There But for the Grace of God…

Well, maybe minus the drug use.

What have games given me? Experiences. Not surrogate experiences, but actual experiences, many of which are as important to me as any real memories. Once I wanted games to show me things I could not see in any other medium. Then I wanted games to tell me a story in a way no other medium can. Then I wanted games to redeem something absent in myself. Then I wanted a game experience that pointed not toward but at something. Playing GTA IV on coke for weeks and then months at a time, I learned that maybe all a game can do is point at the person who is playing it, and maybe this has to be enough.

I cannot, will not allow myself to buy an Xbox 360. This is for the simple reason that that’s where all the Big Games live. Mass Effect, GTA, Elder Scrolls…these are the games that would destroy me if they could. (Their predecessors have, to lesser degrees, at earlier phases in my life.) I don’t play games like those: I absorb them. They absorb me right back. And all it would take would be one chance to get my hands on Fallout 3, and it’d pretty much be all over for me. They’d find me six months later, alone, sitting on a couch in a pile of old pizza boxes, still clutching the remote and leveling up.

The Wii, though. That’s a totally different story. That’s just fun.

Don’t tell Sal

But the namesake of the Order might not be quite right:

Despite their modern reputation, the original Luddites were neither opposed to technology nor inept at using it. Many were highly skilled machine operators in the textile industry. Nor was the technology they attacked particularly new. Moreover, the idea of smashing machines as a form of industrial protest did not begin or end with them. In truth, the secret of their enduring reputation depends less on what they did than on the name under which they did it. You could say they were good at branding.