Monday, July 23, 2012

Reviewing: They Need to Watch

I'm 8 hours deep, but that wasn't nearly enough time to spend with a game that boasted "hundreds!" of hours of content. There's a drone sharing the room with me. The publisher's nameless eyes on the ground -- Darkfriend, some in the office derided -- to ensure I didn't upload the source code to the Internet or pass the disc to a conspirator to copy en masse to sell on street corners.

Occasionally he would shift in his seat, adjust his tie. Maybe take a sip of water. Though I'd never seen the full contractual details, I was pretty sure that as long as I kept playing, he had to stand guard. Watching me. Waiting until the credits rolled.

Hour 9 is when I stand up, sigh, and take off my pants. I kick them into the corner of the room.

"Kinda stuffy," I say. "Always like being relaxed when I'm playing."

I take a swig of pop. Then belch.

Hour 10 is when the Cauliflower Bean Casserole I consumed the night before -- washed down with the best German beer I could find in San Francisco -- starts jabbing me. The afternoon wore on and the jabs became not unlike sudden kicks.

The leather of the chair amplifies my long, odorous fart.

My gas being somewhat legend -- building management once closed down the elevators for an entire afternoon due to a suspected gas leak -- the Publisher's Eyes coughed. I can tell his eyes were close to watering.

I peel off my shirt and with great ceremony tie it around my head, as if to mask the sinister peels of laughter that my brain was sending.

The lights in the office proper begin winking out as people head home for the night.

"I gotta go to the bathroom," I say, pausing the game. I turn as I walk from the room clad only in my underwear and socks. "Did you..."

I pause. Arch an eyebrow slightly.

"Want to come with me?"

"No, I'd be pleased to stay right here." He stumbles over his words and his face is flush.

On my way back from the bathroom I stop at the art designer's desk and grab a Sharpie. Hastily, I scrawl what little cuneiform I picked up during the Dagger of Amon Ra caper on my left arm. Then write "Princess. Another damn castle..." being sure to slur the "l" and "e" into a wavy line.

I open the door with the flourish of another loud fart then announce, "You shoulda seen it! But hey if you want to, I didn't flush so you can check it out if you want!"

I pick-up the controller and start playing again, stopping ten minutes later to douse myself in Mountain Dew.

Then I just start talking.

"No, no, no. These things can't saw through bone," I hiss. "Yeah, sharp enough but we need a serrated edge otherwise I'll be hacking at this all night. No, don't call the wife yet. That's not part of the plan..."

"Did you ever wonder, that if the Illuminati were in such control of the world that they wouldn't outlaw puppies? Everyone loves a dog... but those puppies. They're too cute for their own good. Yipping and playing and tumbling over each other. Enthusiasm. Drives me to murderous thoughts. Calamity. Like this... like this... this game. Like garotting some guy..."

The Publisher's Eyes stands up and takes a step to the door, cell phone rising to his ear.

"No, no, niet," I let the Russian throw across the room with a guttural growl. "They say you have to stay here. Once the threshold has been crossed, there's no escape, no return. Nothing. Nothing you can do about the call. It's on you. It's in your soul!"

I stand up, fart, and fling my shirt at him. My eyes are wild. "This is your end! And I bring it upon you!"

He doesn't leave the room with an air of dignity. Merely a word of sharp profanity and the snap of the door handle. But I'm not sure what else he would have had time to do. He's running pretty fast.

In the morning, as my co-workers shuffled into the office, I watch the credits; the main story complete. One of them opens the door.

"Just another Tuesday?" he said.

Still in my underwear, sticky from Mountain Dew and bleary-eyed. "Yep."

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