My co-conspirator suggested that he had been up until midnight playing videogames, the way a young person might do, which was amusing to me because we were independently engaged in a similar (if not identical) enterprise.
It turns out that the perfect antidote to content-free angst regarding the precise dimensions of a next-generation console’s “rights shredder” peripheral is to play actual games on devices which are out and available. I know! Perhaps they’ll describe the precise contours of their dystopia at E3: the origin of the nutritive fluids we’ll absorb, or what will happen to those whose bodies reject the IMPERATOR implant. It might even be the same thing! But I’m finished for the time being with the void-worship, scrying pool ultrapopulism. That’s time I could be investing in banana acquisition.
As a very young boy, I had an Odyssey², an early American console that had a keyboard for some reason, which is why I suspect my mother tolerated such a thing in the house: it had, somewhere within itself, the possiblity of education. I had a Commodore, then an Amiga, so the consoles my friends owned were interesting but not a source of any true envy. I had Warlords II, for fuck’s sake. It’s like… man, get out of here.
That was until a friend of my sister’s loaned us an SNES, I don’t even remember why. I had a substantial investment in masterful European madness of various kinds, some of which I’d play with the bottom of the screen lopped off because US Amiga hardware didn’t have as much video RAM, but it was usually fine. Even so, I’d never seen something quite like Link to the Past, an RPG that wasn’t, or it was an RPG where you personally levelled up, I’ll never know. And Donkey Kong Country. Oh, man. I had platformers, but not executed at this level. He wanted the console back eventually, so I had to gorge myself on it by the end. When I started playing the new one on the 3DS, I was a young person again but only in the good ways and not in the ways where you have done something inexplicable and vile and you hate yourself just as much as everyone else does.
I’m not saying that we need to go gentle into that good etcetera, or accept our restraining bolts or whatever; I just feel like we’re at the part of Lost where it’s all smoke-beasts and polar bears. If you like games, and I suspect you do, we stand at a pretty auspicious juncture.