Friday, October 22, 2010

Quote of the Week: Headshot

"[S]ince last fall I've been buying some of the biggest new game releases and trying them out. I say "trying" because the first thing I learned is that video games -- especially the vivid, violent ones -- are ridiculously hard to play. They're humbling. They break you down. They kill you over and over. Eventually, you learn how to crouch and crawl through grass and hide behind boxes. You fight your way to a special doorway and you move up to the next level. Suddenly, you feel smart and euphoric. You reload, with a reassuring metallic click, and keep on going.
The second thing I learned about video games is that they are long. So, so long. Playing one game is not like watching one ninety-minute movie; it's like watching one whole season of a TV show -- and watching it in a state of staring, jaw-clenched concentration, If you're good, it might take you fifteen hours to play through a typical game. If you're not good, like me, and you do a fair amount of bumping into walls and jumping in place when you're under attack, it will take more than twice that."
- Nicholson Baker, "Painkiller Deathstreak," from the 8/9/10 New Yorker

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