Texting with Video Game Characters

[A security camera’s live feed shows a man snooping around my kitchen and helping himself to some tasty goodies. I recognize the armor.]

Me: Master Chief, you mind telling me what you’re doing inside my fridge?

Chief: Adam, finishing this sandwich.

Me: Nooooooo! That’s my patented peanut butter and jelly stuffed French toast. You know I was looking forward to eating the last delectable morsels of that sandwich. How dare you! I want you out of my sight when I get back to the apartment tonight. Out! Do you hear me??? 😡

Chief: Wake me when you need me. I’ll be taking a long nap.

Me: Ugggh! And leave me to clean up after your peanut butter party. Some hero you are. You save humanity but don’t clean up after yourself. I should have been roomies with the Arbiter. You make me I wish I had never met my video game heroes.


Filed under Video Games I Play, Video Games I Want

My Only Fear of Death

Is respawning next to this crazy guy with the machine gun. Look at him: he’s just camping out there and mowing down anything that crosses his path. Can I live?


Filed under Video Game Misc.

Run It in Recovery Mode

Electricity surged through the cold, steel fence and emitted a faint bluish hue. My plan was to hop over said fence, but first I had to cut the power source feeding the fence’s deadly defenses. With the power cut, my character jumped but didn’t get far. I heard a zap sound and the brightness on the screen blinded me for several seconds. My character’s limp body fell to the ground with a thud. He was gone.

I slammed my controller on the coffee table in front of me, and it shook my beer. I watched in horror as the bottle tipped over and spilled its golden liquid all over my console. As a result of the spill, my console started to fry and then smoke billowed out of the top. The screen began to wobble, the picture quality was out of focus and looking at the video game made me feel dizzy as if I was wearing beer goggles.  I sat there, on the couch, and my only thought was, “What is going to happen to the machine?” My face started to turn red and sweat poured down my cheek as I ruminated on this question. To counteract the heat, I poured some of the cold beer on my face and slapped my cheek. I shook my head until it hurt and my eyes opened wide. I could see the light: I knew what I must do to fix the machine.

I “ran” to the back of the console, which was only three feet in front of me, and bruised my knee after nearly tripping over the coffee table. I saw a shiny, red button covered by a glass case on the back of the console. There was white text scribbled on the glass that read, “Run in Recovery Mode.” The glass cover, I noticed, seemed to have a tractor beam: it pulled the index finger on my left hand closer and closer. Yet I had no idea what would happen if I tapped this button.

I stretched out my right hand, intercepted my index finger and pushed it away from its glass-cover trajectory. However, my index finger broke free and continued its initial flight path toward the cover, inching closer and closer to its mysterious target. With my free right hand, I splashed more cold beer on my face and took a swig of the bottle’s final droplets; this steadied my shaking legs. By now, my finger had made contact with the glass. In a flash, I flipped open the cover and tapped the button. Now I had done it.

As I stood in front of the console, I felt what I can only describe as part of myself “breaking away”. I turned around and saw a ghostly version of myself, featuring a pale blue and fuzzy white aura, as it walked in reverse until it both reached and sat down on the couch. The aura’s appearance reminded me of something like the quality one would get from a VHS tape. I looked straight ahead to see the smoke fly back into the console; the beer bottle stand at attention, with its contents refilled; and the sounds of button tapping as the controller flew back into my hands. That’s when things got weird.

Both versions of myself melded together again, then I shot through the ceiling and propelled out of this universe. I flew so fast past countless sparkly planets and nebulae that my head was spinning like a vinyl record. After traveling this way for some time, I stopped seeing planets and only saw bright neon colors and strange abstract patterns. It was a bit like speeding down the Las Vegas strip at speeds that defied one’s imagination . Instead of crashing at a dead-end, I landed in what I can only describe as a soup or lava lamp. Blobs of red lava, against a turmeric hued yellow background, bounced around and gravitated up. I reached the top of whatever structure was holding me back and jumped for freedom. I was free — for the moment.

After jumping out of the structure, I lost all control and hurtled through earth’s atmosphere. The wind was rushing through my hair as I burst through collections of clouds. You know, I slept through the cloud stuff in science class, my head and body somewhere down on the ground, but I can confirm these things are not made of marshmallows. With only the clouds to slow me down and no parachute, I crashed through my roof and landed on my kitchen floor.

Several minute later, I blinked, my eyes opened and I found myself standing near the fridge with a cold beer in my hand. I glanced at the ceiling and saw no damage. I glanced at the console and saw it was in pristine shape. All I can say is think twice before you run recovery mode.


Filed under Silly Video Game Inspired Fiction

I’m a Man of Many Worlds

I travel to them in the Video Games Nebula rocket ship.


Filed under Video Game Misc.

I’m a Man of Few Words

[Goes to play video games.]


Filed under Video Game Misc.

Wishing You Were Here

I could hear the sounds of calming waves behind me; they collapsed and made a sssshhhh sound before the cycle repeated. These waves were in my background while I lay on a hammock focused on the rectangle in front of me. While staring ahead, I, for a second, imagined what was happening out on the waves that I could not see. I “saw” the water invade the shore,  but it often retreated into the greater sea. Sometimes, at high tide I imagined, the water worked at full force to overrun the beach. Today, the waves the proved to be a spent force and nothing more than a pleasant sound as I played.

On the screen in front of me, I drove a massive, futuristic jeep on a planet with towering yellow and purple trees. I held down the gas so that I became airborne — nearly clipping the wings of a flock of cyan birds mid-air — after launching off ramps. The aliens, whom I presume built these ramps, placed the structures in curious places. The placement suggested the alien architects were daring me to launch myself into the air at a dangerous speed. So I drove around most of these structures. One time, I gunned the engine and flew off the ramp higher than ever into the sky.  Nothing could stop me.

After launching off of this ramp, everything moved in slow motion as I ascended higher and higher. The cyan birds swooped down to my eye level and pecked at my character’s helmet, but while keeping one hand on the steering wheel like a responsible driver, I swooshed them away. When the birds parted, my lungs sunk into my stomach and my eyes grew wide as I saw what lay before me. I was going down. I was about to land on a glittering, gold beach. As we got closer to the ground, alien butterflies floated around the jeep, an external manifestation of my stomach’s sentiments. I crossed my fingers and closed my eyes.


The jeep bounced off the rocky beach like a trampoline — yes, this was not a realistic game — and landed in a sand trap. My character started digging the jeep out of the sand. I hit pause in the game world.

In my world, I could still hear the waves in the background. I got off the hammock and opened the window. The waves evaporated and the pleasant sounds ceased. The sounds of the city replaced the waves as I peered outside. I heard tires sloshing through giant puddles and the slushy sounds of cars driving through wet snow. I heard the rain tap against the roof and saw stacks of snow and ice collapse and crash from the sides of buildings. I saw planes zooming in to land and heard their engines exhale, after a long trip, as they got closer to the ground. I could smell the street meat on the corner and heard both cars and geese honking. I needed ear plugs!

I turned around, unsatisfied with my breath of fresh city air and returned to the game. My character was still digging the jeep out of the sand. While he did that, I took in the game’s beach: the water did not have a ripple in sight and it was sunny. I smiled. I decided to share my joy and took a photo of the screen with my phone. I added a caption, “Wishing you were here,” before sending the photo to a friend.

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Filed under Video Game Misc.

Do You Ever See Yourself Quitting Video Games?

Or do you hope playing video games will be a lifelong hobby?


Filed under Video Games: Reader Q&A