>From email@example.com Mon Apr 29 17:41 EST 1996
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 1996 06:23:06 +48000
From: G+ Magazine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: G+02.09.09: Columns
To: G+ Daemon <email@example.com>
On The Pulse G+02.09.09.01
I'll be there in a minute Mum. Just one more game...
What!?! No header! Oh well, you better just get a move on a read...
James Hogan's Postcards From The Tropical Igloo G+02.09.09.02
One of the more interesting news titbits to surface in recent months: the
United States Marines are using Doom to train their soldiers for combat.
Not exclusively, of course. And certainly not as a replacement for more
traditional forms of practice and training, but they're using it
nonetheless. Though Doom can't hope to recreate the feeling of operating
and aiming a weapon, engaging in hand-to-hand combat, and so forth, it does
provide a fairly realistic 3-D environment to move around in. That's
enough for the Marines to practice four-man fireteam tactics, as opposed
to actual physical combat skills.
I got myself a copy of the custom-made level they use for this training,
and it's pretty interesting. It's boring as hell by regular Doom standards
-- but then, that's not the point. The level feels much more like
real-life modern combat -- there are some new graphics for the weapons and
bad guys, and it utilises the "DeHackEd" Doom utility to change the weapon
behaviours to more accurately model modern weaponry. (You'd be surprised
at how effective of a weapon the pistol is when it can fire faster than the
The most significant change is that players only start with 20% health, so
that two or three pistol shots will kill you. Though I was only able to do
a bit of single-player experimentation, I understand how group tactics in
this situation would be vital. When one stray enemy bullet can bring you
dangerously close to death, a single mistake or dose of bad luck usually
costs you your life - you need to have people watching your back and sides
at all times. I can see that, with the right direction, such a scenario
could be used to teach team co-ordination and strategy.
An obvious question, though, is why are they spending their time doing this
when there are so many more effective forms of training? Why play Doom
when they could just as well go out into a training field, suit up in real
gear, and play wargames that mirror real combat so much more closely than
Doom? The answer to this is probably a matter of cost -- even the military
has a limited budget, and multi-player Doom sessions are undoubtedly much
cheaper than a full-blown combat simulation. And if it can actually help
get the job done, why not do it?
It's quite amazing, actually, when you think about how far computer games
have come. Not just from the perspective of "Oh, wow, look how ugly their
graphics were back then!" but from a design standpoint, as well. This
whole "Marine Doom" thing wouldn't be happening if Doom didn't have
multi-player support or such an open-ended design allowing the user to
customise things as needed.
But even more than that, this is yet another sign that computer games are
finally starting to be taken seriously by people outside the industry.
We're slowly getting Hollywood to start paying attention to us, and things
like this give computer gaming even more beneficial publicity.
It really gets interesting when you step back a moment and look at this
from a broader perspective. Military organisations have long used
computers in training (flight simulators, for example) but never to my
knowledge has something like a shareware computer game been a part of the
training process. Admittedly, it's not the entire training process, nor
even a significant part -- but it is a part nonetheless.
If the implications of that haven't sunk in yet, then take a moment until
they do. Needless to say, the United States Marines -- along with every
other military organisation - take the training process very seriously.
They have real men and women being prepared to go into real life-and-death
situations. Human lives depend on this training. and Doom is a part of
And they say computer games are just for kids.
As usual, I welcome any comments or responses to this column. Please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like to take a look at the Marine Doom WAD, you can download it from http://www.marines.com/doom/doom.html.
The Story Of The Bull & The Bear G+02.09.09.04 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= In this column, we bring you the latest stock prices of publicly listed gaming companies. If you want to get a seat on the board, now you know how much money you will need. Today Change High Low 7th Level (NASDAQ:SEVL) $ 8.750 -$0.500 $22.625 $ 7.375 Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) $13.375 +$1.000 $20.125 $ 5.500 Atari Corporation (AMEX:ATC) $ 5.125 +$1.313 $ 6.000 $ 1.125 Broderbund (NASDAQ:BROD) $42.000 +$1.000 $78.750 $36.250 Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) $26.500 -$0.750 $42.250 $19.875 Gametek (NASDAQ:GAME) $ 1.500 -$0.250 $ 2.875 $ 0.875 Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) $112.750 +$8.375 $113.750 $72.125 Netscape (NASDAQ:NSCP) $64.500 +$18.875 $87.000 $22.875 Sierra On-Line (NASDAQ:SIER) $37.750 +$3.625 $48.750 $16.500 Spectrum Holobyte (NASDAQ:SBYT) $ 7.875 -$0.250 $21.375 $ 4.750 "Today" refers to the close of trading on 25 April, 1995, "Change" refers to the change in the rate since our last report (in the case where 'n/a' appears, we had no previous report for that particular share), and "High" & "Low" refer to the highest and lowest rate that each stock has achieved over the past 52 weeks. All prices are quoted in US dollars, and they are correct as far as we know, but hell, this is a games magazine, not an investment journal.
The big boys of the group are at it again. Microsoft has reached at all year high this period by attaining a share price of $113.75. That is a $9.375 increase since we reported last time. It has eased by a dollar which is probably due to profit takers. On the other hand, Netscape is growing in leaps and bounds again. Jumping a massive $18.87 (that's $37.75 prior to the share split) in just three weeks. Although far from it's all year high of $87 per share, it's making roads back in that direction.
Amidst rumours of the demise of Spectrum Holobyte, the share only dropped by 3 percent. Far from it's heyday of $21 per share earlier this year, it is still by no means gone. Hang in there guys... we want to see Falcon 4.
Converging Vectors, by Kenneth Goh G+02.09.09.05 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= There's this guy I know who's always complaining about the price of things. Of course everyone does, but this guy makes an art out of it. Everything's a scam to rid him of any money he has. He's the type of person who would drive to the other side of the city and back to save a buck on his groceries. Everyone knows one I guess. You see them oscillating in and out of the supermarket trying to over-come the "two per customer" sale items. I've even seen people buy their groceries one items one at a time. What are they trying to do? Believe it or not they're trying to save on the rounding error! Sheeeshk!
Anyway this person is a bit of a computer game freak. His joystick waggling Utopia came crashing down with the invasion of CD-ROMs. You see, he flew the Jolly Roger proudly, despite being a computer programmer himself! When those shiny disks started spinning their way into peoples homes and programmer's hearts he denounced the technology, citing such things as inflexibility, drive cost and access times hoping that it was all just a passing fad. However, the tide was turning and nothing could stop the wave of CD-ROMs that have made the floppy all but extinct. His days on the high seas were coming rapidly to a stop and he sunk slowly into depression vowing never to buy anything to do with CD-ROM.
I took him a year but he eventually conceded. I think Command and Conquer was the reason. In a low key covert manoeuvre he snuk out and bought a CD drive. He's got a small collection now and has been eyeing Electronic Arts new flight sim Advanced Tactical Fighters ever since it hit the shelves. He's not a real flight simulation buff but he knows a good game when he sees one, especially since it's networkable. The amount of umming and ahhing he's done over whether to buy this game would put an Alcoholics Anonymous conference to shame. I realised he had a problem and offered some advice.
You get a surprising amount for your money. Of course there's at least a good ten hours of quality game time, possibly twenty and maybe fifty depending on the individual. The network option, if you exploit it, opens up the game incredibly and can easily double your solo hours. The mission designer adds further to value of the game. When you work it out it's more cost effective than the movies or the arcades and probably even videos if you're a keen player. And that's not all either. ATF has an interesting multimedia presentation with some nice video clips and information with the clout of Jane's Information Group behind it. The value of this again depends on whether you're an enthusiast or not but most people will get something out of it. To top it off there's a hefty manual, something that Microprose were famous for, packed with instructions and specifications. It contains essentially condensed information from the "Jane's All the Worlds Aircraft" reference book, one of which would set an average person back a week of wages.
If you look back over the past five years you'll see that the price of software hasn't really increased by that much. I can remember paying more for F-19 Stealth Fighter than I did for AFT and that's not even allowing for inflation. The amount of man hours that goes into a current software release like ATF as opposed to five years ago has easily been doubled. There's no doubt that the dramatic drop in amateur piracy with the introduction of CD's has made a huge difference. Also people are starting to embrace computer technology as part of their lifestyle instead of some quirky hobby and hence are more willing to throw money at it. As computers become more accessible expect this trend to increase further. The next scourge for the software industry will undoubtedly be the rise of professional pirates who will also be trying to cash in on this affluent industry.
Computer gaming is a developing technology which is much more dynamic than any other form of consumer entertainment and as such the value of the product is continually increasing. It's worth thinking about the next time you're looking at that shiny box umming and ahhing. Oh, and by the way, that guy got out of programming less than a year into his first job. He swears he'll never go back to those zombie days staring blankly into a screen being bombarded with radiation. I suggested he might donate to the cause of fellow zombies. He agreed.
The Distinctive Fish G+02.09.09.06 =-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=
The ultimate in interactive magazines! A new column written by the readers!
This space if to be filled by those enthusiastic readers of G+ that want to get something off their chest that really doesn't fit in a review or any other "normal" section of the magazine.
Submissions should be about 5-800 words, and can be on any subject that has at least a tangential relation to computer gaming. It's up to you, so take a few minutes and go for it! Email your completed article to us and you never know what might happen: email@example.com.
Remember -- don't get caught!
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= G+ Copyright Notice =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
(C) Copyright 1996, Midnight Publishing. All rights reserved.
This portion of G+ may be redistributed provided that it is not modified in any way, and this notice remains intact and attached as an integral portion of this document. This document may not under any circumstances be resold or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from Midnight Publishing.
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