the resigned gamer, everything I hate about the thing I love the most

What are we doing to ourselves, and why?

Posted by Sir Cucumber at 6:21 PM on Tuesday, June 5, 2007

sir cucumber, the resigned gamerMy brother and I have been playing games for as long as we can remember.

When we weren't sticking Play-Doh in the Betamax, we were sitting cross-legged on the floor playing Berserk on our Vectrex.

Instead of building with blocks, we had R.O.B. do it for us.

Our TV had Zapper scratches- we preferred Gumshoe to Wild Gunman.

We rejected the mean-spirited Mavis Beacon, and took typing lessons from the affable Larry Laffer.

At a tender young age, Alf showed us the frustration of fighting bats with salami, and Teddy Boy taught me the feeling of pure rage. The secret snail game was small consolation.

Once I awoke from feverish night terrors, and in a dreamlike state witnessed our father beating Super Mario's 8-1, 8-2, 8-3, and then 8-4. I went back to sleep feeling safe.

Video games are part of who we are. They are simply what we do.

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But after twenty years of convoluted forgettable plots, inconsistent laws of physics, passing off strings of ellipses for dramatic dialogue, and repetitive stress injuries, grain alcohol can only dull the pain so much.

And yet it is a pain we could never live without.

We know there are thousands of people out there like ourselves, suffering through clichéd concepts and abusive design elements, for reasons they can't quite verbalize and non-gamers wouldn't understand anyway.

Like them, we know how good a great game can feel, and, nostalgia aside, how ungodly awful most games have actually been.

But we love them all anyway, inasmuch as they occupy our hours and help us scratch the itch in our brains until the real games come out.

We dreamed of making games ourselves once, but life happened.

We hope this can be our contribution.