“Alright Dave, you only get one shot at this,” says David Mooney, cracking his knuckles and looking down at a thin stack of notecards in front of his keyboard. “Let’s make sure it’s perfect.”
Mooney, 27, is embarking on a difficult and sobering task—convincing his group of friends, namely Andy Broccer and Stephen Mills, to play Minecraft with him. In front of him is a Powerpoint presentation, in its 9th revision. After debating between whether to pack the slide deck full of compelling reasons to play the game or to keep things light, fun, and breezy, Mooney has settled on a fun, if not slightly corporate, presentation on why the friends should pick up the voxel-based crafting game. They’ll be here in a few minutes: we’re simply witnessing the finishing touches that will culminate weeks of work.
“Andy, Stephen, thank you for coming today. As I understand, Stephen is missing the Mill’s Taco Tuesday dinner, so I would especially like to extend my gratitude to him and Mrs. Mills,” says Mooney to Skype’s “test your webcam” feature. “2019 has been a year of new discoveries, but also one to look back. I have done just that, and would like to offer up a suggestion to what game we play from now until 11pm, as I understand Andy has work tomorrow.”
On a combination laser pointer/media controller that was purchased for this very occasion, Mooney changes the slide, which hops comically into frame. The Minecraft logo is displayed. Happy with his intro, he flicks through the slides, checking for errors. Minecraft: An Updated History, No More Notch, Keeping it Fresh: An Introduction to Mods, and Please go by in rapid succession, each accompanied by its own animation. David Mooney is ready, and the doorbell rings.
Taking a moment to collect himself, he puts on a blazer on top of his t-shirt, looking into the webcam one more time. He puts his hands in his pockets, crosses them, and tries letting them just fall normally below his torso. What is he supposed to do with his hands?
Skype provides no answers. Andy and Stephen begin their descent of the basement stairs.
Moments later, from the door upstairs, the sound of a bag of chips opening is heard. The lights are turned off, and there is an uneasy silence.
“Andy, Stephen, thank you for coming today.”
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