Daily Recap: May 21, 2009

Um.

There’s some videogame-related news in here somewhere, I promise. But this is just too good of a story to pass up.

Capcom‘s and GRIN‘s Bionic Commando could have starred a very different protagonist from series originator Nathan “Rad” Spencer. Someone who’s got it all: a bizarre career spanning pornography, artificial limb charity and advocacy, and a rocky marriage with a former Beatle.

Someone who could answer the call of duty and go where no man has gone before.

Imagine what an eye-opening experience it would have been to swing through a city with a bionic arm, doling out ample amounts of violent justice to everyone around…as Heather Mills.

As claimed by The Sun and picked up by Computer and Video Games (CVG), Mills was approached by Capcom for unspecified reasons to contribute to Bionic Commando because of her charitable background in helping amputees. But according to the article, the offer Capcom made was ten times less than Mills’ going rate.

The best part? Mills wanted the game to feature her as the main character.

No, we’re not making this up. Here’s what Mills posted to her Twitter account earlier today:

Got offered to promote an amputee bionic computer game, from a wealthy computer games company I said if you donate a large sum to charity

The stingy company came back saying they couldn’t, what happened to charitable businesses, seems they just want to exploit and give nothing

It may make sense to take the offer but I’d rather donate regularly to many charities much more than they’re offering and not be exploited

There’s more, but it ventures into a pretty dark place.

Though at times it might seem the majority of Internet aficionados have little regard for accurate grammar and spelling, some of us (well, just us three, probably) are especially quick to anger when an established company takes creative liberty with terms that allow no leeway for interpretation.

Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo did a little digging and presented his results. As it turns out, “exclusive” takes on an entirely new meaning in the gamer’s lexicon. Basically, it’s meaningless. Leave it to the videogame PR machine to rob the meaning from an absolute term.

We’ve heard the term “exclusive” tossed around carelessly all too often. Big-name games like Final Fantasy XIII are billed as platform-exclusive, with the supposed implication of that exclusivity extending into eternity, but as last year’s E3 proved, anything can change. More recently, Bethesda confirmed that the PlayStation 3 version of Fallout 3 will receive all the downloadable content that was heretofore only available on Xbox 360 and Windows.

Here’s what exclusive actually means in the real world:

ex·clu·sive (adj.)
1. excluding or having power to exclude
2. limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group

— Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Despite asking Bethesda and Microsoft to clarify their definitions of the word, neither would comment. Fortunately, GameTrailers TV‘s Geoff Keighley was willing to confirm what many had long suspected:

In this day and age, unless otherwise specified, you have to assume ‘exclusive’ means a timed exclusive. In other words it is ‘exclusive’ to one platform for a period of time, or ‘first.’ Of course no one will tell you about the length of exclusivity….This is similar to world exclusives on GTTV or in Game Informer. We have the ‘exclusive’ on a game for a period of time, but other outlets ultimately receive the assets.

Sounds rational to us. After all, publishers are only kidding themselves if they think any length of media exclusivity really matters when the most die-hard of fans will scan magazine pages and post videos of games the instant they’re available at any one source.