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Console Wars

Console Wars comic – click to enlarge

Explaining the joke. by Vaughn Smith

Game reviewers love swag (stuff we all get) which is promo items that usually accompany review product. It might be a t-shirt, a cap, some decals, or in the case of the PS2 in the comic strip, a hunter's knife, a gun and a 16 ton weight...oh and a PS2 skin with the Punisher logo on it.

I actually bought The Punisher game and had to argue for my free Punisher cap that came with it. I didn't even really want the cap, but it was free, and it was SWAG, so it was rightfully mine. Then my dad of all people decided he liked it and asked me for it. Having given me the gift of life, raising me (along with my mother), paying for stuff and teaching me to become a respected musician over the years, I felt giving him the cap was the right thing to do - but that totally made us even as far as I was concerned.

The strip was also a commentary on how SWAG sometimes overshadows the product it's meant to promo in the first place - especially when you use E3 as your example. Countless thousands attend E3 each year just to get free stuff. They jam the aisles with their fat asses and take up valuable breathing room, in their pursuit of Hello Kitty keychains and Crash Bandicoot stickers. At the end of the event, do they really care about what the game companies are trying to exhibit? The answer is a big fat "No way. Not in a million years."

Things to note:

  • The PS2 dialogue is clearly Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Punisher.
  • The 16 ton weight is a little nod to Monty Python. I'm so old I used to watch Monty Python when it was NEW.

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