Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Game Master

At the end of a long day filled with disappointment in humanity, I found myself at the local Wal-Mart.  Now I understand that Wal-Mart is the lowest common denominator of what humanity has to offer.  But I'll be damned if you can beat the deals and selection of their various wares of questionable quality.

As I meandered through the aisles, I naturally found myself in the electronics department, specifically the video game aisles.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but it was a habit I had formed, perusing the latest releases and other titles and accessories from prior generations being sold at extortion rates.  I was specifically looking at the latest Skylanders offerings, wondering if I should get a companion for Drobot.  I quickly chastised myself for being a fool.  Drobot is the greatest skylander there is.  Why would I ever need another one?  But..what if I got another Drobot?  Great Odin's raven!  I would be unstoppable!

While I was lost in the fantasy of robotic dragons firing blistering eye lasers, I was rudely pulled from my thoughts by a pre-pubescent voice.

"So you like video games?"

I turned to my right and saw the owner of the voice was a young boy with dirty blonde hair that was cut short.  His small nose twitched as he sniffled and snorted, aborting his snot's escape attempt from Nasal Narrows.

A look of confusion must have played across my face, but he didn't seem to notice.  "...Yes.  I enjoy video games."

"Yeah, video games are great."  He turned slightly, gesturing at the consoles set up for shoppers to try out.  His arms spread out like a showman who had just finished a trick.  "I've beat every game out there."  His arms lifted a bit higher, as if taunting me, before dropping again.  "Well, every game except for Grand Theft Auto.  I'm the Game Master."

I looked at him in disbelief and started making my way past him, trying to leave the aisle.  He then began walking next to me.  I'm a complete stranger.  I'm the stranger parents warn their kids about.  The hobo looking fellow with the scruffy beard and long hair.  I should evoke terror in his tiny heart.  Either the stereotype has changed, his parents never told him, or he was too stupid to know better.

"Well, you're too young to play a game like that."

My words had no effect on him as he stopped and looked up at me.  With tone that made it clear he thought I was an idiot, he stated "I'm 12.  I've played Call of Duty."

Rather than be the creepy bearded guy talking to a young boy next to a Wii U display showing off the latest Mario title, I dropped my planned rebuttal of a detailed explanation of the ESRB system and why he shouldn't play a title like that.  Without looking at him, I shrugged my shoulders in defeat and muttered "Uh huh." before walking off.

Thankfully he stayed within the confines of the gaming section as if he were a proud dog guarding his territory.  As I made my way out of the store, I realized with a brutal clarity that he is the stereotypical kid on PSN and Xbox Live.  The one with the high pitched voice that cracks from time to time as he hurls insults about my sexuality and the depraved encounter he had with my team's mothers.  I had indeed met "The Game Master."
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