Monday, September 6, 2010

The Last Will and Testament of Noted Games Journalist Kevin Beverage

Someone's going to take games pundit Kevin Beverage seriously. Scary as it is, that's the point. Beverage is best when he's lost online, among other crude, moronic, and dishonest bits written about games. The reader who stops and thinks to himself that, although more misguided, this is a lot like other journalistic generalities he's read, is halfway there. Those who recognize satire when they read it can decide right away whether Beverage's alter ego, Rory Manion, elicits a laugh or a welp. Predictably Rory isn't proud of half he writes. As his friend, I'm biased in his favor, and besides, being unemployed, he'll gladly go where I don't dare. Unfortunately for him, though, these aren't places where major websites with massive audiences are willing to take risks.

I asked Rory for permission to post two unsuccessfully solicited Kevin Beverage articles on my blog. Here they are, unedited:

Nuclear Launch Detected
The Juche is Loose
By: Internationally renowned games journalist and pundit Kevin Beverage, PhD in Important Topic Contemplation, Harverd Correspondence College and Chiropractor

Like most gamers, the moment I heard about the tragic sinking of the Republic of Korea corvette Cheonan in the contested Yellow Sea, my heart went out to the bereaved survivors in the Blizzard financial department. I had an almost uncanny suspicion that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea—or North Korea, as we in the industry like to call it—was behind the attack. Such agitation could lead to war, and a war between North and South Korea threatens to take more lives in a week than fan death and LAN center brawls claim annually, and that can’t be good for Blizzard’s bottom line or the longevity of professional StarCraft. With that in mind, I cast a fretful gamer’s eye eastward, and think the unthinkable.

Though I’ve done no research on the topic, I think it’s safe to panic over the thought that of the 10,000-plus DPRK artillery batteries aimed at Seoul, several thousand are probably zeroed-in on any number of e-sports stadiums. And though I’m no expert on military ordinance, I also feel confident in asserting that a 150mm howitzer shell landing in the middle of a StarCraft tournament might be detrimental to even the most focused player’s clicks-per-minute. The damage done to the gaming reputations of Korea’s most famous competitors could be catastrophic. Some experts have put the potential number of Facebook friends lost by affected ‘Craft professionals in the tens of thousands, a staggering number just vague enough to inspire terror without warranting corroboration.

Should their reputations survive the shelling, the threat of compulsory military service looms large for displaced e-thletes. Or at least I’m guessing it does, I can’t really be bothered to look up the Republic of Korea’s stance on military drafting. Nevertheless, I assume that StarCraft experts will be in high demand due to their superhuman logistical prowess and micro skill. Though the possibility of losing an entire generation of ‘Craft experts to war is daunting, one can’t rule out the psyops (psychological operations) benefit to fielding a “gosu” corps of trained StarCraft strategists.

There is a silver lining to this menacing cloud of gaming despair. While the various e-sports stadiums in South Korea, being of immense strategic value, are undoubtedly targeted for immediate devastation by DPRK hardware, the numerous LAN centers scattered throughout the nation will be more difficult—if not impossible--to neutralize. The gaming idealist in me can’t help but choke up imagining the remnants of Korea’s professional StarCraft elite feverishly pounding away at hotkeys amidst the smoldering ruins of their former home cities, desperately seeking meaning for their shattered lives in the warm glow of a monitor screen. The movie rights alone ought to net a hefty sum, hopefully offsetting any financial losses from missed StarCraft 2 sales opportunities. But I’ll leave that for economists to ponder.

Reached for comment on this important man, a man whom I believe to be the Republic of Korea’s Electronic Gaming Commissioner said, through a translator: “Are you f***ing kidding me? Who is this? Don’t call this number again.”

The Last Will and Testament of Noted Games Journalist Kevin Beverage
By noted games journalist Kevin Beverage

The opinions expressed herein are rarely endorsed by anyone anywhere.

If you are reading this will, I, noted games journalist Kevin Beverage, have perished. Most likely I was done in by my years of hedonistic excess; hoisted by my own gaming petard, as they say. Maybe I suffocated in one of my several indoor ball pits, paid for by decades of hard-hitting games journalism. Or perhaps I have been found nude and supine in my subterranean gaming palace, asphyxiated by an HDMI cable. If so, please ignore the controller on my crotch, and pay no mind to the Pocket Pikachu chirping mournfully from somewhere in my colon. I died as I lived.

Throughout my storied career, nothing has filled me with more pride and intense self-satisfaction than my charitable donations to Child’s Play charity--except telling people how much I donated to Child’s Play, Twittering about the thrill I get up my spine after donating to Child’s Play, shaking my head in silent judgment of those who don’t know the good works of Child’s Play, and altruistically--publicly, usually shouting--requesting that people make Child’s Play donations in my name rather than give me gifts. It warms my heart to think that, after years of being derided as myopic sociopaths whose entire sense of self-worth is tied directly into the public perception of their chosen pastime, gamers worldwide now come together annually to hurl mud in the eye of their detractors by selflessly purchasing video games.

Because when you really think about it, if the charity you support isn’t acting as a public relations tool for your hobby, what’s the point? If I can’t use my generosity as an emotional bludgeon to savagely batter the perceived foes of my beloved gaming, why should I even bother? I could give my scads of games journalism payola to indigent youths, or auction off my Olympic-sized swimming pool full of Shrek SuperSlam promotional t-shirts for cancer research, or whatever, but anonymous individual kindness will do nothing to salt the wounds of the many foes I believe to be misrepresenting my beloved gaming community. Besides, past attempts to force Game Boy cartridges into Salvation Army collection tins have led only to savage bell-whippings, so it’s not like I haven’t tried.

And so, being of sound body and superb mind, I do hereby bequeath my gaming estate (once it has been converted from Gamestop trade-in credit to cash) to Child’s Play charity, the only charitable organization on Earth cognizant of what really matters to gamers: Netting press accolades for assuaging the boredom of hospitalized children via colossal handovers of cash to massive entertainment corporations.