'Beltway Sniper' Video-Game Release Delayed Out Of Respect For Victims

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Vol 38 Issue 42

Senator Mix-A-Lot Sponsors Titties-On-Glass Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC—Seeking to stem a four-year decline in freaky Yolandas throwing they titties on U.S. glass, U.S. Sen. Mix-A-Lot (B-WA) introduced sweeping new putting-'em-on-glass legislation Tuesday. "Now listen up, Uncle Sam / I wanna see soul sistas pressin' that ham / Make me say damn / I wanna rear-end 'em / So I'm callin' a Senate referendum / Bounce by the ounce don't make no fun / I'll take 'em by the ton, son," Mix-A-Lot said. "Don't hand this bill down to no committees / 'Cause Mix don't wait on monster titties / Note to my colleague Tom Daschle / That if the babies be gettin' bashful / No melons droppin' on my windshield / So get them nudie laws repealed." Mix-A-Lot then gave props to the authors of H.R. 1610, from which several key clauses were sampled.

Teen Newsweek Reports North Korea Is The Bomb

Teen Newsweek Reports North Korea Is The Bomb NEW YORK—According to the new issue of Teen Newsweek, a fledgling Newsweek spin-off aimed at younger readers, North Korea is the bomb. "An in-depth investigation of Pyongyang's shopping and recreational options has provided incontrovertible evidence that North Korea is, like, totally the bomb, from its delicious food to its way-inexpensive electronics," Teen Newsweek reported. It remains unknown how the nation came to possess bomb-being technology.

Upper-Middle-Class Woman Worries There's Better Coffee She Doesn't Know About

DEERFIELD, IL—Upper-middle-class homemaker Irene Risser expressed fear Monday that there exists a gourmet coffee superior to the brands she currently buys. "I have Kona Coffee's peaberry flavor, which is really terrific, and I also like to buy Sumatran Rainforest," Risser said. "But I still worry that somewhere out there, someone has better, more expensive coffee than I do." Risser then went on the Internet to search for $25-a-pound breakfast blends.

Christian Slater Dropped From List Of Names To Drop

Christian Slater Dropped From List Of Names To Drop HOLLYWOOD, CA—Citing a rapidly lowering profile, the National Name Drop Index announced the removal of actor Christian Slater from the list of celebrity names to casually reference Tuesday. "Taking into account his lack of major roles since 1998's Very Bad Things and the flaccid box office of last year's Windtalkers, we have no choice but to classify Slater's name as undroppable until further notice," NNDI director Don Hall said. "Until Slater gains at least a supporting role in a hit feature or a lead role in a TV series, he is relegated to Dean Cain Memorial Limbo."

History Channel Admits To Profiting From Nazi Documentaries

NEW YORK—The History Channel confessed Monday that it used Nazi footage to fatten its coffers. "The time has come to bring our network's shameful legacy to light," History Channel president Warren Brabender said. "Over the past 10 years, more than $300 million in ad revenue has been generated through the airing of Nazi documentaries." The channel will likely be required to pay reparations to Americans who viewed the atrocities.

Area Man Buying Not So Much A Soft Drink As An Image

SOUTHFIELD, MI—In a move Coca-Cola marketing executives called "a clear sign of our branding success," highway worker Chuck Burdon, 37, purchased a two-liter Diet Coke during his lunch break Tuesday, buying not so much a soft drink as an image.

Republicans Take The Senate

In last Tuesday's midterm elections, Republicans retook the U.S. Senate, giving them control of both houses of Congress. What do you think?

Winona Ryder's Probation

Last week, Winona Ryder was convicted of shoplifting $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue. What are the terms of her probation?
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'Beltway Sniper' Video-Game Release Delayed Out Of Respect For Victims

REDWOOD CITY, CA—Video-game developer Pixxel Arts announced Monday that it will delay the release of Beltway Sniper: Silent Strike out of respect for the victims of the recent D.C.-area shootings.

A scene from Beltway Sniper: Silent Strike.

Based on the sniper attacks linked to suspects John Muhammad and John Lee Malvo, Beltway Sniper: Silent Strike was slated to hit store shelves Nov. 15. Last Friday, however, Pixxel top brass made the decision to postpone the game's release until March 2003.

"Upon discussing the matter internally, we decided that it would be inappropriate to unleash the intense sniping action and white-knuckle stealth gameplay of Beltway Sniper at this time," Pixxel Arts president Davis Conway said. "Out of respect for the victims of this horrific killing spree and their loved ones, we are delaying release of the mind-blowing first-person shooter until early next year."

According to Rich Koslow, editor of GamePro magazine, Beltway Sniper: Silent Strike was expected to be one of the hottest video-game releases of the holiday season. Available for Nintendo Gamecube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC, the game enables players to wander through an ultra-realistic suburban D.C. landscape shooting innocent passersby.

"Beltway Sniper is everything you've heard and more," Koslow said. "I recently had a chance to play it myself at Pixxel's offices, and it's as close as you can come to real-life experience short of actually being Muhammad or Malvo himself."

Despite the strong buzz surrounding the game, Conway said Pixxel Arts is committed to holding off releasing Beltway Sniper "until the wounds from the tragedy have begun to heal." He stressed that the delay has nothing to do with any problems with the game itself.

A Pixxel representative demonstrates Beltway Sniper at a recent video-game-industry convention.

"I want people to understand that the delay is strictly a product of our deep and profound compassion for those affected by this tragedy," Conway said. "The game itself is ready to go and, believe me, it more than delivers: The mind-blowing, fully rendered 3-D graphics feature both first- and third- person modes, and the special SneakScope View enables players to track their targets with deadly precision while still keeping an eye out for police. Once enough time has passed and we as a nation have put these events behind us, I am confident that gamers will find the strength to move on to more than 20 thrilling levels of stealth-shooter action."

Though disappointed by the delay, software programmers at Pixxel Arts fully support the decision.

"This was clearly the right thing to do—it's just too soon," programmer Russell Sperber said. "No one is ready for the realistic wound-channel modeling or rifle-bullet ballistics right now, but by the time March rolls around, they'll go nuts over it. That and the unlockable extra levels, the 'Create A Cryptic Note' feature, and the 'Play As The Cops' mode. And, of course, we'll be expanding the Create-A-Sniper feature, in which you can put yourself or your friends in a tree outside a strip-mall parking lot and take aim at the customers exiting such stores as Ponderosa, T.J. Maxx, and Jo-Ann Fabrics."

As new details of the sniper case unfold, Pixxel Arts has agreed to work in tandem with D.C.-area law enforcement.

"We've been in regular communication with the various police forces involved in the case," Conway said. "They've been very helpful, both with regard to how to respectfully approach this event and how to make the gameplay as realistic as humanly possible. In situations like this, it's crucial that you do things right."

Conway said that a percentage of the profits from sales of Beltway Sniper would be donated to the victims' families.

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