Don’t Call Your Game Realistic Unless It Makes Me Work A Job I Hate For A Woman I Barely Know Anymore

You think your game is “realistic.” You even put the word on your Steam page, right at the top, in big glowing letters. Like it’s some sort of accomplishment.


Because your game has a hunger meter? Because there are guns, and people, and no tripping-balls plumber stomping the shit out of a blue hedgehog? You think that’s enough?

You don’t know a goddamn thing.

In this room, lit only by the glow of a dying cigarette, I remember a boy with rosy cheeks and a song in his heart, who wanted more than anything else to be a painter. I remember how his father tore him from his mother’s arms, put him to work in the steel mill, where he became hard, bitter. Where he watched the men he knew bend or break, the steel filling their lungs, filling their hearts, until they choked or became one with it. He did not forge the steel; in truth, the steel forged him, oblivious to his world falling apart around him—but he had no FOV slider to be able to make himself see.

And for what, I ask, for what? The love of a woman who has become a stranger to him—a hunched figure, far from this weak light, curled up on a bed he could barely sleep in? She wore a yellow dress—stained with steel and smoke, it crumpled beneath him as they made love, love that faded as she faded, withering into someone he could never love, did never love.

You have a gamma slider in your graphical settings, to make the world seem brighter. I no longer see the greens in the trees or the blues in the waters—simply a mess of brown, a scrambled pallet that no colorblind mode could ever fix.

In this room, lit only by the light of a dying heart, I ask of you: does the fatigue meter in your game have no bottom? Do you only become more and more exhausted, moving further and further away from the man you once were, from the life you once lived, until one day you look in the mirror and realize that this is it? This is all there is, and all there ever will be? That fearing death means nothing, for there is no difference between the end of an existence which means nothing and non-existence?

Why not make a game of naught but void, with no goals, no purpose; just the slow approach of death drifting forward, unrelenting, with only the terror of meaningless choices to distract you from its icy hand, forever extended, reaching into nothingness? Where is that game?

Oh, it’s called Minecraft? I’ll have to check it out.