The Beat is fighting the biggest battle of The Beat‘s life and we need all the support from our loyal fans we can get. We are trying very, very hard not to play CIV IV. We held the game in our hands not that long ago, but, with the greatest display of self-control we have ever mustered, we put it back on the shelf. Of course, there are alternative means of…acquiring software, but we’re resisting that, too. But someday we’re not going to be able to control ourselves, and it’s going to be all over…no more Beat blog, no more nerd news you can use, or at least only a skeletal site tended with the attention usually shown by fathers in Harry Chapin songs.

MEANWHILE, we are fighting another fight on another front, equally difficult. You see, about a month ago we gave up drinking Vietnamese instant coffee for the simple reason that we suspected the ingredients were more complex than the “coffee, milk, sugar” the label indicated. Emulsifiers. Phosphates. Diglycerides. Cocaine. Who knows? That stuff is addictive. Every morning since then we’ve thought about going to Chinatown and getting another supply, but we can’t give in, we mustn’t.

Just the other day, we were tidying and found one last packet. We were trying to save it for a rainy day but that lasted about 8 hours. Seriously this stuff is addictive. Did we mention that? Honest, you can see people pretending to snort it here. We don’t know what to do. CIV IV for Vietnamese coffee. We’ve got to have one of them.


  1. Would it help if I said that the Mac version of Civ IV is a pretty serious resource hog and may not run very well by mid/end game even on your shiny new Intel iMac? Later patches have greatly sped up gameplay, but it’s still pretty hard on the hardware.

    Plus, it’s UGLY and it SMELLS FUNNY and it will call down a plague of LOCUSTS on your apartment. And the LOCUSTS will all be carrying FLESH EATING BACTERIA. And then PARIS HILTON will arrive to sing you a song. Really, is the sweet embrace of turn-based Sid Meier goodness worth all that?

    (Hey, you didn’t say we had to be HONEST about trying to help in the avoiding temptation thing.)

    As for the Vietnamese coffee, all I got is that mom’s told me that she’s hesitant to buy anything agricultural from Vietnam since who knows how much Agent Orange is left over in the ground from the war.

  2. As someone who now needs The Sims 2 like Bubbles needs crack, I would advise you to stay away from all simulation/strategy games. They are evil. Evil!

    I really don’t see how anyone could ever be addicted to coffee though. The stuff smells incredible but tastes vile.

  3. I must confess, I am fascinated by the Vietnamese instant coffee. Is it more caffeinated than our American instant coffee? Is it just that much more delicious?

    I just googled it and got lots of confusing links, but if there’s a brand I should be finding, please post! I would be the envy of my office if I were to whip out some exotic instant coffee instead of settling for the pod system available in our kitchen.

  4. You should try replacing your addictions with harmless substitutes. For Civ IV, I recommend world of Warcraft. I have it on good authority that the game is not addictive at all. For the Vietnamese coffee, I think we can safely say it together now: You. Are. Doomed.

    Doomed unto your doomilnation, even.

  5. Civilization . . . my one greatest weakness . . .

    If it makes you feel better, I found Civ IV not much different from Civ III. However . . . the world building tools and the desire to build that perfect utopia is quite addictive. Yesterday, I discovered the wheel. Two minutes later I’m nuking my enemies. :D

  6. Whenever I try to play a video game, I feel like I’m wasting valueable time. I could be reading comics, watching movies, watching wrestling, reading The Beat, researching comic history, doing household chores I’ve been putting off, etc..

    Which is why I don’t play them, except for solitaire when I *feel* like being brainless and non-productive.

  7. Every now and then I open my Civilization file and it pretty much wrecks the next week or two of my life.
    Good thing I have totally gotten out of sync with the game so I suck and my computer is pretty crappy, so it’s frustratingly slow.
    There’s a Civ 4? That’s pretty wrong.
    Remember when there was just like one version from about 1480 and they didn’t update it for years and years and years???