Mac superheroes to the rescue

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On Thursday afternoon, I delivered my annual Game Room session in the Macworld Live booth on the show floor of the Moscone Center. We had a full house in the booth as representatives of Freeverse Software, Aspyr Media, and AMD (formerly ATI) talked about the state of Mac gaming and how Apple’s transition to Intel microprocessors has changed the playing field.

All the vendors at the show, and even Apple’s own games guy, are brimming with enthusiasm about 2007 and its potential for gaming. But that isn’t what I’m here to talk about—it’s what happened after the event.

We gave away a ton of stuff—loads of boxes of hit games from Freeverse and Aspyr Media, and even a high-end Mac graphics card from AMD. I had run over my allotted time, and some of my Macworld cohorts encouraged me to wrap it up, so we had a bit of a mob scene at the end as attendees rushed the stage for free copies.

“You missed one,” said a gentleman near the front of the stage. And as I looked down, I saw a little boy who I hadn’t seen before, a single tear running down his cheek. In my rush to make sure that the crowd—mainly adults — got something, I’d missed this young lad. And I felt terrible.

“What’s your name?” I asked him.

“Cameron,” he told me, sniffling loudly.

“And how old are you?”

“Si-si-six,” he responded shyly.

“What kind of Mac do you use?”

Cameron turned to look at his mom, and she said, “He has an iBook.”

This is the universe calling out to me in a big way , I thought. My family is back in Massachusetts. I have a wife and three kids. My youngest, James, is six years old and also has an iBook.

“Well don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll make sure you’re taken care of.”

We walked back to Freeverse Software’s booth, which, conveniently, was located only a short stroll from Macworld’s in the Moscone Center’s South Hall. I found Ian Lynch Smith standing there. Ian, a good friend of mine, is the company president, and has a young family himself. I told him my predicament.

Ian walked from behind the booth with some boxes in hand. After introducing himself to Cameron and his mom, Ian asked, “Do you like flying airplanes?”

“Yeah!” said Cameron enthusiastically, as his face lit up.

“Well, here’s a copy of WingNuts 2,” Ian said. “And do you like monkeys?”

“Yeah!” said Cameron, now brimming with enthusiasm.

Ian handed him a copy of Burning Monkey Solitaire 4, Freeverse’s newest version of the long-running card game, rife with simian humor. Ian also had in hand a copy of Comic Life Deluxe, Plasq’s popular software that lets you turn iPhoto galleries into a comic book on your Mac. Freeverse sells Comic Life Deluxe in retail stores.

Cameron and his mom left happy and excited to try out their new software, and Ian and I felt better too. And maybe a little less lonely from being away from our wives and kids this week, too.

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