Some Cities I Remember Building

Steel, granite, and glass reached for the heavens along a long curved peninsula, true downtown lying on a raised plateau overlooking a tropical bay, causing the blue and green and brown buildings to extend higher. Suburban sprawl, fields of factories, spiraled out from the dense center, bedroom communities and farming towns.


Unlike the unfamiliar neighborhoods I had to traverse in my Driver’s Ed car, the Noopy landmarks were straightforward and easy to map: Tom Nook’s place. Able Sisters. The town hall. The dump. The museum. Neighbors’ houses, the river, the bridges, the cliff, the sea.

A Horse Draws Near

Sometimes you have to earn the horse, like a weapon or a boat or an airship. You acquire it by completing a fetch quest for a cranky farmer, or jacking a horse out from under some random villager. You are not punished for this because you are saving the world.

Blood Meridian for the NES

“Get those scalps,” I used to yell at the TV, because I didn’t know what that really meant. They were like gold coins or rubies; the more I got, the better I felt, because the best gift you can give a kid for a divorce is distraction.

Zork: a Treatise on Story

/You don’t know how to do that, the game spelled out, and /I don’t know the word /drag and /The door is already open, error messages which forced you to consider what words might work in each situation, substituting /move for /drag or /carry for /kick.