for 9 July 1996. Updated every TUESDAY.

BIG IDEA Konami's Track and Field meets the '96
Olympic Games ...on the Web!
25 WORDS <= All the rush, the high-impact excitement,
and single-minded drive to win of the
Olympics, experienced and practiced on
the net, courtesy of olympictorch.com!
HARD SELL Deep inside each of us lies the soul of an
Olympic athlete. Unfortunately, our
grease-pocked, cellulose-laden posteriors
rarely reflect the champion within. While
millions are content to live the thrill
of the coming Olympics via the vicarious
pleasures of TV, many dream of the
opportunity to show their mettle in
competitive sports custom-designed for
their non-ambulatory lifestyles. And
while celebrity endorsements are largely
seen as a privilege of the alpha elite,
olympictorch.com radically reaffirms the
status quo by matching "athletes" with
sponsors - but with olympictorch.com, the
consumer/athlete is pitched, rather than
sponsored by, key brands.
The implementation is simple: some
iteration of the old arcade standby,
Track and Field, is licensed and retooled
with contemporary themes and graphics.
Old-time gamers will recall the
keyboard-slamming (and ultimately
keyboard-annihilating) interface, which
olympictorch.com will astutely capitalize
upon by offering prime advertising to
keyboard manufacturers, while at the same
time offering new, ergonomic keyboards as
runner-up prizes. As a networked sporting
simulation game, a national epidemic of
sprained wrists helps to manufacture a
ready pool of potential tendon therapy
candidates - wrist supports could be
another popular prize.
OVERHEAD The principal obstacle is
promotion of the olympictorch.com gaming
network. This could involve, but not be
limited to, brand placement at
traditional Olympics events, extravagant
and wildly appealing awards and accolades
promised to winners, and recruitment of a
Dream Team of world-class competitive
key-slammers. The game itself should be
either ripped-off, stolen, or cheaply
licensed, as it is secondary to the
frenetic quality of the play itself. One
possible publicity event might include
hiring Marc Andreessen to carry a mock
Olympic torch from his office cubicle to
a nearby Palo Alto burrito stand for an
audience of national press.

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