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Dear Fruitman... - The Atari Times

Dear Fruitman...

Ok, back for more mayhem
by Fruitman

May 1, 2002
Man, you seem really paranoid about Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft being evil. Do you really think Atari never used any "questionable" tactics back when it  dominated the industry?You're making yourself look like an idiot. These things happen in business.Get over it already.

Dear MUKKl69,

You are obviously referring to the conspiracy letter I wrote about.

"Paranoia" is defined as "Exhibiting or characterized by extreme and irrational fear or distrust of others." Sadly, this sounds more like something you live with every day. Fear of the truth, perhaps?

Sure, Atari did lots of questionable things, every company does. However, Atari was much more covert about what they did whereas Nintendo was (and still is) quite blatant about every tactic they do. Chip shortages, vaporware CD drives, announcing game systems 3 years before they are released, muscling out the competition in the major chains to keep their monopoly... These facts are not in dispute but your mental health seems to be.

If I might quote a bumper sticker I saw the other day on a rusted out 1978 Toyota Corolla that was spewing out way too much smoke: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

Dear Fruitman...

Where did you get such a cool name?

Jack J. Fruitman

Olympia, Washington, The LA Fruitmans.

Dear Jack,

Ah, that story could fill an entire volume of books! But the short version goes like this: After being left by space aliens on the front door of Mama Fruitman's house, I began my journey through the depths of humanity. What I've seen so far has been both grotesque and wonderful all at the same time.

I'd actually be more interested in learning the history of your last name... Where did the Fruitman's come from? Where are they going? Do they have family reunions? Why wasn't I invited? Where's my mom's alimony money? Looks like you and your family have a lot to answer for!

And I thought for sure that the name "Fruitman" was totally unique. Alas!

Dear Fruitman...

I was just wondering if you had any official sales figures from Atari for their Jaguar and Lynx. If not could you give me a rough estimate?

Craig Lutas

Dear Craig,

I can't think of a single company that has released exact sales figures. Unfortunately, since Atari was bounced around so many times, it's not likely we will ever know for sure.

The most common figure I've heard from the video game rags for the Jaguar was 150,000 sold (and we all know how "reliable" those guys are concerning the Jaguar.) However, I have a hard time believing that because the Jaguar was rumored to have sold 100,000 units when they cost still $250. Since then, there were tons of price drops. So, it's very unlikely that the Jaguar only sold another 50,000 units in the 1 1/2 years that it cost $159 or less.

I'd guess 300,000 for the Jaguar and 750,000 for the Lynx. Anyone have any solid figures that weren't cooked up by those loser video game magazines?

Dear Fruitman...

Recently read this page [about women and video games]

Maybe you're not looking in the right places, but there ARE girls who are interested in gaming. Just because they don't typically enjoy the same genres guys are attracted to doesn't mean they're not out there!

For starters, check THIS out: http://www.digitpress.com/archives/arc00095.htm
An article I co-wrote w/Joe Santulli about gaming with your significant other. I'll give you Tetris out of the games you listed (although I've yet to find ANYONE, male or female, who didn't like the game), but Centipede and Ms Pac Man?You can do much better than that.And why do you overlook Tempest 2k on the Jag (since this person mentioned the Jaguar specifically)?That's another great game that the boys and the girls all love.

Better yet, stop by http://pub27.ezboard.com/bretrogaming, and I'll be glad to introduce you to the ladies on the board.Maybe we'll open your eyes a bit.


Dear Jamie,

You've finally hit upon my sore spot! I have yet to find a woman interested in games that couldn't kick the crap out of a gang of Hell's Angels! My personal taste in women requires a certain amount of femininity.

I'm glad that there are women out there that manage to retain all their girlish qualities yet still like to play games. I just haven't seen any in my travels. (Ah, the glory of the internet!)

Thanks for opening the eyes of depressed male gamers everywhere. While miniscule, there is still hope for meeting a gamer girl. All they have to do is meet them on the internet, then pack up and move to where gamer girl lives!

Update: Hmm... After Digital Press decided to use a porno star for promotion, my eyes are absolutely opened! Woohoo! Atari & sex... Whoever would have thought I could enjoy my two favorite things all at one time? It's two great tastes that go great together!

Dear Fruitman...

How much money could I get from selling my N64 and 4 games?


Dear Sabine,

Ok, my knowledge of ATARI video games is vast (some would say tiny) but this doesn't necessarily qualify me to give you a price range for Nintendo system. But, hey, if you're looking to make some quick cash, sell it to me for $10! You know you don't get any enjoyment out if it anyway.

As a famous Nintendo fan once wrote: "i think you shuld all give your jagars away. they just dont give you any fun. get a Nintendo 64 and you will see what I mean. and dont say im baised. i told you i have alot of games machines. i know what i are taking about! NINTENDO RULZ!"

Dear Fruitman...

I purchased my first Atari in April of 1983.My father-in-law joined me as an enthusiast.Over the span of 1983-2000 he purchased multiple systems, disk-drives, printers, games and paraphernalia of all sorts.He has a multitude of 400's, 800's, XE's, XT's, ST's, Indus GT's, 1050's, you name it.I still need to do a complete inventory.

I'll keep my message short.He passed away of cancer in June of 2000. I'm still sorting through the massive collection of gaming systems, personal computers, softwares etc.I don't have the space or need for such an enormous surplus.I would love to talk to you or members of your group that are interested in this equipment and software. I would love to see it get into the hands of true enthusiasts that would put it to use in lieu of it sitting in boxes or becoming damaged. I'm talking about a lot of Atari stuff. He also had Sega, Genesis, NES, Super NES, etc.

It's an overwhelming amount of stuff.This is a personal museum of electronic gaming and early computing. 

Thank you,

Terry Penkal


Dear Terry,

I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I know it's a hard thing to go through.

If anyone is interested in what sounds like a lot of great Atari stuff, help Terry out and give those systems a good home. Don't let them sit and collect dust!

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