This is not a traditional article, you realize. Instead of a normal opening, you read a series of comments to and from the author during a larger conversation about a video game.
Sam: You know, I’m not sure I like VIDEO GAME.
Dan: I think you’re right. This VIDEO GAME. I have thoughts about it.
Sam: I must have played it for… what? A seemingly large amount of time? I’m still not sure what emotion I am feeling while playing VIDEO GAME.
You are distracted at this point and glance over at your phone. It’s been a few hours since you last heard from your husband. His plane would have landed by now, surely. You try not to worry too much as you try to pick up from where you were reading.
Stopping again though, you muse that if you wanted to read the transcription of a conversation, you could look at your own discussions of the same video game between you and Susan yesterday. You both had more clever things to say about than these two people. You smile to yourself as you remember that particularly witty response Susan had about how the main character is dressed.
Sam: The multiplayer is pretty fun though. Did you play the part where you shoot the gun?
You can’t help but to stop after reading that. You begin thinking about how every video game that has come out in the last few years has had a gun in it. You can’t seem to remember a time when there was a video game where the object was just to collect coins, berries, or something else without there being a gun, cannon, or some other weaponry in it.
Thinking about how you met Jeff at that arcade twenty odd years ago, you look over at your phone again. He was playing Galaga back then. He had died on an early part of the game and, after reading the names on the high score list, he had yelled out the top one. Everyone had stopped playing for a moment and looked over at him.
You had moved away where you were playing Ms. Pac-Man. You were probably about to set a high score on that game too, but had walked over to see who it was that was yelling out your name. He had been surprised, you remember quite clearly. You don’t remember much else from that night, but his reaction to seeing you has stayed with you: he went from anger to wonderment in just a few seconds.
Dan: It’s a problem with the genre. VIDEO GAME is too much like other games I’ve played, I guess.
Sam: Is that even the right genre though? If we consider it a RPG, it fits in much better. You do gain experience points.
You quickly realized you have forgotten where you were in the article, but pick up reading towards the end. It’s not saying much, but you keep reading anyway. It’s something to do to keep you from watching your phone and worrying. The author still seems to be conflicted about the video game and how to write about it.
Dan: I think we can consider it different. It’s mechanics — even the story — is the same, true, but it does things in a unique way.
Sam: Is that what you are going to write about VIDEO GAME?
Dan: I might just copy this whole conversation and use it for the article.
Sam: Is that a good idea? Shouldn’t you try to write something interesting and new?
Dan: I don’t have many readers. No one is going to complain if I use this instead of being creative.
Sam: Fair enough.
You consider closing the page. You have stopped reading the article and are just staring at the last few words. It was boring writing, something this author does quite well. You could have probably written something more interesting about the video game yourself without resorting to copying a conversation. For a few moments, you even think about doing that.
You haven’t written anything on your blog in a long time. You could start back with this video game, maybe write up your thoughts on it. Then again, you decide, you would have to find your password. It’s probably in your e-mail somewhere, but you would have to hunt for it. Of course, you would have to deal with people reading your writing again, and the anxiety that comes with that too.
You look at the last few words of the article again. It might be worthless as far as writing about video games goes, but the author does have a point. You open your e-mail in another tab and start searching for your password. There is still no call from your husband, but you are determined to stop thinking about him, at least for a few minutes, and do something for yourself.
Dan: As long as I like what I write, nothing else should matter.