Tag Archives: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Other LOTRO Store, A Symptom with No Cure

Poor Aragorn, son of Arathorn, King Elessar Telcontar, reduced to shilling for mouse pads and coffee mugs.

Don't Touch MY Coffee!

There, in the Warner Brother’s Online Store, tucked back in the corner behind all the Lord of the Rings Movie Official Merchandise, there are two coffee mug styles and three flavors of mouse mat.

Is that it?

I suppose, working in high tech, I might be totally the wrong person to judge the usefulness of either, having been given by various companies and at a myriad trade shows, enough mouse pads to cover the playground at my daughter’s school and enough coffee mugs to drain an Olympic-size swimming pool.  None of which is enhanced by the fact that I:

  1. do not drink coffee
  2. use a trackball, not a mouse

And while I might be the worst possible marketing scenario for these items, I have to think that some combination of Cafe Press and gifts from people who don’t really know what you like must have killed the market for coffee mugs and mouse pads to some major degree.

And it isn’t like I would be totally adverse to some merchandise that represents one of my favorite games.

At one time, before it faded from too many washings, I proudly wore my “I got the Babel Fish” T-Shirt.  Likewise, I had a very nice Net Hack T-shirt that from the Lore Sjöberg, back when he was making T-Shirts.  I even have a Meridian 59 T-Shirt around here somewhere, though I wore it one day when we were painting the house this summer so now it has a not insubstantial amount of Kelly-Moore “Lemon Grass” on it. (Sorry Brian.)

I would buy some stuff… if you offered decent stuff.

But no, we get coffee mugs and mouse pads… and the infamous EverQuest Zippo lighters.

It's like they never saw Beavis & Butt-head

They have actually, finally, sold out of 8 of the 16 different lighters offered at the SOE Station Store.  I think they’ve been in the SOE store since 2000.  A tough break if you were going to finally break down and buy that lighter with the Wizard logo on it.  They probably have plenty of Ranger logo lighters left though!

But then SOE marketing has never been long on taste… or sense.

This is what they think of people who play Free Realms

And don’t even get me started on Figure Prints.   That is all I need, a World of Warcraft dust catcher.

Though, to be fair, Blizzard has licensed out and you can get some decent WoW themed T-shirts or hoodies.  And the EVE Online store also has a few acceptable items, though I’m not buying a model battleship.

I just don’t wear T-shirts out and about that much any more… except when I am painting the house apparently.

What I want is a nice polo shirt, or better still, a good, solid, 100% cotton, crew-necked sweat shirt… not a hoodie, I hate hoodies… but a classic pull-over sweat shirt!  One of those with your game logo on it would do me nicely.

Is that too much to ask?

How about you.  What do you want?

Infocom Memories

Jason Scott posted a set of scanned Infocom ads from the 1980 on his blog, ASCII, today.

It Is What It Eats

Those of us old enough will probably remember at least a few of the ads he has posted.

Those not old enough might not know who Infocom was.

Infocom, if you didn’t bother to go to the link up in the first sentence, made a series of text-only adventure games in the 1980s starting with Zork, a game I purchased in the college bookstore for my Apple II in… the early 80s.

The games were a bit of an acquired taste.  You either liked them or you didn’t, but they were popular enough both by virtue of their cleverness and the fact that their simplicity allowed the games to be ported to a wide variety of operating environments.  Look at the list of supported computers in the lower right of that ad.  This was what we faced in the early 80s, back when Microsoft was mostly known for its BASIC compiler and its Flight Simulator.

I owned a pile of Infocom games over that decade, though the one I enjoyed the most was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Getting the Babel Fish was an event at least as memorable to me as killing Archaedas in Uldaman was.

So a big “Thank You!” goes out to Jason Scott for his ongoing effort to find and archieve things like these ads.