Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Grandma's New Position: Reviewing Games For MTV

The launch of MTV.com's new show The G-Hole revealed the big secret Grandma and I have held in confidence like the location of the second marker revealing the path for Indiana Jones and his band of stock characters.

The folks at MTV were impressed by Grandma enough to give her a gift before they left the foggy hills of Cleveland to head back to New York. That gift is the one and only translucent green XBox Debug Kit, a console that solidified MTV's offer to Grandma: To put it simply, Grandma is now the senior correspondent for the G-Hole on MTV Overdrive.

It works a little like this...

The XBox Debug allows Grandma to play early builds and beta versions of games before they come out, getting MTV Grandma's opinion on the "fuck yes!" or "what the shit?" qualities of games for the XBox before all others. This doesn't mean Grandma's reviews will be XBox exclusive, far from it. Grandma has ALREADY RECEIVED, as she would say: "a SHITLOAD of games" from MTV, and you bet your ass each system was represented heartily.

It has begun.

This is a huge deal for Grandma, for many obvious reasons. First, in her words: "YES! FUCK YEAH! Tim, you know what this MEANS?? GAMES!! For FREE! All I have to do is fucking PLAY them, and then tell them what I think. It's a CAKEWALK; it's the best job on the PLANET!! HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN????" Second, she doesn't feel bad now when she gets a free game and has to tell the world she thinks it's horrible. She hasn't lied about a game yet in exchange for some play time, and she doesn't intend to start. Third, this puts her in a position of gaming journalism, so to speak, and you know what means. The chances of her achieving her ultimate goal and going to E3 has become more likely.

Grandma is gaming around the clock now, even more than her average of 10 hours per day; switching between games and systems not "like a pro," but AS one. She has so many new games to play. Not just "try"- rather she takes them head on as she would any new purchase. Grandma is READY for this. She has waited for this opportunity since she picked up her first copy of Nintendo Power and said aloud "man, this would be the ultimate job."

She is getting everything she could ever want as a gamer. Grandma is in her glory; more importantly- Grandma is in her prime.

When she looks back at the past six months, she only has to wonder for a moment as to the cause of her success:

It was you.

You guys linked to Grandma in your blogs, you wrote articles about Grandma in your newspapers and magazines, you talked about her on your radio shows, you invited her to your podcasts, you sent her your ideas, you mentioned her at gaming conventions, LAN parties, and arcades. You gave her e-cards and clippings when she was in the hospital, you mentioned her in forums, you had her back in battles, you held her up when she was down.

It was all you guys and don't you ever fucking forget it.

And then there were the rest of you. You know who you are. Ubisoft, Surreal Software, Microsoft, Sony, Working Designs, Midway, Double Fine- all you guys dug Grandma enough to give her some swag or send some games her way and share the love; proving to Grandma that the industry she's adored for thirty years cares about her too.

You, all of you know Grandma enough now through the blog to know what this means to her. She considers you all to be an extended family of grandchildren, and nothing is more important than family.

Grandma has opinions she'd like to share with you; she has much to say.

Old Grandma Hardcore is ready.

Game on.

--To see the show, go to MTV.com/Overdrive and click on the "Games" tab. The Overdrive Channel is a broadband version of MTV with exclusive interviews, news and shows like the G-Hole. Overdrive is optimized for Internet Explorer, so Firefox and Safari users can download an updated version of IE to see Grandma do her thing. The blog continues, we go back to our daily update schedule tomorrow! Coming up... CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes (possibly), Der Spiegel, Grandma's Project, etc.,....--


  • At 7:00 PM, Blogger EazyCheeze said…

    Holy crap, yeah! You're well on your way to living out your respective dreams! I LOVE IT!

  • At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You guys deserve every bit of success that comes your way. You're wonderful, hilarious, sweet people, and I do a little happy dance in my chair whenever I think about things going well for you. ::big hugs:: HOORAY FOR OGHC!

    GAME ON!


  • At 8:15 PM, Blogger EazyCheeze said…

    My router does not allow me to play broadband (streaming) material reliably, I think it took a hit in a lightning storm a while ago. I can direct-connect my computer to my cable modem to take the problem away, but it's annoying to change, as the plug is broken and slips out if unattended. Also my parents very actively use the other connected computers, so I can't disconnect and go direct most of the time. Could you get permission to put the video up? Thanks :)

  • At 8:17 PM, Blogger Louise said…

    Oh wow! Congratulations, Grandma! I'm really happy for you. That's possibly the most kickass job in the whole world and nobody, but NOBODY deserves it more than you.

    To celebrate your awesome news, I'm going to dedicate the next post in my blog to you and Tim.

    Good luck, Grandma, and game on!
    Louise :)

    PS: My mum loves this site too! She thinks Grandma rules. :D

  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger Master Yoshi said…

    That's fuckin' cool! I'm so JEALOUS!!! I hope it goes well for you Grandma. We all love you lot's. So...that being said...are you still going to do this blog? I hope so, because I would miss it a whole lot if you didn't.

    Granny Rules!! GAME ON!!!!!!!!!!

  • At 9:05 PM, Blogger Collin said…

    That is truly awesome! I hope she does make E3.

    Oh, and even though nothing about your interview with MTV should be considered "proprietary" it's still locked away behind Windows DRM and us Mac users can't watch it. Any chance you can bug them for a un-DRM'ed copy of it that you could post for us long time OGHC fans who happen to be kept down by "the man"?

  • At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congratulations! I'm sure you'll do a totally awesome job, Grandma. Can't wait to see your reviews! ^_^

  • At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sweet! Congratulations!

  • At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congrats you guys! Thanks to grammy, i have proof you don't have to be a teenage dude to play hardcore--you and tim are my heros!

    So what games had grandma found herself evaluating so far?

  • At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow Now I have to watch MTV.

    I'm sooo happy Grandma you guys made my day with this news. Now I have to hurry and finish our game so you can review it
    on your new show. Again YOU GUYS rock!
    I sure hope i get to meet you guys at E3. Max

  • At 11:05 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    Ok everyone, group hug. Come on...

    Congrats Grandma, I'm sure thats a dream job for anyone who reads this blog.


  • At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That is so unbelievably cool. Go Grandma!

  • At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Damn... some kind of a network error when I try to watch the movie!! Has anyone actually SEEN the video?!?

    BTW... CONGRATS!!!!!! AWESOME job, absolutely awesome. And well-deserved, I must say.

  • At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Way to go! Now there's a dream job

    And I second Collin's sentiment, how about something for us Mac users?

  • At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Woot! Grandma will make a great reviewer.

    And er, I request something for Macs too.

  • At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have a video card with TV-out, an audio mixer, one of those cheap entertainment-center DVD recorders, and Auto Gordian Knot software on my PC. Do you guys need me to make you a DivX copy and Torrent it?

  • At 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    (same anonymous again)
    BTW, better direct link to the show: http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/player.jhtml?id=1512374
    So how has the relationship gone so far? In what forms is MTV planning on receiving OGHC's results? Is she going to be writing reviews? Will she be preparing video review material? And if so, does that mean MTV will be loaning you some video production gear, so they can overlay her talking head on select game footage without flying out there all the time?

    Also, I guess this means you're "in the industry" now. Your opinions will influence peoples' purchasing decisions even more now. This makes me think of seeing your best friend elected into office: sometimes you find that even though you still like the person, and you still get along, you don't care for what they do in their official capacity any longer.

    So along those lines, can we get to know some of OGHC's game industry philosophies? For example, putting aside the interface concerns with Nintendo's new controller, what are OGHC's thoughts on Nintendo's public strategy, firing the "hardcore" customers and letting those people go to MS and Sony, and making games for new markets and developing new genres?

    What restrictions does your relationship with MTV put on OGHC's speech? It seems natural that MTV wouldn't want OGHC commenting publicly on unreleased games, giving blog readers more detailed information then MTV's audience will get.

  • At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    HOLY COW!!!

    Finally, a reliable source for gaming-reviews ;o)

    I've been following your blog since I read about it on fm4.orf.at some months ago and right now it keeps me alive during my internship!!

    Greetings from Bavaria. Thanks to OGHC for beeing the way you are, to Timothy for all these great articles and all the best wishes to your family ...

    Your blog is pure, digital ROCK 'N ROLL!!

  • At 5:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Excellent to hear, unfortunetly can't watch the video since i'm not in north america apparently.

  • At 6:16 AM, Blogger Brinstar said…

    Congratulations, Grandma! I know you'll do an awesome job!

  • At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The great state of Texas is with you Grandma!

  • At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Keep an eye on those MTV fuckers tho cause they sold out like twenty years ago, it used to be about the music and now its about the money......

  • At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congratulations on this excellent job! I couldn't think of a better representative of the gamer community. Vote for Grandma!

  • At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous: I'm in Europe so I can't watch MTV overdrive, so a torrent sounds like a good idea. Unless Tim can get something up.

  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger ivorynetsuke said…

    OMG, I am so HAPPY for Grandma, and for you, Tim!!! Way to go =) And, no offense, I'm extremely jealous!

    Since I've been checking in on OGHC, reading about Grandma's exploits has been a great influence on the games I'm interested in trying out. And, thanks to you two, my addiction to online gaming is finally broken (this is a good thing). My interest is back in console gaming and I have a lot of catching up to do!

    I guess the point of all this blather is that if Grandma has this much influence over one person (and I'm sure I'm not the only out there who feels this way), imagine the impact she will have through The G-Hole.

    I am so proud of both of you. Game on!

  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    We love you guys! Of course we're keeping the blog going! It wouldn't be the same without your feedback and suggestions- you realize that many of Grandma's game picks like God of War and Psychonauts were really pushed forward by your suggestions. Grandma LOVED God of War and was certainly interested in the game last summer, but when you e-mailed her and said "Grandma HAS to try this," she knew it would be good, and went ahead and bought it.

    You asked a lot of good questions...

    First- I'm going to see what I can find out for Mac users and our international readers who want to see the show. For now, I can say that the piece on The G-Hole was only a little longer than the clip they provided us in QuickTime, which someone also placed on Putfile in wmv. That clip is in our last post, and I'll find a link to the Putfile URL for the show. The only parts they cut out for the teaser are showing a clip of a fight against Ares; Grandma briefly playing Blair in some Outlaw Golf 2 (funny story behind those 5 seconds actually :) And then at the end Blair asks Grandma if she would like to be their Senior Correspondent, she said yes, they gave her an XBox Debug and she flipped and gave Blair a hug. There was maybe an additional 40 seconds on the final product for The G-Hole than in the teaser.

    Also, there is always the piece on their show Obsessed, which hasn't come out yet :)

    I WILL find out if there is anything I can do for Mac users, or the possibility of a torrent. Because the show has commercials (Verizon this time round) chances are they'll say no, but it can't hurt to ask.

    Second- MTV has been very clear on one concern Grandma had- censorship on the blog and censorship on the show- and their answer is absolutely not. If Grandma wants to swear, she can swear- they can bleep things out later if they have to, but they're not going to tell Grandma what to say in her reviews, it's all up to her.

    And the blog shall not change for the worse. We're still honest, we're still vulgar, we're still going to call out fuckers like Jack Thompson and hold them to the fire, we're still going to make fun of Chris Crawford's "elegant" articles on Women in Gaming. Viacom owns MTV. Viacom also owns SpikeTV. If Grandma falls asleep watching the VGA's on TV this Friday, you're still going to know about it. I respect the folks at MTV because they can take some criticism when its due, and I don't hear them badmouthing competitors like G4; they seem sincere. It's all good.

    Now as far as unreleased stuff goes, sure- because MTV is giving Grandma the games, they'll get her full opinions before we're able to write about it on the blog. That's not a corporate MTV thing, that's an NDA thing. Oh, Grandma will discover the joys of paperwork :) But Grandma is still buying things separate from what she gets from MTV, and those are things that she wants to talk about on the blog, like Fatal Frame 3, for instance. So she goes on with business as usual on the blog, has her MTV reviews seperate, and then perhaps after a piece airs, she can elaborate more here at OGHC. I don't know! I know that Grandma and I are going to have a long talk with the folks at MTV to answer a lot of these questions.

    I think David Jaffe would get angry if I said Grandma was in the "industry," so I'll say she's more in the "game journalism industry," so I will say that Grandma's industry philosophies will become a bit more informed perhaps, but I doubt they'll change. (We like David Jaffe.) I don't think she has a blanket opinion about the Nintendo situation yet, anonymous, but I'll show her the articles and ask her what she thinks.

    Bottom line, Grandma is still Grandma. I'm not really her agent or her producer, I'm just her grandkid; so Grandma's contribution to The G-Hole is sort of a big extension to what you folks find here, rather than a transformation of character into something she's not.

    She loves you folks :)

  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger 100LittleDolls said…

    Grandma, you truly are my hero!


  • At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Grandma looks so happy in that interview. I love how she said she's not just gonna find a rocking chair and wait for death. Game on Grandma, you are beautiful. Oh and Tim, there is something very charming about you. Congratulations to your both. You deserve it.

  • At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    (it's the same anonymous, *again*. I really should think about making an account.)

    I think I disagree about OGHC not being in the industry. Future design decisions are informed by how people receive what's done in the past. Those all-important "money people" pay attention to reviews, so in a very indirect way, OGHC's opinion will affect what projects get funded in the future.

    I think game developers can look forward to some uniquely awesome feedback from OGHC. Personally I enjoy reviews from people closer to OGHC's end of the maturity / wisdom scale (Leo Laporte anyone?), so I'd love to see what she says about these games.

    Oh yeah... is there money too? Or "merely" tons of free games? :-)

  • At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I'm so proud of both of you.

    Tim, I hope some day I have a grandkid who loves me as much as you love your grandma. You have done an incredible job. There is nothing more satisfying than watching somebody you love realize their dreams - and when you can make that dream come true through your own honest efforts - well that's about the best experience there is in the whole world.

    Barbara - way to go with the child-rearing AND the gameplaying. IMHO the gaming industry just entered a whole new level by recognizing your mad skillz.

    - Mama Lombax

  • At 7:37 PM, Blogger Reeve said…

    Congrats!! I've only started reading this blog recently, but I'm happy for both of you. All the best :D

  • At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey, does this means the blog will get less posts and eventually die? If that happens, I cry.

  • At 11:09 AM, Blogger Mike Abundo said…

    Congratulations, guys! Her reviews should get more senior citizens gaming. ;)

  • At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Way to go, Grandma! I'm totally looking forward to checking out your reviews!

  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger Chrissylas said…

    This is awesome... I;m a relatively new reader (but I definitely check it daily!).

    I actually found out about this place while I was trying to find some examples for a speech I'm giving in my Com class. So yeah, Grandma you're going to end up in my major speech (and hopefully being the nice piece of evidence that boosts me grade! Hell Yeah!)

    So anyway, good job and keep going! I am so envious of you guys.

  • At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You go, Grandma! This is the coolest thing EVER!

    And thank you, Tim. If you hadn't decided to post this blog about your grandma, none of us would know about her.

  • At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Way to go, Grandma! Congrats on snagging one of the sweetest positions on the earth. I hope that for every bad game you have to play, you find five good ones.

    Game On!


  • At 1:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your Grandma is an international cyber super star !

    way cool :)

  • At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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