Tag Archives: technology

The Transmission of the Tradition

“I’ve done it, Susanne! It was a Herculean effort on my part, but I’ve done it.”

Anton’s tears were the only liquid that had cleaned his desk for months. While he worked on this project, some of his fingers were bloodied because, for hours on he end, he had scraped them against shiny, sharp steel microprocessors. Sweat poured down his face as if he had a fever or as if he was delirious with excitement.

The wall clock seemed  to tick tock forever before Susanne raised an eyebrow. Then one of her eyes locked on to Anton. The second was still glued to her newspaper. Anton never understood how she could do that, especially with all the excitement in the room.

“What’s going on?”, she asked after shrugging her shoulders.

Anton held his baby in his hands and stared at it lovingly.

“I didn’t tell you why this project took so long. Did I?”

Suzanne sat there stone-faced, like a statue from Easter Island. She opened her mouth to speak, but Anton interrupted.

“Well, since you asked, it was a real challenge because the technology didn’t exist, so I had to invent it first. Now I hold here, in my mortal hands, a storage device with every video game ever made on it. Future generations will forever be able to partake in this art.”

“Great,” said Susanne, “How do you get them off there to play?”

“Well, you see, it’s not that simple…” Anton’s forehead started to wrinkle. “You start by…” His eyes became downcast and he bit his lip. “Noooooooooooooooo!”

Anton pulled out a clump of his hair and fell to his knees, sobbing.

Susanne sighed. Then went back to her paper.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Game Technology

Seeing the Same Old Thing in a New Light

Touching the video game console sent a chill running up my arm and straight to my spine. It felt as cold as a short visit to Pluto would. I longed to thaw the block of ice on my hand and to feel warmth after touching the machine. Taking a closer look at the console, which I did to sate my curiosity, did not reverse the deep freeze effect it had on me.

I noticed the machine had a clinical appearance; it was spotless, shiny and clad in all white. It worked assiduously and seemed detached from everything around it. The console seemed to run all day as if it was plugged into an outlet that was keeping it alive and feeding it energy. The sight of some thing with all those wires in it made me cringe; it reminded me of my mortality and fears of death. Overall, the machine’s non-stop work and coldness stunned me.

Suddenly, a ray shone through a nearby stained glass window and helped me to see the machine in a new light. The ray was bright red. It stained my hand like some damned spot that would not wash away — no matter how hard I scrubbed it. The red light bathed the console, made it seem warm, and made the machine seem like it had blood flowing through its chips, circuits and plastic. I never looked at the console in the same light again. My vision and my thinking had forever changed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Game Technology

The Left and Right Side of the Console in Dialogue

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.”

“Sounds good.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Game Technology

Welcome to the Firm of Console, Disc and Joystick

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under 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.”

2 Comments

Filed under 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?

2 Comments

Filed under Video Game Technology

Why Do You Play Video Games?

I don’t think I’ve ever asked you this question. Please tell me. It would be exciting to see many different reasons.

38 Comments

Filed under Video Games: Reader Q&A