To the Editor: Just for the record - Trip Hawkins is not the Antichrist.

The story of the decline-and-gutting of Origin by EA is not a happy one; but let us be clear that, by the time EA did gut Origin, Trip had been long gone from EA. And while Trip is indeed a controversial figure in the field, and more than a bit of an operator (I'm reminded of Noah Fallstein's reference to the "Trip Hawkins reality distortion field,") I'd also like to suggest that in some ways, he has been a force for good.

Remember what EA stands for? It stands for "Electronic Arts," and in its early days (e.g., when Trip was its co-founder and still running the joint), it ran ads asking "Can a game make you cry?" and actively promoting artists like Chris Crawford and Dan Bunten as the leading lights and innovators of a new form of digital entertainment.

That EA stands for nothing like this today is an indictment of its current management - but not of Trip.

And I don't know if anyone else remembers this, but in its final days, as 3DO was headed for the knacker's yard, Trip put up a big chunk of his own financial resources to try to keep it going, even as 3DO embarked on an (ultimately fruitless) quest to obtain more money to stay in business. He lost the lot. I'd venture to suggest that there are very few highly placed executives in any American business who would risk the same. He put his money where his mouth was.

In his letter in your last issue if The Escapist, Trip was, I think, understandably irate at the characterization of him as a prime mover behind the decline and fall of Origin - in a piece written by my old friend, Allen Varney. It was a well written piece, with the skeptical attitude that The Escapist has become justly renowned for - and Allen was, after all, quoting others, not saying this himself. But - when you come down to it, Trip doesn't deserve this.

For the record, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an investor in, advisor to, or associate in any way, of EA, 3D0, or Digital Chocolate (Trip Hawkins's current venture).

-Greg Costikyan

To the Editor: "Guns, Gangs and Greed" perpetuates the illusion of race. By identifying a group of people based on physical traits and claiming they are somehow disadvantaged because no one chooses to create content that features characters having these traits, the article engages in racism. We don't see articles bemoaning the fact that very few (any?) protagonists have red hair, and an article based on this premise would probably receive the appropriate level of befuddlement, bemusement and derision that it deserves. Please stop perpetuating the illusion of race. It does no one any service and only helps perpetuate the artificial class boundaries that other racists have constructed.

-Gregory Bloom

To the Editor: Oh, good god. What's the deal? Trying to get some advertising revenue from MTV?

How about an edition about how amateur radio has parallelled gaming? First, they entered public consciousness with CB. Then, they broke out into the corporate big time with wi-fi... But I suppose no one fantasizes about being a 1337 HAM operator.

-Michael Hobbs

To the Editor: Oh, for the sake of all that's holy with music, do not be calling the likes of Tupac and Biggy and Jo-Lo "hip hop."

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