Console Wars

I think I’m just going to sit this one out. I’ve served my time, you know? I fought in the trenches of SNES vs. Genesis. That was probably the only time I’ve ever been on the winning side of one of these wars. My loyalty to the Nintendo Army saw me through the N64 vs. PlayStation vs. Saturn, but the end of that conflict, I was shaken to my core. My loyalty wavered and I looked for another outfit to serve in.

Eventually, I decided to take the green and black. I enlisted with the Xbox. That was 2001.

It’s been thirteen years of fighting and arguing and justifying. I’ve seen a lot of things in my time. Lost a lot of good friends. And now as the next console war begins to loom on the horizon, I have to ask myself: was it worth it? Was any of this worth it?

How much more can a man be expected to give for his consumer electronics? How many more forums and tweets and Facebook posts can a console warrior be expected to slog through before his spirit breaks and he finds himself wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life?

If I live long enough to look back on my life, this is the moment, I’ll say. It was during the opening salvo fired at E3 3013 that I finally lost the will to fight. 2013 is when I put down my pretend gun and went home.

I’m done. I’m out. You’ll all just have to carry on without me.

Okay, now that the satire is out of the way: seriously, I’m so fucking sick of “console wars.” Why is this a thing? Why is this still a thing? Maybe this is just part of a gamer’s life when you get old. Maybe every gamer reaches this moment and has this epiphany: “this is some bullshit.” Or maybe not. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I don’t like talking about this particular hobby because of the straight-up insanity that exists in the fan base. All of them. They’re all crazy. We are all crazy. It’s impossible to have a discussion anymore. Who knows, maybe it’s always been this way. Maybe I’m just finally now realizing it.

Maybe I’m just getting old.

I realize that if you’re not a gamer, nothing about this post will make sense to you. That’s okay. In fact, you’re better off not knowing.

Sincere Or Satire? I Have No Idea

You know how I know that things have gotten out of hand? I was convinced that this story about a Creationist science quiz was satire until Snopes confirmed its validity. Prior to that confirmation, I couldn’t possibly believe that something like this could actually be real. It just seems like the kind of joke somebody would make with a bit of Photoshop. “Man, look how insane those Creationists are!” But no, sadly, it’s the real deal, which makes the whole story much, much worse.

While I was processing reserves at my library today, I came across the Brick Bible: New Testament. I thumbed through it to see how the Book of Revelation was depicted. Would it be the real deal or the watered down version?Well, it did not disappoint. All the gory details were there, lovingly recreated by horrifically torturing little LEGO people. There was something perverse about seeing little LEGO people in so much suffering, actually. It was like walking into the bedroom of the creepy silent kid who’s mutilated all of his toys. You just know he’s going to grow up to be a serial killer or something and it’s uncomfortable to see the insanity in those nascent stages.

As I was looking over the horror inflicted on those LEGO people who were not spared by the Rapture, I began to wonder: was this book satirical (look at how ridiculously gruesome these Biblical stories actually are) or sincere (LEGOs are cool, let’s get kids interested in Bible stories via the power of LEGO). I honestly couldn’t tell.

I had a few of those “My first Bible stories” collections growing up, but they were always the G-rated, sanitized version of any story. You don’t get the polygamy or the rape or the truly mind-boggling amount of murder, or if you do, it’s very quickly glossed over. The Brick Bible, though, doesn’t hold back. You get all the best parts, which is rather unique in my opinion. Seriously, where else can you see the Fours Horsemen, the Whore of Babylon, and the Beast depicted like this? Answer: you can’t.

Even after browsing the author’s website, I still can’t tell if he’s sincere or satirical. My general feeling is toward satire, although whether that’s due to cynicism (only a cynic thinks everything is satire) or idealism (only an idealist thinks nobody could possibly be this bizarre), I couldn’t tell you. The Brick Bible doesn’t quite go to the same insane lengths that Landover Baptist in the pursuit of satire which means that it’s just normal enough for me to think it might be sincere.

All I know is that I’m living in a time and place where I can’t tell the difference, which either means I’m irrevocably stupid (a distinct possibility, I suppose) or things have gotten so skewed that it’s impossible to tell.