Recent events have forced me to return to an old series of mine: Atari Poop. It was a series where I dared speak the truth on topics others were too afraid to even mention. I exposed the hidden, often sinister, origins of Atari 2600 games. It was controversial. It was groundbreaking. It won me a bunch of awards. It was eventually shut down by Eric Bailey.
It wasn’t enough for him to forbid me from writing about anything outside of the Atari 2600 (he wanted to shield his Nintendo overlords from the fiery focus of the magnifying glass that is my mind). I took a chance once and wrote about the 2600 game with the worst graphics ever, Body Harvest. Oh sure, he kept publishing more Atari Poops, but since I was such a well-organized and constantly on-time contributor, I naturally had a large collection of articles written in advance, which he stole after I was forced to seek refuge in the Newfoundland and Labrador embassy here in my home province of New Brunswick. By the time the United Nations tribunal ruled on the case in my favour, I’m sure Eric thought nothing of it. He was prepared to dismiss the international community like some kind of rogue nation. Unfortunately for him, two things happened: he created this site and I discovered his dark secret.
Recent research has revealed that there are two Eric Baileys…or at least, there were. One was a kind, insightful, retro game-loving man (who bowed down to his Nintendo overlords), while the other is Eric Bailey. It all started with this tweet.
Ok, fine. It’s just a joke. No big deal, right? That’s what I thought until I saw Eric’s reply.
Now, Eric isn’t often at a loss for words. If he wasn’t evil and a murderer, I might even call him eloquent, which made his fumbling and confused reply all the more suspect. It was like he was a completely different person. I decided to investigate further. What I found was shocking. Wabailey exists! Or at least, he did. A quick search on Twitter shows that he even had a Twitter account and people were mentioning him as recently as January of 2015, but nothing since. Here, have a look.
As you can see, @wabailey existed. People were tweeting at him, but suddenly stopped. What’s scarier is what happens when you try to view Wabailey’s account:
What happened to Wabailey? Did Eric Bailey kill him? Actually, the truth is the opposite. I believe Wabailey killed Eric and took his place. Here’s why…
What happened in Eric’s life around January 2015? Why, his daughter was born only a few weeks earlier, in mid-December of 2014. Right around then seems like a perfect time to murder someone and take their place. Eric’s wife was 9 months pregnant, tired, stressed, and focused on herself and the baby. Then, once the baby was born, what with having given birth, breastfeeding at all hours of the night, and everything else that comes with being a new mother, it would’ve been the easiest time for someone to murder Eric and take his place. Meanwhile, most of his online friends were busy with the holidays as well and less likely to notice.
Meanwhile, this coincides with a marked drop in Twitter mentions for @wabailey, and a complete absence of any mentions at all shortly after. Surely, it is possible for Wabailey’s followers to have continued mentioning him in tweets for a few weeks after his account disappeared, which he did by likely tweeting death threats to Eric, which caused Twitter to immediately suspend his account, because Eric is a white man, so the death threats were treated with the utmost seriousness they deserved.
Now, I admit it. I only shown you the opportunity for the crime to have been committed, but not the motive or any proof. Well, now it’s time for the motive.
In 1981, the year one of my sources at the C.I.A. tells me Wabailey was born, his mother, Donna Bailey created a video game while working for Atari some of you may have heard of: Centipede. People who knew her at the time said she dedicated the game to her new son, but the success of the game caused some problems for Donna, because if you think it’s tough for a woman in the gaming world today, you can imagine what it was like for one 35 years ago. A year later, she’d left Atari and before long, she’d left the industry altogether. Because of this experience, she didn’t allow young Wabailey to play video games.
In 1985, Super Mario Bros. and the NES are released. Shortly after, in January of 86, a second son, Eric Mario Bailey, was born. Donna had rediscovered her love of video games and shared this gift with her newborn. Over the years, Wabailey would come to resent both this, being deprived the sharing of his mother’s passion for video games at a young age, and being given the absolutely terrible name of Wabailey. To make matters worse, he had to watch his younger brother, and then his younger sister, Valerie Kirby (because she was born in 1992, just like the character), use the very experience he was deprived of to make a name for themselves online. He resented them, but did so from afar, because as soon as his brother was born, Wabailey ran away from home. Eric and his sister were never even aware he existed, which is why they’ve never mentioned him.
Wabailey spent the intervening years becoming evil. Not much is known about him during those years, from the age of 5 to 35. His name pops up here in there. In 1990, at the age of 9, he invented GLH, also known as “hair in a can.” He won a freestyle pun battle in Baltimore in 1991. In 1995, he helped invent the Virtual Boy. In 1997, he convinced Bill Gates to add Clippy to Microsoft Office. He was linked to a rash of spider thefts across California and Oregon in the late early 2000s. He moved to Idaho and farmed potatoes for a few years in the mid 2000s, but was run out of the state because, according to locals, “he wouldn’t stop with the spud puns.” He spent a year in Yellowstone trying to misguidedly find and kill Smokey the Bear because, as he’d people visitng the park, “Bears are unbearable.” He then changed his name to Scooter Braun for a few years and arranged for Justin Bieber to meet Usher.
None of this proves Wabailey killed Eric, but it does show that whatever he did and wherever he went, he left a trail of evil behind him. Also telling is @nintendo_legend’s behaviour after the birth of his daughter. Of course, Eric had a propensity for puns himself. As research has shown, punning is the result of an inherited genetic defect. It runs in the family and can be fatal if left untreated. Luckily, people who pun are less likely to get married and have children because the non-punning majority rightfully shuns them and treats them with disgust. But right after the time I accuse Wabailey of killing and replacing Eric marks a distinct change in @nintendo_legend’s tweeting. The punning became ridiculous. It was no longer the punning of a sad man with a terrible sense of humour. It became the punning of a man who seemed to be on a mission to somehow destroy modern society completely simply through the power of puns alone. The account started dedicating entire days to puns related to specific topics. One day, the account focused solely on spiders. Just made up facts about spiders. Potatoes also had their day, as did bears just a few days ago.
Another sign that the person behind @nintendo_legend was no longer Eric Bailey is the fact that not long after Wabailey took over his life, he shut down 1MoreCastle.com. According to most retro gamers, 1 More Castle was a great place full of wonderful writers (give or take a Québécois who pretends to be a cat online and residents of Florida). Wabailey shut it down, only to start his own site with a joke title and a collection of the worst 1MC writers coupled with a bunch of new people no one likes. These are not the actions of a man of sound mind. These are the actions of someone who just wants to watch the retro gaming world burn.
Finally, the last piece of evidence was sent to me only an hour ago from someone who has actually come into contact with Eric Bailey before and after the birth of his daughter. In the interest of protecting his identity, I will refer to him as Walex Waweiss. He says the man he believed was Eric had really changed since the birth, but he thought nothing of it. That is, until he accidentally knocked Eric’s wallet off a table. He bent over to pick it up and claims the photo shown below fell out of it.
Maybe Eric isn’t dead. Maybe Wabailey has him locked in a dungeon full of spiders, but what is undeniable it that Wabailey has been pretending to be Eric Bailey for over a year and no one noticed except for me, his best friend in the world. Please Wabailey, please let my Eric go. I mean, if you feel like it. I don’t particularly care either way. Honestly, with him gone, I can now make Atari Poops about anything I want. Fine. It’s official. Atari Poop is back, but the focus is opening up to all retro games, not just the Atari 2600.
Just in case I’m wrong about all this, here’s an image whose relevance only the real Eric Bailey will understand.