Category Archives: Video Game Technology

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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Filed under Video Game Misc., Video Game Technology

If My Human Calls

Joy the Joystick wore a permanent smile on her face when she helped others. She had always been an authentic Sorny Inc. controller: she longed to love humans, video games and consoles alike. Her secret for happiness and authenticity was to play video games and to get regular exercise.

Exercise, for her, consisted of regularly working and oiling her buttons to make sure they didn’t atrophy. She did this while playing hours of sports games. She calibrated herself well enough to belt fastballs out of the park at a major league rate. Most gamers would be lucky to have such a joyful and skillful controller in their lives.

Conrad the console, however, was everything that Joy was not. His rugged, square shape had rounded a little over the years. The kids from across street had borrowed him a few times and slipped him out of their sticky soda stained hands. He was quite fond of sitting around all day collecting dust. He had developed many vicious habits while sitting there, wondering about the meaningless of life. Conrad had gotten into such bad shape that it hurt when he played video games and when he did not. He just did not care what Jimmy, his human, did.

Jimmy was not the most thoughtful of humans. He would often eat cheesy nachos and rub his greasy hands all over his controller. He would sometimes leave Conrad running all day without reprieve. Jimmy’s friends often said he did not appreciate all of his video games and console. They thought he took Joy and Conrad for granted.

One day, the phone rang and Joy overheard a conversation between Jimmy and his mother. A smile burst out across Joy’s face as soon as the call ended. She had heard that Jimmy was coming home from a trip abroad.

“He can’t wait to play a new video game he bought! Isn’t that swell?,” Joy asked.

Conrad spit out his chewing tobacco, and the dark wad flew across the room before plopping into a flower pot. He downed a swig of whiskey to freshen his breath. Then he chomped into a cigar, filling the room with the incense of Cuba, to clear the heat out of his head. He let out a puff of greyish white smoke that matched the colour of his stubble.

“Meh,” Conrad said, “he can go play with himself.”

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Filed under Video Game Technology

A Video Game Cold War

Dave and the video game console were not seeing eye to eye. The two of them sat on opposite sides of the room. The console turned toward the wall and turned off. Dave, for his part, was staring out the window on a chilly day as a summer storm soaked passersby to the bone.

Dave felt the chill in his bones as he stared at the torrential downpour outside. He felt as if he might turn into a snowman, even though he hadn’t even turned on the air conditioning. The icy console didn’t help the matter, for it had no drive to play.

The console felt a chill deep within its circuits. It wasn’t playing video games, so it was wasting away without a purpose, showing advanced signs of aging. The machine’s colour faded to grey, not the shade associated with wisdom. No, this was the grey of decay and neglect. If only something could fire up the old console — maybe things would be better.

Dave sat in the apartment-turned-igloo, meditating on this coldness that was turning the walls blue. It surrounded him and the console. Suddenly, his meditating sparked an insight: he had to fix this deep chill before he turned numb. To do that, he had to turn on his video game console, play and find beauty in this world again.

Dave felt a spark as he reached to turn on the machine.

“Finally, I’ll get to play!” he thought to himself.

The console retorted, “I’m afraid I can’t do that Dave.” And it shut down his attempt.

“Ah to hell with this. I’m playing video games, nothing can stop me and the world will be better off because of it.”

“What do you think you’re doing?” the console demanded.

Dave flipped on the console’s switch. Then the console felt a fire within it that it hadn’t felt in a long time. It nearly overheated. Dave sat down to play, and a warm smile overtook his face. It was good to be back home.



Filed under Silly Video Game Inspired Fiction, Video Game Technology

Can You Breathe Life into the Old Machine?

The last generation console was called “Old Faithful” by everyone who knew it.

In days gone by, the machine could run all day long without tiring, without breaking a sweat.

There were signs of overheating, to be sure, but the temperature did not reach a feverish pitch.

Was the problem what the console consumed? No, it was fed a steady diet of simple, old school games known to be easy on the digestive system.

Now dust covers the console that once entertained everyone.

Its formerly black wires have become ashen; these are not the grey whiskers of wisdom.

As we ponder the machine’s future, it lies dormant in its own dust.

Will the old console run again?



Filed under Video Game Technology

I Think My Gaming PC Needs A Vacation

My gaming PC works overtime, overclocks hours on the punch clock, and still overwhelms me with beautiful graphics. I think it deserves some time off. As one manager to another, what say you?



Filed under Video Game Technology

Low Artificial Intelligence Is a Good Thing

Thanks Mr. Bad Guy for walking into the wall and getting stuck there. You were about to attack me. But you became lodged in concrete and started to convulse as if I was electrocuting you.

The developers of the game would probably be embarrassed by these convulsions. Maybe they would feel like they had done a poor job if some of their enemy characters had poor artificial intelligence. Maybe they’d wish they could fix all the game’s bugs.

I think the developers did me a huge favour. I was having a hard time getting through the level before the bad guy got stuck. Sometimes low artificial intelligence is a good thing.



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Filed under Video Game Technology, Video Games I Play

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.



Filed under Video Game Misc., Video Game Technology