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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Gib* the bastards

The other day the Daily Mail, a British tabloid newspaper written for the statist right prejudices of ‘Indignant of Tunbridge Well’, called for certain video games to be banned. This resulted is a rather splendid riposte by Benet Simon in The Spectator called Ban this evil rag!’:

But before you panic, remember that you’re better off trusting your child than the Daily Mail. Over the last few days I have been checking the Mail’s website discussion board to see what sort of response they have been getting to their call for a ban. At first, scores of anti-censorship postings appeared, many of them pointing out a fact that the Mail had omitted to mention in either of its two front-page stories: the murderous game, Manhunt, wasn’t in fact owned by the killer Leblanc but by his victim. Another popular complaint was that the Mail had entirely ignored a statement by the police which said that Leblanc’s motive for the so-called ‘Manhunt murder’ was certainly robbery. The kid had debts, it seems, was into drugs and killed to pay for his habit. The police went on to assert that they had never made any connection between the crime and the video game. The Mail’s response to these letters was to delete them while leaving the comments from concerned mothers who won’t let their children watch Spiderman for fear that they’ll think they can climb down walls.

Indeed… my comments were amongst those they deleted from the thread on the Daily Mail forum entitled Discuss: Should violent video games be banned?. And now that it has turned into an embarrassing fiasco for them given the overwhelming response to the contrary, they seem to have since deleted the entire thread.

It seems that ‘Indignant of Tunbridge Wells’ is a gamer too. Ban this, you crypto-fascist jerks!

* = ‘Gib’ being an expression used by computer gamers for blowing a person into bloody chunks.

14 comments to Gib* the bastards

  • And it’s pronounced “jib” as in giblets, not “gihb” as gibbon.

  • I’m afraid chess is about as violent a game as I can handle.

    Actually, if you look at my chess playing record, it could be argued that I can not even handle chess.

  • I think the word you’re looking for is ‘frag’. I’ve never heard the word ‘gib’ used as a verb in my online experience. From what I’ve seen, ‘gib’ comes up only as a noun to describe the chunks of flesh that bounce around after a gruesome kill.

  • leethaqrdude

    no dude, gib is the right word!

  • RSS

    As a big fan of Daily Mail bashing is it possible to read the Spectator article without signing up?

  • Dave

    Both The Mail and Express have also tried this stuff over Role Playing Games – once trying to get Neil Gaiman, when he was a jobbing journo to write them a piece on the “evils” of Dungeons and Dragons.

    He quit.

    One of the oft used canards in that debate is that RPGs and such like lead to suicides – however, studies have concluded that the suicide rate among gamers is lower than the rest of the teenage population. No surprise there really.

  • RSS: the Spectator has free registration.

  • no dude, gib is the right word!

    Naaah, Bruce is definitely right. Frag is the action, gib the visible reaction.

    That’s easy to confirm though: your favorite servers have a “Frag limit” setting, not a “Gib limit” one (Aow, where would be the fun then?)

    ‘Nuff said: now let’s frag and get the flag.

  • I have to disagree with Frogman and Bruce – “gib” is both a verb and a noun. “To frag” means simply to kill, whereas “to gib” means to kill by blasting into lots of tiny peices. Gib is a subset of frag! Having said that I suppose it’s quite possible that the exact usage varies between gaming communities.

    Hm, anyway, I did have more pertinent things to say about this at the time. But I didn’t realise before that it was the victim’s game. It seems that these people have an preset agenda and are just waiting for anything vaguely related to happen to trigger their campaign of outrage.

  • It is just so pathetic when people like the Daily Mail blame a vicious murder on a video game. As if there aren’t enough movies that depict they same and even worse that are much easier to access. Right after it happened there was some numbnut on the Beeb (natch) saying that Manhunt programmed children to kill. It was amazingly stupid.

  • Not so, Frogman & Bruce… Rob is correct. I said Gib and I meant Gib. Frag, by comparison, is anodyne… plus ‘frag’ has the double meaning of ‘to murder your own commanding officer with a grenade’, which is not what I mean at all. The verging-on-fascist/neo-puritan sensibilities of the Daily Mail need to be confronted with a suitable expression… gib… meaning to blow into bloody chunks (which does indeed mean ‘reduce to giblets’), is the perfect expression.

  • I stand corrected. If people say they use the word ‘gib’ as a verb, then they use the word ‘gib’ as a verb — it’s hard to dispute. I haven’t been part of the Quake/Doom community, sticking instead with UT, so maybe ‘gib’ is from the regional dialect.

  • Julian Taylor

    Well, speaking as one who owns a game developer and is currently working on something that I truly hope will cause pre-pubescents to murder each in colossal numbers … all publicity is good publicity, eh?

    “Gib” or “Gibbing” was used in the early days of First Person shooters where “Frag” is now used. Gibs are nowadays used to describe the splatter effect of guts or blood upon exploding an opponent. Look at the console of games like Doom 3 or Farcry where you get commands to increase the “gib” effect – increase bloodsplashes, gore, demon’s intestines being blasted across the room etc.

  • I stand corrected

    Well, sorry, but I don’t, and I recoil with horror at the sight of this outrageous desacralization of the gaming lingo.

    Yes Perry, the use of “frag” in first person shooters was inspired by the practice of murdering your CO with a grenade (in Vietnam if I’m not mistaken), and that’s precisely the point: although I have little experience in that matter, I can safely claim that the result is nothing close to “anodyne”. Correct me if I’m wrong but you can rest assured that the victim will be blown into pieces… I mean, well, gibs indeed.

    To the extend of my knowledge, “frag” (frag count, fragged, etc…) first appeared in multiplayer Doom (The “Frag counter” was on the menu bar when switching to MP mode – and bear in mind we’re talking very early MP gaming here: 2 people over a modem or up to 4 over a LAN, yet IPX only, not even TCP/IP), while anybody who had a go at level editing (yep, count me in) when Quake the first came out – with such great tools as Worldcraft, Quark and the likes – could tell you that this is where “gib” appeared as “entity” (in the Quake level building jargon). That is to say much later.

    In the Quake engine, the various gib entities all describe bits of flesh (head, torso, arm) that could/would be spawned whenever a player or a monster was, well, fragged.

    The corresponding 3D models could be found easily and visualized in Quake’s .pak files: for instance, look for the file “zom_gib.mdl“, for juicy chunks of zombies.

    Gamers and map designers alike may remember that Quake’s zombie’s long range weapons were bits of their own rotten flesh that those slimy bastards would throw at the player (rather weak and harmless, but bloody – no pun – enervating if you ask me): there go your “gibs”, as they were indeed named/called/spawned in Quake’s source code.

    We’re talking 1996 here, that is to say pretty much when multiplayer FPS really started to take off.

    The way I see it, Bruce and I are purists and that’s it. We’re the Disciples of Telefragged, rising from the ashes of the Quake Zone sometime in 1997.

    I don’t know what your church is, but I bet I can own ya anytime on 1/1 deathmatch. Ha!