One of the very worst inventions in the history of literature was not open-ended reversion clauses, not the 15% agent, not even Amazon.com–it was the video game. A pernicious, insidious stealer of time, the video game has done more to damage the production of worthwhile literature than The New York Times best-seller lists.
This is not news, of course. I gave up games years ago for this very reason. Recently, however, I inherited a couple of laptop PCs. Thinking that having a Windows machine available would be handy under certain circumstances (#Macforlife), I opened them both to see which I should keep and what needed to be erased on the one I gave away. And then I met my DOOM.
See, I used to play DOOM, back in the 90s, and I still had a DOOM II CD. “I wonder,” I wondered innocently, “if one of these machines would play that CD?”
“Noooo!” Future Me screamed, but who listens? It turns out one of them did indeed play the disc, and I was returned to the low-res world of Hell. Not the Hell on Earth of the game, mind you, but the Hell of Lost Productivity and the Hell of Ow-My-Shoulders-and-Wrists!
Turns out the game wouldn’t save, so when I found myself dying repeatedly a few levels in, I gave up. Good thing, too, or I’d be in the orthopedic ward in short order. (#MovingtowardEnlightenmentsucks.) I’d also still be working on The Cosmic City in July.
So I shut all that down. I am done with video games. Too much time-suck, too much pain. Maybe when VR becomes more affordable, and they invent Virtual Writer, a game where you create an author avatar who writes all your books for you…
Oh, yes, that would I go for. Fire up the GoFundMe page, boys, I’m on the ground floor!
(And if anybody wants that DOOM II CD, it’s for sale. Cheap.)