Wii Fit Girl | May 2008
Or, the greatest internet viral campaign that Nintendo never had the nous to make. No - it'd rather advertise Wii Fit with news footage of middle-aged women in frumpy tracksuits getting a bead on.
Lauren Bernat inadvertently became one of the Internet's new breed of YouTube celebrities after her boyfriend secretly filmed her shaking her li'l booty while playing Wii Fit. She was pissed for a few minutes, before realising her gyrating tush had made her more famous than any Pop Idol reject could ever hope for.
The resulting ripple effect caught the attention of global newspapers, TV chat shows and websites and made doubly sure Wii Fit was a total sell out. Bernat was later employed by EA to help launch their Wii exercise offering, EA SPORTS Active, and now has her own personal exercise blog where unsurprisingly she talks a lot about being a meme and, horror of horrors, that she and her boyfriend (who filmed the original video) both work for an internet advertising agency.
Jack Thompson loses last life | July 2008
The man that liked to make a lot of negative noise about games had a busy decade, rallying against such morally questionable titles as Bully, Mortal Kombat, The Sims and, of course, Grand Theft Auto. He also managed to find links between video games and various violent murders, such as the Beltway sniper attacks (Halo) and the Virginia Tech massacre (Counter-Strike).
Above: Gamers made cake
However, Thompson's game was finally over in 2008 when the Florida Supreme Court disbarred him for not really behaving in a manner befitting of a practicing attorney. So he was out the door. Gone. For good. Permanently. And, lo, gamers did rejoice as their greatest nemesis did fall silent...
EGM shuts down | January 2009
Some video game magazines have a reputation for being a little bit more than just a video game magazine. They hold a special place in the hearts of its readers. EGM was one of those mags. So it was understandable that the news Electronic Gaming Monthly was shutting down prompted an outpouring of collective sadness from its US readership. Around since 1989, EGM truly was an institution and its loss meant more than just a little extra room on store shelves. Many of GamesRadar's writers were inspired by EGM to get into the business of making words about games, so our own homage to the publication felt like a fitting tribute.
But that wasn't the end of the story. Shortly after EGM hit the lights for the last time, original EGM founder Steve Harris announced that he'd be re-launching Electronic Gaming Monthly. The first issue has yet to appear from the ashes, although it's recently been revealed that some of the old-school EGM crew are back on board, including Sean 'Seanbaby' Reiley and former editor-in-chief, Dan Hsu. It lives again!
RIP Midway Games | February 2009
What a spectacular fall from grace Midway Games had. The gaming stalwart, with 100s of titles such as Mortal Kombat, suffered the unthinkable in February 2009 when they filed for bankruptcy. Development studios were either sold or closed to ease crippling debts as Warner Bros swooped in like a greedy vulture for MK, Wheelman and, bizarrely, Joust, amongst many others.
Above: If MK vs DC Universe had raised around $300,000,000, it might have rescued Midway from its own fatality
The signs of their demise could be seen from miles away. Their Gamers’ Day (like a mini-E3 but just for Midway) was held in lavish locations such as Las Vegas – sticking us stinking journalists in plush hotels at a massive cost. It made sense for a while with the coverage they generated but gradually these extravagant showpieces started to resemble a sad clown – all painted up for fun times but underneath reaching for a swig of Drano to wash away the bad ones. This man spoke up about the problems behind the scenes and was promptly fired.
The franchises will live on, but the end of the road for Midway sparked a realisation amongst other publishers that this could happen to them. Goodnight, sweet Midway. Sleep well.
Bam! Bottom of an avatar's shoe | June 2009
Live demonstrations of new technology are amazing, aren't they? As if Microsoft's infamous Vista voice recognition debacle wasn't warning enough, Kudo Tsunoda's demonstration of the new motion control of Project Natal at this year's E3 proved that live demonstrations in front of internet journalists is a very bad idea. One small mishap and BAM! You've got your very own internet meme. Grats.
December 31, 2009
The best of 2009, as chosen by the infallible geniuses at GR
VIDEO: We fast-forward you through the year's highlights
A few years old, but still worth a look. In our opinion