There was once a fat, spoilt rich child called William Tummywick. He was a right troublesome and demanding piece of work - nasty, some might say - who always managed to get what he wanted for Christmas and birthdays, even if it cost more than several hundred pounds!
He was not ashamed to ask for the most expensive bicycle with the most gears. Or the widest television. Or the remote controlled car with the largest engine! And his poor, foolish but wealthy parents would always surrender to William's demands in order to put an end to his whining and whinging.
This year, he got exactly what he wanted for Christmas as ever - a GamesMachine5.
"Why, mother! And father! This is the BEST Christmas present EVER!" shouted the little Tummywick boy, even though 'little' was perhaps not the cleverest way to describe the chocolate-filled and podgy child who most would agree is merely one packet of Monster Munch away from being categorised as morbidly obese.
"It's just what I said I wanted again and again and again!"
"A GamesMachine5! Wow!"
And with that, little William waddled his fat bottom upstairs to play with his new toy.
Now, usually, that would be the last mummy and daddy would see of William until he got hungry for Christmas dinner at around 4.00pm - but today William reappeared downstairs only 20 minutes later!
"William ? Are you OK?" enquired his mother, suddenly worried that her pleasurable Christmas morning of brandy and sherry and peace in the kitchen would be ruined by having to entertain a hyperactive child she always secretly resented.
"Why aren't you playing with your new GamesMachine5?"
William looked sad.
"I did play with it, mummy. I've finished playing with it."
Mr Tummywick put down his pipe and fine imported whiskey in shock and dismay.
"FINISHED?! Already?! But you've only been playing with it for about half an hour!"
"I know" said William.
"Now I'm bored of it"
"Bored?! BORED?!" blustered Mr Tummywick, his whiskey-reddened cheeks turning a new and as-yet uncharted shade of crimson.
"But it's supposed to be the best thing ever! It certainly COST enough, what with the games you also demanded and the pre-ordered new rumbling controllers that aren't even out here until Spring of 2008 and required expensive custom ordering from Japan!"
"How can you POSSIBLY be bored of something that cost so much money?"
William shrugged. He didn't know. Everyone said it was supposed to be good. Everyone said the games were new and exciting.
None of the GamesMachine5 magazines or web sites had mentioned the fact that all of its games were old and boring remakes of products William got bored of by December 26 last year.
It would appear that this Christmas had foolishly been built upon foundations of lies.
Meanwhile, over in the smoggy CheapStreets, little Timothy Hollingwood was hobbling his way slowly and breathlessly down the stairs. The cold weather and old house's lack of central heating was wreaking havoc with his bronchitis, but he was keen as ever to discover which single present he would be receiving this year.
It would have to go some to beat last year's present of a tennis ball!
Timothy also had polio and undiagnosed dyslexia, and his sad parents were so poor because of all the hospital bills they could only afford to buy Timothy a Teenee Console rather than the GamesMachine5 the rich children were all demanding.
Timothy's parents had bought the Teenee Console back in July, with the 170 pounds they inherited when Grandma Hollingwood passed away. She had cancer. It is probably hereditary.
The Teenee Console had been safely hidden in the loft for some six months, waiting for Timothy to unwrap on Christmas morning.
And boy, was Timothy happy with it!
"w... wow... it great" Timothy typed slowly and somewhat inaccurately into his text-to-speech synthesiser (his vocal chords were removed following a fish-bone-swallowing incident at the age of six), smiling in the lopsided way that his few remaining functional facial muscles would allow.
The debilitating muscle-wasting disease Timothy also suffered from made motor control difficult, so the Teenee Console's simple input mechanism made it easy for him to complete games by occasionally flicking his wrist - the only muscle movement he was capable of on one of his Bad Days.
By Christmas lunchtime he had already completed 500 mini games alone!
A crowd of local children were gathering at his front window, watching with amazement as Timothy completed hand-waving task after hand-waving task.
The small, sickly boy, who also had a mysterious hacking cough doctors were puzzled by, suddenly became amazingly popular and the talk of the town!
But over in the Tummywick household, things were not going as foreseen.
Little William was so bored, so incredibly bored, so bored beyond bored with his GamesMachine5 that he decided to do the unthinkable - go outside!
His coat was a little small - he'd grown significantly since last venturing out of the front doors! - but he squeezed into it all the same, leaving the GamesMachine5 turned off and abandoned in his bedroom.
Kicking a stone - a stone he imagined was the combined face and testicles of a man in the magazine who falsely sang the praises of the useless GamesMachine5 - William walked down toward the cheaper houses at the bottom of the hill outside the safety of his ivory-fronted gated community.
What was that crowd? Why were several hundred dirty children gathered around the front windows of a dilapidated terraced cottage without even the simple comfort of double glazing?
"Let me see! Coming through!" William shouted, as he barged the thinner, poorer children out of the way with his burly frame.
Through the window he saw the unthinkable - a puny boy having FUN with a console that was NOT a GamesMachine5!
And the other children seemed to be entranced by this basic and sickeningly cheaper machine!
"That's NOTHING!" William shouted!
"Come back to my house and watch ME!"
"I've got a GamesMachine5!"
A few of the children shrugged. One of them sniggered.
"It was very expensive! So it MUST be good!" William added, indignant and welling up with tears, as the sniggering child laughed some more - and with greater volume!
"You! Why are you laughing?" demanded William of the sniggering and mocking child, in the tone of voice he usually saved for demanding his mother bring more tomato ketchup to bury his fish fingers beneath.
"Nobody buys GamesMachines any more," said the boy, with a sneer.
"They're not cool any more."
William was staggered. The GamesMachine5 certainly WAS cool - it had a cool advert on the television, an advert SO very cool that it was too cool to even show any games whatsoever! It was the coolest machine ever!
"But... but... it is cool! Come and see! Come and watch me play Resistance: Fall of Man!"
The lone snigger this time turned into a full chorus of laughter, as all of the children pointed at the spoilt fat kid then threw snowballs at him. At least two of the snowballs had stones inside and really hurt, while one was constructed of snow that had previously been soaked in urine. That one went in his face.
So the sad fat boy wandered off home to page through the endless menu screens of his GamesMachine5 to wonder if, perchance, one of the options masked something more interesting than screen format resolution options and slide shows of photographs.
But they didn't.
So the moral of the story is that spoilt fat children are going to have a miserable Christmas trying to pretend they're enjoying Resistance: Fall of Man, whereas poor kids will be having fun with the family like they did before TV and MySpace and huffing aerosols was invented, playing games like Mario and Sonic and whatever other nonsense Wii fans kids themselves into thinking is good.
This story is not actually based on UKR's belief system. Both kids should've actually asked their parents to put some money in a trust fund for them instead of wasting it on toys so they can afford to get on the housing ladder a couple of decades from now, rather than wasting money playing modern video games which contain less fun, colour and innovation than a Commodore 64 loading screen.
William Tummywick became fatter and fatter and more and more demanding and unpopular, eventually committing suicide live on World of Warcraft after a failed attempt at losing his virginity to a prostitute at the age of 33.
Timothy Hollingwood's condition worsened. The hacking cough turned out to be the same lung cancer that struck down grandma. He spent the new year in hospital, where he developed bed sores and contracted MRSA in the wounds. His left leg was amputated in an attempt to stop the gangrenous infection spreading, but his blood has already become poisoned and despite several lengthy and painful transfusions, his liver and heart failed on January 2nd. The life support machine was switched off three days later with the approval of his parents, and Timothy passed away quietly in his sleep 16 hours later.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY!
This thing which totally enraged PS3 "fanboys" and sent them predictably berserk - mission accomplished. This thing about Tomb Raider Underworld, because we are totally heterosexual for Lara Croft especially now she's in hi-res. This thing about an iPod dock, because sometimes a man just has to write about iPod docks as it's still better than having a job that involves raw meat or shovels. This thing about a mentally unstable loner's android companion. This thing about Gemma Atkinson launching a bra range, because you can't not use (and we mean USE, repeatedly) pictures like this when they come along: This thing about Condemned 2 which is quite an awful piece and one of the top ten things we're ashamed about having put on the internet. This thing which was a factual update about energy production! This thing about an iPhone PlayStation emulator which was quite boring, but fucking Engadget linked to it so it inadvertently took on some sort of major global importance for about 24 hours. This thing which is a lazy review of the Xbox Live Video Store. This thing in which we took great pleasure from slagging off PS3 on a site that's essentially 'about' PS3. This thing about a widescreen projector, because you can't not use pictures like this when they come along:
NDS: 1.53 MILLION
Optional Wii adaptor to play games (RRP £1,000,000) Optional Xbox 360 adaptor to play games months/years earlier Vibrating controllers (expected Spring 2008) Patience
Assassin's Creed - "...a mocking shadow of the Xbox 360 version"
Pro Evo 2008 - "Konami Digital Entertainment is aware that some players of PES2008 are experiencing 'stuttering' by their machine when playing on PS3"
The Orange Box - "The 360 version takes about three seconds to load your last checkpoint if you die. The PS3 version takes seventeen"
Splinter Cell: DA - "...even though the game is belittled so dramatically from a visual perspective, it still manages to run at a lower frame rate than the Xbox 360 version"
And so on.
SOME OTHER ARSEHOLE:
£14,999 with half of that going to charity. The other half is going to a man in exchange for him posting you a Wii. At least he's not charging extra for postage. This thing about Ninja Gaiden 2, because it's the only game keeping us alive with hope right now. This thing about an idea for an exciting new way to waste everyone's time that MTV had. This thing about FIFA Street 3 of all things. This thing about the Xbox Live Video Store, because it's easiest writing about things you already sort of know about. This thing about Korean ladies displaying a bus, because you can't not use pictures like this when they come along:
A site about games and game paraphernalia and how nothing's as good as we remember it, probably because we used to inhabit a FANTASY WORLD.
What are we half-heartedly skimming RIGHT NOW?
Each post .02% worse than the last.
THE HTML ERAS
When men used to till the pages by hand.
12 years of wheat and chaff in one vast and impenetrable mass.
Some updates weren't universally hated by the entire world within seconds of being uploaded.
Links to that blog of yours you started up and were excited about for a whole weekend.
Some people we might've MET. Or at least seen in a room and been near.
Other sites we are happy to officially endorse without requiring Adwords spend.
Having one is compulsory, apparently. Ours is here. It is not meant to be funny.
People off the internet. Quality and commitment levels may vary.
It came with the template. Maybe in 2014 we'll jump on board the Twitter train and put that in here. Or a radio. That'd be nice.