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Chip Hinshaw

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Chip Hinshaw was an early fan of the Creatures franchise and created a website "tribute" to the original, called Artificial Death (now defunct, although still mostly up and worth reading). The site featured tongue-in-cheek nuggets of Norn-based info, with a scattering of "serious" links to AI/AL reading.

The emergent centerpiece of Chip's site, however, was his humorous "newspaper" titled The Albia Times Herald Tribune Courier Post, a (irregular) periodical filled with news stories conjured from his own experiences playing Creatures. Many of the articles were exaggerated accounts of events that the Norns in his slice of Albia actually experienced.

The newspaper gained some popularity within the early Creatures Community, and it wasn't long before Toby Simpson contacted Chip, asking him if he would be willing to write the newspaper "officially" for the Cyberlife/Creatures website. Chip accepted and began voluntarily producing a semi-regular periodical news-parody for the Creatures site. This allowed for some "steering" of official news to the community as well, particularly in the run-up to Creatures 2.

As Chip was never an employee of Cyberlife/Creature Labs, and his efforts were entirely on a volunteer basis, "real life" responsibilities eventually conspired to pull him away from writing the newsletter. He returned for a short stint nearly a year after "retiring", but again his responsibilities at home and in his career took priority and the newsletter died for good around the time of the launch of Creatures 3. Rumours that he traded his norns in for calamari are grossly exaggerated - and besides, it was good calamari . . .

As of 2005, Chip was a member of an independent Chicago band called Beatnik Turtle, which played eclectic pop rock with a great sense of humor (clearly the right outlet for Chip's creative energies). For us gamers, the group's album "The Cheapass Album" is particularly attractive -- each song is themed after board or card games produced by Cheapass Games (which you may be familiar with). These guys aren't likely to win any Grammy's, but they sound good and the humor is well worth a listen. Don't worry, they have day jobs.