This week is Guest Post Week on my blog. Today we’re in the incredibly good hands of Joey Heflich, author of 700 Hours of Yelling: Dispatches from the Digital Battlefield.
My hand wavers for a moment, but it’s over as soon as I cut the wheel. Bodies bounce off my hood. A park bench splinters into pieces. My partner screams bloody murder. I’ve done something truly terrible.
But before anyone can call it in, the rain washes away most of the evidence, leaving behind a near spotless crime scene.
I should know – I used to be the best homicide detective in Los Angeles.
“So, what do you want for Christmas?”
I drop my controller in my lap as the hulking mass of my police car drifts into another crowd of pedestrians.
“What video game can I get you for Christmas? You usually have like a list or something,” she says.
“No, I don’t want anything,” I reply.
I look at my notebook before I look up at my sister. She crosses her arms and sighs. “Nothing?”
The past two weeks have been a blur of scribbled notes, research papers and video games. Writing about the medium has made me lose any want for yet another green plastic case on my desk. It’s an odd feeling, especially since Christmas is the reason I became so enthralled with video games in the first place.
Years of gifts and good fortune were what made me the gamer I am today. My parents bought us the Nintendo Power Set in 1989. Then came the Commander Keen games and addition after addition to my collection of shareware discs. In 1995, my Dad took me to the store to pick out a Playstation. A year or two later, someone got me a subscription to PC Gamer. Each instance of the holiday brought me closer to that one special moment – the day I met my Playstation 2.
Though by then the Christmas magic had already started to disperse. I began buying games for myself. I started to read most of my video game news online. Waiting for demo discs in the mail no longer interested me. And that was all before I became critical of the medium and started writing diatribes about my various digital adventures online.
Now, the holiday season is just another part of my gaming year. It’s almost impossible for me to see past the flaws and enjoy the lacking machinations of the electronic worlds that sprawl out in front of me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. After all, it is the season for that sort of goofy optimism.
Maybe I could even call it a New Year’s resolution.
My sister kicks my chair, and I swerve back onto the road.
“Well?” she asks.
“Oh, yeah. I’m sure I’ll think of something.”
A few good responses flicker in my mind, and I take off towards a crime scene I had no hand in creating. It looks like I’ll be getting a renewed sense of curiosity this Christmas.
Well, that and Saints Row 3.