I'm Casey, a soon-to-be college graduate residing in the usually sunny and always humid state of Florida.
I absolutely love video games. I'm here to get some more writing practice and experiment a little.
Last summer I was @GAMER magazine's editorial intern. It was a blast! I also worked at GameStop seasonally for quite a while before that, until I got promoted at Bulls Radio, my university's radio station.
I've been hosting a show, Full Health, on the radio for the past year. Listen to it live every Wednesday at 5 p.m. on Bulls Radio, or check out past recorded podcasts here.
It was an average Friday night during a lazy winter break. I worked my seasonal job at a game store, not in a hurry to leave. My friends had nothing planned. The night would be uneventful; boring. We would probably drink a few beers and watch a movie or play a card game. Nothing to rush out for.
An hour before my shift ended, I received a text.
“Pick up Dead Space?”
I knew Dead Space 2 was coming out in a few weeks. My friends wanted to prepare for it.
Earlier that year I watched a friend play some of Dead Space. After a few minutes I deemed the game too nerve-wracking to even watch and promptly picked up my PSP, determined to drown out the sounds of eerie music and necromancers with my profane objections to a damn Tigrex in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. We were very sociable.
But tonight - tonight I was feeling brave! I brought the game home to eager faces at about 11 p.m. We turned off every light in the house, closed the blinds, and pushed the couch and love seat as close to the television as we could without being obnoxious.
Even though five friends and a can of liquid courage accompanied me, the atmosphere thickened with tension once we turned the game on. I sat in the middle of the couch, between two friends, dead center in front of the TV.
The guy to my right, Mikey, looked more nervous than I did. He squeezed a pillow in his lap while death-gripping an overly large can of beer. Maybe he thought it would numb the fear of what was to come. My “hard mango punch” wasn’t doing a very good job at that.
The girl to my left, Ashley, didn’t play shooter videogames very often.
Unusually, no one jumped at the controller to play first. So I volunteered. I was still feeling brave.
The static screen, the first scene in the game, increased that inkling of fear developing in the pit of my belly. I blame the movie, The Ring, for that. That fear lingered as I tentatively explored the USG Ishimura for the first time.
But then I noticed something on the floor, and that inkling became an overwhelming sensation.
“Oh god - is that blood?” I squealed.
My friends whined with me.
I looked at the dark, red, ominous smears for a while before continuing to my destination around the corner – overly cautious, delaying the inevitable. My intuition screamed at me. I practically expected the warning sirens when they started to blare, as if they were shouting, “It’s coming.”
Then a monster - an undead, spliced together demon - leaped into the room separated from me only by a seemingly thin layer of glass. Mikey grabbed me; everyone else started wailing.
“Run!” they screamed.
But I couldn’t. I was locked in this claustrophobic, bloody room. The game forced me to watch my companions get slaughtered; alerting me to what very well could be my fate.
Kendra pleaded with me in game to run once the electronic doors opened; I gladly took flight.
At this point, I was squealing, “Oh god oh god oh god,” a high pitch whine escaping my vocal chords with every breath. My friends yelled at me to go faster.
“It’s right behind you!”
The cacophony of my surroundings melding with the in game sirens and growls increased my urgency. I gripped the controller tight in my sweaty palms, my heart beating fast and heavy.
Somehow, I made it to the elevator, the unknown, ungodly creature slicing at my heels.
I paused the game.
And then noped the hell out of it and passed the controller over to someone with a less sensitive heart and less over-active imagination.