Whenever an Electronics Arts game is about to run on a PC, be it Medal of Honour, The Sims, Command and Conquer etc., these two words are uttered soto voce by a child, as the corporate logo for EA is zapped on the screen.

Rather than make me savour the anticipation of a thrilling game ahead, it is an annoying five-second distraction. What exactly is EA trying to prove, or get me to do ? I have a challenging day at work. When I get home I want to relax by switching on the PC and enjoy polishing up my empire on Sim City 4, or shoot some Nazis in Battlefield 1942. At that stage of the day, I don't really feel like doing anything challenging.

When people say 'Challenge Everything', it sounds like I should hurry up and become some kind of renaissance man with a six-pack and a life. Like that I should go rockclimbing or run a marathon or doing something apparently remarkable but essentially pointless from those motivational posters. Instead it makes me feel momentarily insecure that I am about to waste five hours with The Sims: Hot Date.

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