I used to strut around town, thinking I knew everything about video games. Then I bumped into Socrates. He questioned me until I realized I knew almost nothing about games. Since then, I’ve committed to playing them nonstop, and I’ve learned so much!
Category Archives: Video Game Misc.
The two henchmen were so small that they could barely reach the knob of their boss’s door. One had to hop on the other’s head and, while shaking, managed to knock on the door. The butler took two minutes to answer because he could not hear the tender tapping at first. The butler then ushered them into a room with a fireplace and a large chair, facing away from them, that cast a monstrous shadow over the henchmen. Their knees trembled, their fangs chattered and they turned white before they started stuttering.
“Argh! What do you want?”
The boss opened his massive jaw and blasted a huge fireball from behind the chair.
One of the henchmen scampered behind the other one. This hidden henchman, shaking, peered out from behind cover only to duck its head again after seeing the fire had not subsided.
“W-we came to give our report.”
“Did you take care of Mario and Luigi once and for all?”
“N-n-n no sir. They got away with all the coins.”
A second fireball, which dwarfed the first and seemed to go supernova, scorched the ceiling. For a second, the fireball also illuminated the mantelpiece above the fireplace — where a row of milky white skulls sat like ducks in a row. The fire dissipated, but a small puddle of liquid had already appeared behind the henchmen taking cover, who now steeled himself for an attack.
“Where are they now?”, the boss demanded.
“We don’t know.”
“Do you think you can find them?”
“We don’t know.”
“How many gold coins did they get away with?”
“We don’t know.”
From behind the chair, the boss let out a thunderous roar. It shook the china in the cabinet until it fell to the ground and shattered. Then he issued his decree:
“Come back when they’re dead. Then I shall have another trophy to place atop my fireplace.”
“Y-y-y yes boss!”
They trembled all the way as they walked towards the door and stumbled out into the night. Soon a lightbulb went off in one of the henchmen’s heads, and he shared his idea with his friend.
“Hey, wait a minute. We don’t have to do this or take that from him. I mean, we could just take the gold coins I stashed in my pocket and run.”
“I don’t know… You heard what he said. I don’t want to end up on his mantelpiece because we didn’t finish this.”
“Oh, come on. He can’t tell us henchmen apart, and if we don’t use these coins then Mario will probably just steal and waste them. Look at these coins: they’re practically begging for us to spend them.”
“Alright, but we better start running now and never look back.”
As they dashed away into the night, they dropped some glittering gold that showed everyone their path.
There’s a massively multiplayer role-playing world-building game that you might have missed. You start off in this world with nothing and you are naked. Then you have to figure out how to make something of yourself.
You can figure this out partly alone and partly with the help of others. There is plenty of time explore the world on your own, but since you are a social creature, you will want to share your time with others. Get to know and love these people so that they become more than others, and ask them for help because you’ll need all the help you can get on your journey.
As you journey through the world, you will slowly progress from one level to another. Your experience will slowly ratchet up, and many years will pass before you reach level 99, if you make it that far. Along the way, you will laugh so hard that your sides will hurt, fail so hard that you’ll feel bruised and sore and cry several pool’s worth of tears.
But the good news is: this world and all these feelings, both positive and negative, is free to play. Indeed all the best things in this world are free. You might feel pressure to spend money on useless things, to “upgrade” your appearance and buy unnecessary accessories. Avoid this! All you need to do is open the door and walk outside.
“Hey Steve, I was playing this really great video game the other day. I slid down this pipe and entered a strange new world.”
“Yeah, yeah, I want to tell you about my day, man. I went to the market to get ripe tomatoes for my sauce, but can you believe they didn’t have any?! I wandered into the blazing heat, sweat pouring down my face until I nearly I drowned in it, to find provisions.”
“Ah-hem! Steve, can we please return to the subject? I was talking about games.”
“I searched five more stores but… Arrrgh!”
Suddenly — in mid-sentence — Steve started foaming at the mouth and fell over. He had babbled like a brook just fine, but the flow of words had increased and grown into a huge foamy, wave that crested and overpowered him.
“Oh, great! He’s barely conscious. I guess I’m alone with my thoughts again.”
“Hey Dad, check out all of these first person shooter games I bought at the store. I love these games so much; I can out shoot all the other players and dominate the map. I can hear them plotting against me through my headphones, but they always fail. I always win!”
“Uh huh. I see, son. I noticed you’ve got a bunch of video games set during historical wars.”
“Yeah, I’ll be knee-deep in the trenches, dodging shells, evading rats and saving the world with the good guys .”
His father let loose a billow of smoke from his pipe and stopped rocking his chair. He furrowed his brow and said, “Are you sure there are ‘good guys’ in war? Who or what are the ‘good guys’ And why should we go to war?”
The adolescent scratched his full head of hair. It was a contrast to the wispy, grey tangle on top of his father’s head.
“Huh? I guess you’ve left me something to think about, Dad. But, anyway, I’m going to play these games until my eyes are sore, and I can’t take anymore.”
The the clock seemed to spin in fast forward mode. The hands of time moved so fast that one could swear sparks were flying in the air. Then the adolescent emerged from his room once more. He appeared as pale and cold as a cup of cream straight from the fridge.
“How did the games go? Did you learn anything?”, asked Dad.
The adolescent was shaking but managed to gibber:
“I – I’ve seen some stuff, man. I went through WWI, WWII and Vietnam in ten hours. I want nothing to do with war — ever!”
Maybe I committed some heinous act deserving of painful punishment, for I felt myself burning. My feet felt as if I had run across burning coals in Hades, but there were no coals — only scorching sand. I was on an island that didn’t exist on any map. I was miles away from the nearest collection of human beings or human things. I thought I was alone on this desert island, yet I discovered that wasn’t true.
I opened my mind and took a good, long look at the thoughts bubbling within. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself wandering through a personal library of towering mahogany bookcases that were crammed full of glittering video games. I found myself wishing I had Santa’s bottomless bag to haul away all the cases. Alas, I’m too honest to do that and can only play one game at a time. I began to wonder what other thoughts, perhaps more positive ones, might be brewing.
A second thought bubbled up to the surface. I peered through the wet border to get a closer look, and I saw myself playing a game. But I could also switch between the two bubbles: sauntering through the library or tapping buttons on a controller until sweat poured down my face. In this bubble, the joy of playing in the moment had replaced the oppressive heat of the day. Surely, I thought, my mind could not expand any more.
That’s when a final bubble popped up as I was enjoying the experience of watching myself play. In the final bubble, I took a deep breath, cleared all of the fog from my head and put the game back on the library shelf. I sat down, closed my eyes and meditated. My lips turned from an indifferent horizontal line to a ruddy rainbow. That was my final bubbly thought.
I noticed, though, that the experience didn’t end there: I could toggle between these three bubbles on demand. I also noticed each bubble stacked inside the previous one, like a matryoshka doll set. These cognitive observations exhausted me. I stepped back from my thoughts for a second and zoned out of focus.
I found myself back on the island’s scorching sand, sitting and smiling. I didn’t notice the heat anymore.
Am I a small person because I wish my video game character was taller?