Lawyers, Guns and Money

Vince Desi
Vince Desi, 50, heads up Running With Scissors, a local software development company that in 1997 released the notorious video game Postal, which allowed players to gun down bystanders, slaughter cops and set a marching band on fire. In April of this year, Running With Scissors released the sequel, Postal 2, which expands on the original by allowing players to decimate heavily armed anti-violence protestors, smoke tiny rocks to earn health points and piss on a cop's donuts. Desi says the game, which also features a celebrity appearance by former Diff'rent Strokes star Gary Coleman, has already sold more than 60,000 units.

Even before Postal was originally released, it had upset U.S. Postal Service officials. Then-Postmaster General Marvin Runyon wrote a stern letter requesting that Desi change the name of the game. "All of us at the Postal Service have a sense of humor, but there is nothing funny about your game Postal," said Runyon. "It is in very poor taste, and is an erroneous and unfair portrayal of the nation's postal employees."

The U.S. Postal Service later took legal action to block the company from acquiring a trademark on the name Postal in the area of electronic entertainment. Last week, Desi announced that Running with Scissors had won the legal battle.

What happened with the U.S. Postal Service?

Well, basically, I think we wore them down. This has been going on for six years if you can believe it--it's pretty frickin' amazing. They sued to prevent us from being awarded the Postal trademark. When we first applied, it was granted to us, and then the Post Office got involved and held it up, and they sued, and it's gone back and forth, all kinds of delays, legal bullshit, blah, blah, blah. And about a week ago, I got word from our attorney in New York that it was dismissed with prejudice, which means fuck them, they can't decide a month from now that they want to challenge me.

So are you relieved to have this over?

Y'know, it's like who needs more shit in their life?

How much did you end up shelling out in legal fees?

Too much. If I added it up, probably 15 grand or something. When you think about it, it's all crap. It's just garbage. Every day, I support the lawsuit against me with every stamp that I buy.

So how's Postal 2 doing?

Postal 2 is doing very well. We're not on console, but in the PC stores, we made No. 1 for a couple of weeks in a row. We're No. 1 presently in Russia, and we're in the top 10 in Europe and Japan. It's great. Despite all the negative criticism and harassment--PETA is against us, some guy from the Catholic League is against us ...

What did he say?

Check this one out. Fucking people, they're never happy with just having a nice meal and breathing. They have to look for trouble. He sends a letter that goes out to his association and he copies me on it, right? And the whole letter is that there's this sick game Postal and that we make fun of gay people but we also kill priests. And the letter is that they need to get more active because the animal people and the gay people are getting attention in the news, but the Catholics aren't!

Here's the letter: "Killing priests, gays, cops, Muslims and animals: New PC game offers it all." Da-da-da-da-da, "Catholic League President William Donohue spoke to this issue today," da-da-da, "There is another disturbing aspect to this story. In a review of the video game in the Arizona Republic and the Gannett News Service, both media outlets make mention of the attacks on gays, but neither mentions the bloodbath that awaits priests."

What were the PETA folks upset about--the cat that gets shot off the end of a gun?

The cat is pretty heavy. But you know what it is? It's funny. I just I have a hard time understanding these folks who make a big deal out of things that don't amount to much, to my way of thinking. My way of thinking is it's pretty funny stuff.

Tell me about Postal 2's debut at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Unlike Microsoft and Electronic Arts and big companies that can afford half-million-dollar booths, I can't afford anything like that. Instead, I got Gary Coleman. I hired three hot chicks. Rather than giving away T-shirts, which anybody can do, I made Postal 2 thongs. I had the chicks wear them and walk around the show creating major mob scenes, and on cue, I would have the girls pull their pants down. People went wild.

Where can I get a Postal thong?

They're available online at

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