Tag Archives: video games

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

If I Could Split Myself in Two

Let’s pretend I’ve discovered a revolutionary procedure to split myself in half. This procedure is safe and there is no surgery. I would not lose a pound of flesh, there are no knives slicing skin and I wouldn’t lose a drop of blood. You might say I’m talking about cloning myself, but splitting myself in half sounds cooler.

Half of me would figure out how to make this world a better place. I would work to bring all nations together in everlasting peace. I’m sure this goal would keep my better half preoccupied.

The other half would dedicate hours to the pursuit of beating video games. I would tell you more about my this half, but I’ve got some business to attend to.

Now if I could only fuse these two disparate halves together into a whole. Has anyone figured out the procedure?



Filed under Video Game Misc.

If You Could Only Play One Video Game for the Rest of Your Life

What would it be and why?



Filed under Video Games: Reader Q&A

The Day the Video Games Stopped

“I woke up thinking the end was near. It felt like a roller-coaster was doing a never-ending loop inside my stomach,” said the old man.

“Tell us the story again, Grandpa!” said the kids.

The two kids, dressed in red, sat on a carpet in their bedroom. They stared at their Grandfather as intently as if a magician had mesmerized them. Not even an earthquake could shake their focus. They set their bright eyes, which seemed to sparkle like diamonds, on the man they loved.

The old man looked like the children, but he had wrinkles of wisdom. He had many, many wrinkles; one for each hardship he had experienced. He looked out the window and up at the sky as he began to recount one of those hardships. He felt a little too cold, a little too distant to cry as he recalled the story, but it was not too cold to rain outside. Outside, the birds in the sky flew forward, but the sky seemed to move backwards as if the old man was time traveling.

His grandchildren’s youthful enthusiasm and intent listening renewed his hope. He smiled, turned away from the window and looked at them.

He spoke up again, “I remember long lines of people who were desperate for help. The lines started on the sidewalk, and like a long snake, bent around corners. Other people would run around the empty street — there were no cars — pushing wheelbarrows. The wheelbarrows were overflowing with worthless money. And every time a light breeze came along, the money would scatter in every direction. These wheelbarrow pushers would pant as they chased fluttering bills, trying to stuff some under their hat. It was sad. Money, which had always been worthless, had stripped a priceless human being of dignity.

I’m sad to say many were losing hope in this setting. Either that or their horizons were limited to survival by any means. Caring about others didn’t seem to matter.”

The old man sighed and looked out the window. Teeny tiny droplets of water had replaced the torrential downpour of rain that first fell. He took comfort in his grandkids’ smiles and continued to tell the tale.

He said, “But there were murmurs and talk about a better place. I could see a glimmer of hope on the horizon. As he said this, a rainbow appeared outside. We worked together, stood tall together and moved forward together. Soon the snakelike lines and money chasing were a thing of the past. We did find ourselves in a better place. We could even sit down and play video games together. Games had always been an important part of my early life, but they became a luxury during those years.”

“Will we get to play them with you now?, Grandpa,” asked the kids.

“Sure,” he replied. Then a warm smile appeared on his face just as the sun shone outside. “First you two should take a nap.”

The kids didn’t want to move, like they were frozen, and were curious to know more. “Grandpa, what’s the moral of the story?”

He scratched his chin and pondered their question deeply before replying.

“Always remain hopeful,” he said.


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Filed under Video Game Misc.

Digging a Hole into the Past and Hitting Rock Bottom

The year was 2050. The sky was a vibrant shade of blue that February 5th. The clouds had dissipated because they wanted people to appreciate the view. Even the birds had stopped flying and, while perched high on sturdy branches, stared in wonder at the vast blue expanse that dominated their horizon.

However, the situation on the ground was very different. A small puff of smoke rose from a shiny rectangle and floated toward the sky. Still other puffs followed until they obstructed the free and open enjoyment of this blue oasis in the air. And the source of the puffs was obvious: bulldozers, dump trucks, cement mixers and bobcats. These machines worked to block out the sky with their acrid smoke, to dull wonder. But the machines were not the only one’s working.

In a nearby empty field, a young boy stood with his shovel slung over his shoulder. He had heard, if one dug deep enough, one could find all the money in the world and a path to China. He was not sure which potential discovery excited him more.

With a deep breath, he stopped pondering and started doing. He shoved his shovel into the dirt and digged as deep as his arms would let him.  He unearthed quite a lot of Earth but had nothing to show for it. Then he thought he had struck gold.


The shovel hit something hard, and the shock of contact reverberated all the way up the handle until the boy himself felt shaken. He looked down and grabbed the object. It was a bow and arrow, which was probably hundreds of years old. He tossed it aside like it was a penny.

He dug deeper and deeper until he had a little mountain of dirt next to him.


He had struck something again. Was it the long fabled gateway to China? His grin grew wide and he reached down to uncover a priceless dinosaur fossil — thousands of years old.

“Pfft! Good riddance,” he thought as he threw it away.

The boy, determined to find the gold and the gateway to China, kept digging. He started digging until sweat was dripping down his face. Enough droplets fell to the ground to turn some of the dirt into a paste. His muscles wanted to go on strike; they screamed at him for better hours and a vacation. But he paid these signs no mind. He dug and dug and dug until he heard beautiful music.


It was the sound of contact again, and now he saw a case at the bottom of his pit.

“It’s a case holding bars of gold. And I bet China is only a few shovels away now,” he thought.

In a state of delirium, he scooped up the case, not even disappointed by its lightness. He swung it open only to find an unusual gold bar: it was round and dusty. To his deluded eyes, he was staring at a disc of gold. The boy rubbed this round object clean and squinted as he tried to make out the text on it. He proudly read the text, even though he had no idea what it was, aloud.

“ET: The Extra-Terrestrial!”

“Boy,” he thought, “I bet this is worth millions of dollars.”



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Filed under Video Game Misc.

The Video Game That Was Too Big to Fail

Once upon a time, there was a tall man with long, frazzled grey hair. His white gown covered his wiry frame and his plastic goggles protected his bulging eyes. Liquids bubbled from beakers around him and electrical currents zipped and zapped through metal coils so much so that passersby would have seen a blinding light through the window. This was a mad scientist hard at work.

A small, hunched-over figure, his disfigured face covered by cowl, appeared in the doorway behind the mad scientist. The figure spoke: “Master, pray forgive me for this most rude of intrusions.”

“Ugh— what do you want Igor?”, said the mad scientist, “what was so important that you had to interrupt me while I work on my video game system?” The scientist said this while he poured neon liquids that smelled like rotten eggs into test tubes.

“It’s the villagers, master. They are amassing at the castle gates and chanting ‘off with his head!’ They demand to know what happened to all the money they gave you.”

“Yes, well, my head shall stay firmly tethered to my head. There will be no beheading today. You may ignore them.”

“Yes, master.” Igor turned his crooked back and waddled out of the room.

“Wait. I didn’t say you could go. Allow me to show you my latest creation,” the mad scientist said. He sat down in a regular office chair, and it squeaked as he swiveled around and slowly slid across the room. Then the chair stopped, half way before reaching its goal, without warning.

“What did you wish to show me, master?”

“Oh, do shut up. Wait while I get this confounded chair going again.”

The mad scientist’s chair needed some grease. But he decided instead to push his long leg against the floor, as if he was rowing, until he reached his destination. He extended his arm, his eyes sparkled in the light and he pointed toward one corner of the room.

“It’s my latest creation and my pièce de résistance.”

The mad scientist’s chair finally reached the control panel he was aiming for. He then slapped a large, red button, and a spotlight revealed a massive object hiding in the corner. The object was so tall that its tiny head almost touched the massive ceiling in the room. The rectangular body of the object seemed to stretch on forever without end. It also sported a pair of VR goggles for eyes, giant boots, boxing gloves for hands and a power-on button in the center of its chest. And of course, since it was freezing outside, it had a tiny toque.

“This killer video game system will destroy my competition and help me to dominate the video game industry from my castle.”

“So that’s where all the villagers’ money went. Master, do you think it was wise to take so much of it and invest in a risky project like this?”

The mad scientist kept talking. “Look at this system,” he gestured at the machine, “It’s a thing of beauty. It’s too big to fail. It’s going to be a great success; it has to be a great success. Now let me just press one more button, over there, to get this thing started.”

The mad scientist swiveled his chair again and pushed it wish his foot. As he glided across the room toward the second button, he let out a maniacal laugh. The laugh was so shrill it sent marauding mice, hoping to find cheese scraps, scurrying for cover in their homes. Then the chair abruptly stopped short again.

“Oh,” he glanced down at the chair with a frown, “hold on a sec.”

He propelled the chair forward with his foot and let loose another laugh. This one was about as pleasant to hear as nails scratching a chalkboard. And the chair stopped again.

“Wait, wait— I think I got I’ve got it. Yes, Yes”

The chair came to a halt in front of a massive computer. The mad scientist, rubbed his palms together and a child-like glee overcame his face. He flipped open the plastic lid and hit a massive green button with his palm.

“Mwhahahahaha!” he cackled. His insane laugh was so loud that it echoed throughout the castle and even the villagers could hear it outside.

The video game system’s started to rotate its head. It was moving.

“It’s alive! It’s alive I tell you!” yelled the mad scientist.

The system lurched forward awkwardly as it took its first steps, its baby steps.

“Yes, that’s right,” said the mad scientist, “come closer.” A grin, like the Cheshire cat’s, appeared on his face.

But then the system made a rapid move away from the scientist and closer to a wall.

“What are you doing? Stop!”

The system lifted its mighty arms, and punched through the castle walls, which crumbled like a cookie, until the twinkly stars were visible. Then the system ran. It ran far, far away into the cold, dark night.

“Nooooo! This can’t be. My life’s work is lost to the darkness.”

The mad scientist fell to the ground and beat the pavement with his fists. His tears and sweat created a small puddle beneath him.

Igor rushed over, lay his hand on the scientist’s back and gently patted his shoulder. “There, there master.”

The mad scientist sniffled and looked at Igor through bleary, tear-stained eyes.

“Everything will be okay, master. But the system didn’t work. It’s time to give the villagers back their money.”


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Filed under Silly Video Game Inspired Fiction