The Video Games That Keep Me up All Night

My eyes felt like they were carrying a heavy burden. I could only relieve myself of this burden by shutting them. I slowly started to close one eye, and then the other became green with envy and followed suit. I sat on my couch about to enter another world. The world was full of comfy pillows, jumping sheep and rest. It was the world of sleep.

I only had to swim across the mental moat separating the two worlds. I dove into the water and let it caress me, let it push me slowly and gently into sleep. But the tranquil ripples turned into a roaring waterfall in an instant, and I nearly drowned. I woke up as if I just surfaced, wiping the perspiration off my forehead.

Clap, flap, clap, flap! All I heard were these sounds that resembled chattering but sadly not the sweet songs of birds. I turned to my right and saw a stack of video game cases flapping their lids as if I wasn’t even there. Imagine the rudeness!

I could not keep my lips sealed. “Will you use wise guys shut your cases! I’m trying to sleep here, and your blathering is keeping me up.”

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If I Were a Bad Ghost

I would take control of your games while you are playing and spook you.

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If I Were a Ghost

I’d play your video games while you’re away.

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Love at First Play

What was the first video game you played, and how did it make you feel?

Did anyone start playing video games late in life and why?

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The Sun Also Sinks

One sunny day, I found myself sitting on the couch not knowing how I got there. This weird black thing with two joysticks fell into my hands. I didn’t know what this thing was, but I decided to tap the button in the center and see what would happen. Next, these bright colours popped up on the screen and nearly blinded me.

On the screen, my bipedal, anthropomorphic, cute and cuddly lamb character was in her warm, wooden house. I controlled her, moving her about the house while looking for things to do. Then I drew up a list of chores for the lamb to complete.

The lamb started by sweeping all the floors. Afterwards, there was enough lint and fuzz, I reckon, to make fifty fluffy blankets. Then the lamb blew on all the old NES cartridges to get rid of their dust. She bagged up all the dust and fuzz — ready to dispose of it.

Before dumping the garbage, the lamb washed all the dishes. After all, flies buzzed around the house and fed off her dirty plates. After washing, the lamb noticed some scraps had fallen off the dishes and on the floor. She reacted by cleaning the floor until its sparkle rivaled what would be one jealous diamond. Finally, she cut the grass, pulled some weeds and threw out the trash.

The lamb started to yawn and yearned to settle down for a long night’s sleep. The full moon popped up to wish her sweet dreams as she put on her slumber mask. She imagined humans jumping over fences as her eyes closed one at a time.

I shut off the game. I patted myself on the shoulder for such a productive day.

Then I got off the couch, turned around and saw my leaning stack of dishes had fragmented in to a thousand pieces on my floor. An archaeologist, one day, would be excited by such a find. For now, I moved forward and waded through a sea of garbage bags, complete with flies who’d taken up residence on top of them, in my living room.

As I reached my bedroom door, a tumbling tumbleweed of dust and fuzz rolled by me. I stopped to let it pass. I reached my bedroom window and shut the blinds to avoid the milky full moon that bathed the night with light. “Hmmm,” I thought as the blinds covered the window, “I’ll have to pull those weeds and cut that meter-long grass one day.” Then I fell on my bed and shut my eyes.

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Press Start to Continue — If You Dare

Some video games like to throw dirt in your eye and laugh when you are down. What games have frustrated you so badly that you nearly gave up? Why? And how did you overcome the insurmountable challenge?

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The Video Game That Was Never Unleashed

I found myself standing in front of a video game studio that had a secret. It was a warm, sunny day and the sky was care free, which contrasted with my furrowed brow and shaky hand. I was waiting to be ushered into Crazy Video Games Inc. to meet a killer. My blood ran cold at the mere thought of a paper cut, and here I was about to face a scary secret.

You might think some games are never released because they are left unfinished. But I went to this studio because I heard they had a game that posed a true public safety hazard. This sounded like a one-of-a-kind video game, a story no one had dared to uncover. With this visit to the studio, I hoped to change that.

The studio’s front door swung open and smiling faces greeted me. They seemed to smile so much that I wondered how their jaws did not crack. Their smiles distracted me but not did not disarm me, did not stop me from my fear of the unknown that could have been around any corner.

Suddenly the cubicles and smiling faces disappeared, and my studio guide and I entered a cold, rocky room. It was like a cave in the middle of this game studio. There was the constant, distant and discordant sound of dripping water in the background. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on guard.

After the cave, we descended into a giant warehouse-like area of the studio. Towering shelves, covered in dust, greedily consumed every ounce of real estate in this area. The tops of the shelves, as we passed them, seemed to stare deep into one’s soul, for at the top each had two large slits that looked like a pair of stern eyes. The contents of the shelves, though, did not seem worthy of security. They consisted of prototype consoles and forgotten games that never saw the light of day. These boring grey shelves and their dusty contents seemed to go on forever — until I heard something strange.

It started as a low-pitched groan, and then started to sound more like a bark. As we moved closer, I saw a video game that howled like a wolf, foamed at the case and revealed its terrifying fangs. If it hadn’t been chained to a shelf, it would have come sunk its fangs deep into my flesh. The sign above it, which labelled it “The Killer App,” confirmed this for me. Then the game stopped howling long enough for my guide to speak.

“Every once in a while,” he said, “we throw The Killer App a bone: we say we’ll release it soon. But we never will. The game will languish in here forever. Anyway, we hope you enjoyed your stay. Have a great day.”

My guide led me to a secret back door but not before I turned around to steal a final glance at The Killer App. As the door closed behind, me I could see its fangs gleaming in the darkness, and I knew it would forever haunt my dreams. I swore I would never return to this ghastly scene. I hoped The Killer App would never be unleashed.

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