Beta 7 Blackout entries


1ST BLACKOUT: A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY

What a weird day, and not in a good way. Seriously freaky X-Files type weird. I dunno what the hell happened.

I'll start at the beginning. Finally got to sleep last night a little before 4:00. Hit the snooze button 4x, grab a poptart and I'm hauling ass to get to the place, cuz they said if you're late at all, you dont get in. It took me a while to find the place cuz it's in this non-descript office park with like no signs anywhere. Run to the door with 2 mins to spare and D'OH! Just realized I LEFT THE DAMN INVITATION SITTING ON MY DRESSER! At first the guy wasn't gonna let me in, but I was like, of course i've been invited, why else would I be here on a saturday morinng! I practically begged and pleaded and the guy finally let me in.

There's a couple dozen other gamers, all guys except for this one short, ugly chick with a mullet sitting in this like waiting room type place - thank god there's coffee there. I fix a cup and sit down. A few people are talking to each other (a couple dudes are speaking like German or something), mostly bragging about their Vice City missions, and there's this one guy who's really loud and obnoxious about it. I wanna tell him to shut up, but I haven't had my coffee yet, and I don't wanna be the one asshole who gets kicked out, so I just keep my mouth shut. Whatever.

This one dude is pullig up his pant leg showing mullet girl his tat's of Jason, Micheal Myers and Leatherface, and I'm kinda zoning out on them when then this older guy in a golf shirt with some corporate logo on it comes in. He says, "Are you guys ready to get your game on?" Get your game on? Vice City Guy pumps his fist in the air and says, "YESSSS!" and we all kinda laugh. Then the old guy says, "I can't hear you, I said are you guys ready to get your game on!!!" We all yell "Yeah!" like we're at some pep rally or something. "That's terrific, folks, but first..." then he passes out clipboards with forms for all of us to fill out.

He explains that all the legalese fine print means that we can't tell anybody what game we played, what company makes the game, or any of the "proprietary details" - basically, in a few minutes when we find out what makes this game so different and cool, that's exactly what we can't talk about. I'm kinda bummed about this part, cuz I was looking forward to rubbing Rob's nose in it even more. Also we agree to be videotapd and have our likeness used by the company (?).Also if any of us are pregnant (actually this one real fat dude with a bushy beard and a ponytail looks like he could be pregnant) or have heart conditions, seizures, etc. we can't play the game. I signed the form.

Then he tells us that today we'll be known by our code names, just like James Bond, heh heh heh. He goes around the room lookig at his clipboard, pointing to each of us and giving us our "code name" then he says "Do you think you can remember those" like were retards or something. Mine is "Beta-7" and I think, cool, cuz 7 is supposed to be a lucky number...or so i thought.

Then the old guy says, "Okay, Beta-1 and Beta-2, right this way please" and they get up and follow him. Then Beta-3 and -4, etc. I think, cool at least i'm not getting paired up with the loud annyoing guy.

So then it's me and beta-8's turn. The guy won't let me bring my coffee in with me, like am I going to spill it on their precious game or something? We get lead down this hallway of doors and there's a guy like standing guard outside every door. It kinda weirds me out, like i'm already in trouble or something. They must think were gonna try to steal the game or something, and i'm thinking yeah thanks, real welcoming vibe here.

So we get to our door, old guy pulls out a key and unlocks it and we go in. I hear the door lock behind us. Ooookay. The room is just this big, empty space with a concrete floor and unfinished drywall. There's just a tv stand with a xbox and a couple of crappy chairs in front of it and a camcorder and tripod off to the side. I'm thinking, these people make millons of $$$ and they can't even give us decent chairs?

Theres a younger guy and this kinda cute redhead girl standing beside the tv. Suddenly I get kinda nervous, like I'm having flashbacks to the SAT's or something, so I blurt out, "Sorry, I think I forgot my number 2 pencil." The girl forces a chuckle and says, that's great, use that enthusiasm, but there's a lot of work to be done before E3, and we'd really like to keep the chatter to a minimum until the test is over.

The girl says we'll be testing NFL 2k4 which isn't coming out till this summer, and me and beta8 look at each other like, hell yeah! The girl says i'll be playing first, but that Beta8 should be sure to pay attention to what I'm doing and try to not take his eyes off the screen. He looks disappointed. This is weird, i'm thinking if they're testing the 1 player mode, why is this other dude even here? The girl says I'll be playing in "crash-cam" mode which is 1st person and i'm like, no way! She says just pretend the're not even there - easy for her to say, but whatever.

So I start playing. At first it's hard to concentrate cuz they're both standing right next to the tv, taking notes or something on a clipboard. The chair sucks and it takes me a few minutes to adjust to these weird conditions, but after a while i really get into it. The crash cam stuff is just SICK, looking out of the helmet and you see the arms and legs during passes and kicks. Its awesome. There's a few little gliches here a nd there and I feel a little dizzy during some of the tackles but I guess thats kind of the idea. I'm thinking, screw that stuff I signed, there's no way I CAN'T tell Rob about this game. Thats the last thing I remember thinking.

Next thing I know I wake up this little room with nothing but a metal desk and a couple folding chairs. The old guy from the waiting room is shaking me, saying, "Sir, sir, are you okay, sir?" I'm feeling very groggy, kind of out of it, sort of like after I had my wisdom teeth taken out. I open my mouth to speak, but I have trouble forming the words for a couple seconds. My eyes focus a little better, and I see this big, burly rent-a-cop guy standing next to him. My head hurts and my heart starts to pound, cuz I don't know what the hell is going on. Instinctively I try to bolt up, but the security guy sits me back down, kind of forcefully.

Old guy says, "It's alright son, your gonna be alright, just take a few deep breaths." I ask him what happened and he says, "Well, son, we'd like to ask you that very same question. Now, I'm only going to ask you this once, and for your sake, we need the truth."

Gulp. Okay.

"Did you falsify any information on the form we gave you in the lobby?"

"No, sir," I said, surprised at myself for saying "sir," but by then I guess my mind was in just-pulled-over-by-FHP mode or something.

"So neither you, nor anyone in your family has any history of epalepsy or other such illness?"

"No. What's going on? What is this all about?" I ask, getting more freaked by the second.

"Let us ask the questions here son. Now, are you currently on any prescription medications? Did you consume any alcohol or drugs in the last 48 hours?"

No.

"Now, be honest. We really need to know. If you tell us the truth, we won't notify your parents or the police, but if you choose to make this difficult..."

I tell him I am being honest, sure I've tried the sticky-icky a few times, but I'm not a druggie, and I wasn't drinking or doing drugs before I came in. Every time I try to ask what's going on, he keeps looking at the security guy and shifting the questions back on me.

He asks me if anything out of the ordinary has happened to me in the last couple of days. I tell him no, my life has been pretty damn boring lately, and sadly enough, this beta test was pretty much the highlight of my month. I was actually so stoked about it that I had trouble sleeping last night.

When I say that, his eyes kinda light up for a split second, and he looks at the security guy. He asks what time I went to bed last night, and I tell him about 4:00. They both look kind of relieved, and then the old guy tells me I've got nothing to worry about, it's just a bad case of "your garden variety sleep deprivation," I just need to go home and get some rest. I tell him bullshit, dude, I've stayed up for literally days at a time playing, and nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

"Well, um..." he pauses for a couple of seconds and looks at his watch. "Sometimes this sort of thing can have a cumalative effect on the human body, and you really should take better care of yourself." He asks what I had for breakfast this morning, I tell him poptarts, and I could see his eyebrows kind of raise again. "Well there you go, son all that sugar flooding your system first thing in the morning, your body releases a big spike of insulin, then you get the crash, coupled with not enough rest to begin with, and there you have it. You really ought to get home and go to bed."

I'm like, whatever dude, I'm fine, I just wanna go back in and finish my game. He tells me no, that's okay, we really think you should get some rest, and besides, they've already gotten all the input they need from me, but they sincerely appreciate my services and will definitely keep me in mind for future beta tests. "Tony here will show you out."

Before I can argue any more, Tony's got me by the arm and is leading me quickly down a narrow, fluoresent-lit hallway. I'm still feeling a little woozy, and it's almost like he's kinda holding me up. He takes me out a side door and walks me out into the parking lot, and mine is the only car there. "Thank you sir, I hope you feel better soon."

He stands right next to me, until I get in my car. I sit for a minute, crank on the AC and turn on some music. I take a couple deep breaths, and look up and THE GUY IS STILL STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO MY DOOR. This freaks me out even more, and by then I just wanna get the hell out of there, so I peel out and he stands there and watches me drive all the way out of the complex before he turns and RUNS back inside (which strikes me as kind of weird, since he's a BIG dude who doesn't look like he does much running) talking on a walkie-talkie the whole time. Whew.

What. The. Hell....

I stop in at work to fix myself a latte on the way home, and John and Toby can tell that something wierd has happened to me, but I'm still to freaked to really tell them anything, plus I'm afraid of all that legal BS they made me sign, so I just tell them I'm having kind of a bad day.

I go home and try to clear my mind with some NBA 2k3, but I'm not really into it. Then I decide I'd better write all this stuff down while it's still pretty clear in my mind. I have a pretty bad headache right now, it's been getting worse all day, I don't know if it's the stress or what. I wonder if I should go to a doctor or something, but i'm not covered under Mom's insurance any more and I'm pretty tapped till my next paycheck. I'm gonna just take some tylenol PM and hit the sack.

Posted by beta-7 at March 22, 2003 08:18 PM


BLACKOUT 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO, OR, BETA-7: 1, LAMP: 0

DAMMIT! I think I'm losing my mind. Like serious, mental meltdown type stuff...

Today starts out just fine, easy day at work. I get home, chill, kick back with a little Halo...and then it happens.

I hear, "Dude, what the hell are you doing?!?" I open my eyes and I'm on the floor with the halogen lamp knocked over on the floor under me, and Jeremy is screaming at me, "Dude, what the hell, man, I just bought that lamp!"

I look up at him, feeling all groggy/post-wisdom-teeth again and he can tell I'm freaked. All of a sudden I burst out crying like a little girl lost in the mall or something, and I don't even know why. I think Jeremy was kind of weirded out. Definitely weirded me out.

He punches me in the arm and is all like, screw Karen man, she's a bitch anyway, your a cool guy and you could do a lot better anyhow, etc. He tells me not to worry about the lamp, it probably just needs a new bulb, and hey, at least I didn't mess up the tv, right? I'm too exausted and groggy to tell him what's really going on, so I just kind of chuckle and say yeah man, sorry about the lamp.

I really feel like I should tell somebody about this, but who? The police? That wouldn't work, cuz if anything, the guy at the game testing place would just tell them I'm the one who freaked out and went all postal on thenm and I'M the one who should be arrested. A doctor? Besides the $$$ issue, where would I even start? A medical doctor? A psychologist? What kind of doctor even handles this type of crap?? They'd probably just tell me I'm healthy, in the prime of my life, it's just stress, etc I just know all this wierd stuff has something to do with that beta testing place, but I can't figure out what. It's driving me crazy, that is, if I'm not crazy already.

Posted by beta-7 at March 27, 2003 04:12 PM


3RD BLACKOUT: RUMBLE IN THE KITCHEN

DAMMIT! IT FREAKING HAPPENED AGAIN! AAAAAAAARRRRRRGH!

Another blackout. Again in the living room, although I wasn't even playing anything this time, just watching TV. I've been trying not to play so much lately, to see if that had any relationship to these weird blackouts, but then even the few times i did play I was fine.

Then, tonight I'm just chilling on the couch, mellow as can be, and the next thing I know, I wake up on the kitchen floor. My head is killing me, pounding. One of the kitchen chairs is all busted up next to me, and there's a big dent in the fridge. Thank god jeremy wasn't home, and thank god the kitchen set is mine, but I will have to explain the fridge somehow. I dunno if I can take any more of this. I hardly even go out anymore. What if this crap happens while I'm at work?

Posted by beta-7 at April 5, 2003 11:14 PM


4TH BLACKOUT: MYSTERY SPRAIN

Woke up this morning, got out of bed, and couldn't walk because my right ankle was sprained. SPRAINED! As in all yellow, and swollen like a bratwurst. It hurt like a bitch, but I figured it probably wasn't broken cuz it'd probably be all black then. I can move my foot a little, but I can't put any pressure on it. Not having insurance sucks.

I called in sick to work today. Pete sighed and paused and then said okay. He wasn't being a dick or anything, but I could tell he was mad. I told him, I really sprained my ankle, he could come over and see for himself if he wanted, but he just said, "No, that's okay," and hung up.

Posted by beta-7 at April 8, 2003 10:15 AM


5TH BLACKOUT: VERY UN-NEIGHBORLY BEHAVIOR

Oh man. Oh man o man o man. This crap has crossed over into like a whole other realm or something now. I'm watching South Park and there's this POUNDING on the door, like it's the FBI or something. I bolt up and look through the peephole and it's the fat dude with the beard from across the way and he looks PISSED, so I say through the door, can I help you. He says, "You better open this goddam door right now before I call the police, you little son of a bitch!" Well, as pissed as this dude is, opening the door is about the last thing I wanna do right now, but I also don't really want the cops showing up, and I KNOW Jeremy doesn't, so...

I put the chain on the door and open slowly, bracing for it to get kicked in or something, and he starts in with who do you think you are, my wife's been crying all night and why don't you try a move like that with me, tough guy, and I'm like whoa, slow down sir, I don't know what you're talking about. But this just seemed to piss him off even more. He's got his foot in the door so I can't close it.

I figure arguing isn't really going to help me with this guy, so I just start apologizing like crazy like I did with Pete. I tell him I have a medical condition and have these episodes from time to time. I guess somehow I thought he would buy it better if I used the word "episodes". At first he sort of laughs, like I'm totally feeding him a load. I don't want him to call the cops, so I tell him my doctor just gave me some new medicine and it won't happen again, please please don't call the cops. He says it better not, medical condition or not, he's gonna take my head off if I even go near his wife again. He finally pulls his foot out of the door and goes stomping off. I'm shaking like a leaf.

Now I feel like I literally can't even go out to get the mail or anything, or I'm gonna get my ass kicked. This SUUUUUUCKS!

Posted by beta-7 at April 16, 2003 11:23 PM


6TH BLACKOUT: CAUGHT ON TAPE

OH MAN. This was weird. I just blacked out, and I caught it on tape. I was playing Halo and passed out on the couch and then about 30 secs later I woke up on the floor, but apart from just passing out, nothing happened. Just remembered I'd been playing Halo when I woke up on the floor with the halogen lamp. Maybe Halo is some kind of trigger?? I should stay up and play some more and see what happens.

Almost 3:30 and i need some sleep. I’ll try tomorrow.

Posted by beta-7 on April 25,2003


8TH BLACKOUT: INNOCENT TRASHCAN MALLED TO DEATH

AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGH!!!

I guess my newfound sense of purpose and lack of blackouts lately must of lulled me into a false sense of security. For a while there, I actually forgot I was a hermit, a monster that must be kept separate from the herd.

So i go to Fashion Square today to check by EB, even though its kinda torture not having the money for any new games. Then I drop 2 bucks and treat myself to a Auntie Anne's almond pretzel with caramel dip, even though it's not really in my budget. Then...

I wake up in the mall security office. I can tell there not sure what to do, they've never dealt with this kind of stuff before. This guy who I guess is the mall manager asks me if I'm alright, which I can tell he's saying just as a formality before they start reaming me. The security guy standing over me looks like he's just waiting for permission to take my head off.

I ask if I hurt anyone, and they say no (whew!), but I did knock over a garbage can in the food court and freaked everybody out. Thank god I didn't fall down the escalator or something. I quickly tell them about my "medical condition" basically like with my neighbor, and that I'll see my doctor as soon as I leave, I'm so so sorry, etc. I think the mgr. can tell I'm not making it up (I mean, he must of seen me pass out and everything, and I'm sure they had to carry me there), but the security guy is like dying to tear me a new one.

They end up not calling the cops, I think mostly cuz they don't wanna end up on the news tonight, but hey, neither do i. But if I ever set foot in the mall again they will press charges.

And I don't think I even got to eat all of my pretzel.

Emailed Sega again with basically the same message, this time to sega sports. Still nothing but another BS autoresponse. This goddam company is broken up into like a million different braches, Sega usa, sega sports, sega amusements, sega dreamcast…Unfortunately there's no listing for "Sega Mind Control."

I think maybe my emails are just being filed under the "entertaining wackos" folder and people are having a good laugh about them around the water cooler or whatever. Yeah, just keep on lauging, Sega.

Posted by Beta-7 on May 8, 2003


9TH CIRCLE OF BLACKOUT HELL, THEN... PENNIES FROM HEAVEN!

HELL YEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAH!

Somebody up there likes me! I don't hear from my dad in like a month and a half, and then out of the blue today I get a check in the mail for $600! There's a note that says, "Heard you were having some rough times - hope this helps. Love, Dad. PS: Don't tell your mother." Guess that guilt he felt about missing my graduation last year finally must of come to a head.

Had another blackout today (first one in almost two weeks), this time while I was online in my room (banged my head into the closet door), and Beta-13 never called like he said he would, but I don't even care. I'm just so stoked to finally have a little money. I've really been jonesing to buy some new games, but i'd better hold onto this money, cuz I don't know when I'll get any more.

Posted by beta-7 at May 19, 2003 11:37 AM


10TH BLACKOUT: DE-THRONED

Had another blackout today, this time while i was taking a dump, which added a whole nother layer of complications, to say the least. Thank god Jeremy was at work, and thank god I just bought a bottle of bleach the other day.

Lucky won't even come near me anymore, but at least he seems a little happier since he's got the iams cat food again.

Posted by beta-7 at May 21, 2003 07:12 PM


11TH BLACKOUT

Had a blackout today, and messed up this one pile of shreds I was working on in the process, which sucked cuz i had to start all over. didn't really hurt myself too bad though, cuz i've got pillows all over the place now and stay in my room pretty much 24/7. Haven't really seen Jeremy in days, although i got the rent and bills covered, so at least he probasbly won't kick me out for at least another month.

Posted by beta-7 at May 30, 2003 06:42 PM


12TH BLACKOUT: SO GLASS DOESN'T BOUNCE AFTER ALL...

Blacked out in the kitchen today and smashed a jar of olives on the floor. Cut my right forearm, but nothing that needs stiches or anything. Luckily Jeremy hasn't been home all week.

Beta-13 called and said he tried calling Beta-10, but that the number was disconnected! The call last night must of really freaked him out.

Called the dude in Austria but just got a machine with a greeting in German. Didn't leave a message. Called the others as well, but just got machines again. No messsages, cuz what the hell am I going to say on a machine.

I've now gone through 34 rolls of scotch tape.

Posted by beta-7 at June 5, 2003 09:42 PM


13TH BLACKOUT: A DOUBLE DOSE OF BAD LUCK

Man oh man. What a crazy weekend, and not in the "Dude, I was so wasted I woke up next to a 300-lb. chick with a unibrow!", you know, fun kind of way. Seriously messed up stuff.

Hadn't had a blackout in almost a month. So Rob's over Saturday morning (okay noonish, Rob likes to sleep in on the weekends, as do we all). He's working on his laptop, I'm putting my journal entries into the blog, we're listening to some Pixies, getting in a good work groove, when all of a sudden...

Now keep in mind, Rob hasn't yet witnessed one of my blackouts firsthand. Sure, I told him all about them, even showed him the video. But apparently there's a MIGHTY big difference between seeing a tackle video and actually getting tackled.

So I wake up face down on the floor, and I hear crying. I look up and Rob's shoving his laptop into his bag. He storms out and says, "I'm sorry, I just can't deal with this!" and takes off. Grrrrreat.

So I'm sweating, thinking great, he's probably never gonna come back now, and all the pages are stored on his laptop, which is now squealing down the road. Then I feel guilty that my first thought is of the website, and not my friend who I've probably just beaten the crap out of. So I called him, but just got his voicemail. And then...

Jeremy comes in. He must of seen Rob all storming out crying, cuz he said, "Having a tiff?"

So I go, "Huh?"

"Nothing."

"Whatever," I say. Jeremy's kind of pissing me off.

So Jeremy turns to go, then pops his head back in and just says, "Look..." like he's getting ready to say something, then he shakes his head and leaves. I hear him grab some of his stuff and take off. Can this weekend get any better?

Rob finally called me back a little later, he was okay, just a little banged up and freaked out. Thank god for those pillows. He said he saw me get down into a 3-point stance, and was like, "Come on man," like I was kidding or something. Then as soon as I said, "DOWN! SET!" he jumped and almost dropped his laptop. He immediately shoved it under the bed and started looking for an escape, but I was blocking the door. He kept calling me by name and saying, "Come on man, it's me Rob!" But I just tore after him. He ducked next to the bed as I went for him, so he just got kind of knocked to the side and I hit this big pillow, which I then "tackled," threw down and started trash talking to. Meanwhile, Rob's managed to scramble away out the door and is cowering in the next room, watching helplessly as I yell, "YEAH! IN YO' FACE, SUCKA!" to a goddamn pillow.

As I'm writing about it afterwards, it actually sounds kind of funny, but Rob was VERY freaked out. He said it was like he was seeing someone else in my body, there was just this look in my eyes like I wasn't even there. He said it really scared him seeing me this way, and seeing it first hand was just maybe a little too real for him, so he just felt like he needed to get out of there. He said he understands it's an affliction and I can't help it, and all is forgiven, but that he just needs a few days to wrap his head around it. Hey, it definitely took me a few days to wrap my head around it. I feel like I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. It sucks that we'll have to postpone the site launch even more, but I couldn't bring myself to ask Rob to get right back to work after what I did to him.

THEN... Beta-13 calls tonight -- said somebody is looking for him. When he got the janitor job, he listed a friend's house as his residence, just in case, and good thing he did. His friend said some guy in a suit showed up this afternoon looking for him. He wouldn't give any info what it was about or anything, and his friend said he'd moved and didn't know where he was, which was the first thing that came to his head. B13 said this probably makes him look even more suspicious. Said he could kick himself for flaking like that and just not showing up for work, but he panicked and now he looks guilty. B13 couldn't get from his friend whether the guy was a cop or not -- said he flashed him something real quick, but he didn't really see what it was, whether it was a badge or not, and he was too paranoid to ask to see it again.

WON. DER. FUL.

Beta-13 said he packed up some stuff and went to crash at another friend's place for a while. This SUUUUUUUUUCKS!

God, I hope those revisions work.

Posted by beta-7 at June 29, 2003 10:56 AM


I'M BACK

 

First off I want to thank Rob for being the best friend a guy could ever have. I know I said some ugly things last night, and I know I already apologized, but again, I'm sorry. You are a true friend who has always had my back and I love you like a brother.

Rob and I stayed up well into the wee hours last night, talking, yelling, crying, screaming. At one point I wanted to punch him. In that time though, we sorted a lot of shit out, and for the first time in a while, I was able to take a step back, get some perspective and do some real soul searching.

Yesterday started out pretty good. Got almost 7 hours of sleep, woke up, did a few posts, answered some emails. Rob had been working on some other stuff for the site, but I told him to shift his priority to the crib quicktime since that's what a lot of people were asking about. When he called me in the morning and told me he wouldn't be able to finish it before class, I exploded, cursing at him, telling him I HAD to have it. He just said sorry man, I've got a life, and hung up.

Now, understand something about me, I've always been a people pleaser, oftentimes to a fault. When people started coming to my site and asking me questions about the game, I felt like it was my duty to answer them. It's just the way I am. In the last few days, I've been getting caught up in all the attention my site's been getting. When people started making me the center of attention and treating me like I was special, it felt good. Especially after being cooped up in my place pretty much 24/7, for the most part alone, hour after hour, day after day. So as more and more people visited the site, I felt more and more pressure to make them happy, to give them what they wanted, and it became overwhelming. This stupid bullshit with the crib, something I only even mentioned as an afterthought, ended up snowballing into a major issue. I felt like I had to get this video up or I'd be letting everybody down.

So when Rob said he didn't have the qt done, I freaked out on him. In hindsight, I shouldn't have let it become such a big deal, but sometimes I have trouble seeing the forest for the trees. After stewing for a while, I decided I needed to get out of the house. I needed to get some mailers, dvd envelopes and go to the post office anyway, so I hoofed it on down the road (I haven't driven for months because of the blackouts.)

Like a dumbass, I didn't bring any water with me, and after a couple miles in the near 100 degree heat, I was drenched with sweat, so I stopped in at the bookstore to get a drink. There were quite a few people there and I was nervous about having a blackout, haven't really gone out in public much, but it was just too damn hot out to keep going. I decided to just relax and enjoy the moment, being out of the house, chilling with an iced coffee and a magazine, feeling like a human being again. It was nice. Made me almost forget about my problems. After a while I bought a bottle of water, went to the office supply store, then went to the post office to mail out the first batch of revision burns, then started the long trek back home.

By the time I got home, I was drenched again, pretty exausted, but at the same time, feeling pretty upbeat and positive. Then I got online and saw an article on football-gaming.com:

"Answering questions? Beta-7, what happened to fighting The Man? It sounds like you're trying to promote his product. Oh right, you are promoting The Man's product, because that's what beta-7.com is designed to do. Not that there's anything wrong with that."

When I read this, I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I was angry and hurt, and then I realized the reason I was so angry was because…he was right. I HAD become a fucking shill for The Man. In trying to keep my site vistitors happy, trying to answer the flood of questions about gameplay details and all this superficial bullshit, I had completely lost focus on the matter at hand, which is trying to figure out how this game fucked me up, and get Sega to take responsibility for it. I felt so angry and disgusted with myself that my stomach was in knots and my head started pounding. And then I blacked out.

I don't know how long I was out for, but I woke up to Rob shaking me. My head was still pounding. Then he told me he turned the server off, and I just went apeshit on him, said how dare you, you stabbed me in the back, called him a pussy, told him we're taking on Goliath here and can't just turn tail and run at the first sign of trouble. We argued for hours and hours. I know Rob cares about me and is worried about me, and just did it to protect his best friend, but we can't just give up like this. He realizes this now.

So I'm now back, with a renewed sense of purpose. From now on, I'm not answering any more inane questions about the crib, franchise mode, uniforms, or any of that other bullshit. I'm not a VJ, and I don't have time to take "requests" for video. Maybe the people I sent the game out to have time, but I don't. In this game, I'm only concentrating on trying to figure out the secrets behind first-person mode, because that's what fucked up my head. If that pisses some people off, then I'm sorry, but that's just the way it's gotta be. I'm on a mission here, and there isn't enough time for me to dick around with all this other shit.

Posted by beta-7 at July 11, 2003 01:28 PM


15TH BLACKOUT: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRANDMA!

Well today was another one of those up and down kinda days. Woke up thinking about janine, feelig pretty good, did a few posts. then it was on to the drudgery of looking for more subliminals, which is never fun. Then my mom calls me. damn. Totally forgot today is my grandmother's birthday, and my mom wants me to go out to lunch with her, my brother and my grandma and then back to mom's house to open presents. shit. presents.

She says don’t worry, she already bought a present to be from me, I just have to sign the card. I ask what it is im giving her, she says a "pantsuit." I'm like yeah, grandmas really gonna believe I bought her a pantsuit, I don’t even know what that is. I tell her I'm not feeling well, but my mom says okay, then you'll just have to call your poor old grandmother up and tell her yourself that you don’t care enough about her to come see her on her birthday. DAMMIT! I think my mom must of got a phd. in guiltology. I tell her okay, but my cars not working so she has to come pick me up, and she just sighs.

So we all go to Sonny's bbq, and I'm thinking yeah, real special birthday place, but that's what she wanted. I'm freaking inside cuz the place is packed with the after-church crowd all in their sunday best and there's like a million kids all over the place, and I'm just praying I don't have a blackout here. there's some big-ass dudes here, and sonny's wooden benches are welded in pretty tight. then I decide to think positive like rob, so I just relax and look forward to a real meal of actual food items (2 days in a row even!). got the all-u-can-eat bbq pork and ended up eating 4 plates full with fries, slaw and like 6 pieces of garlic bread. my mom said I wsa like the wild man of borneo, whatever that means.

We go back to my moms house, we open presents, have cake. the last thing I remember thinking was, "geez, how am I eating this cake, I'm already so full…" and then I blacked out. I wake up on the floor with my brother holding me down by the shoulders. my throat is burning. I hear screaming, crying, the end table lamp is smashed on the floor. then I smell puke. I look up and my mom is wiping down the front of granmas shirt with a towel, and they're both crying hysterically. there's barf all over the front of grandma, on the couch, and the carpet in front of it. Tommy lets me up, and my mom just starts SCREAMING at me, how could you do this, leave it to you to ruin grandmas special day, this is the lowest thing you've ever done… She tells tommy to take grandma home because she needs to talk to me alone. Grrrrreat.

So she just says, okay explain yourself. I say, what did I do? WHAT DID YOU DO?!? she screams, you know what you did. I said no mom, really I don't remember, what did I do?

"Are you on drugs?"

"Yeah, I wish."

"That's not funny! What is wrong with you? Pitching a fit like that, breaking my lamp, calling grandma a bitch?"

"i called grandma a bitch?"

"You got right up in her face and yelled BRING IT, BITCH! Tommy had to pull you off because you were about to headbutt her, and then you threw up on her! Does any of that ring a bell, you little prick?"

actually mom, not really. She's crying again, asking, what's wrong with you. she keeps stretching out the "o", what is wrooooooong with you, and the sound is like a knitting needle in my eardrum. I tel lher it’s a long story. she says look at you, ever since you and Karen broke up you've been moping around that apartment, not working, not going to school, not doig anything. you need to just grow up, get over it, and quit feeling sorry for yourself. I tell her no that’s not it, that i haven't even thoght about karen for along time, i thinkg there's something wrong with my brain. She says, well if theres something wrong with your brain then we need to see a doctor. "We" need to see a doctor. great.

She drives me home and doesn’t say a word the whole ride home. I'm getting out of the car, and she says, "are you eating?" I say, yeah, didn’t you see grandmas shirt? We both kind of laugh, and then she just says, I'm worried about you,honey. then she gives me $40 and says make sure your eating. I told her to tell grandma I was sorry. At least she got that nice pantsuit though.

Posted by beta-7 at July 20, 2003 07:24 PM


16TH BLACKOUT

I remember going to bed last night, and when I woke up a little while ago I was on the floor. My wrist and arm are bruised and I have a pretty bad headache. Thank god Janine wasn't still here, she was over here last night, but left before I went to bed. She's been amazigly cool and has been helping me out a lot, but I just still worry that it might drive her away if she actually witnesses one of these blackouts firsthand.

GOD,THIS PISSES ME OFF! These goddamn blackouts continue to disrupt my life and keep me from having any kind of normal existence, and these lying, soulless pricks at sega and vc STILL deny everything and try to shut me up, like I'M the one who's wrong here! I'm beyond sick of their bullshit, and so are beta-5 and beta-13. Especially beta-13, whose sick of running like a goddamn fugitive! Talked to them last nigth, and they've both got some sick ideas theyre working on, but I can't talk about them yet. that reminds me, if anybody out there has ideas on how to fight sega, please email them to me instead of posting on the board, since the corporate weasels at sega and vc are clearly watching every move I make now.

Posted by beta-7 at August 2, 2003 09:59 AM


17TH BLACKOUT

Had anohter blackout a little while ago while i was doing some posts. I remember sitting at my computer, then I woke up facedown on the floor. I sat back down to my computer and my mouse was gone. I looked around and it was broken on the floor on the other side of my bed, so I had to start using my crappy old mouse instead. At least I didn't mess up my computer or anything though.

The top of my head is pounding, and my shoulders and neck are killing me, from the base of my skull, all the way down past my shoulder blades. God, this pisses me off! It's like i don't have one of these for a while, and it's almost like things seem kind of normal again, and then bam! And these corporate scumbags at sega and vc just keep on denying everything…It really pisses me off too, that this game is going to be unleashed on the public in only two weeks, and sega/vc don't seem to care what effect this dangerous product can have on people.
 

Posted by beta-7 at August 18, 2003 11:32 PM


Other noteworthy entries from Beta-7

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BETA-13

Had Rob drive me over to the office building where the beta test was (told him i'd been having car trouble lately and needed him to drop me off for a job interview) The place was empty. Walked around till i found the building manager. He said they never had a tenent called Sunshine Survey Systems, and the place I took the test had been vacant for 6 months! I showed him the invitation and was like, well isn't it this address? He said yeah, it's the right address, but he didn't know anything about it. Whatever! I started getting pissed and he threatened to call the cops on me, so I called Rob to come pick me up.

When I got home I emailed all the other beta testers from that list that Beta-x gave me, telling them what was going on with the blackouts and asking if they had any info, if they were contacted by sega, etc. I should of done this sooner, i guess i was kind of naieve thinking I could get to the bottom of this myself. Plus, I didn't really want ot give out my email address, in case the guy I tackled wants to sue me or something, not that he'd get anythihg out of my broke ass anyhow.

DAMN! Just checked my inbox and 6 of the emails I sent out got bounced back! I hope somebody responds.

Just got an email from "Beta-13". It just said, "How did you get my email address?" I emailed him back and told him about the contact list from beta x, the video, the janitor service. I gave him my phone number, sort of as a show of good faith and asked if he could please call me when he gets the chance (didn't wnat to call him even though I already had his # cuz i figured it would freak him out too much.)

Hope I didn't scare him off, becuase he's about all i have to go on right now.

Posted by beta-7 at May 13, 2003 08:17 PM


BETA-13 MOVIE A SMASH HIT!

Got a delivery today from Beta-13! The return address was a po box in San Francisco and the name just said Beta-13. Inside was a VHS video with a note that said, "Just sit tight for the weekend. Talk to you Monday. In the meantime, enjoy my screen debut. -Beta-13."

It's a surveillance video showing a mailroom guy pushing a cart by some cubicles when all of a sudden this guy runs into frame and tackles the mail guy! He does a little victory dance, just like I did and then passes out. I recognized the tackler from the beta test, so I knew it was for real.

Called Toby to try to get that $20 I fronted him like a month ago, but he just cried poverty. Prick. I wonder how much they give you for selling your plasma over at county. I hear they give you donuts and juice anyway, which would be a treat at this point.

Posted by beta-7 at May 16, 2003 05:35 PM


MY MOP-WIELDING TROJAN HORSE

Beta-13 called at 4:15 this morning! It woke Jeremy up and he was pretty pissed but he'll get over it. I told B-13 I was glad he called, but it'd be nice if he tried to remember about the 3 hr time difference. He said sorry, but it was too important to wait till later, because he just got home from his new job...AT VISUAL CONCEPTS!!!

He lives in the bay area so he went to check out the janitor place the other day, saw a "help wanted" sign, and kinda just followed his spidey-sense. Turns out this place does VC, so he started last night as one of the night janitors there in San Rafael, which is like an hour drive from where he lives. I gotta give it to the guy, he's really dedicated. He said it sucks, but he needed a job anyway after getting canned for the tackle incident, and this way, he's pretty much got a whole floor to himself most of the night, so if he blacks out its less likely to attract attention. He's going to snoop around and see what he can find out, and he'll keep me posted. Cool! I think things are finally starting to turn around.

I told him about my contact with Beta-5, how he's also had the blackouts. This kind of freaked B-13 out, but I told him I didn't mention hiim or his plan at all. I told him I just wanted to keep him in the loop about everything, so there wouldn't be any surprises or anything.

Posted by beta-7 at May 20, 2003 09:37 AM


SQUINTIN' & TAPIN'

Spent all last night piecing through these shredded papers. It's already a nightmare putting them together, but with Lucky around, it's damn near impossible. I spent an hour and a half piecing together this one page, and then Lucky just comes in and pounces on it and swats it all over the place. I screamed at him and then felt really bad, cuz he just thought I was playing, and he hasn't tried to play with me for a long time. Sorry Lucky, but I've just got too much work to do.

Had to lock him out of my room while I went to Target this morning to get some more tape, cuz there were a bunch of pages done, laid out on the floor but not taped together yet. I bought 20 rolls and the cashier gave me a wierd look.

It's frustrating, because the pages I've put together so far are just a bunch of crap anyway, memos about which copy machine to use, info on the company picnic, etc. I've got a killer headache and feel like i need glasses.

Man, I just got ANOTHER box of shreds delivered and I'm not even through the first one yet! AAAARGH!

B-13 just called a little while ago, we compared notes, he's got nothing either. He said he thinks the goods must be on another floor, so he's gonna start dumpster diving after his shifts, but that its kind of risky because there's a lot of security to watch out for. I told him good luck, brother.

Posted by beta-7 at May 23, 2003 11:59 AM


BETA-5 RETURNS; BETA-13 TAKES A DIVE

Got an email from Beta-5! When I first talked to him before I was thinking he was kind of sketchy, an dthen I didn't hear from him for like 2 wks, so kind of wrote him off, but it turns out the guy is solid and its awesome that he's on our side.

He's been working on hacking into the sega server, and he thinks it could be pretty soon that he gets in!!! Hopefully there will be some stuff on their intranet, emails, maybe something that will give us some clues. He's ULTRA paranoid about getting busted though so he want's to keep our communcations to a minimum, that's why i havne't heard from him in so long.

KICK ASS!

Called Beta-13 to fill him in and just kept getting voice mail, which made me nervous. But he finally called me back. Told him about B5. He was stoked and definately wants to work with him on this. We should keep him in the loop about whatever shredded stuff we come up with, but don't tell him any details about Beta-13 or the janitor job, just that I have a friend on the inside. He asked if i got a package yet today, but I havn't. Said it's the first of the dumpster stuff and should take priority.

Two hours later, just got it. Damn, it's a BIIIIG one too. My eyes hurt already.

Posted by beta-7 at May 27, 2003 09:41 AM


MEMO: A CRACK IN SEGA'S ARMOR

HELL YEAH! Found a memo that says RE: BETA TEST, 3/22/03!!! Didn't really give away anything specific, but said marketign would have to put the project "on hold" until they "assess the situation"…Hmm, what "situation" could that be, Sega? The "situation" where I went nuts and tackled the guy next to me!?!

Took a picture of the memo and sent it to b13 and b5 right away. Finally we're on to something! We gotcha now Sega!!!

Posted by beta-7 at May 28, 2003 10:41 PM


MEMO: NEVER BEEN TO O-TOWN, HUH SEGA?

HELL YEAH! JACKPOT, BABY! An older memo that mentions not only the beta test, but SPECIFICALLY a beta test for NFL 2k4 in Orlando, to be conducted by Sunshine survey systems! Also mentions that the test will study the game's effects on "non-participating observers" which explains why the other guy wasn't playing.

We now have proof that Sega conducted the beta test in Orlando on march 22, something they specifically denied IN PRINT. Our dear little paper trail is now turning into a six lane highway....

Posted by beta-7 at June 3, 2003 01:40 PM


COME BACK, BETA-10!

Talked to Beta-13 today, he says wer'e starting to get enough dirt together that we should start organizing it and putting it out there. We need to get ahold of the otehr betas from the test on March 22 and try to get their input, because the more documentation we have from different sources the better our case will look.

Emailed b-5, just told him we hadn't heard from him in a while, wanted to make sure he was stil out there, that we had a plan. I want to make sure he hasn't already tried to contact the other betas, or that he hasn't been busted or something, since we haven't heard from him. He emailed back right away, everything's cool, he's still trying to work on the sega server, but hasn't had a lot of time. I told him about contacting the other beta's and he said, yeah cool, just don't mention his involvement.

Decided I didn't have time to mess around waiting for email, so i tried calling the other betas from beta-x;s list (except for one guy who lives in Linz, Austria, i'd better call him tom'w cuz its probably the middle of the night) Of these, 7 numbers were disconnected! I got through to one, but it was an old lady who said there wsa nobody by the name of XXXXXXX living there. The rest were answering machines and voice mail, but i dind't leave a message cuz I figued they probably wouldn't call back. Try again tomorrow, it's getting too late to call.

Just got a call at 12:30, it was Beta-10! Said he got my number off caller id, what did I want, etc. He seemed really nervous, asked how I got his number, what I wanted from him. I tried to explain the situation to him, what we've been doing, and he just seemed to get more and more freaked out the more I told him. I told him we could really really use his help, that we were for real, on his side, ect. but he just said, "Look, I'm done with this shit, okay, so leave me alone!" and hung up. Damn. Told b13 about it,he said he'd try calling him tomorrow, since it would be from a different number and maybe he'd pick up this time.

Posted by beta-7 at June 4, 2003 12:52 PM


YOU THE MAN, ROB!

Been trying to organize my disaster zone of a room and start putting together stuff for a website. Figure it's the best way to get the word out. Thought about just going to a lawyer with all the stuff we have, but since it was gathered illegally it probably wouldn't hold up,and I don't have the money for a lawyer anyway. With enough bad PR, could end up doing more impact than a lawsuit anyway. Registered beta-7.com.

Don't know much about html, so I inlisted Rob's help, which meant I finally had to fill him in on all the crap that's been going on lately. At first he didn't believe me, but then I showed him all the evidence we've been compiling and it blew his mind. He told me it was a messed up situation, but that he was kind of relieved because he just thought I was losing my mind over Karen this whole time. I wish. I havn'et even had the time to THINK about Karen for like weeks. Told Rob to keep it on the DL though till we get the ball rolling, cuz I don't want people messing with it and under mining whta we're trying to do.

Rob said he'd help with the website and organizing, but that the scotch taping is all me...

Posted by beta-7 at June 6, 2003 07:13 PM


THE MOTHERLOAD!

HAAAAAAAAAYOLE YEEEEEEEEEEE-UH! Just got a wake-up call from Beta-13, 5:30 am with the best breakthroug yet! HE STOLE A BOX OF THE 2K4 REVISIONS FROM VC!!! He's mailing them to me later today, regular mail so it's harder to track.

This is the smoking gun we've been waitng for!!! YES! You're going down Sega!!!

Posted by beta-7 at June 19, 2003 08:07 AM


THE FIT HITS THE SHAN!

B13 called and said when he got to work tonight the security guards were stopping everyone and checking in their cars and everything, so he knew something was up. He got VERY freaked out and just kept on driving. He said its not safe to go back there.

So i guess that's it for the insider connection, but we should have more than enough evidence to screw these bastards, b13 got the revisions, plus I've still got a bunch of boxes of shreds to go through, maybe some other stuff will turn up. I just hope b13 doesn't end up getting busted.

Posted by beta-7 at June 20, 2003 11:06 PM


BROTHER'S KEEPER

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, FRIENDS OF BETA-7! Hope you and yours have a great one. Just don't get so wasted you forget that all-important 2nd step after "LIGHT FUSE," which is of course…"GET AWAY!"

But please don't "get away" from my site until you've read all about my fight for independence from the mind-destroying tyrants at Sega…read a brief overview of my battle in the WHY FIGHT? section and then get the full story in my journals, starting with March 21. Then, please join the battle by linking people to my site -- we need all the help we can get to shine the light of truth into the dark cave of Sega's lies! And now, the latest…

Rob, I know I said before that you were officially the coolest guy in the world, but now I just might have to bestow that title upon my big bro Tommy (on second thought though Rob, you never held me down and farted in my face when I was a kid, so maybe the jury's still out…)

Nevertheless, THANK YOU, TOMMY!!!

Ever since Beta-13 sent me the 2k4 revisions that he stole from Visual Concepts, I've been jonesing to get my hands on a modified console so I could take a look into the chamber of Sega's smoking gun. Seeing these discs just laying there dormant, knowing what's on them has been just about KILLING me these last few days. But seeing as how a mod console costs over 3 bills, and there's the matter of that pesky littly nuisance known as RENT…

Then comes Tommy to save the day! Not only did he hook me up with the rest of the rent money (plus the $50 late fee), he also BOUGHT A MODED XBOX ON HIS CREDIT CARD FOR ME!!! HAAAAY-OLE YEEEEE-UH! It wasn’t easy though, it took a 2-hour phone conversation and LOTS of explaining.

I told him about my "predicament," and his first thought was that I should call the cops. After hearing about the shady, fly-by-night "Sunshine Survey Systems" (now apparently non-existent), the stuff with Beta-13, and the fact that it comes down to the word of some 19 year old "punk kid" vs. a huge, international corporation with an army of cutthroat lawyers, I'd probably end up getting MYSELF into more trouble than Sega. So he understands the importance of me being able to get at what's on these revision discs.

And seeing as how he was raised by the same worrying, neurotic mother I was, he also understands how I can't tell her about all this stuff, or ask her for the money for the moded box (I can imagine that conversation:"You already have a playstation AND an xbox, whaddya need ANOTHER goddamn xbox for?" "Well, Mom…")

My bro is worried about me though (join the club, I'm worried about me), and said to be careful. He also gave me a $100 gift card for Winn Dixie, to make sure I'm actually eating and not blowing all my money on this sega war. He also said he'd tell Mom that he gave me a good "talking to" and that I'm just going through ordinary 19 year old angst and trying to "find myself" (which ain't too far from the truth, I am trying to find the part of "myself" that Sega stole from me!). He said it was more for her benefit than mine, since her having a heart attack really wouldn't help either of us.

Because of the holiday weekend, I probably won't get the moded xbox until the middle of next week, which sucks because I WANT IT NOW!!! Beggars can't be choosers, though, so I'll just have to wait…

Posted by beta-7 at July 4, 2003 10:38 AM


VC'S "BIG ANNOUNCEMENT"; 4TH OF JULY HIJINKS

Greetings, friends of Beta-7! Hope your 4th of July holiday was a blast! Mine was, well…interesting anyway, but I'll get to all of that in a bit.

First off, some news...just saw on ign that VC has some "big announcement" about ESPN NFL Football planned for Monday. Hmm...when I saw that, my "glass half full" side thought, wow, maybe they're actually going to come clean and admit that this is a dangerous product that messes up people's minds. I mean, there's been like zero advertising for it, so maybe they're planning to shelve this thing after all. Then I realized, who am I kidding, these are the same people who have been giving me the runaround for three months now, and who have surely already pumped millions of dollars into this thing, and as we all know, money is more important to these people than the safety of the public. So...it'll be interesting to see what kind of corporate double-speak comes out of their mouths on Monday...

So Rob invited me to this BBQ yesterday, which was thrown by a friend of this guy he works with. When he asked me at first, I was like, you're kidding right? I mean, I've barely left the apartment since these blackouts started, and now he expects me to actually go to a party? He said come on, you need to get out and have a good time for a change. I said yes, I could absolutely use a good time, but getting arrested for tackling someone at this party was not my idea of a "good time." He said, come on man, you just had a blackout the other day, so you probably won't have another one for a while. Then I tried to explain to him the whole concept of "random" and how I haven't figured out what triggers these blackouts and that I could have one at, you know, ANY TIME.

He kept nagging me, so to get him to shut up, I said, "Okay Rob, I'll go to this party, but I'm wearing elbow pads, knee pads, and my bike helmet just in case," thinking there's no way he's gonna want to be the guy who shows up with a short-bus-lookin' mofo like me, but he just said, "Alright, get dressed, I'll be there in 10 minutes." Click. Damn.

I was so nervous on the way over I had stomach cramps. I kept telling Rob I changed my mind and to turn around, but he was just like, no way man, you're having some fun today if it kills you, and I'm thinking, great wording there, jinxmaster. In the dude's driveway, I'm practically hyperventilating, thinking there's no way I can do this. I mean, going to a party where I don't know anybody is hard enough, even without wearing a helmet and having a tendency to random fits of uncontrollable violence. Rob said don't worry though, these people are all cool, and he'll stick right by me the whole time in case something goes wrong.

So we go in and most of the people there are already hammered. This one big sweaty guy runs over, puts his arm around me, yells, "YEAH! THIS MOTHERF***ER IS READY TO PARTY!" and knocks on the top of my helmet. It was kind of embarrassing at first, but it also kind of broke the ice and made everybody laugh, which was cool. I laughed too. After a while, I was kind of having fun messing with these wasted people's heads, telling each person a different reason for the helmet and pads ("Thought it was a Halloween party"; "Top secret NASA experiment"; "I parachuted into this party, didn't you see?"; "What helmet?" etc.) After a while I realized the real reason probably sounds just as ridiculous as these made-up ones, so I said to one guy, "I beta tested a video game that messed up my brain and now I have these blackouts where I think I'm a football player and start tackling people," but I don't think he even really heard me, cuz he just said, "That's cool, man," and went back to twisting fuses together so he could light 10 fireworks at once.

Actually met a really cool girl at this party, or I guess I should say "woman" since she's 24 (!) Her name is Janine. I was off in the side part of the yard, just talking to Rob, and she came up and said, "I dig your look, man. I like the statement that it makes." I was like, you do? Rob kind of eased away, and I gave him this look like "Don't you dare leave me here alone," but he just winked and nodded. He wasn't too far off though, and I could see he was keeping an eye on me, so after a while I actually chilled out and talked to this girl for a while. Actually, she did most of the talking, saying how on this day of independence, we're really not so independent at all, and my "statement" of needing to be "protected" from our own government was "right on." I was like, cool, thanks, I'm glad at least one person here gets it (?!?). Then she said, "I can see in your eyes that you have an artist's soul." Uh, yeah, oookay. This chick is totally not my type, kind of a hippy-dippy, but she's pretty hot and really nice, and I must admit the whole "older woman" thing does intrigue me...and at least she doesn't smell like b.o. and patchouli...

Janine ended up giving me her phone number, but I don't know if I'm ready to really get into something like this with all the other crap that's going on in my life right now. Doesn't seem like her whole "peace and love" vibe would jell with my whole "random violence" thing, but we'll see what happpens. At the very least it was cool to be out of the apartment, talking to a girl, getting digits...for the first time in a very long time it felt almost like I was normal again.

Posted by beta-7 at July 5, 2003 01:02 PM


UPS AND DOWNS

So today was a day of ups and downs, mostly ups, but one pretty major down. Sleeping in late was definitely an up, as was getting all the stuff sorted out between me, Rob and the site. It's amazing, the clarity that 8 uniterrupted hours of sleep can give you. My head still hurts today from the blackout I had yesterday, but at least it's just a dull, nagging pain and not the jackhammer in my skull that I was feeling before.

Fldude2k1 got his disc in the mail today, and he was able to take a lot of the pressure off me that I was feeling, which was great (thanks, bro!) Seems like he's been playing it all day, and he says so far, no blackouts have happened to him, just a little dizziness. I don't know if that means the bugs have been fixed, or if he's just one of the lucky ones who's not affected by the game. Hopefully I'll find out more as the other discs go out.

The one major bummer today was Beta-13. I've been getting really worried about him, since he hasn't posted on our board since yesterday morning. We've been mostly communicating that way for while now, since the heat is on him, and I've been avoiding calling him on the phone. Late this afternoon though, I broke down and called his cell, and it said his number is no longer in service, which REALLY freaked me out. WHERE ARE YOU, BETA-13? Me and Beta-5 are really worried about you!

This has been a crazy week, and I'm hoping the weekend will see some good news. We're starting to get some attention to our cause, which is good, but I just can't stop thinking about B13, where he is right now, what he must be going through. I'm going to try to relax as much as I can, since worrying about B13 when there's nothing I can do about it doesn't really do either of us much good, but still, it's hard. If I've got anything to report, I'll keep you all posted.

Posted by beta-7 at July 11, 2003 08:45 PM


http://www.beta-7.com/blog/archives/000103.html

BETA-13 IS BACK!

Just heard from Beta-13!!! He's alright, but there's been some pretty messed up shit going down. He doesn't want me to say too much because there are still people looking for him, but he's ok. He had to take off in a hurry on thursday and get out of town (waaaay out of town, actually) for a few days and didn't have a way to reach me. He's not using the phone at all anymore, and will be staying in a different place every night like Saddam or something. man, that sucks.

Me and Beta-5 were VERY relieved to hear he was ok. I even found myself channeling my mother for a few seconds, giving him the "don't ever do that again, you had me worried sick" routine. It kinda scared me.

Been playing fp and taping it, then looking frame by frame for subliminal stuff. I haven't seen anythig weird yet, but I don't even really know what it is I'm looking for. I've been studying every frame like it was a playboy centerfold, looking at the screen from up close, far away, at different angles, looking for patterns, words, I don't know what. it's pretty damn frustrating and my eyeballs feel like they're on fire.

Doe anybody out there have any expertise on subliminals? I could use your help. thanks.

Posted by beta-7 at July 16, 2003 07:46 PM


FEMALE ACTION! SORT OF!

Spent most of the day checking for more subliminals frame by frame, taking breaks here and there to check the boards. Apparently I've been banned from gamespot, and I don't know why. could it be that sega's gotten to them? it'll take more than that to shut me up, folks! anyway, didn't find any other weird stuff in the f-b-f, but after a while my eyes start to get blurry, so i don't know if i'm missing things or not. a couple times i thought i saw something, but realized it wsa just wishful thinking.

Rob came by this afternoon to see how i was doing. I opened the door and he actually like flinched when he saw me. he was like dude, you look like shit, you need to get outta the house, this obsesson is driving you nuts. I looked at myself and realized I really did look like shit, wearing the same shirt ihad on yesterday, hadn't even taken a shower yet. he dragged me over to his place, his parents are gone all weekend, so we had the place to ourselves, which was nice. actually, even just the car ride over there was nice, ive been cooped up here so long.

Janine had called me late last night asking if I wanted to meet her downtown. she sounded a little drunk and goofy, which kinda turned me on even more ina weird way, like I could of totally gotten somewehre with her if I wanted. god that sounds so scumbaggy of me, but keep in mind, its been a while. I told her I'd love to but couldn’t since I had a special "project" I was working on, and she was like, "oooh, the man of mystery as always." I must really like this chick, cuz I didn't even realize I was talking about her with rob for like the whole ride over to his place. finally he was like, look dude, either ask her out or shut up about it! iwas just like, yeah right.

Rob wanted to go in the pool, but I told him no way man, out of the question. if I had a blackout in the pool, I could end up drowning and besides, after all this frame by frame stuff, a good shot of chlorine is the last thing my eyes need. Fortunately it was raining pretty bad by the time we got over, so he didn't bug me about it.

his parents have a nice house with all these expensive sculptures and stuff, and I was like dude, what if I blackout and break something, or even worse, skewer myself on one of these things? He just said don'tworry about it, relax, chill, you're not gonna have one tonight. That rob, always the positive one. he ordered us a pizza, which was AWESOME, it's been so long since I've had any kind of real food, it was like the best pizza I ever had. So I go sit in a chaise on the patio, I'm just chilling, dozing off, when the doorbell rings. Rob grins and says, "Gee, I wonder who that could be." I'm like, dude what's up, but he doesn't say anything, so I follow him to the front door. He opens it, and it's Janine! She looked even better than I remember her. My stomach dropped through the floor and i shot Rob this "i'm going to kill you" look. He invites her in.

So we're all hanging out, listening to some tunes, talking. Janine starts talking about phish and string cheese and all these other hippie noodle-jam bands and she asks me, "do you like phish," and before I could even think about it, I heard myself saying "yeah, they're pretty good." WTF?!? I must REALLY like this chick to say I like phish, and I could see Rob grinning at this.

Eventually she turns the conversation to the "special project" I'm working on, and she's like, i thought you weren't in school right now? I just keep telling her i don’t want to talk about it, but she keeps nagging me cuz she thinks im' playing, so finally I just gave up and figured what the hell, and just told her everything, showed her the site. figured she;d probalby think I was some freak or something, but at least I'd have it off my chest.

By the time i finished telling her about my battle with sega, she's got tears in her eyes, and she just comes over and gives me this huge hug. She's so hot, and it's been so long since i've had any kind of female action, that i feel this like shutter of electricity through my body. She tells me, i'm so sorry, these big corporations can't be allowed to step on the little guy, i'll do whatever i can to help you, etc. Janine is so nice and so cool, and she really seems sincere about wanting to help me out. I don't know how cool she'd actually be if she experienced one of my blackouts firsthand though. I dunno though, I really really like this girl, and she seems to dig me, so we'll see what happens. At least i got a hug out of her, what's that, not quite first base…um, the on-deck circle? Probably more like still in the dugout, but to me it felt like a home run. god that sounds corny. yep, i'm into a hippie chick. god help me.

Posted by beta-7 at July 20, 2003 12:50 AM


ANOTHER BETA TESTER?

Got an email from the owner of a small shop here in town. She said somebody emailed her one of the blackout videos from my site, and she thought it was weird because it was a lot like somehing that happened outside her shop a couple months ago…

So she checked out the site and emailed me, asking if i wanted the surviellance tape. I asked her if she'd mail it to me, but she said id' have to come pick it up. At first i thougt it might be some kind of trap or something, but janine was just like man, you're waaaaaay to paranoid. So she says she'll go pick it up tomorrow, and I'm like, ican't ask you to do that, and again, "you didn't ask, I'm volunteering. besides I need some inscense anyway."

god that girl is amazing. She was laying on the floor piecing together memos for hours, and she actually seemed like she was having a good time! And Lucky loves her! (althoug he was kinda pissed when I put him outsied so she could work on the memos.) I was like thanks so much I appreciate your help, and she was just like, no problme, I love puzzles! She's just so positive and cool, she really makes me feel more energized and positive myself, which is good, cuz I thik all this isolation and worries and everything lately has been getting me down.

Can't wait to see this video! since its from here in town there's a good chance it could be from one of the original beta testers from march 22. Hopefully i'll be able to get some leads on how to track this person down.

Read an interview with Greg thomas on nfl2kx…"We have a very dedicated - some say insane - artist who loves to get every single jersey of every NFL football team in the game." Insane, huh? Insane enough to mess with beta testers minds? Care to tell us more about this guy, Mr. Thomas?!?

Posted by beta-7 at July 21, 2003 08:21 PM


I'M BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!

HAAAAAAAYOLE YEEEEEEE-UH! SHUT DOWN THIS, SEGA/VC!!!

So you thought I was just supposed to go run and hide cuz you sent me a letter from a lawyer?!? Well, the fight is back on, bitches!

to those of you new to beta-7.com, you can read about my struggle against the lying, deceitful, corporate mindwreckers at Sega and visual concepts in my blog ARCHIVES, starting on march 21, and look at the evidence I've compiled in the SEGASWINDLE and BLACKOUTS sections.

And to recap the events of the last week during which MY VOICE WAS ROBBED FROM ME BY THE ASSHOLES AT SEGA AND VC...

Last thursday night Janine talked me into going to 2 phish shows with her, in charlotte and atlanta. We left early friday morning. I got online saturday morning in charlotte to find that my site was down. Also found out on the board at nfl2kx.com that a sega rep had posted on sega.com , claiming that my site was all a hoax, and there was NO WAY THE REVISION DISCS I SPOKE OF COULD HAVE GOTTEN OUT (?!?!?)

I couldn't get ahold of rob all weekend to find out what was going on with beta-7.com. Finally found out from him that he didn't turn the site off, but he couldn't get ahold of the web server to find anything out. He knew something weird was going on though, and started putting the wheels in motion to get the site hosted on another server, and found somebody who was down with the cause and willing to hook us up. Finally on wednesday Rob heard from rackspace that our service had been suspended for violating their terms of service. Then later in the day, I got a cease and desist letter from visual concepts, claiming I'd been "distributing stolen goods" (which contradicts sega's claim that there's no way these discs could of gotten out!); I posted the letter on a free angelfire site in the meantime, and posted my "written assurance" to sega/vc on their discusion board.

Tuesday my mom took me to the hospital, where I had an EEG and a MRI (which were quite expensive, a fact that ill be hearing about from my mom for the next 7 lifetimes). Got the results back yesterday, everything's normal. Apparently the doc called my mom and told her that he thinks I should get psychiatric counseling, but I told her I wasn't going to see a shrink just so he could tell me to stop playing video games.

The trip out of town with Janine gave me some much-needed perspective, and I realized that after days and days of looking through game footage frame by frame, trying to figure out what caused my blackouts, that I'd been spending too much time looking inward, and that my time was better spent bringing the fight right up in sega's face, spreading the word about their misdeeds even more, and forcing THEM to come clean about whats been causing these blackouts. Beta-5 said he'd start looking through game footage for clues, and will keep me posted if he finds anything, and Janine is going to continue to help me piece shredded documents together. Beta-13 has still been crashing at friends houses and he's REALLY fucking sick of running and hiding from thes people who are after him, and he's got some plans in the works. My focus now, which I had lost sight of while obsessing over gameplay footage, is to shout from the mountaintop about sega/vc's lies and deceptions, and to expose them to as many people as possible, until they cant ignore it anymore. They can try to silence me as much as they want to, but it doesn't really matter cuz once enough people realise the truth, its gonna snowball into an avalanche that knocks them on their ass!

So you'd better watch your back sega/vc, cuz ROUND 2 JUST BEGAN!

Posted by beta-7 at July 31, 2003 07:35 AM


MORE LAWYER BULLSHIT

GODDAMMIT!! Now this jennifer lai is sending out letters to the people i sent copies of the revision discs out to! Fldude2k1 posted his letter on the board:

"Dear Mr. Pham,
It has come to out attention that you may recently have come into possession of a beta version of our new game, ESPN Football. THis Letter is to inform you of something you were undoubtly unaware when you accepted that game: it is property of The Sega Corp.As the Sega Corp and all its subsidiaries, including Visual Concepts we take the development of our games very seriouslyu and spend a great deal of money to sensure that they are of the highest quality. Our competitors would like nothing more than to be able to get an advanced look at some of the innovative features of the game, like First Person Football. To avoid this, we nmust develop out games in the strictist secreacy. We're Sure you'll understand and when we ask that you drop the disc in the enclosed, SASE, and return our property to us. Thank you in advance for your swif compliance. We appreciate your interest in Sega Sports and look forward to serving your gaming needs in the future.

Very Truly yours,
Jennifer Lai Esq.
Corporate Conunsel"

 

--i don't know how they got their mailing addresses to even send these letters out, but i intend to get to the bottom of this. I find it interesting that the reason she gives for wanting the discs back is "Our competitors would like nothing more than to be able to get an advanced look at some of the innovative features of the game, like First Person Football." -- like that feature hasn't been old news for weeks already. It's clear they want these early beta versions all rounded up because they contain INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE AGAINST THEM!

Nice try again sega, but your attempts to silence me only strenthen my resolve to keep on fighting, and no amount of harassment you dish out will make me give up!

Posted by beta-7 at August 2, 2003 04:41 PM


PHONE CALL: VC ENGINEER CHRIS LARSON

Click below to hear the phone calls:

CHRIS LARSON CALL
CHRIS LARSON MESSAGE

I made some phone calls to visual concepts last week and taped them. Mostly got a lot of runaround as usual, but some of them were pretty interesting. You can tell they're definitely hiding something over there.

I tried to find out from vc's secretary who the engineers were on espn nfl, but she claimed she didn't know. I couldn't find the credits for the new game anywhere, so I found the credits for 2K3 online and called lead engineer Chris Larson through the company directory. He does a pretty good job of pretending he has no idea what I'm talking about before hanging up on me.

I called him right back, and oddly enough he was away from his desk, probably trying to find out from his bosses how he's supposed to reply. Couldn't get through to him at all after that. What are you hiding, Chris?

I'm going through the calls still, i've also been busy helping beta-13 with what he's been doing out in san fran, but I'll be posting some more when i get a chance. In the meantime, i encourage all of you to call them up yourself and ask what they're hiding!

Posted by beta-7 at August 18, 2003 11:27 AM


BETA TEST INFO FROM ONLOOKER

For the past week or so, I have been corresponding via email with a person called Onlooker, who has been giving me some very helpful information. He says he beta tested NBA 2K3 for Sega last year. Iasked him to describe the circumstances of his beta test to me, and he agreed to let me post his commentary, provided his real identity remain anonymous:

"I don't exactly make beta testing a habit, I am a gamer, but only in my spare time, nothing too major. I have major gamer friends though, they put me up to beta testing for Sega. Similar to you I did get an invitation by mail, to an office building, once again quite similar, but I live in a high-tech oriented city, in which major companies leasing office buildings is quite common.

I digress, I tested for Sega a while back, testing NBA 2k3, I was taken into an office complex, filled with tech companies. The settings were comfortable, a well lit office, an attendant in the room, a partner beta tester to play multiplayer. The conditions were very comfortable, nice chairs, with reclining features. Flat screen TV to play on. If I recall the X-box dash I played on was different from a normal one."

These circumstances are very different from the shoddy, fly-by-night circumstances of my beta test, in which Sega purposely used a bogus outside company ("Sunshine Survey Systems") and made the circumstances of the test deliberately suspect and unprofessional so that they'd have an easier time denying the tests ever took place.

I asked Onlooker if he only played in multiplayer mode when the other player was there, as it seemed strange to me that at my beta test the other "player" was not playing at all (which I later discovered was so they could see what effect first-person mode had on "non-participating observers." Onlooker replied:

"As to the information you requested...You are correct in assuming that I played only in multiplayer mode, I can only assume that they were testing for multiplayer satisfaction. It was actually a very comfortable, hospitable, and mildly boring experience, aside from the actual game. Thats really all I can tell you."

This next part is very interesting. I asked Onlooker where he beta tested nba 2k3:

"I'm not sure if I should tell you. It probably wouldn't be prudent. I shall tell you anyway. Austin TX, I'm not sure what Sega was doing there, but they make alot of games in Austin. Alot of the best games next year will have something to do with Austin."

Again, this goes against both Sega's and VC's claims that they only beta test in-house, in their headquarters in California.

What's the deal here, Sega/VC? Having trouble keeping your story straight? I'll be posting another phone call shortly that shows just how much trouble VC has keeping their "facts" straight.

Posted by beta-7 at August 19, 2003 09:57 AM


PHONE CALLS: ANTHONY CHAU; VC SECRETARY

Click below to hear the phone calls:

ANTHONY CHAU, PT. 1
ANTHONY CHAU, PT. 2
VC SECRETARY

I managed to get through on the phone last week to Anthony Chau, visual concepts' media relatoins specialist for espn nfl football. Kept him on the phone for quite a while (i split the call into 2 mp3's to make the download more manageable.) Again, he tries to keep up with VC's "deny everything" strategy, but he makes a couple of revealing slips. Some interesting points to note:

1:38 into Pt. 1, Chau clearly recognizes the name "Beta-7" and says he HAS SEEN my website, but then 1:35 into Pt. 2, he claims he's never heard about the blackouts; then at 3:22 and 3:54, he claims it's the FIRST TIME he's seeing my website -- so which one is it, Anthony?

About 4:34 into Pt. 1, after I ask Chau why they've been taking out ads in other cities trying to track down beta testers if, as they claim, they never beta test outside their headquarters, he says, "Who says we don't test outside our headquarters?" I tell him sega told me this, then he says, "All testing is at our QA headquarters," -- having trouble remembering which story your bosses told you to tell people, Anthony?

Listen to the beginning of Pt. 2. I’m still trying to find out from Chau why VC has been trying to track down people who've beta tested this game (something they still have not clearly explained), he tells me it's because there's been information leaked that they're trying to contain. When i ask him if some of the leaked information involves the fact that this game causes people to have violent outbursts, Chau says, "Not NECESSARILY that." -- why would he use the word "necessarily"? If these outbursts really were news to him, and something he'd never thought about before, wouldn't he just have said "No"???

After he hung up on me, I called back, but couldn't get through to anyone. The recording said press 9 for the company directory, or dial 0 or stay on the line for the operator; I dialed 9 several times, and zero, and neither went through, after a bit i went through to Sharon the secretary.

I think they purposely disengaged the company directory system so I couldn't get through directly to anyone important any more. Why are they so afraid to talk to me?

Call Visual Concepts at 415-479-3634 and ask them what they're trying to hide!

Posted by beta-7 at August 19, 2003 10:08 AM