January 18, 2008 8:00 AM | Simon Carless
For those unaware, the British 'satirical magazine-newspaper' Private Eye (for which a voluminous Wikipedia page has been created) is one of the continuing journalistic wonders of the Western world - snippy, cutting, if practically morose at times, and not afraid to dish the dirt on "public figures deemed incompetent, inefficient or corrupt".
Since my copy of Private Eye makes it out here to California on a bi-weekly basis, I was delighted to see a video game reference (the first in some time - Private Eye readers are not generally very gadget-savvy) in the latest 'Pseuds Corner' column, which takes particularly pretentious media quotes and presents them to be pointed and ridiculed.
In this case, Chris Suellentrop of Slate.com was cited for the following section of Slate's 'The Gaming Club' year-end special, in which he started their 2007 round-up as follows:
"Go buy an Xbox 360 and BioShock... it is a game about the illusion of choice in video games wrapped around a larger and less provocative rebuttal of Ayn Rand's Atlus Shrugged and her philosophy of objectivism."
Leaving aside the fact that the quote has been chopped up a little from its original context - is this pretentious? In my opinion, not quite as much as the Private Eye editors may think - I'm presuming that they are considering the Ayn Rand comparison entirely dreamt up at a theoretical level, rather than being quite as overt as it actually appears in BioShock.
But nonetheless, it's great to see video game journalism being 'honored' by Lord Gnome alongside such gems as this from Nina Campbell in the UK's Sunday Telegraph 'Stella' magazine:
"Houses have to have character. You must let your house become its unique self. I always tell my daughters, 'Husbands come and go, but whatever you do, hang on to your curtain-maker.' There are very few curtain-makers left now. It's sad, really, isn't it?"
And as a curious aside, John Walker, who is one of the British game journo massif regularly brightening our days at Rock Paper Shotgun, also made it into this issue of Private Eye for telling a tabloid journalism to go away in a spectacularly barbed (and justified) fashion.