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Monday, October 30, 2006

video game life

i am a member of the first generation of video game players.
for the most part, i see this as a very good piece of me- the use of metaphors derived from video games.
there are some times in life when one must do repetitive things for a long time in order to earn enough money to buy the armour to get the next magical item. and the very idea of levels, that things get harder as one goes along, but one is also more skilled. the early video game makers were true masters. true myth makers, depositing age old wisdom in the computer code with low-res graphics and repetitive musical scores.

what were some of the early ones? there was some labarynth game where you found different colored crossbows and climbed up to higher levels. i don't remember the name of this game or the system it was played on, but thinking of it brings over me a nostalgia and sense of mystery that maybe other people from previous generations would have for playing a game in the closet, or exploring a market. then there was Yar's Revenge. a yar is a kind of fly. you shot away at the blocks surrounding a rapidly moving bright object and tried to shoot it when it turned into a sun and flew across the screen towards you. the music from the game comes back to me sometimes and brings on something akin to synaesthesia, where a texture in the back of my head takes on a substance richer and scarier than seems contained in the word or experience of "texture".

there was boulder dash that I played at my friend ryan's house. i've played later incarnations of the game, but the game play and the excitement and mystery of surrounding a growing blob with boulders until it turned into diamonds was never quite recaptured. i also played dungeons and dragons a few times in the attic at that house.

the first game i played was called sneakers and it was on an Apple IIE computer in elementary school. I played it after school, and imagined that i would win great wealth if I could ever get to the next level. i'll leave it there for now, but somehow, thinking of video games, for me, opens up a rich path back to earlier versions of me with the hint that i might take off in new and more promising directions starting from those early couches and soundtracks and pushing of buttons as fast as I could,

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