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Hit Hunter fall catalog

First-person PMS

System requirements:
Cramps, happy pills,
XX chromosomes

Release date:
All too frequently

Syndrome box People claim women don't play shooters because that's a boy thing, but the existence of all-girl Quake clans undoes that prejudice. Why not a Postal for women? You've got PMS and a high-powered weapon, you're cranky as anything, and you're surrounded by a bunch of chauvinist pigs who harass you sexually, deny you promotion because of your gender and generally act like jerks. Work out your crankiness by blowing away pixels instead of making other people's lives a living hell.

Maybe you can get it sponsored by Midol. In fact, maybe you can get endcaps in Duane Reade and Buy Rite drug stores across the country--in the appropriate aisle, of course.

L.L. Bean Wilderness Survival

Roughing it with style

System requirements:
Everything in the catalog

Release date:
Allow two to four weeks for delivery

LL Bean Wilderness Survival box You know, you can do more in the Great Outdoors than slaughter small furry critters. And there are a whole slew of retailers who cater to people who hike and explore--and to those who like the look but only use their Timberland boots and anoraks to brave the howling wilderness of Manhattan's Upper West Side. Lots of people buy into the John Muir thing who never actually get more than a mile from the nearest Taco Bell.

You might not remember the old Wilderness Survival boardgame: wandering around a national park and facing the problems of nature--snow storms and bears and so on. Kind of a fun game at that. Easy enough to a computer version--one in which you survive the wilderness by using the latest sleeping bags, compasses, and butane stoves provided by America's largest catalog retailer. With a web link, so you can go to their site and order the items you use in the game. L.L. Bean gets an exclusive on the game--and gets the demo into the hands of millions of potential customers with the next catalog they mail.

I could go on...Supermarket Explorer...Where in the World Is Thomas Cook?...Merrill Lynch's Millionaire Before Fifty.... But I think you get the point.

The success of Deer Hunter is reproducible, but not with Deer Hunter clones. The real lesson isn't: bubba buys games. And it isn't: Wal-Mart is God.

The real lesson is: you can sell games beyond the hardcore. If you have the right game and the right distribution.

Let's see a little imagination, guys.

© Copyright 1998 by Greg Costikyan.