To begin this article, we need to start at the end—or, rather, what we thought was the end of our relationship with our staff writer, Barry Jeffords. “Every day I come into this office, I think about how proud I am to work with this team and for this institution,” he says at his goodbye speech, standing in front of the highly-modified chamber that has been prepared for him to play Doom Eternal until the end of his days. “But now, the time has come—what we’ve all been waiting for. It’s right there in the title—a video game that never ends.”
Jeffords finishes his speech to a teary-eyed audience and takes a step back from the podium. A doctor in a white coat eases him back onto a Secretlabs gaming chair with a connected IV drip, and he is wheeled back into his gaming chamber and final resting place. He nods, tears welling up in his eyes, as he turns to the waiting game. The door is shut behind him—for the rest of the day, his coworkers shuffle from task to task, occasionally looking at the locked door in the lobby that holds their dear friend, experiencing endless gaming greatness. The mood is melancholy—a loss, but a triumph.
The following day, during a morning pitch meeting, a bloodcurdling scream of agony is heard—the sound of a man undone. “Are those fucking credits?”
The Nerfwire editorial team rushes to the lobby, to Jefford’s gaming room and final resting place. An armed guard hushes them back, but a banging begins on the other side of the door. “There’s a goddamn season pass!”
The guard scrambles for a key and the door slowly opens. Jeffords is revealed, ripping an IV catheter out of his arm. “We’ve been abandoned,” he says, his sunken eyes full of pain. “The campaign took like thirty-five hours.”
There’s a long pause, as confusion turns to disappointment and finally acceptance.
“Game’s fucking great though, besides that.”