Play Mario Kart online!

We always liked tunnels.

Remember when the Xbox first came out and everyone wanted to play Halo online? With Live still a year off at that stage, some enterprising punters put together tools to tunnel Halo's LAN signals over the Internet.

Well, with a broadband/network adapter now available for the GameCube and a slew of networkable games in the offing (Kirby Air Ride, Mario Kart and 1080 Avalanche), some equally enterprising folks have now popped up with Warp Pipe, which does much the same thing as those Xbox tunnelling programs - suckling on the broadband adapter and slinging data back and forward over a broadband connection, with 256Kbps upstream recommended - except on the GameCube.

All you should need to do is hook up your GameCube to a broadband connection, whether via a hub or direct crossover connection to your PC or what-have-you, fire up the software and use it to send those signals to a like-minded gamer with a matching setup.

The bad news is that, with no games that support network play available in Europe, there's no point in PAL gamers getting excited just yet. The good news is that come November, Mario Kart: Double Dash will arrive and Warp Pipe will be released in beta form - and that should be more stable than this alpha 0.1.2 release, which the makers say suffers from speed problems at the moment.

Promising stuff, then, and it may become the only way to get your Mario Kart kicks online, or any GameCube-related e-kicks, short of Nintendo waking up to the potential of online gaming and announcing plans to get off their plumbers' arses. Let's just hope they don't get too upset about these third party plumbers - anybody who saw Bob "Mario" Hoskins turn in Brazil knows what happens when you mess with the system and the system picks up on it...

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