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First kiss: Dear Esther

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Promoted from our community blogs

[My dearest community, it has been several fortnights since I last promoted to you. I long for the days when I may see you again, but the war rages on and I'm afraid Breath of the Wild and NieR: Automata just won't play themselves. Thankfully, soldiers like Flegma continue on with their thoughts on their first experiences, such as with Dear Esther. Sincerely, Sergeant Strider]

Dear Esther,

It has been three months since we last met, and I already miss you.

Do you remember? We first met in May. It was some Steam sale -- one like any other. Once again, I had bought far more games than I had interest to play: Dustforce and bunch of Wolfenstein games. I haven't touched them since that May five years ago.

I had thought that my taste in video games had changed. That I was losing my interest in video games. Drifting away from the video games that had, for two decades, been an inseparable part of my life. I had a reasonably new PC, but I didn't play many games on it. And my Wii, like those of so many others, had been gathering dust. The apathy, the misery of existing, had settled in.

Today, I can say I was wrong. I hadn't drifted away from video games: the video games had drifted away from me. The big ad campaigns were on titles that weren't aimed at me -- attempts at photorealistic graphics and humans, online multiplayer, excessive gore and violence. Time spent in cutscenes with camera angles forced down my throat like the worst of paralyzing poisons.

I've only been to the Hebrides with you. Now, in the biting cold just outside the window, I miss your warmth. The beautiful sunset, the invigorating chilling wind from the sea. The blissful solitude between you and me. The calm of just walking.

Maybe one day, I will sit on a balcony, with +4C wind blowing in my face not covered by the VR headset, and open yet another of my senses to you. I hope you understand I'd give the water a pass; the headset wouldn't like it.

Every time we met, I could've sworn I heard the orchestra play. The violin that sends shivers down my spine and brings my arms to goosebumps, the piano that complements the queen of instruments. Truly, the perfect match.

I never played you. I was upfront and honest about everything. Please, believe me. Even about Stanley. He left me swimming against the stream like a salmon running up rivers before spawning and dying, but you let me be the sole actor in the monologue that someone else had penned down. Like there was no one else but me remaining in the world. 

I don't know where the role starts and where I end. The impotent rage over pure happenstance, the fruitless denial, and finally, the calm acceptance. A self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one, the merging of who we are and who we think we are.

I'm positive there are several bite marks somewhere on me. I don't know why else I shy away from pushing buttons, pulling levers and so on when I'm not at home. Maybe that's why I didn't feel the need to interact at the island. I hear there are games that tell you to 'press F to pay respect' or something just as silly. Had I ever played such a game, I expect that would've returned me back to my immediate surroundings. Why press a button when I want to pull a drawer open?

In a stage play, the suspension of disbelief is important. If the fourth wall of a building on stage had been open and you had stepped on the stage, would you have walked through the invisible wall or opened the door to the side and walked through it?

Why interaction at all where it is not needed or if it would be counterproductive? Just being able to control my gaze as much as one at the theater or the opera can is a tremendous edge over television and movies. Had you heard of Allumette? I hope she's a portent of things to come, of not being constrained to the passive absorption of images but letting the audience choose their own sidestory to follow.

The time I spent with you wasn't long, maybe an hour each time we met. But the climax at the end of each time always left me feeling relieved. The liberation from the shackles of being alone again.

Dear Esther, no matter the type of accident we met in -- I miss you.

Eternally yours, Flegma

PS. You may not have read Eino Leino's Elegia before. You might like it.

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Flegma
Flegma   gamer profile

Very much unprofessional writer, don't take anything I write without a truckload of salt. On a hopefully long-term break from saying anything. more + disclosures


 


 



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