This guest article was written by Postlethwaite Timberhats, L.L.C. According to the author, he is a limited liability corporation that manifested as a real human in some pinnochio-like mixup with magic. He dreams of one day being a CPA. He enjoys eating and the company of his wife, Sheryl. He lives in Nebraska with his dog and his dog’s two cats. Sheryl lives in Boston, but they Skype quite a bit. He is colorblind against African Americans. He does not believe in alien lifeforms, outside of Paula Deen.
[ed-all pictures were composed by yours truly]
I suppose I was always a gamer, even in the womb. Like Dali, I can remember every moment of it. You’re wondering what remembering the womb is like? The best I can describe it is that it is like being in a large burlap sack while at the prom with your giant-sized date, who happens to be Steven King’s “Carrie” and also, pigs blood is streaming all over you. The main womb game I remember playing was similar to what we now know as DDR, where you kick in time with circadian rhythms. It took practice and timing. As I developed from a puddle of cells into a larval human, I became more preoccupied with a skee-ball-like activity; trying to build up enough speed to pass through a designated opening. Success in that game is the most terrifying moment of a fetus’s life, and possibly the most deserving of an achievement. Birth. Low replay value.
One stereotype of gamers is that we psychologically never leave the womb. This is simply not true, because wombs imply comfort and security in such types of arguments, and in actuality, if you have ever slapped some wombs around on your walls, you’ll know how uneasy it can make you while you’re gaming. It feels less like a blanket and more like a horrific realization that you’ve just murdered a bunch of women and plastered their innards everywhere. And the smell, oh god, the smell. Gaming is not a comfort; it is a harrowing experience, one way left for the modern man to trigger the adrenaline of our fight-or-flight lizard brains. Returning to the womb is a theme in the movie Vertigo, a film professor once told me, and we all know film and games have different functions. Most importantly, female gamers would somehow be self-containing Russian dolls if gaming was a womb. Wombs within wombs, and I don’t really understand that or what I’m even talking about anymore.
But the real purpose of this article is to discuss the use of babies in games. Specifically the lack of babies in otherwise realistic zombie games; how it creates a homogenous portrait of a zombie outbreak that is dismissive of youth. Critics of Resident Evil 5 freaked out over African zombies being black. But how upset would they be if there were only Caucasians in Africa? They’d feel invaded. So where’s the baby outrage over the lack of baby zombies? Since Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has inspired 50 spinoff books, nevermind. I’m sick of talking about zombies. Actually, this article should be about something else altogether.
The emu-like moa in Halo: Reach is what I will talk about instead. As you’ll remember, the moa are a large ostrich-like bird that Bungie decided to make shootable. Moral theorizing posits that the treatment of the weakest members of a society validates or calls into question the behavior of the most capable members of that society. In Halo, moa are killable, innocent targets. Upon my first play of Halo: Reach, I was shocked and appalled when my teammate took it upon himself to execute several in the flock, without apology, or purpose [ed-he’s referring to me]. This is a person I previously held respect for [ed-okay, maybe he’s not referring to me], so I was fairly astonished. I questioned my gods. I wrote to Elie Weisel. I pictured us soldiers in the Vietnamese war, or perhaps the Korean war, gasping as he shot civilians in the temple for merely triggering his illogical suspicions [ed-okay, yes this is me. I remember that happening]. It’s a new and brutal association I’d never have had with him before. This is a person who would never shoot a baby in real life; and to be clear, in science, babies and animals are pretty much the same thing. Innocent, stupid, and typically they’re just eating most the time (Kirkland, 2003). Example: Babies left in a kitchen will often pick up dog food and put it in their mouths before you can put them back in the dog cage. Newton’s third law of Being What You Eat will verify my statements. As a former baby myself, I was shocked at this ostrich murder. Even when hunting, is it not illegal to kill a designated animal that you don’t intend to eat? All these lines of argument rolled off of him and eventually even I realized they were nonsensical attempts at ethics.
I wish when people died, our brains incurred 9 months of consciousness and reflection that would bookend life across from our time in the womb, that we can spend considering everything. After death, I would think about all the tv I watched, as the rigor mortis turned me pretzel-like. I don’t know where this would occur. Probably not in wombs anymore, because what who wants a full sized cadaver inside themselves? Ew.
I’ll tell you. Necrophiliacs. And that’s another thing many zombie games always gloss over. Very few zombie games address the issue of zombie-human intercourse. And that’s probably for the best.
I once took a boat to the middle of Lake Michigan. I lit a cigarette and opened a work by Camus. My feet were up on the guard rail. And that’s when I noticed the baby float by. Yes, a human baby. I dropped the book and looked around for my camera. I couldn’t find it and then the baby was gone; floated away on a current, perhaps. People pointed to my psychiatric history and even posit that it was never there. But then where did it go? I often look to video games to answer the hypothetical things I’d wish to do or learn that my grounded brain can’t fathom. Spotting babies from your peripheral vision in the middle of a lake would make a crappy game; I can admit that now. Regardless, the police took me in to question in the matter, and wouldn’t let me go until I paid all my parking tickets. The baby was never found.
And how do you explain that? Are games the current carrying us farther from or closer to the womb? Do we seek to regress when we play? Are we correcting the universe back to a simpler time when we kill a boss, or instead are we bravely C-Sectioning ourselves out of the womb when we swing a sword in Halo, going closer towards the waking world? And who even cares about this shit apart from some suited smarmy psychiatrist in downtown New York that gets paid thousands of dollars an hour to spout abstract bullshit theories?
I have been wrestling with these thoughts so long that I took it upon myself to interview a pregnant woman’s fetus. I have never wrestled a fetus.
Interviewer: So, I presume you’ve read the article. What insights can you provide on this topic?
Fetus: Scuffling noises as Microphone is Rubbed on Inflated Belly
The mom chased me away at this point.
Here’s an idea for a game. Anne Geddes 64. It wouldn’t really have to be 64-bit, I just miss saying 64 after game titles. You could put babies in carrot suits and table suits and whatever and then photograph them. It’d be a great mix of Barbie and Pokemon Snap collectability, with a dash of the Lego games. And at the end of the game you could sell the tv, still hooked up to the system, to bland post-menopausal women that would hang the tv on their wall and froth over it with their quilting friends until a power outage knocked the console off.
But even this would neglect zombie homogeneity in gaming. It appears we have a long way to go.
Contender for game of the year
Occasional frame drops and texture glitching
There are no X-men in this game
The addition of a co-op mode and mission mode greatly increases the shelf life of this game.