Hey Baby

Origin 24022014 220318.bmpHello. I noticed you from across the bar, sitting here alone. I don’t know what it is about you, the thousand-yard deathmatch stare perhaps, or maybe the trembling, calloused fingers on the hand you hold in a half-claw grip. I can’t say, but I believe we share an understanding, you and I. We like to play games.
No, don’t deny it, it’s ok. You just walked in. You’re not looking for a fling, and you’re afraid of commitment. You don’t need another publication in your life, even for free. You’ve been hurt before. I know. I understand.
For me, it was in the late 80’s. I started collecting something stupid like Warship! The illustrated guide to modern Naval Power. We all did. They were advertised on the TV after He-Man. The first issue came with a free binder! It promised so much, and built week by week into a depressingly insistent reminder of our poor judgement. At some point, it became clear that there were at least another four hundred issues before our models of the HMS Burnside would be complete, then they’d go bust, and our hearts and binders would remain forever half empty.
Or so it seemed. Now the modern Warship enthusiast prefers computer games, because games are awesome and war is shit, and we learned to love again.
Magazines upon magazines, with endless photos and previews, we’d press our noses up against the glass of our gaming future, yearning desperately. Then came the websites! Gaming news in never ending supply, free of charge, we’d gorge ourselves. More previews, more hype. Developer interviews! Beardnecks, guys at cintiqs or talking on a couch, and there! Upskirt flashes of in-game footage.
It wasn’t doing it for you, was it? The trailers were all tease, no please. They’d announce the announcement, embed the video. You’d watch the logo of the developer emerge from the shadows. Then… Oh em fucking gee. The logo of the game. COMING SOON.
You felt nothing.
I understand. There’s nothing wrong with you. You aren’t alone. There are those of us that crave rarer delights, riper fruits and richer sauce.
There is a place you can go, with secret codewords, and ancient rituals, where they remember the old ways, where they suck the marrow from the new. Here are the desperados, cognoseti, techno-savages with the original pressing of the internet on vinyl, listening to it backwards, they’ve manacled themselves to the wall. Here they know every special move. Here they play Ironman mode with a loaded gun waiting in the desk drawer.
Here there is a cell with a review of Q-Bert scratched into the walls, six million words long, written in Assembler, submitted to Look-In magazine and returned, brick by brick, stained with tears. Down the corridor is the room where the bloggers keep their opinions, chained beneath ice water in the dark.
Stapled to the ceiling in the bathroom, on parchement made from human face, written in biro, is the cheat code for an extra life.
It isn’t for everyone. But nothing truly special ever is. And you’re special, I can feel it.
It’s ok now.
Don’t cry.
Robot Dinosaur is here.

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