Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Were reality just like a computer game there’d be a lot more chainsaws and Helldemons on the streets this morning. I’d be walking to work with a petrol powered buzzsaw cutting through the brains of floating orbs of teeth, or bobbing around with a BFG in what appears to be an illogical maze.
Reality is a bit disappointing really. There’s no power ups hidden in alleys and corners, no random Big Guns or armour dropped by a benevolent geek god, and no extra lives.
I still avoid those bubbling barrels. Just in case a stray piece of shrapnel hits them and I’m blown to my last resave point. Go back to the start. Insert coin? Y/N?
My life a very mundane computer game. A time level – to make it to the train by 7.44am. In 39 minutes I wake, wash, dress, eat, pack, kiss two amazing people if I am lucky and keep the cat out of the living room. It’s very important the cat stays out of the living room, or else the cat will wake a tired mother and a tired baby.
I dreamt I was being eaten alive by robots : it was a cat gnawing at my big toe.
I wash, add deodorant, and make breakfast. I dodge the usual, random, AI-guided cat with the prize : a pack of sandwiches and a bottle of liquid. If Killer Cat has gumption, it is a hard battle, but I am swift enough not to wake her Kitten Mind. Tie? Check. iPod? Check. Keys? Check. Time to go.
Leave the house, navigate the optimum path, and then, with access key in hand – a suited, commuted Lara Croft (as bosomy, but not quite as attractive, nor, thankfully will my controller ever throw me into a wall to hear me make a delicious, computer generated sigh), I reach my target before the time runs out – or the air runs out in my Jet Set Willy cave.
I sit down. Level one completed. The loading screen is the next 70 minutes where the train moves from the coast to the capital. And so Level Two begins…
Without ever really meaning to, I became the guy who commutes to the office for 500 hours a year. That’s not really the way I ever thought life might work out, but it’s the way life changes around us.
At what price did you decide to defer your dreams for money? How much money was it? … and now I am trapped. It’s a comfortable prison, but one I cannot walk away from.
I never thought I’d end up doing this. I don’t quite know what I thought I’d end up doing, but it wasn’t this. But it’s by no means a bad life at all.