Start any video game and the beginning is full of fail. Games requiring high levels of twitch facility (think Ghost and Ghouls on the NES or Fallout 3 on modern consoles) result in a lot of deaths early on, until the player masters the dexterity required and the particular skills that respective buttons are mapped to.
I was in awe at the prospect of a same-sex marriage in this world. It was so casual—less than casual, really. The game, being a program, didn’t have any opinion whatsoever about whether my female player-character married a female non-player-character.
The most basic rule, of course, is this: If you feed the cats, the cats will come. If you do not, they will not. A lesson in ephemerality; no conclusive objective. The mementoes changed this.
There was a little icon of a square on the screen. And I was the square. And it was the first sense of existing as a multiplicity (obviously, I didn’t think of it in those terms at that age).
Really, this is all me engaging with the game in different ways. I’m having a conversation with it. I often do this way in my writing. For example, I have responded to Bowie lyrics, Doctor Who dialogue, and Barbie commercials.
Why do we return to these games we’ve utterly mastered? To answer that question, I asked seven other writers what their “comfort food” was.
There is a certain agency that entering into a game allows the player that they can’t necessarily experience outside of the virtual world, a space to interrogate their inner world through the conceit of the game.
This is a role-playing game with set plot points, and you must clear certain hurdles to progress. One of these, which disturbs me every time, is the slaying of Mira Eamon, wife of Haedrig the Blacksmith.
The mount mechanic is used to create a feeling of vastness, or add to the fantasy or Western aesthetic, but it might as well not exist, apart from a few optional “race” quests.
I never cared much about baseball. I enjoyed going to Orioles games, and I liked pretending to care who won. I liked being part of the crowd, the roar and groans. I liked cursing at opposing pitchers and seeing the sun set over the stadium, casting mile-long shadows.
The different stops that Daniel makes on his journey back to Osiris do feel like scenes in a desolate, Myst-like game, and it makes sense to me to view Daniel’s journey as a kind of heroic quest […]
I was 15 when Chrono Cross came out, and though at the time I was reading some poetry in my English classes, it was the video game that sold me on the power of verse.