Monday, April 20, 1998

Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic @ Sony Wonder Tech Labs

Monday, April 20, I set sail once again, this time on the "Starship Titanic." Once again, champagne was waiting at the entrance. This trip was orchestrated by Simon & Schuster Interactive, who published the "Starship Titanic" CD-Rom game, and was held at the Sony Wonder Tech Labs. The game is by Douglas Adams of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" with Terry Jones of Monty Python offering much hilarity as the voice of the parrot. I spoke with Mr. Adam's briefly, between "speak-throughs" of the product, and he said the parrot was one of his most favorite parts. Another is the encounter with the Maitre D' at the bottom of the restaurant who is "gluttonously obsequious, but if you counter him at all, he'll fight you!" The game takes at least 60 hours to play, is completely non-violent, and is basically about trying to navigate this vast ship (which is in space) via interaction and actually speaking with robots who will sometimes give you clues. It is gorgeously rendered, and we had a chance to explore the ship after the demo. Gina Bevinetto (Woman's Day) thought it was "a pretty cool game" but found it difficult to navigate without a manual. I navigated down to the reception where they served blue martinis and sat in the tres luxe "Rock 'n Roll Thoroughbred Ralph Lauren Room" complete with big leopard and Indian-print pillows, big leather armchairs, oriental rugs, classic desk lamps, and (of course) a HUGE TV monitor. There I spoke with Ed Baig (Business Week) and Frank Vizard (Popular Science).

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)