#3: Virtual Reality
I own a great many computers and video game consoles. I’ve been a gamer all my life and I’m sure in some small way they’ve shaped who I have become. But I wonder… what can games really teach us? Can they be applied to the real world and better our lives? So, to that end, I shall go through a few of my favourite games and do as they tell me to do in the real world. IT’S NOT JUST A GAME ANYMORE.
#1 Mushrooms make you big and strong. (Super Mario)
I’ve never liked mushrooms. The smell of them cooking is enough to make me vomit. Uncooked, they’re a bit like rubber – rubber that’s coated with a layer of grime and soil. And they have gills. To disseminate their filthy spores. They are altogether a disgusting organism that no sane person would put in his mouth. But today, I put those inhibitions aside and follow in the footsteps of Mario. Here-a we go! Wahoo!
Wanting to fully emulate the Super Mario World experience, I gathered the reddest, spottiest mushroom I could find. There were several carcasses of woodland creatures around the vicinity of the fungus, but this was surely coincidence.
After ingesting the entire mushroom, I was disappointed that I did not grow in size one inch. Shortly afterwards however, and this is just the strangest thing, I was visited by Mario and Yoshi…! They came leaping out of the kitchen drainpipe like their asses were on fire. Taking me by the hand, Mario led me on a fantastic adventure through the Mushroom Kingdom. It was great, we dodged Koopas and leaped giant crevasses, we swum in the ocean and climbed vines into the clouds. I even rescued the Princess, and received a bloody good snog for my troubles.
Success? – The next morning, I awoke naked in my bed, clutching a mop (I don’t own a mop) and a large orange tulip. My breath smelled like Toilet Duck, and there was all kinds of grit and detritus in my teeth, acquired – I suspect – from the mop. T’was naught but a dream, perhaps.The flashbacks and crippling stomach cramps are all too real, however.
#2 Feeling tired? Just bash open a bin and feast on the roast chicken sequestered inside. (Streets of Rage)
Another food one? My tummy still hurts from the mushrooms. Very well, I’ll give it a go. Need to get good and tired first though, or else I won’t feel the effects of the nourishing bin-meat. Oh, and I suppose for the authentic experience, I should dress in my 90s street gang clothes. I’ve missed you, fingerless leather gloves.
After prowling the streets of Exeter for a while, I was dismayed to find that there are no longer roving gangs of punks and leather-clad dominatrixes wandering the city. Not even in the real dodge parts that you won’t go through without your mum. I did however find a gang of people hanging around outside a municipal building, clearly up to no good. “Jumble Sale” my ass, those grannies were clearly pushing something, and trying to hide it under piles of old cardigans and plates of Rich Teas. Had to have been drugs of some kind – no person earning an honest living has that much bling, especially those big gold necklaces with the symbol pendant. They kept saying it was for someone called “Jesus”, so clearly they have connections to the southern cartels.
After smacking them around for a bit I did indeed get plenty tired and made my way to an alley to refuel. Kicking the bins over, I was a little disappointed that not one of them contained an entire roast chicken. Luckily, salvaging what could have been time wasted, I did find half a bag of chicken nuggets from McDonalds, although there was a rat inside who really didn’t want to give them up.
Success? – Devouring the nuggety goodness, I was almost immediately set upon by bowel-destroying diarrhea and something I discovered later was called ‘botulism’. They say the movement in my face and arms may come back with time. My cartel-busting days are over.
#3 Smite your enemies by turning into a whirling buzzsaw of death. (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Oh, goody! I’ve always liked Sonic. This should be fun. Now, I know that Badniks aren’t real, so I shall have to construct some. I’ll also need to do something about my soft pink flesh – Sonic has an armour of blue spikes to protect his vital organs.
After a long and industrious afternoon, I managed to fix the spike problem by pushing two thousand drawing pins through the back of a blue fleece. It looks rather like the pelt of a real hedgehog, if I do say so myself.
Standing in for the Badniks were my dad’s lawnmower (“Moto Bug”) and a long pink draught excluder with some knives tied to the back (“Caterkiller”). I also managed to acquire a Tails analogue, in the shape of an urban fox I found shuffling through our rubbish. He’s a lot less spunky and a lot more bitey than the real Tails, and his trainers don’t quite fit, but he’ll do in a pinch.
Success? – Taking a run-up, I did my best roly-poly at the Badniks. After absorbing the full force of my assault, they remained quite intact. I see now that it was a mistake to have the lawn mower running, as it’s a lot harder to pick out the pins from my back with only one hand. Tails, the sneaky bugger, ran off and left me bleeding in a heap of shredded blue polyester.
Well, that will be all for this week. If I ever find Tails and my missing hand, I’ll be back to try some more gaming techniques in the real world.
“Disseminate the filthy”