Sixteen Bits Online

MAY 1996


by Darrell Burkey, Managing Editor

Meetings, projects, SIGs, events - I had no idea how much 3,000 people can get up to. Well, I hope it is all reported here fairly accurately but after a few late nights at the keyboard, almost anything can happen.

A big thank you to the people who have responded to our request for volunteers. You will notice a few new names in the magazine this month and it looks like we have more interesting articles on the way. Please keep those cards and letters coming, we can always use more contributions from members. And please, if you have any comments, suggestions or constructive criticism, the editorial team would like to hear it.

There will be some changes in how the magazine is produced over the next few months and it will be important that we receive feedback about what you do and donít (as if) like. Just drop us a letter or email us at

Meanwhile, enjoy the wonderful efforts of the many people who contributed this month. Most of the regulars are here and some newcomers dip their toes into the editorial pool as well. More information is here about our favourite beast, The Internet Project, and some of our members have even been caught on film this month. Hopefully we will be able to lure some more people out of hiding.

On a more serious note, I didnít think editing Sixteen Bits would create any serious moral dilemmas but here it is, my first solo flight, and I find myself asking some tough questions about violence in computer games.

Given the recent events of violence in our country, I found it difficult to turn a blind eye to the games I have on my own computer which depict similar events, masking it with the justification that the violence is targeted towards aliens or monsters. But on the other hand, these games are simply brilliant technically and never cease to amaze me.

While looking for screen shots for this monthís game review I found myself rejecting any image with a gun in it, which severely limited my choices. I spoke with several people about this at length, and decided that censorship was not the answer. Perhaps it is time we became a bit more serious about dealing with simulated violence, or do we just throw this discussion in the Ďtoo hard basketí? You tell me.

Just as I was dealing with these tough questions I was asked by a friend if I would like to go to Sydney to join a protest march against censorship on the Internet (see article on page 19 ). To top it all off, I only have six weeks left to learn Pascal! And to think, I became involved with computers because it was fun!

Well, as I said last month, the adventure continues... I have a feeling itís going to be very interesting, to say the least.

Sixteen Bits Online - May 1996