Yesterday, I conducted live research on the left and right sides of my video game console. Allow me, dear reader, to make the obvious observation: I do not purport to be a clinical psychologist with years of experience. Furthermore, it’s nearly axiomatic that one should not snoop on another person’s conversations. However, I decided to make an exception for two reasons. First, I do not consider video game consoles to be “persons.” Second, I thought it would be fun.
“I’m the left side of the console. I enjoy processing massive amounts of data and turning it into bleeps, bloops and colourful images. I often sit here in the dark and have a dark mood to match.”
“I’m the right side. I like to take the colourful images and sounds that the left side creates and project them on the screen for you to enjoy. We can’t play video games without me!”
“Sure, you so all the work, right side.”
“Oh, brother, this again. You always ruin my good time.”
“Hey, righty, I asked you stop saying ‘always.’ You promised.”
“Yeah, you promised to say more positive things about me when we introduce ourselves to people.”
“Look, righty, I think we’re moving in different directions here. Why don’t we go run some video games together and forget this whole thing ever happened.”
“As you can see, Mr. Pants, we’ve doubled down on making our business socially responsible.”
“I see. It’s very impressive. What’s going on at the corral down there?”
“Those are our free range consoles; we don’t keep them locked up in living rooms. They need fresh air and plenty of space to run properly.”
“Yes siree, our consoles are all certified humane: we treat them with the greatest care.”
“What about the gamers?”
“That’s not part of our business model.”
The floor creaked as the five gamers stepped on it. Outside, thunder cracked from on high and split tree trunks in half. Rats scurried into cobwebbed corners and chased after nonexistent food.
The five gamers wore poker faces, moving forward without scanning the surroundings. They reached a large, iron clad door that dwarfed them all, even if all five were stacked on top of each other. Sweat pouring down their face and palms, they slowly twisted the dust covered doorknob and opened the door. Most people would then see the massive couch staring them in the face as they entered the room, but the gamers were staring straight ahead at the TV screen.
They saw a controller on the couch, not spiders. They swooshed away the arachnids, booted up the console and sat down to play. They tapped the left joystick and the character moved right. They tapped the right joystick and the character moved left. They tapped up on the d-pad and the character moved down. They hit pause to calibrate the control settings when the controller developed a mind of its own. The joystick zipped by ten different submenus without end; it went all the way to the far right. If they tried to move left? The controller would simply plant it’s joysticks in the sand.
The gamers tried to unpause by hitting start, but the settings menu would only flash and re-appear before their incredulous eyes.
“Noooooo! It’s haunted!”
They ran past the spiders, through the door, over the creaky floor before rolling out of the nearest exit.
Hi Mr. Console, I was told I needed a “machine” that never tired of working for me, that whirred and gurgled without end.
Hi Adam, you’re in the right place. I’m a specialist in whirring and gurgling for hours on end, and sometimes I dabble in spinning discs.
Oh great! You do that too. When can we get started?
Oh, I’m sorry; I’ll have to refer you to my colleague Ms. Disc. Fortunately, she’s right across the hall.
Hi Ms. Disc, I heard…
Yes, I’m a spinning expert. Mr. Console and I work well together. Rest assured that you’re in good hands. However, in order to start, we need you to retain our partner Ms. Joystick.
Ms. Joystick popped her long, slender neck around the corner.
Adam, so nice to meet you. Now, we could go in any direction, but I suggest we move forward together.
Thank you all. I think I’ve assembled quite a team, and I’m eager to get started.
And how do you get rekindle your interest in them?
What was the highest score you ever achieved in a video game, and how did you get there?