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On Running Feuds
How Not to Spell Gizmondo
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on July 06, 2005   |   Episode 65 (Show Archive)  

            

It's only a matter of time before Bravo puts Spelling Bee Moms & Dads on TV!
At Defunct Games we're usually not sticklers for spelling; after all, it's easy to miss a word or put letters where they don't belong. It happens to the best of us and we're not afraid to admit it. But when you're a company trying to sell the world on your brand new handheld gaming device, it's important that you put your best foot forward and make sure everything is exactly as you want it.

Unfortunately, Gizmondo decided not to subscribe to this theory. Instead they opted to rush out a poorly written product catalog that featured page after page of heinous spelling errors. We're not just talking about a few minor problems; nearly every page has something wrong with it, leading us to question whether or not they had a copy editor at all.

In case you aren't familiar with the Gizmondo, it's a brand new portable gaming device that allows you to watch movies, play music, take pictures, and even double as a GPS unit. We've pointed out in past articles that you will also need to download three TV commercials

After the Gizmondo booth babes saw what we thought of their product they wanted nothing to do with us!
every single day, but with a launch line-up that includes big titles like Colors and Momma, Can I Mow the Lawn how can you go wrong?

All kidding aside, the Gizmondo is, believe it or not, a serious contender in the handheld wars. Will they take the market away from Nintendo or even Sony? Probably not, but we can't count them out just because they don't have pockets full of money or hot franchises. With a few strikes already against it, the Gizmondo needed to make a name for itself at E3 ... and boy did it ever.

The Gizmondo booth was large, loud, and full of attractive (surgically enhanced) women who knew absolutely nothing about the product. But beyond the terrible DJ, the sub-par dancers and the race car sitting out in the middle of nowhere hogging up space, there was one thing of interest at the Gizmondo booth - the Official 2005 Gizmondo Product Guide!

Since just about every company represented at E3 were giving out product guides it was easy to miss Gizmondo's brilliant paperback. But if you were one of the lucky show goers that picked up a product guide you were greeted with a grammatical nightmare! One so bad you have to wonder just why Gizmondo showed up at all.

From the first page things seem to go wrong, you certainly know you're in for trouble when the Gizmondo is

Hey one armed guy from Colors what's that in your only hand? Looks kind of like a boomerang to me!
referred to as "the most exciting handheld games console." When the product guide lists the special features, it makes sure and suggests that gamers can "rent movies via a downloads that will automatically remove itself." On one page they decide to start making up words and comments that gamers "like to know where to find the nearest stockist of venue." These are real quotes ladies and gentlemen; I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to.

Things go from bad to worse when we hop over to the game descriptions. Colors, the new gang fueled action title, makes "players work their way up the gang hierachy to eventually to eventually reign supreme." That's right, not only did that sentence spell "hierarchy" wrong, but they added an extra pair of to eventually's. You would think that somebody could copy edit this stuff before it goes to the printer, but obviously that was not the case at Gizmondo.

Unfortunately Gizmondo is just as bad at continuity as they are spelling. On page three they introduce the world to the concepts of "Smart Adds", which is in and of itself a spelling error. Ignoring the fact that it should be "Smart Ads" Tiger

Celebrities like Ali G don't need to know proper english, but if you're going to market a multi-million dollar game system it's a good idea to spell check!
went ahead and trademarked it with the double "D". Now I don't have a problem with them calling it "Smart Adds", but if they are going to go as far to trademark that spelling, shouldn't they make sure and always call it that? Well, surprise surprise, they don't! That's right, only twenty pages later the guide refers to the feature as "Smart Ads" suggesting that perhaps they had the spell checker working after all.

Gizmondo fans out there (you know who you are) may suggest that at this point we're just beating a dead horse, we've had our fun and now it's time to go back to assaulting Nintendo fans. Those people couldn't be more on the mark, but even though I know I'm beating a dead horse I still feel it's my duty to tell you about how Gizmondo is "using in-build GPS functionality." I mean, there's just so much fodder in this book that it makes you want to keep pointing them out forever. I could probably

Perhaps Gizmondo's product guide was written by out of work Vice President Dan Quayle?
ramble on for hours about when they discussed learning about how a "dig revealed a great number of artefacts." And did I mention the "mind-blowing game's concepts"? I'm serious people, there are more than enough errors in this one book to make you forget all about the overpriced handheld unit they are trying to promote!

The perfectionists out there will no doubt point to the fact that Defunct Games is far from 100% perfect. We make spelling errors like the rest of them and sometimes don't check our grammar as thoroughly as we should ... but don't forget that Defunct Games isn't spending millions of dollars developing, producing, and advertising a game system. We're talking about a company that spent a lot of money to go to E3 and show off their wares, yet they let a product like this represent them. In this world of computers you would think that somebody would have the foresight to use a spellchecker ... or even just have a friend look it over. When you're spending millions of dollars to roll out a new system there is simply no excuse for not paying somebody a little extra to use a computer with a spell checker.
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