Believer Scrap 6 (Full)

Why do people get all bent out of shape about all these sorts of things?  Like, I was talking to my girlfriend online this morning.  And by the way, why is that a word that isn’t confusing as I think it should be?  ‘Cause, girlfriend, you know, I’m a girl, so linguistically that makes me a lesbian, right?  Except it doesn’t, because she’s a girl, who is a friend, and that’s “allowed” and people know what it means, but if I was a guy and said the same exact thing you’d think I was in denial about the relationship or something, right?  And if I wanted to be pigmentist I could say that if black girls say “girlfriend”, well, you just know what that means; it’s ebonics, or something like that.  And yet if a guy calls another guy his boyfriend that makes him gay for some reason, even though he’s doing the same thing I just did and I can get away with it but he can’t?  Maybe it’s because they’re supposed to use bro instead, because that makes sense here since they’re not actually brothers.  Or broseph; that’s a word today, right?

Speaking American is weird.

So anyways, my non-lesbian girlfriend.  She has been known to play the video games on the world-wide-web.  She pretends that she’s a guy pretending that she’s a girl on there, but that’s beside the point.  She’s all bent out of shape because in this new update patch download–or whatever it’s called that makes it less redundant–they revealed a whole bunch of lore and history that’s meant to be all shiny and impressive, but she’s complaining that it doesn’t make any sense and retcons a bunch of stuff and is unoriginal.  You know, stuff that most people complain about.  Personally I think she’s just saying what the rest of the internet is saying about it because then it’s harder to disagree with her, but I wouldn’t know; I don’t play the game.  Maybe the new content breaks down her leet deeps.  I really wish I knew if that meant anything.

So, me being the kind of me that I am, I want to fix this.  I want to reveal some great truth that’ll make her okay with most things forever.  So I’m all like, “But TropicAnna (that’s not her real name, by the way), it’s just a game!”  And she’s all like, “But Seesaw (that’s not my real name, by the way), it’s not just a game!”  And I’m all like, “But TropicAnna, it’s just a game!”  Then she got mad and logged off.  I think she’s only like seventeen or something; I’m probably old enough to sound like her mom, and that I don’t think was very okay for her.

Two hours later I figured out what I probably should have said instead.  First, you realize that it’s just a game.  It’s probably not here to make a universal sociopolitical statement, it’s probably not here to be the next William Shakespeare, and it’s probably not here to be made into a really good book.  It’s probably here to make lots of money and maybe be made into a really okay book that will also make a lot of money.  It’s probably here to please the lowest common denominator, which is not you, which is why women have boobs in them, and men also have boobs, except we’re supposed to call them “pecs”.  Speaking American is weird.

Second, you say, “Okay, but it’s more than just a game to me.”  And you know what?  That’s normal.  It’s called liking something.  Star Trek is “just another space show” to some people.  And to some people who are not those people, saying it’s just another space show is heresy punishable by being thrown out the airlock into the vacuum of space.  Or whatever Klingon torture ritual is in vogue this week.  Different people like different things, they like them in different ways, and at different strengths.  They’re not into what you’re into?  That’s cool.  Because they’re into something else that you’re not.  Like, I don’t know, rugby.  They can name the exact season stats of every team in the league, plus player weights in kilograms, and they’re saying you’re weird for taking your video game too seriously?  I mean, what’s up with that?

So third, you ask, “How can I make my game more than just a game?” You’ve got a game world and you really love it.  Or maybe it’s a book world, or a show world; I’m an equal-opportunity fantasy helper-outer crazy girl.  And you want to keep loving it, right?  Well, part of the key—the part with the toothy bits on it—is coming to terms with the fact that you got two words here.  There’s the world the game is, and there’s the world you see the game as.  Your world is a lot better than the real one, because you focus on everything you love about the game in it.

By the way, this is how fan-fiction stories get made:  sometimes people love their worlds a little too much…

Now this is when purists tend to get mad at me because of two words:  selective ignorance.  You don’t like a part of the game world?  Or a part of the game world doesn’t make sense to you?  Then ignore it.  Or change it.  Interpret it in a way that makes you feel better.  Someone else made the world, but you’re the one playing in it, you’re the one enjoying it.  So find out how to make it enjoyable.  It’s your world as much as the designers’, and their part of the world stops as soon as they box up the game and put it on the shelf, or as soon as they hit “Upload” on the next update patch download.  The rest is all up to your imagination.

Okay, purists.  You can starting getting mad at me for defacing your precious canon now.  Tell me how it wasn’t intended to be interpreted that way and how I have to accept what the creators say as the holy word of God now matter what it is.

Psst.  Hey, hey purists…?  Guess what?  Creators are people too, you know.  And people make mistakes too, you know.  Canon isn’t perfect, you know.  Otherwise the word “plothole” wouldn’t exist, you know.  In a way, I’m actually fixing some of the mistakes they didn’t fix.  That’s why I don’t mind doing my own thing so much.

I mean, come on.  It’s just a game.

{The views and opinions expressed within this commentary do not necessarily reflect the stance of 21st Century Owen or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.}

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