Each week we ask a question of our staff and featured writers to learn a little bit about them and gain some insight into where they are coming from.
This week's question is:
Describe a Tom Clancy-like game you'd create. What's it named? What would the plot be?
Spanner, "Everywhere and Nowhere"
Scoop Raiders: As the editor of a team of crack investigative tabloid reporters, you must uncover scandal and gossip where there's none to be found. Using the latest stalking technology (blue-jacking phones, email interception, infrared periscopic lenses, bugging hotel rooms, upskirt cams, etc.), you must uncover the seediest nature of celebrities before the Editor-In-Chief cancels your gossip column.
Starting with easy targets who thrive on sleazy media attention (such as the Hiltons, Anna Nichole Smith and a bunch of Page 3 tarts), through whiter-than-white "A-lists" looking for free promotional coverage of their new films (Keira Knightly, Jennifer Aniston, Ashton Kutcher, etc.) to the ultimate challenge of dishing the dirt on media moguls who lock themselves away in ivory towers (George Lucas, Liz Taylor, Wacko Jacko, everyone at Ubisoft, etc.).
Bonus rounds include leaking homemade porn vids onto the internet, photographing lesbian encounters in nightclubs, winding up the celebs at the airport so they punch you, Parisian car chases and digging up dirt on celebs' families.
Play online against rival rags! New features include sabotaging enemy newspapers by setting up fake prostitutes who claimed to have shagged a celeb, posing as a member of the public and duping other pressmen into printing sordid telephoto shots of the celeb topless on a beach so they get sued, find a parent of low enough caliber that they'll pretend their kid's been molested, and the all important 'scooping the story' by any devious means you can think of!
Allen Varney, "Ubisourcing"
Does this mean I have to read a Clancy novel? Oh, no, wait: "Drug lords devise a scheme to smuggle an impressive amount of cocaine for ransom under the watchful eye of Afghani rebels. The plot twists when the Drug lords threaten to unravel the keystone of civilization with wild orgies, unless a rookie CIA agent eager to prove his worth can overcome his brooding self-doubt and stop the Drug lords once and for all. The [game] ends with a mildly comical and/or ironic scene in which the Drug lords blow up or go to prison. Another satisfying tale of political intrigue and personal redemption closes, and we all walk away from this [game] a little wiser."
Title? Umm, is there a Tom Clancy Title Generator somewhere?
Russ Pitts, "Red Storm Writing," Associate Editor
I'm not much of a game designer, but whatever game we come up with, it has to include old school copy-protection. During install, the game will ask you questions, and you will have to look up the answers in the pages of the corresponding Clancy novel. The questions will undoubtedly be of the "Who's the real enemy?" variety, and the answer will almost always be "Bleeding-Heart liberals." (page 2037)
Joe Blancato, "Frag Doll on Frag Dolls," Associate Editor
Like Allen, I've never read a Tom Clancy novel. However, I know Ben Affleck (why does Word know how to spell his last name?) starred in The Sum of All Fears, so I'm going to go out on a limb and figure that was pretty bad. In that vein, I give you Tom Clancy's Tom Clancy Primer!
You play an intrepid young editor who doesn't visit airport bookstores and as such is completely unaware of middle-American book memes (who knows, maybe you read The Da Vinci Code before Dan Brown was Dan Brown!). While you're in an airport checking all your liquid, you learn of a terrorist plot: Anti-airline activists have kidnapped the owners of airlines who've entered corporate bankruptcy for the fifth time and are demanding everyone in the nation receive one free first class upgrade (as a payment for the second multi-billion dollar bailout airlines received after 9/11) in exchange for their lives. The U.S. government isn't speaking to the kidnappers per their "we don't negotiate when we might lose" policy.
You say to yourself, "This sounds like a Clancy novel. I wish I'd read his simply-worded thrillers now!" But you don't give up. You can't give up. Rich white men's lives are at stake! So, you stealth around the airport, speaking to oblivious bored travelers who may or may not have knowledge on how this Clancy-esque plot might play out if a special agent were assigned to rescue the hostages.
With that knowledge, you eventually uncover double or triple agents engaging in a larger plot to destroy America, and work with a plucky young information desk attendant to foil their plans.
I know I'd buy it.
Julianne Greer, Executive Editor
I dunno, but the protagonist would be hot.
Now, we put the question to you: What would your Tom Clancy videogame be like?