February 22, 2009

Domestic City, Part Two

Between semesters, Anthony might visit the game store up to five times a week. Each time he brought in a game that he had previously purchased and was now trading in for something else that he would also eventually exchange for store credit.

Anthony was so frequent a customer that at least one of the clerks considered him a friend, although Anthony had never learned his name and after a while it would have been awkward to ask. Anthony had been calling him 'bro' for three years, which seemed to suffice.

One day the clerk asked why Anthony kept trading everything. Anthony explained that he liked trying out lots of different games, without ever feeling the need to finish or indeed stay with them for very long at all. He thought of himself as a busy and important guy and if a game frustrated him, or bored him, then he would ditch it fast and move on. He preferred things that were immediately appealing and uncomplicated. He didn't want his games to be serious work.

After beating a game once, there was little reason to keep it around. Anthony found more value in trading it for a new thing rather than playing it through it again or holding onto it.

"I'm almost out of college, bro, I'm not ready to tie myself down to a permanent game collection," Anthony said. "Oh, incidentally, I almost forgot, I'm getting married."

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