What would that feel like? What would happen?
Tag Archives: video games
What would you do?
Or do they consume you?
The story began when Jane invited me to play video games at her apartment. Her apartment had no cobwebs, dust bunnies, or video game discs lying outside of their cases. Upon seeing my own reflection on the spotless floor, I tensed up and tried to loosen my collar. “How do I stand a chance?” I asked myself, “my pigsty isn’t even half as clean as this. I’m making her place dirty just by standing here.”
“Hey, let’s play that Japanese game I told you about,” said Jane. I could not nod. I could not speak. I showed my teeth. I blinked. I suppose that was, under the circumstances, my way of smiling and agreeing. “Uh, okay,” she said as she rolled her eyes about ninety degrees and scrunched up her lips. “I’ll go get us some snacks,” she said before marching off to the kitchen and disappearing.
I could not hear a single sound as I stood in her living room. I was alone, except for a tiny spider near the fireplace, and started to feel a rumble in my stomach. I took my mind off the loneliness by scanning her shelves of video games, guessing which game we were going to play. The alarm bells went off in my head after I saw the only game with Japanese text on the box. Do not expect a good translation; in fact, you should not expect a translation at all. I do not know Japanese.
I thought I should check the game out — get to know it a bit. I reached for the game box, but my left arm shook so bad that I had to steady it with my right. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and yanked the game from its house with one swift stroke.
My eyes grew wide as I opened the game case: the disc was loose and was sliding out of its box toward the floor! The clock’s second hand moved at a glacial pace, the spider moved one leg in the time I could run a marathon, which would take me forever, and the game lurched towards the floor at a rate slower than a blob of dripping molasses. My mouth fell open. Sweat poured down my forehead like a river.
“I can’t wait to show this ultra-rare game that I had imported,” she said from the kitchen while washing her hands.
The game hit the floor with a thud that made me shake like it was a quake, and I blinked. A massive crack formed in the disc as if there were plate tectonics at work under its surface. But, I thought,
“That just happened. There’s no going back.”
Still staring with wide eyes at the disc, I backed away towards the door. I closed it without blinking and, I ran faster than my young lungs would allow.
Not long after my hastened departure, Jane emerged from the kitchen bearing a platter of fine cheeses and crackers. She had put the snacks down on the coffee table when she saw the cracked disc. She furrowed her brow and said, “What’s that dusty demo copy doing on the ground?” Without batting an eyelash, she threw the old disc into the trash.
She unlocked a chest on her coffee table using a golden key that she wore around her neck. A shiny disc emerged. “And what happened to Adam?” she asked herself. Jane shrugged her shoulders and sat down on the couch to play her golden game.
Jake sported a mischevious grin as he stood in front of the presents.
“Hey Jess, did you check that you wrapped the right games for James and Joyce?” he asked.
“Oh no! I completely forgot! I don’t know what I’m going to do now,” said Jess.
Jake replied, “It’s okay: I’ll get to the bottom of this if it takes me all night.”
Jake unwrapped both presents and ripped the packaging off the games before Jess could reply.
“I can’t be sure which game is which until I beat both from start to finish; their covers are so similar,” he said.
“Oh, I didn’t know that. Ok, do whatever you need to do. You’re my hero.” She left the room with a big grin on her face. Before Jess had exited the door, Jake had already booted up the game and pressed start. He rubbed his palms together, put his feet up on the coffee table and laughed to himself.
“Yeah, and can I get a few beers while I act heroically?”
He turned around and started playing the first video game.
I told my Jedi friends they aren’t welcome to play video games at my place anymore. We can play again when they stop using mind tricks to have my character jump off cliffs. I’ve had enough of their snickering too!
It was okay for him to play video games all day until he could not see or walk straight. Because he was both playing and job training: he was going to be a professional gamer.
I’d take up hunting.
It was a typical day in space. An asteroid shot by faster than a bullet and hit the top of the Moon. Drills as tall as skyscrapers added bigger and deeper craters to the already pockmarked surface of the Moon. Astronauts performed delicate ballet-like moves as they jumped to and fro on the surface. However, no chorus of angels or symphony orchestrated their choreography: they were on a mission to find minerals.
“Austin, Austin, can you read me? Over.”
“This is Austin. We read you loud and clear, Gurdeep. What’s the project status? Over.”
“We have all drills running, and we’re proceeding ahead of schedule. Should I give a full report to Mr. Houston?” said Commander Gurdeep.
“Excellent! Mr. Houston’s gone to grab a cup o’ joe. Do a full data analysis and beam it back to earth. Don’t forget to have T.O.M. check on the drills later.”
Gurdeep said, “Will do. Have a good night, Austin.”
“You too. Over and out,” replied Austin.
Gurdeep hopped and skipped to a Moon Lander that had a large camera mounted on it. He looked straight into the camera and spoke to an A.I., “Hey T.O.M., how’s it goin'”?
“Bah!” said T.O.M. “I’m tired of this tedious sifting. A big dot above the camera moved toward the left, pointing toward a group of astronauts that T.O.M. was speaking about. These astronauts used large metal sieves to sift through mountains of Moon rocks. The dot moved back to its original position before it started to appear sunken and deflated. T.O.M. said, “I wish I could play right now.”
“You can finish playing your games after you’ve sorted through your rocks,” said Gurdeep.
“Ugggh! Fine. I guess it’s back to the salt mines for me,” T.O.M. said.
Gurdeep cleared his throat and said, “Alright, now I’ve got to record my report to Mr. Houston. Please start the recording, T.O.M.”
“On March 6, 2051,” Gurdeep said, “I explored a crater on the dark side of the moon and found space dust, rocks and some kind of weird case. I think I threw away the case because it seemed irrelevant to the mission.” Gurdeep rambled on, and the dot above T.O.M.’s camera rolled around in circles — never again focusing on the astronaut.
Instead, T.O.M. scanned the pile of space rocks that Gurdeep had dumped in front of his camera. As T.O.M. scanned, his sensors found a piece of plastic in the pile. “That’s odd,” he thought, “because Earth and the Moon had banned and eradicated all traces of plastics in 2030.” Anyway, he looked closer and saw it was, in fact, a case. T.O.M. used his retractable arm to flip the case over, and a video game disc fell out. He picked up the disc with his arm and moved it closer to the camera to scan it.
The title read “Invader from Space!” Looking closer, T.O.M. saw a Martian with an automatic blaster, a menacing grin and an air quote that read, “We’re coming for you in 2052!”
“Oh boy,” though T.O.M., “I can’t wait!”