Thing is, when we started writing Digi, we had nothing against the Amiga or Amiga owners. I mean, why would we? What sort of lunatic would hate a computer?! How broken would you have to be to launch a vendetta against a computer and its entire user base?!
I mean, to be honest I even regretted that I'd chosen the Atari ST over the Amiga. It had probably been down to some latent loyalty from owning an Atari 2600 years before, but it soon became clear to me which system had the best games catalogue.
Regardless, we didn't see the Amiga as a priority. Anyone could see that the games industry was moving towards a PC/console-centric place, and the Amiga had been knocking around in one form or another since the mid-80s.
Unfortunately, pointing that out didn't stop Amiga owners from hating us, and it didn't stop us trolling them, and that certainly didn't stop Amiga owners telling us we had an obligation to cover the Amiga, and complaining about us to our bosses and television watchdogs, and trying to get us sacked.
I never understood it. If they wanted Amiga reviews there were plenty of magazines they could go to! Were these people also writing complaints to, I dunno, Mean Machines and Super Play?! Why us?!
Even as late as 2001, the Amiga owners were still having a go.
Here's a quote from long-defunct website Amiga History, discussing Amiga Power: "Its influence can still be seen in PC Zone and the Teletext computer pages, Digitizer (although the latter simply mimics AP style without actually being funny). Perhaps in some form the values that Amiga Power represented has been transplanted to a new generation of titles."
Firstly, it's Digitiser not Digitizer. Secondly, none of us ever read Amiga Power. Great magazine, apparently, but we weren't Amiga owners... so why would we have ever read Amiga Power? They didn't think that through. More likely, AP and Digi both had a common ancestor in the form of Your Sinclair. So, get it right: we actually mimicked Your Sinclair without actually being funny.
Fact is, we got letters from disgruntled Sega fans, Nintendo fans, Jaguar owners... basically, we upset every single category of gamer at one time or another, but no group was ever more aggressive or driven, passionate and spiteful than the Amiga owners.
If you'd been on the receiving end of their ire to the degree that we had been, it's unlikely you would have bowed your head and gone"You know what? You guys are all great, and you've asked us so nicely, that from now on we're going to give you exactly what you want."
CAMPBELL'S SUPER TROLLING
Of course, Digi had a former Amiga Power writer as one of our star columnists. You might've expected the inclusion of Stuart Campbell on our pages would curry favour with the Amiga fraternity. Unfortunately, Stuart being Stuart... he was, if anything, worse than we were when it came to poking the Amiga hornets nest.
Stuart recently stumbled upon one of the aforementioned complaints that got sent to our employer, and sent it across to me. I hadn't seen it in decades, but remembered it well.
It appeared on an Amiga message board in 1997, and had space beneath it for other Amiga owners to sign their names. I've redacted the name of the original author, but it's such a work of art, so utterly, beautifully, deluded, that I thought I'd share it with you.
This is what we had to deal with - for years...
Sir/Madam, I write to complain bitterly about the violent attack on Amiga owners recently in Digitiser.
I have been an Amiga owner for many years, and I am deeply insulted by the malicious and untrue assertions made in that publication.
On page 171, Stuart Campbell writes : "The survey revealed via AF and CU Amiga, the perhaps not at all surprising fact that almost 68% of all Amiga owners have never had a girlfriend. Ever."
After pointing out that Amiga means "Girlfriend" in Spanish, he then goes on to say: "One can only imagine that the original management of Commodore were playing a funny practical joke on all the people who would buy their computer. So little change there, then."
This is outrageous. Even if the survey results are not, as I suspect, "cooked" to make some kind of frivolous point, I take great exception to the suggestion that I have been "ripped-off" by buying my Amiga.
On the contrary. Having used all manner of systems, from UNIX/VAX workstations to Sinclair ZX80's and everything in between, I can say with some certainty ( based on many years experience ) that no other computer system even comes close to the ease and power of the Amiga. And yes, I have had PLENTY of girlfriends, and none of them were made in a factory!
On page 175, an unknown author writes in GameSpotting: "GAMER TYPE 5 : AMIGA OWNER - He buys shareware because that's practically all there is to play on his Amiga, he writes his own programs, though they're rarely anything more interesting than a Spreadsheet, and he's possibly the most tedious, anally retentive individual on earth.
"He so wants you to believe that the Amiga is a viable gaming platform. A cliche, yes, but unfortunately, this archetypal computer nerd really does exist. We know this for definite. An Amiga owner's only friends are members of his coding club, and there's nothing he enjoys more than a 24 hour coding marathon. Locked away in his bedroom for days on end, his pale complexion, poor eyesight and unkempt appearance are clues to the average Amiga owner. He thinks multi-tasking is somehow a substitute for a catalogue of cutting-edge games. Did we mention he lacks a sense of irony? Typical quote : 'Yes, but the PC can't multitask.'"
To tackle these points one at a time:
(1) I don't have any shareware games. All my games are commercial, and there are PLENTY of them I can assure you. Not to mention games on the horizon which will make use of the PowerPC architecture and it's associated hardware.
(2) Yes I write my own programs because, unlike PC owners, I have the intelligence to do so. That is, after all the whole POINT of buying a computer. There are much cheaper ways of pursuing the childish activity of playing games.
(3) If the author takes a look at Aminet now and then, he will see that Spreadsheets account for a microscopic fraction of the sowftware in the archive.
(4) Tedious ? News to me ! Also news to the dozens of party goers who invariable come round my house every other night.
(5) Anally Retentive ? No I am not the kind of person who becomes incensed if everything is not in it's place / as it should be. If anything, I would describe my life as 'utter chaos' at the moment.
(6) The Amiga is, has been, and will continue to be a considerably MORE VIABLE gaming platform than the PC. The PC is, after all, fundamentally based on a prehistoric hardware/software architecture originally designed for "anal-retentives" to run their spreadsheets on.
(7) I am neither a Cliche, nor a Nerd. I am a 29 year old offshore worker who has been known to physically dismember people for saying less insulting things to me than the authors in Digitiser.
(8) I am not in a coding club as such, but if I were, I would be proud to count its members among my friends. At least they are the type of people who actually USE their computers once they buy them, unlike the majority of PC owners that I know - who simply buy a PC for the prestige; don't have a clue what to do with it; let it sit in the box for a month before unpacking it; unpack it then spend the best part of a year trying to get it to work properly; give up and eventually just let it sit in the spare room as a 'showpiece' statement that says ... 'look I'm clever enough to spend two grand on something useless.'
(9) There's only two things I do in my bedroom, and neither of them has anything to do with the computer. Isn't it typical of a PC owner to associate his PC with the bedroom. Symptomatic of all those hours on www.pornbyus.com or www.xtc.com. My complexion is not pale nor am I unkempt, in fact I spend a small fortune on clothes. You must be confusing me with PC owners who, having blown all their money on something that looks like an air conditioning unit ( and serves as much use ) they have no money left for 'luxuries' like clothes. And you have the audacity to call Amiga users 'nerds'.
(10) The Amiga multi-tasks properly. The PC doesn't. Period. There isn't really much more to say. As for us believing that the Amiga's ability to pre-emtively multitask easily is a substitute for 'cutting-edge' games, I've never heard such rubbish. The Amiga invented the concept of 'cutting-edge games', and now the best the PC can do is come up with some raytraced animations ( which were probably done on SGI's not PC's ) and slap them together and call it a game. Crap. At least Amiga games are fun, and will in the near future provide the same level of mindless '3D-ness' that every technophobic, first-time -buying, lame PC owner seems to want these days.
(11) I do have a sense of irony, otherwise I wouldn't be able to appreciate the fact that even though the Amiga has always been fundamentally superior to the PC it has been largely ignored by the large corporations due to dubious backhander operations - ( mainly involving Intel and Microsoft ) - and the subsequent ( and equally dubious ) marketing decisions by those same corporations. This resulted in the Amiga being left at the bottom end of the market and eventually slipping away on .... I've lost count .... is it 3 occasions now ? only to rise like a Phoenix on each occasion.
I think the comments made on Digitiser p175 on Sunday the 10th of August 1997 were libelous, inflammatory, and deeply insulting, and I intend taking further action with the ITC. The following is a list of names, ( with optional comments ), collected from various Amiga enthusiast around the world, who have all read this letter, and feel as strongly as I do."