The Case for Video Games

Please Give it to Me!

I wish I had one case to store every video game. I have so many loose discs lying around and nowhere to put them! I have enough dust coating my games to make a dustman. (It’s something like a snowman except it’s made of dust.)


October 14, 2019 · 6:11 pm

A Tale of Two Trash Cans

Sara started playing her video game without a care in the world. Her character ran around the town helping villagers. One spectre haunted the town: the smell of rotting garbage that rats grew fat on it.

Sara’s character took action into her own hands. She challenged the rats’ king to a gallant sword fight. She snapped the king’s sword in half and sent the lot of them scurrying for cover in the sewer, and the villagers gave her warms hugs. This victory over the king was just the start of the character’s good work.

Sara’s character sauntered around the town, throwing out everyone’s trash. When she emptied the last trash can, the villagers held a celebration. The fireworks were deafening!  The gold flowed towards her like a running river. They even painted a massive portrait of her character ascending into heaven. The corners of Sara’s lips curled into a smile warm enough to melt ice.

Suddenly Sara was jolted from this fantasy slumber when her roommate Samara entered the room and said, “Hey, what have you been doing all day?” Before Sara could reply, Samara spoke again, “I’ve just run a mile, filed my taxes and strategized paradigm shifts for my meeting.”

Sara hit pause on the game and said, “I had oatmeal and took out the garbage.”

“Pfft! Took out the trash,” Samara muttered as she turned around and walked away. She walked away so tall and so straight that one could have mistaken her for a steel poll.

Sara looked at Samara’s back for two seconds. She glanced at the TV screen. She scratched her head. After all of that, she shrugged her shoulders and kept playing her game.

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This Belongs in a Museum… or Art Gallery

What video game has the best art style and why?


Filed under Video Games: Reader Q&A

The Game’s Up!

“How did that video game get up there?”

“I don’t know; I don’t have a doctorate in aerodynamics. It’s been floating up there for some time.”

“Well, let’s get it down.”

“I’m not moving one inch. Let’s just let it come down when it’s ready, and we can play it again.”

“Alright, sounds like the best plan to me.”

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A New Way to Play

I walked up to the video game console. I hit eject and the disc shot out faster than a bullet zipping over my head. I ducked, the disc missed me and shattered into thousands of shiny splinters as it hit the wall. I planted myself on the couch, grew roots, and lost myself in thought.

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Boldly Go Where No Video Game Has Gone Before

Which video game would you send into space if you could only choose one? Why did you choose that game?

Keep in mind: an advanced alien civilization may play this game to learn about us.


Filed under Video Games: Reader Q&A

Charm to Disarm When You’re in a Jam

An earthquake shook the game world for ten uninterrupted seconds. Explosive crates flew into the air and blew up when they slammed into the ground. Ammo crates were caught in a whirling windstorm and scattered across the map, distressing players who had memorized their spawn points. Sara’s character, who belonged to the red team, ran through a storm of whizzing RPGs and mortar blasts, and she minded the minefields.

One blast landed too close for comfort, and Sara’s character rolled to avoid it, falling into a shell crater. Another member of the red team cowered in the crater’s dirt as if shell shocked. Who knows what his owner was doing.


Sara yelled into her mic, “Pull yourself together! We can’t stay here. We’ve got to move. Let’s dash like hell on the count of three. 1, 2…”

Suddenly, a mortar blast vaporized Sara’s comrade. “I’ve had enough of this!” Sara said.  She charged through the smoke without knowing her next stop. It was like she was running through a perpetual dust storm without a map. She tripped but got back on her feet only to see a massive blue flag. She was in front of blue team’s base.

The significance of this flag had not yet dawned on Sara or her character, for they were both enchanted by the imaginary smell of barbecued meat. To be exact, she found herself in front of the blue team’s mess hall. The cook was grilling blue burgers so juicy that the grease sometimes leaked out and landed on the charcoals. Sara and her character imagined the smell of the fat wafting into their noises. Both of their tummies grumbled for some of the meat that neither of them could have.

Sara saw the blue team’s cook behind the grill. “Easy prey,” said she as she licked her lips. She lifted her rifle and pulled the trigger.

Click, click, click.

Sara shook the controller and her character, in response, shook the useless weapon. The character threw the gun away as Sara considered doing the same motion with her controller. Sara stopped and scratched her chin for a minute. She nodded and then decided to make her move.

“Hey, good lookin’ what’s cookin’?”

Dean, the man who played as the cook for the blue team, only heard the latter part of her question. With his back still turned to Sara, he said, “Cookin’ burgers. It’ll regenerate our team members’ health ten times faster than med packs.”

Dean’s character turned around and was about to toss a blue burger at his guest. “Hey,” he said, “you’re red!” I’m not supposed ta be fraternizing with the enemy.”

“Oh yeah,” Sara said as she made her character wink and lick her lips, “maybe I could make it worth your character’s while.” Dean went silent. His character stood still.

“Ya know, I’m thinking of going blue. Do you think the blue outfit would look good on my character?” Sara had her character twirl around on the battlefield as mortars blasted overhead and men screamed in agony for their mothers.

“Duhhh… yeah!” said Dean, who was slack-jawed for a couple of seconds before he replied.

“I could start by trying out your rifle and seeing how it looks on me. What do ya say?”

Still entranced, Dean said, “Uhhh sure.”

Sara snickered so hard and shook so much in response that she had to cover her mic. “I can’t believe he just did that,” she thought.

Dean heard static and spoke up, “Hey what’s that noise on your end?”

Sara straightened her face, killed the laughter and dried the tears from her cheeks. She said, “Huh? Oh, nothing.”

Sara’s character picked up the gun and reloaded it.

“How do you use one of these cofounded blue toys?” she asked as she turned it in every direction.

“Well, you start by pointing and… hey don’t point it at me!” said Dean.

Sara’s character pressed the gun’s trigger until her whole hand turned white. Meanwhile, off-screen, Sara’s own hand also turned white as she held down the trigger.


Dean’s character fell to the ground like a sack of concrete.

“Hey, no fair!” 

“Haha! Later loser” said Sara. Her character ran forward so fast that she left a trail of dust in her wake. The blue team never stood a chance.

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Filed under Video Game Misc.

Was it “Love at First Sight”?

What was your first experience with video games? What happened during this experience and when?


Filed under Video Games: Reader Q&A

Help! My Games Are Playing Themselves

Tequila bottles littered the floor. Glasses, half full of water from melted ice, sat ignored by their former owners. Partygoers had become party departers, leaving streamers scattered on the floor.

Even though Steve was out amidst this once lively background, his ear tuned in to hear some strange noise. The noise sounded like a static shower on one of those old fashioned salt and pepper TV stations. His brain jolted him awake.

“Huh!?” Steve exclaimed.

He sat upright so fast that all the plastic cups resting on top of him, and they were legion, toppled over onto the ground. At the same time, it felt as if someone had squeezed lime juice into his eyes. He rubbed them to try to bring himself some relief.

“Wh-What’s going on? What’s that noise?” Steve asked. One plastic cup remained curiously perched on top of the fly of his jeans. The static sound dissipated, fading into the ether. Steve now saw — with his eyes, not his mind — the TV displayed a video game that seemed to be playing itself!

He heard the tell-tale bleep and bloops. He saw Mario scurry across the screen in desperate pursuit of performance-enhancing mushrooms; you know, the typical games we grew up playing as kids.

“Who’s playing Mario?” Steve asked a cold and empty room.

“Steve, Steve we’ve totally got this covered, brozef. Just go back to sleep, dude,” replied an unknown voice.

Steve’s eyes grew wide as the moon. He looked around the whole room. A cold sweat ran down his face, even while his cheeks burned as hot as a furnace. “Who is in my house playing my games?” he wondered to himself. He scanned the ceiling, the fridge, the bathroom and even peeked under the carpet — all to no avail. No one was there.

“I don’t even know who you are; much less why you are playing my stuff. I mean, who do you think you are coming into my house and playing my games. A man works hard just so that he can put games on the table and play them in his underwear,” he said.

“Dude, it’s okay. Look, we even got you past the massive caterpillar boss who was giving you a hard time.”

“Well,” Steve said, “I was having trouble with that part; that’s true. Alright, maybe I will let you guys play my games. I wish more mysterious strangers were as thoughtful as you.”

The strange voice replied, “Yeah, yeah don’t worry about it, man. Get some rest. We got this!”

Steve collapsed on top of the plastic cups, flattening them on the floor in the process. Over, and over and over the games kept playing themselves.

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Have You Learned Anything from Playing Video Games?

If so, what did you learn and how?


Filed under Video Games: Reader Q&A