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Strap Wars: The Editor Strikes Back

Well, not yet. But it can only be a matter of time.

Obviously, when you start to land freelance work with a new publication, the absolute worst thing to do is start dicking around with in-jokes. So, naturally, I immediately decided to challenge staff writer Martin Gason to a dual in writing some of the most cringeworthy strap lines in the history of games journalism.

My attack came first. In fact, without fully realising, I’d already got one-up over him with the first thing I wrote there – a review of Emberwind – under the strapline “Home sweet gnome.” And my launch proper was strong too: a strap for my Quake retrospective, knocking out the Status Quo with “Brown bown, deeper and brown.” I was onto a winner from the start. That boy Gaston couldn’t keep up, surely.

But my goodness, he managed just that. Reviewing Army of Men: The 40th Day, Martin struck back with an astonishing pun that managed to simultaneously be deeply groan-inducing and reference a work of ancient Chinese literature: “Bromance of the Three Kingdoms.”

It truly was war by now. So, without further ado, I got busy with my review of Stalker: Call of Pripyat. I fear it says a lot about me that I wrote the strap line before anything else. That’s because it was “Bring protective pants, otherwise Chernobyl fallout.”

(Only later did I discover PC Zone, under Will Porter’s reign, ran this joke as an entire competition in the magazine! Man!)

I was sure that would be the end of it. Surely the boy Gaston couldn’t retort in any reasonable manner. And anyway, I had another one brewing. Not for, sure, but a blog post over at UserCreated. A blog post about an upcoming and rather exciting-looking digital download service called Desura. Of course the headline would be “Ahead of Steam?

But my goodness, Gaston’s only gone and done it again. He’s reviewed Vancouver 2010, and he’s bloody gone and thrown “Should have put some thawed into it” on the table.


If the editor is reading: Luke, we are really sorry.


One response »

  1. I imagine straps like that are what editors dream of when they sleep at night.


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