Outrage Trigger

I finished Douglas Coupland’s Jpod over Thanksgiving. It’s pretty much a revamp of his fascinating mid-‘90s geek subculture pastiche Microserfs, but this time it’s about modern-day game programmers bouncing off each other in a series of interconnected plot threads and ersatz observations about life in this gosh-darn-kerazy world of McDonald’s and Google and E-Mail Tony Hawk Jpeg Karaoke Internet Hug Machines.

Something else bothers me. It’s not the fact that none of the book’s characters is particularly appealing or the fact that Coupland lazily inserts himself into it as part of some irksome post-post-modern folding act, or the dozen or so pages of nothing but pi digits. That’s all annoying, but what really bothers me is this self-written profile of the main character.

I've underlined the problem. Who really prefers the PlayStation port of Chrono Trigger, with its unnecessary anime video clips and loading times, to the original Super NES version? No one, that’s who. And it’s not like our hero is ignorant of 16-bit games; there’s a scene where his co-workers are screwing around with Super Metroid on an emulator, an emulator presumably capable of running the superior form of Chrono Trigger.

For shame, Mr. Coupland. If this blatantly incorrect detail is your idea of a joke, it’s still a grievous, inexcusable, and potentially damaging error that I demand to see corrected in future printings, or at least on that website. I'll start an online petition if I have to.

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