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‘I don’t want to make a game, I want to make future entertainment…’
Tetsuya Mizuguchi

 

 

a fire by the road.

curled smoke opens into dark blue air.

my uncle grabs dry, dead grass from his pile. pours it onto the fire.

I watch him poke around with his stick.

everything is quiet. a strange time, I

am not usually into this: watching fires is for my brother.

why am I here this time? the only time?

my uncle doesn’t speak. he sweats. huffs.

a master electrician, a school teacher.

he built his house himself. his hands are thick.

his heavy body. mind wide.

I stare at the flame chewing through the new grass.

a black ring born out.

I sweat. squeeze the Stretch Armstrong doll in my hand.

he’s become loose. he doesn’t contract like before.

light left on the horizon. distant villages sparkle.

mountains swallowed.

I look at the toy in my hand.

I pull his right arm one last time.

I watch it collapse slow.

I throw it into the fire.

minutes pass.

he is charred, bubbling.

his body opens to the sky.

his confident grin engulfed in flame.

my uncle laughs.

it’s all so stupid.

I walk away.

 

PAX East 2014.

I wait in line for Oculus.

called over. I sit down.

the rep explains I will be competing against the person next to me.

she helps me adjust the headset.

a controller in my hand.

the world comes on. I am in a bright living room.

I am a person sitting in a chair.

I control a small knight standing on a coffee table.

I don’t focus. I turn my head around.

this is the pristine living rooms of internet pornography.

the daytime horror of Sarah Palmer’s staircase.

there is a body in the room with me. sitting on a couch.

frozen. solid. I fixate on it.

I lose the fight.

I take the headset off.

I feel something but

not what they wanted.

I nod.

I smile at my wife.

I walk over.

 

I watch the lake.

Friday afternoon. skip class.

I need warmth.

I grab the Kratom in my pocket.

I put much of it in my mouth and chew.

swallow its bitterness.

I wait. my sense of the world begins to turn.

I walk up to the center of campus.

awe accelerating I stumble across a celebration.

Native Americans in traditional garb dance.

I am elated and sick. my skin buzzing.

my teeth bent back by the light.

echoes of divinity pulse out through my fingers.

I laugh and crash home.

I fall into bed. spin.

I am terrified. I cannot rest.

I go back outside.

I lay down sick by the dumpster behind my apartment.

I watch the trains pass above me, alone

through the night.

 

I have tears in my eyes, I

explain Child of Eden to someone I love.

someone who knows nothing about video games.

an urban cafe. I look around.

have I lost it? how did I get here? I look at my hands

‘anyway, this probably doesn’t mean much to you…’

I remember buying Final Fantasy Legend III for the Game Boy more than a decade earlier.

I step out of Software Etc.

into the mall cafeteria.

I open the box. carefully spread its contents on the table.

comes with a map. I get excited.

one table over a group of people watch and mock me.

they all laugh. I pack everything up.

I walk away.

I look across

‘I don’t know, it’s so beautiful, it’s transcendent, it feels holy almost…’

she nods, she’s trying to understand. I appreciate that.

I stop talking.

I take her hand in mine.

I listen to the cars passing behind her.

 

the last arcade near my home.

my last visit before moving across the country.

my initials scroll in every high score slot.

House of the Dead is mine.

the cabinet barely alive. in and out of order.

2p gun taped in its holster.

1p trigger getting loose.

I remember when it was new.

I remember the first time I saw it.

I touch its side.

I don’t care about anything else here.

Mario Kart. DDR. bumper cars. virtual roller coaster. classics shoved in the corner.

this machine is mine.

my constant pilgrimage into warm focus.

unemployed. I know nothing about where I am moving.

a hard time. I exhale.

slide my quarters in

and say goodbye.

 

 

 

 

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