, someone promotes, it was an idea opportunity for the Tramiels to get a news piece, a photograph out there and for them to remain in the spotlight. 

 

 

Yet they didn't question why Jane would be made the exception? 

 

What skill sets and experience he could possibly have at such a young age to be given such a privileged position? 

 

 

Jane's timelines never match up, he's at Bullfrog after Dungeon Keeper II shipped, with Firebird years before they are bought by MicroProse, his MGM joining date was if memory serves, after Rare started work on Goldeneye, so how could he of convinced Nintendo to use Rare? 

 

 

This is what Jane later said about the V. R version of AVP:

 

 

There was also a lot of VR equipment modified for AvP by Virtuality labs in the UK (Doctor Robert Waldren) including a virtual reality headset which could sense head movement and rotate your world view accordingly and various input devices and gloves. They were a lot of fun to use too, but unfortunately also never went into mass production.

 

 

I never followed it up, as Jane would simply of said he'd been misquoted and had since issued the above correction. 

I

Edited by Lostdragon

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18 minutes ago, ThatGuyMike said:

Fun fact: Jane will send pictures of their socks to employees to try eliciting some kind of conversation. If that employee is also wheelchair-bound or an amputee, they'll try to get a sock pic back, usually under the rouse of like "I gotta wear these socks because XYZ, what socks do you have to help with your issues" or something. At the time you just think 'Ok, weird but whatever its harmless I guess'

When the ball drops though it all just feels so disgusting.

This is from the site where he'd had his hands and feet blown off by an IED and worked in counterterrorism.

 

https://littlesocknews.forumotion.com/t337-sock-saturday-and-sunday-socks-celebrations-for-egypt

 

You just want to tell him to put a sock in it about his fetish but that wouldn't work....

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