A Conversation with A Video Game Zombie

“Hello everyone and welcome to another thrilling episode of ‘Behind the Video Game.’ I’m your host Chad Baker, and I like to interview the talent behind the video games you love. I also like to search out the unknown stories behind your favourite games. Tonight, I’m speaking to ‘generic zombie #099.’

But, hey folks, I’m gonna quit yappin’ so we can start the interview.”

***

The zombie’s exposed skull is dripping wet. A large chunk of brain falls from its head and splats on the ground.

Chad: “Oh, I think this belongs you.”

Chad picks up the chunk of brain and plops it back into the zombie’s hollow head.

Zombie: “Err” [grunts].

Chad: “So, tell me, how did you get started in this business? What was your big break?”

Zombie: “Grrrrrrrrrr”

Chad: “Ha! Ok, not everyone likes to talk about their past. I get it.

I understand you appear in an upcoming game. Tell me about the work you’re doing on the new Left 4 Dead. How’s that going?”

Zombie: [Screeching and hissing].

Chad: “I see. Boy am I hungry! Let’s you and I get a bite to eat. That’ll help break the ice, and maybe make you feel a little more at home.”

Suddenly, the chain tying the zombie to his chair snaps. The undead monster lurches forward with an outstretched and rotten arm.

Zombie: “Brrrrraiiiins!”

Chad: “Oh my! This interview is over. Tune in next week, folks, when we talk to a Goomba. In the meantime, run!”

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My Video Game Console Talked to Me

“One more level.” That’s what Jimmy told himself forty-two levels ago.

He ordered his digital character to jump over fire pits, glide over tempestuous tides and flatten deadly turtle henchman. The turtles seemed innocent on the outside, but Jimmy prided himself for noticing they were evil on the inside. “These dastardly reptiles are not going to stop me,” he said.

Several thousand dead henchmen later, Jimmy’s eyes became as heavy as a massive boulder. First one eye closed and then the other stubbornly fought to stay in the game. The boulder soon weighed down both eyes until Jimmy was snoring, drooling and dangling a controller in his right hand. No one know how long he was out.

But the video game console didn’t stop, didn’t sleep. The console magically grew arms and legs and its yellow light split into two bright eyes. This machine unplugged its cord but kept running; it ran to Jimmy and shook him wake.

“Wake up and keep playing. Come on!” it said.

Jimmy somehow shook himself awake. He rubbed his sore eyes open and stumbled into his bed with a thud. The wind whispered through the open window, and he swore he heard the console say “Come and play.”

This dazed man gazed at the console that lay motionless on his bright red bookshelf. There were no arms, no legs and the power cord was still plugged in. The yellow light on the machine blinked at him a couple of times. Was it all dream?

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Video Game Zombies Take a Break

A sinister night has descended upon an innocent town. A large, white moon provides a touch of light and beauty. Then the camera reveals two zombies standing peacefully on a plain black road with a bright yellow line. The zombies are surrounded by trees that seem even darker than the road’s asphalt. Nothing else is visible. There is no escape.

Zombie 1: “Hey Fred, how long you been out here?”

Zombie 2 takes his cigarette out of his mouth and turns around. One of his eye balls is hanging by a thread.

Zombie 2: “Ha! Too long, Sam; this new guy is terrible.”

Zombie 1: “Yeah, I’ve heard things: I heard he once got lost at the start menu.”

Zombie 2: “You heard right. You know, I saw him wandering around in circles for 30 minutes. I just shook my nearly hollow and decomposing head. Then I had to stop and have a smoke to settle my nerves.”

Zombie 1: “Man, they sure don’t make gamers like they used to.”

Zombie 2: “You’re right about that my friend. You’re right about that.”

Awkward silence.

Zombie 1: “Hey, so, did I tell you my son is getting married?”

Zombie 2: “Wow! That is great news. Little Jimmy is all grown up, huh?”

Zombie 1: “Yeah, yeah and it feels like it was only yesterday when his mother and I watched him eat his first brains. We’re so proud. Now Sarah and I are thinking about retiring. I mean we paid off the mortgage and…”

Zombie 2: “Look! Here he comes. Act stupid.”

Zombie 1 and 2: [Snarling] “Grrrrrrrr Brains!”

Player 1 ran in to a tree and appeared on screen. He looked up and then down and couldn’t walk in a straight line.

Zombie 1 and 2: [Sighs].

Zombie 1: “This is going to be a long night.”

Fred shakes his head and Sam facepalms himself.

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Video Games Are So Relaxing

All day, Jim was surrounded by loud machines. They expelled gas and hissed as they moved heavy loads on a construction site. The machines ran over materials, crunching them and splitting some wood in half. When the much vaunted machines broke, which happened often, he had to finish moving the materials himself before 5 p.m. His head hurt, and he did not want to move at the day’s end, but at least it was home time.

After work, rather than clear his head, Jim filled it with words. He opened the window in his apartment, plopped himself down at his desk to flip through the pages of book after book. He didn’t notice the outside world as his pencil vigorously scratched the books and his margins overflowed with notes. Soon, there was an unbearable noise he could no longer ignore: the never-ending traffic on the street. There was honking, yelling, speeding, angry arguments, rumbling and screeching tires. Listening to these sounds while reading became a tiring chore. “Enough!” Jim thought.

He left his desk, grabbed something to eat and sat down to play video games. His character walked through a verdant world and stared at an unblemished blue sky. Just then, a massive steel beast rumbled in to view on the screen. It flattened grass, knocked over trees, left a giant footprint and belched smoke. It was a tank.

“Ah,” Jim thought as he stretched his toes and legs, “this is so relaxing.”

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That One Video Game You Regret

The bright, shiny box beckons Sam to open it. She pauses and doesn’t act because she knows better than to judge a video game based on its cover. “Must look away,” she says to herself. But the game sends out rays of light that entrance her and make her dance with delight into the store.

Once inside the store, she has a moment of clarity when seeing herself in a mirror. She twists her face away in disgust. She don’t like what’s there. “That isn’t me. I’m too deep for a game that shallow,” she says to herself. And she believes it.

She believes until she finds herself paying and carrying the game out of the store. She’s holding the very object she swore to avoid at all costs, yet she pushes that uncomfortable thought to the back of her head. She moves forward with great strides and throws her nagging suspicions aside.  She is too euphoric to see straight.

Then she gets home, plays the game straight through and beats it. “Oh wait”, she says, “How did I ever end up buying this junk?”

The trance wears off, the rays disappear into the air and her mind is clear. Clutching a black controller in one hand and staring into space, Sam now asks herself “What was I thinking?”


Have you ever regretted buying a video game and what was your experience like?

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Filed under Video Game Misc., Video Games: Reader Q&A

Video Game Substitutes Are Sweeping the Nation

Are you cool? Well you might be very uncool and not even know it.

Here’s a simple test: do you still play video games? If you answered yes, then you’re uncool. Video games are so last year, and the cool kids would never be caught playing them.

Do you want to be cool? Then play video game substitutes just like everyone else.

Start by taking out the trash to the front of house. Do this while jumping over the cracks in the sidewalk to avoid falling into a fiery lava pit beneath you. You might not see the pit, but rest assured, it has claimed many victims and their stinky garbage.

The most popular substitute, though, is dish washing. Wash and dry your dishes — by hand — before the timer runs out! You want to talk about survival horror? Try surviving the horror of a sink overflowing with dirty dishes.

In short, video game substitutes are sweeping the nation, and offering you the chance to be cool. Don’t delay! Pick up a broom and sweep the front porch.

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Try These Video Game Substitutes

Life has a way of keeping you from playing video games. You’re ready to play but then there’s a massive power outage in your neighbourhood. Or you have to catch up on your homework because you’ve used that “my dog ate my homework” excuse too many times. Maybe you’re faced with a laundry list of chores.

You have to do these tasks and probably see them as a pain you can’t avoid. At best, you might see them as a thing you’re doing when you could be playing video games. However, you could look at these tasks in a different way.

You see, these tasks could be a fun game to pass the time. The tasks or chores could become video game substitutes. They are substitutes because they temporarily replace the video games you really want to play until you have time to boot up your PC, handheld or console. They are not video games, and they are not slickly produced by a team. All you need to start playing these substitutes is an imagination.

Here are some game substitutes you can try today. Play concentration while sorting your socks. To start, pull your crackly, staticky socks out of the dryer, throw them in a hamper and mix them up. Then, see how many pairs you can match before you crave video games and break into a sweat. If you’re living on your own, like me, the game might break down eventually when you’re left with an odd number of unmatched socks.

You could also time yourself while you clean your pots, pans and kitchen after a big party. See if you can clean up this mess before the five-minute timer runs out.

Finally, you could pretend the stains on your kitchen floor are aliens who have enslaved humanity. Every time you wipe one away, you are freeing your brothers and sisters from servitude. You’d have fun playing, have a clean apartment and save humanity. Thank you in advance.

Do you not have enough time in your life to play video games? You should give video game substitutes a chance. You might find you like them even more than the real thing.

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