Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Random Thoughts: Monkeys Playing Poker

All in! - As a video game columnist I get bombarded with requests to take a look at a wide variety of things from companies looking for some free publicity. Some of them are what you'd expect - pay to play video game websites, trivia websites, companies that specialize in gaming accessories, retro gaming systems - pretty standard stuff.

But every now and then I'll get something in my in-box that's really odd. Usually I delete stuff like this but because this one involves a monkey (and anything involving monkeys is funny) I thought I'd share it with you. Here's a portion of an email I received today:

"Hi Terry,

I think you and your Gazette audience will go bananas for this one: Mikey the chimp has been training to play in the 2006 World Series of Poker and left from New York last Saturday to begin his media tour from New York to Las Vegas. At the moment, Mikey and his trainers are in New Mexico and will continue their journey, stopping for interviews along the way to his WSOP debut. Check out and you'll go ape over this chimp playing to win money for his retirement - a real issue his trainers are willing to comment on. If you can fit him into your schedule, he is available today or tomorrow for an in-studio or phone interview with his trainers to talk about his $10,000 seat into the World Series of Poker and why he wants to win. I have included a release below and can also provide you with b-roll as well as fantastic jpegs for your website. Is today or tomorrow better for you?"

I think it goes without saying that I will be interviewing this monkey. How? I have no idea. Heck, I don't even know how a monkey can play cards. What's next? Monkey bus drivers? Although a monkey butler would be cool. What I really want to know is, how did these people get my contact information and how many of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon do you need to connect a monkey playing poker to video games? I say 3.

Milli Vanilli is underrated - So I'm finishing up my review of "Prey" today (it won't be in the paper until sometime in August, sorry but I'm a little backed up). The last thing I do when writing a review is the Top 5 list. Since the game is set in space, I figured I'd do a "Top 5 Songs to Listen to While Blasting Aliens" list. I finished my list and I'm checking out videos for all of the songs on (Its a great site, full of absolutely useless stuff. I love it!) Suddenly I come across "Girl You Know Its True" by Milli Vanilli. The video is a 12 out of 10 on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. The dance moves, the voice over at the intro and the bad lip syncing are tremendous. I highly recommend it. The song is actually pretty good. Its got a beat and you can dance to it. Check it out.

Mailbag - Don't forget to join the Mailbag for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate at

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