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September 23, 2004 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-23

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10B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 23, 2004

JASON ROBERTS - SUPER nmpTno OBERTS
MY LIFE AS A VIDEOGAME

The Michigan Daily
I qI ALEXANDRA JONES -AUTo NEUROTIC

AN OPEN LETTER TO PEOPLE WHO
WON'T SHUT UP ABOUT MY HICKEY

O n more than one occasion, I've
wondered what my life would
be like as a videogame. Before
you scoff at me and tell me I should
spend more time outside, consider this:
You probably have, too. Haven't you
ever been driving around in your car
and wondered if you could pull off a
360-degree flip off that concrete high-
way divider a la "Grand Theft Auto" or
"Need for Speed Underground?" I'm
sure I'm not the only one.
The problem with this thought pro-
cess, however, is the fact that I can't
really find a genre of game that my life
would really fit into. Let's take a look
at these briefly, and I'll show you what

I mean.
We shall begin with the first-person
shooter, the quintessential action game.
When I first started thinking about
this whole idea, I thought that the FPS
would be an obvious choice. After all,
the games that I have been playing
most recently have fallen into this genre
- games like "Doom 3" and "Unreal
Toumament 2004." However, in terms of
reality, I have a harder time justifying it.
First of all, I would have to be aggres-
sive and fast, and I am neither. In fact,
I don't really see running as an activity
I would purposefully choose to partake
in at all. If I'm running, it's because I'm
running away from something pretty ter-

rible coming the other way, and I'd sug-
gest you run with me. I prefer to bike,
and I've never seen a successful first-
person shooter that takes place on a bike.
Secondly, I'm a chicken. I jump out
of my seat just playing "Doom 3" or
watching movies like "28 Days Later"
and afterwards have to check and double
check the darkened realm under my
bed to make sure there isn't a zombie in
waiting.
Thirdly, I don't really come into con-
tact with aliens from another planet or
the undead very often, and that really
establishes the core of these types of
games. The closest things I experience to
these types of creatures are the Gideons

I

that hand out pocket-sized Bibles at the
bus stop, and I check for them lurking
under my bed at night, too.
So the first-person shooter is out. My
thought process then tends to drift to the
second most likely candidate: the driv-
ing game. I can imagine myself cruising
through the virtual streets of Ann Arbor,
driving up over curbs and onto lawns
and zipping the wrong way down one
way streets during rush hour. That would
be stellar.
However, I quickly come to the real-
ization that my rusted out 1994 Ford
Tempo is not exactly the hot rod that
most gamers would want to have control
over in an action-packed driving game.
The vibrations from the misaligned front
end and its constant tendency to pull to
the right might put a lot of gamers off.
The idea did cross my mind, though, to
combine the driving-game and simula-
tion-game genre so that you had to keep
an eye on the level of oil in my car,
making sure you added to it as the level
continually dropped so the engine didn't
seize, but I quickly dismissed it for obvi-
ous reasons.
So the driving-game genre is out. My
next idea: the sports-game genre. I get
excited about this idea initially because it
could be a real moneymaker. EA Sports
releases a new version of the same game
every year, and they sell millions and
millions of units. It's simply genius! The
problem becomes the fact that the only
real sport that I play nowadays is golf,
and depending on who you talk to, it
may not even be a real sport. It's kind of
on the same level as freshwater fishing
and poker. Plus, if I did have a golfing
game, you'd have to have the option to
pick up and throw your ball if you hit it
into some really tall grass and you would
consistently slice your ball to the right

when you drive.
After much more thinking, I come
to the perfect solution: the adventure-
game genre. Even though I don't know
anybody named Gandalf or wield any
specific magical powers, I thought that
this would be the most acceptable genre.
There has to be one condition, however
It must be one of those old-school text-
based adventure games, kind of like one
of those "Choose Your Own Adventure"
books you'd read when you were
younger. I like this kind of entertainment
because it forces you to use your imagi-
nation ... and it allows me to exaggerate.
For example:
YOU COME UPON A TREE
THAT HAS FALLEN IN THE ROAD,
BLOCKING YOUR PATH. YOU DO
NOT SEE ANY WAY AROUND IT.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
And you could say:
MOVE THE TREE
And the game would say:
WITH YOUR BULGING BICPES
AND TREMENDOUS STRENGTH,
YOU LIFT THE TREE OUT OF
YOUR WAY, CLEARING YOUR
PATH WHILE SAVING THE LIVES
OF SEVEN LITTLE KITTENS
TRAPPED UNDER THE FALLEN
FOLIAGE IN THE PROCESS.
It's such a forgotten genre, and
graphics are overrated anyways. With
your own imagination, my measly
physique doesn't have to show up
anywhere in the game world; I leave
everything up to the power of the writ-
ten word. It would make my humdrum
life much more interesting than it really
is.
Look for it to hit retail shelves by
next Christmas.
E-mail Jason at jasoner@umich.edu.

Dear People Who Won't Shut
Up About My Hickey,
After a discourse that has been -
and this is my fault entirely -woe-
fully one-sided, I have decided to
respond to you, People Who Won't
Shut Up About My Hickey. The sum
total of your silly taunts, childish
innuendo, sexist comments and out-
right astonishment has weighed on
my mind for the past few days, but
now, I can reply calmly, in full and
without embarrassment.
Your ranks include the likes of my
roommate, my classmates, friends,
teachers, even the supposedly inno-
cent boy who branded me with such
a lack of consideration and civility.
Last Saturday, when I received
what would be - if honors were
bestowed for such things - a prize-
winning hickey on the lower.right
region of my neck, I knew what to
expect in the coming week.
However, I chose to act with pro-
priety, as though nothing at all was
out of the ordinary and there wasn't
a mark roughly the color and size of
a small eggplant peeking out above
my T-shirt collar. But you, People
Who Won't Shut Up About My
Hickey, chose to take a decidedly
lower path than I.
Because of your immaturity,
People Who Won't Shut Up About
My Hickey, I and my monstrous
love bite (I was going to give it a
name, but I knew it'd be gone soon
and didn't want to get too attached)
have endured pointing and giggling,
offensive remarks and even wide-
eyed disbelief at the sheer extremity
of my hickey.
Yes, it covered an area of nearly

1.5 square inches at its peak and
varied in color from pale mauve to
a deep indigo, but that's no reason
to laugh, or stare wide-eyed at my
neck and say, "Oh my God! That is,
without a doubt, the most enormous
hickey I've ever seen in my life."
Because my hickey merely amounts
to a slight contusion, a section of
broken capillaries that my body will
quickly heal and forget - unlike
you, People Who Won't Shut Up
About My Hickey.
Despite its graphic appearance
- to which some of you responded
with that not at all witty "curling
iron accident" line - my hickey
hardly felt like anything. But you
can bet, People Who Won't Shut Up
About My Hickey, that after a cer-
tain boy administered my suppos-
edly heinous bruise and alerted me
to its extremity by saying "Oh shit!
Oh shit, I'm sorry," that I punched
him really hard a couple times.
It's true, People Who Won't Shut
Up About My Hickey, that it didn't
have to be this way. That's why you
think I'm so deserving of your criti-
cism - that I practically begged for
your inane giggles and gross com-
ments about branding. I could have
refrained from opening this derma-
tological can of worms.
Unfortunately, I don't know the
first thing about applying founda-
tion or concealer; hell, thanks to
my stunning complexion, I don't
even own makeup. But it's com-
mon knowledge that cosmetics are
not the only solution to an age-old
conundrum like mine.
Indeed, I own a number of styl-
ish turtleneck sweaters, and even
a few neck scarves that could have
easily done the job in just such an

emergency. However, high tempera-
tures and too-sunny September days
would have been suspicious, never
mind uncomfortable. And let's face
it - even in winter, who wears tur-
tlenecks for five days in a row?
Obviously, People Who Won't
Shut Up About My Hickey, I decided
to be honest about my hickey rather
than conceal the truth, to display my
massive neck bruise without hesita-
tion or embarrassment. As you know,
while I was "with hickey," I proudly
donned T-shirts, Oxford dress shirts
with the collar button undone, even
a strappy tank top.
I wore that bruise like a badge of
honor. Nothing could make me feel
ashamed, People Who Won't Shut
Up About My Hickey. Despite the
jokes, the derisive comments, the
slight feeling of shock I felt every
time I checked my otherwise fine
self out in a store window, I remem-
bered, but I never gave up.. Every
morning I was greeted by that scar-
let H staring at me from the bath-
room mirror, but I didn't crumble
under the pressure.
While I'm proud that my convic-
tions stood firm, People Who Won't
Shut Up About My Hickey, you sure
have taught me a thing or two. For
example, don't let boys bite you
unless you want your friends -
who you thought were respectable,
mature and educated people - to
regress to a sixth grade mentality
and annoy the shit out of you. Also,
if the boy who gave you this make-
out monstrosity makes any dumb
jokes about "marking his territory,"
punch him really, really hard until
you feel better.
It's been real, People Who Won't
Shut Up About My Hickey, but as

Ifyou see Alex on the Diag, chec
out her hot hickey. Act now - it
fading fast! She can be reached <
almajo@umich.edu

my egregious neck bruise heals, yc
guys have got to move on.
For real: Shut up about my stupi
hickey, okay? Seriously.
Regards,
Alexandra Jones

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