Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

Als das Kind Kind war, it learned to see in more than black and white.

In childhood the computer game player feels all decisions instantly understood and translated and integrated into a world of action and displayed in stark relief. The player unintentionally trains to sense how all life is equally unequivocal.

Making a mental plan to hit the perfect keys at just the right moment, we learned to feel ourselves think with vivid consequences. Even throw-away decisions became tactile; they carried personal weight like a grandparent's curios or a man's wallet. When you press a button in a video game, you even have an audience: digitized personas. Saving the girl! RAM and output become metaphors for thought and action: fog condenses into rivulets.

After years of occasionally exploring games, people get pleasure just from playing--regardless of how good the game is. The older games, transparent in their operative skins, cultivate direct-connect habits at the deepest level. You don't notice the sun go down while you're playing, not while your every thought is registered on a monitor soaking in your vision. Every thought counts in large amounts, and that can be pleasure enough.

Because it is "just" a game, you can't entirely forget that you're playing only for yourself. This healthy and honest self-indulgence carries over into life away from the computer. Outside, there is no game engine or display; but inside, your mind alone can now emphasize any decision, however capricious. Flip on the turn signal, buy a china set that is blue, tell her you hate modern literature. It all adds up to something, and you feel it.

Some moments, you now notice all the small things you do. Scroll down or look up to check the time. Feel each dodge and shift, how every moment your heart or brain or spine or soul is at the controls.

When the child is no longer a child: Real-life attitude play is so much fun!

{Inspired by and reworked from a published essay, "Computer Game Life"}

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