TOURBUS: Thursday, September 12, 1996
DRIVER: Patrick Crispin

Before we pull our little bus of Internet happiness back into CNET, I want to give a little tip of the hat to the folks that are making today's post possible:

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Okay, let the fun begin! In our last tour we started looking at the CNET ("see-net") mega-Web site at

We've already looked at CNET's "News," "Reviews," and "Features" sections. By the way, if you ever want to see any of our old TOURBUS posts, just point your browser to :)

Today we are going to look at CNET's "Gamecenter" and "Personalities" sections.

You can quickly find your way around the entire CNET site by taking a look at the left-hand (yellow) side of any of CNET's pages. This yellow part is a directory of all of CNET's departments and sections, and you can even click on the links in the yellow part to be taken to a particular department or section.

Our first stop today is CNET's Gamecenter. Since I tend to spend most of my non-email-reading moments playing games on my Mac like "You Don't Know Jack" and "Eric's Ultimate Solitaire," the Gamecenter is one of my favorite resources in the entire CNET site.

The Gamecenter has 6 sections (well, 7 if you count "List all," which I won't):

  • GAMING NEWS ( This page gives you the latest news on new computer game releases, upcoming games that are still in development, and industry notes from the gaming software giants. Now if only they could tell us when "Myst 2" is going to be released ... :)
  • SHOOT-OUTS ( It turns out that I am not the only one who doesn't know the difference between the games "Quake" and "Duke Nukem 3D." Fortunately, the kind folks at CNET have conducted head-to-head tests of a whole bunch of seemingly similar computer games to find out which game is really the best.
  • GAMING GUIDES ( Can't figure out how to win the computer game "Civilization II?" Lost in "Descent?" This section is for you! The Gaming guides page gives you tips, techniques, and dirty tricks to help you win some of the most popular computer games around!
  • EXCLUSIVES! ( While a lot of CNET's Gamecenter is focused around commercial games, the Exclusives section has links to the absolute best freeware and shareware Mac and PC games around. They also have a pretty cool "ten greatest games of all time" page, but I'm boycotting that page because it does not mention "Myst." :)
  • REVIEWS ( If you are thinking of buying a computer game anytime soon, visit this section first. The reviews section has extremely in-depth reviews (including screen shots!) of 54 of the most popular games on the market today. By the way, if you want a chuckle, check the screen shots from "Bad Mojo" (the game where you are a cockroach scurrying around a San Francisco slum).
  • Sneak peeks ( Want to see sneak previews of games before they are ever released to the public? This section is for you!
CNET also has a good number of very respected columnists on its staff, and you can find a collection of these columnists' articles in CNET's "Personalities" department ( Some of CNET's "talking heads" include:

  • John C. Dvorak ( Dvorak is CNET's resident "no holds barred" CD ROM reviewer, giving you direction on whether to "Buy it," "Try it," or "Skip it." Best of all, Dvorak's page contains a directory of every CD review he has ever done!!
  • Douglas Rushkoff ( During the Roadmap96 workshop, my dad wrote (in MAP07: Netiquette) that " the net is international. If you tell a Belgian she's being un-American, SHE ISN'T OFFENDED. OF COURSE she's un-American; you're un-Belgian. She doesn't care about being lectured on the First Amendment and American values. She doesn't HAVE a First Amendment, and she thinks Belgian values are BETTER." If you want to more in-depth discussion of this, take a look at Rushkoff's recent article "Internet Imperialism?".
  • Christopher Barr ( If you are looking for the latest articles on Net topics, check here. Barr can be a little blunt, but the honesty of his articles is refreshing. If you are looking to cut through the fluff and find the truth about JAVA, cookies, the $500 NC computer, and the Microsoft vs. Netscape battle, Barr's articles are for you.
  • Rafe Needleman ( Needleman gives you the latest info from the front line of the browser wars.
  • Movers and shakers ( Movers/). Keeping up with the latest batch of gurus on the Net can be a full time job. Fortunately, the folks at CNET have created the "Movers and Shakers" section which gives you profiles of the most interesting and influential people shaping the digital world. There list of movers and shakers is far from complete, though ... it does not include Bob or me. :)
There are a couple of other parts of CNET that I want to show you, but I'll save that for a future TOURBUS post. In the mean time, pop on over to CNET, download some games from the Gamecenter, take a look at Dvorak's CD reviews, read every one of Barr's articles, and have a wonderful and safe weekend!

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