Daniel X didn’t mean to write about video games, “It just sort of happened when I was in high school,” he told me over coffee and pretzels one sunny afternoon in Downtown Los New X last month.
“I used to read comic books and, you know, watch movies but I always thought there was some better way to reach out and connect with other people like me and to show them my ideas and listen to their ideas,” he finished his latte and gestured in that way that only a real gamer really can for another.
“He’s a total dick, man!” Daniel’s partner in making the hit title, The Lost Fights of the Mind Bandits, is the media-infamous Joran N. “I have to threaten to rape the little prick at least once a month to get him to talk to fags like you, man!” He laughs ironically and slams me in the back in way that would be very familiar to fans of Lost Fights.
“Yes,” says Daniel studiously, thumbing through his catalouge of a recent gallery showing of local comic book artists while checking his Android phone for new messages, “he does. That’s why I based the character of Saul McFuck from ‘Lessons in Fight’ (the Xbox Live cult hit that brought ‘SloppyFist’ the studio that Daniel and Joran co-own together) on him. It’s his energy and directness that I think we relate to.”
“Shuddup faaaaaag!” Joran tousled the older man’s hair. There’s a lot of love between these disparate and different guys.
But what if they hadn’t met?
What if I’d met Joran instead back in the 1990s in my home down of T? Neither Daniel nor I nor Joran had any real idea what to expect from the meeting. That would have changed the game, it would have changed games.
But we didn’t meet.
Games didn’t change.
I took a job at the Tockatoo Games Network where I interviewed Dan and Jo. I suggest that this, my taking of this job in this town rather than meeting J or D and taking a job, a company, an enterprise, an idea with one of them, heavily affects how modern perceptions of games are reflected in games making itself; I suggest it to the guys as they get up to leave.
I sit at the table, eating dirty nachos and I suggest to JD that “like the temporal switching at the level of quanta in the rich yet simple yet dense but opaque game from French studio Le Lumiare du ma Tante; that made ‘Undersea Overground Adventuring Free‘ such a huge hit last year; that like those switches in time and in perception, the landscape of games, of story telling in the 21st century, the dominant narrative form in fact, could have been very different indeed.”
“Fuck off you twat,” they say ironically as they depart, and I know they’ll carry that with them into the next great game.