The Home Invasion

The Home Invasion
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Xbox

Joe Blancato | 29 Nov 2005 07:04
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Imagine that, fighting Mom for some face time with your favorite game character, who just so happens to be her favorite movie character. This hobby is never going to be the same again.

If regular games aren't enough, wait until Mom and Dad find the casual games hiding in Microsoft's online store. If they're not quite Old Grandma Hardcore yet, they can pay $6 and download Gauntlet from Microsoft's online store and smack 8-bit monsters with a sword until they have to go to your little sister's dance recital. Bejeweled 2 is $10. As soon as office drones discover they can play at home in front of their TVs, the entire cube farm is going to collapse upon itself.

And just like that, a bastion of geek escapism is being dragged to the mainstream, and the people doing the dragging understand who's resisting them. It's you.

The very act of separating yourself from pop culture makes you an enemy to the Cause, the grand design to elevate games beyond something geeks do for fun. In fact, by terming yourself other than a vanilla "consumer," you're harder to marry to other forms of entertainment than everyone else.

You're not a consumer, you're a gamer. You're discerning. You're done with entertainment you don't dictate; even TV with commercials slow you down. In the time it took you to watch a Depends commercial, you could have hit Amazon and ordered the full season DVD of the show you're watching.

What's more, you're pretty much immune to commercials. Members of the advertising industry are keenly aware of this. They've taken steps in the past to get into your head in new ways. They can, and will, succeed in the future. They do so by preying on the more basic human revelries. Everyone loves a conspiracy, so ilovebees was born. Everyone loves sex; meet Joanna Dark. Everyone loves the idea of one small, inexpensive device performing the duties of multiple appliances; sounds like a tune the 360 and PS3 can hum.

What's funny about advertising appliances, though, is they really do provide a service to the customer. The 360 is just damn handy, if it happens to be what you're looking for. It's aesthetically pleasing, it's small and unassuming, and it'll do stuff with media the Jetsons never dreamed of. When it gets HD-DVD support, it'll be even more amazing.

Oh, and it plays games, too.

Goodbye, Gamer
The time for the gamer is rapidly winding down. Our future of glitz and glamour and social acceptance is now the present. And you've been so busy looking ahead, you didn't notice everyone else caught up. You're not a gamer anymore. Or, if you are, everyone is. You're stuck in terminology that's rapidly becoming outdated. That's right, you've come full-circle (360 degrees, in fact), and all your "gamer" moniker is doing is slowing down your progression toward hip, toward cool, toward defining the next version of "cool" or "hip."

Funny how that happened, huh? But don't act too surprised; we're not the first group to have the mainstream sneak up on us. Look back just 15 years. Those were good times if you lived anywhere near the Pacific Northwest. Then, some dumb band with an attractive, left-handed front man had to find a good studio, clean up the distortion a bit, and star in one of the best music videos ever. After Nirvana, grunge was never the same. Music was never the same. Our Nevermind isn't far away. When it comes to preparation, you have two options.

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