February 23, 2009

Domestic City, Part Three

Emily's posters were affixed by thumb tacks to her dorm room drywall. The posters, collected by Emily and her roommate, had been free -- sort of, they had stolen them -- and promoted the release dates of games like Castle Crashers and PixelJunk Eden. When Emily left for class every day, she always threw on her white, faded and hand screened Minotaur China Shop t-shirt. It was the only game shirt that she owned and so she wore it as much as possible.

The shirt testified to Emily's passion for cool underground games and she wore it as a beacon for others with like-minded tastes, who she hoped would approach her and be all like "oh, sweet, rad" but the reality was that her tastes ran so niche that no one who saw the shirt even knew it was a game. The same went for the N+ patches sewn on to her jacket. Upon this realisation, she slouched sullenly in lecture halls, carving Stars over Half Moon Bay constellations into the desks with a penknife.

On weekends, she visited game stores and made her way to the alternative section at the back and flipped through the rows of second-hand games. Selecting a bootleg CD-R of Gravitation, she walked back to the counter where she overheard two guys discussing the copy of BioShock that they were buying and in particular what a deep story it was supposed to have. Emily rolled her eyes.

That Tuesday, Emily and her roommate lied their way into a club downtown where the launch party for Flower was being held. Emily flashed her fake ID at the door and with her posture affected a maturity that wouldn't be legally hers until the next year. In the club, Emily and her roommate pointed out to each other all the developers that they recognised from blogs. Late into the night, someone took the stage to make a speech and Emily threw her arms into the air and at the top of her lungs screamed "whooooooo!"

A morose-looking guy stood at the bar talking to his friends, wearing a Flashbang Studios t-shirt. Emily leaned across the bar next to him, and shouted giddily over the music: "hey, I like that developer."


Michael Peterson said...

If you don't collect some of your work into a book, it will be downright criminal.

Steve gaynor said...

I like this fantasy universe where video games are as cool as rock music and misunderstood college girls daydream about meeting indie developers. You should write more stories set here.