The Couch

The Computer Game

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Nexus
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Joined: Nov 11, 2007
Location: UK *up north somewhere*

Total Topics: 63
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Posted 12/19/07 - 7:05 AM:
Subject: The Computer Game
The Computer Game.

Although he realized it 'wasn't as good as real life' part of him was convinced it was. He remembered playing entranced as a child, yet somehow this was different. This wasn't the silly crush before sexuality had truly emerged but a serious pursuit. Surely, he was an adult now, going on twenty four, what he chose to do could be deemed reasonable, worthwhile. Those hours spent at work playing with the companies financial data; was this 'playing' really so different? After all there was a social life of sorts. He preferred multi player mode which allowed you to chat real time to others via mic over the web. Could one really say he was alienated? Though if he were asking all these questions then there must be some residue of guilt he was trying to brush off his existential shirt, some unsightly piece of knowledge he wasn't facing up to. Well, for now he was happy that was what counted for him.

Well happy was perhaps putting it strongly. He tended away from drugs whilst gaming but caffeine was a fair constant brain altering device besides the insistent magic of screen and sound; sugar also, chocolate mostly. Currently his obsession (he liked to use the word lightly, pretending this interface with technology had no real grip on his reality) was a particularly original new multi genre work 'Psycho Corp'. You took on the role of employee within a particularly shadowy corporation in a darkly parallel world; a city environment, the 'company' consorted with criminals and corrupt politicians in order to get get its business done. Business was anything from environmentally destructive projects (on a grand scale) to inciting gang violence and even terrorist activity to keep consumers scared for various reasons which ultimately benefited the shareholder through the companies market standing. One could go from a low level operative sleeping with rival companies female employees to gain vital knowledge; fraternizing with corrupt officials in seedy bars perhaps graduate to boardroom positions where the roles became more cerebral more in line with brainwashing fellow employees, initiating grand projects that would surely rape the environment or trying to influence the next generation of presidential hopefuls (of course the whole thing was set in an American city..)

There was something of the real in all this, at peaks of adrenalin he felt himself to be having real insights into how the world really worked. He would admit, the following day, dragging himself off to work after inadequate sleep, that perhaps the insights were not as vital as they had felt in the darkened work room, held in a patience that could rarely be commanded by things in the real world by the giant lcd screen that was his window. This recognition, that reality factor which, on the last count, might be a large part of what makes us human; that was the sentiment that was the saving sanity with him. That although teenagers shoot down other kids or knife strangers after playing mindless action games, it cannot be the games themselves that are entirely to blame. Rather, a complex mix of factors; parenting, movies, drugs, primitive gang mentality. There had always been violence and evil acts; it was just that these days we were more aware of the violence within ourselves. Yes, that was it. We had all played those games; even the most 'normal' person knew how good it felt to blow away some stroppy traffic cop on screen, kick an aggressor to death. The fact that all this was out there only meant the 'inside' was becoming more 'outside' as technology allowed. Mostly it had therapeutic value, perhaps in the best games there was even an expansion of consciousness occurring, something akin to the reading of literature (though he hadn't read a book in ages.)

It had been another night in; though how 'in' could he be said to be? After all, nattering with Ginger (surely not his real name) or Delila (he longed to know what she really looked like - if she was a girl for sure!?) he had conversations as satisfying as those within any club he had been to. They did things together, went, perhaps, on a business trip to Japan to seduce the management of a fledgling Internet site (this was in the later stages of the game). He turned toward the large digital numerals of his sleekly designed clock in real world. Nearly two am. Unless something remarkable was happening this would usually be a time to call it a night. In the computer generated world time past differently; specific projects could take place in real time yet months and years could pass in hours as the companies fortunes unrolled into the future. So now it was 2 am. Computer world was daylight, he sat in his plush office suite, he had just been chatting to Ginger about a possible take over bid of another corporation (also run by real people in the real world). In the computer world walls were only apparently real, though as one moved through vector projections the eyes and brain created a more or less accepted world. Fear and panic was cushioned by a knowledge that your fortunes could only slide in the virtual existence (there was no credit card usage - yet). There was comfort and safety in this knowledge but also frustration. Now he would go to bed and and the inevitable morning would greet his consciousness issued as if fresh from some miraculous computer itself, into the new day. Yet what if now he were to do something different? In fact these questions were merely rhetorical. He was almost sure that tonight it was going to happen. Already he was putting on the black clothes and taking the night vision goggles out of their box. The goggles had been purchased over the net as had the other items he excitedly placed into his backpack. This need not be different from any other mission. He was sure of his objective though a little unsure as to how it fitted in with the entire pattern of his life; this would reveal itself to him. Like making a daring move within the game, the unfolding results could be breathtaking, unprecedented. Hastily locking his apartment he hit his stride, adrenalin doing the work. Once inside the small Ford everything seemed to be on automatic aided by the usual unreality of the city streets. He knew exactly where she lived and would head there as if guided by satellite navigation.

It had never been true stalking as such, he would have shuddered to think of himself in such a light. Rather she just happened to visit the same convenience store as him on occasion and he just happened to follow a similar route home (ok, perhaps he had gone a little out of his way). She was very attractive; a confident stride though perhaps a little dreamy. She would often absent absentmindedly fumble with her bag whilst paying, she even seemed unsure as to why she had bought the things she had. He had never seen here with another man or even a friend. He assumed there probably were such people but for now he would allow himself the belief she led a very solitary existence. He was quite sure she lived alone.

She lived on the first floor within a modern apartment complex. As this was summer a window was often left open which he knew opened into what appeared to be her living room. Through helping a friend who had once been locked out of his place he knew it was quite easy to get the window open from outside. This was what he was counting on. The way seemed clear, the area was off the busier roads, close to a park. If someone caught him that might be his escape route. He could hide panting in the bushes as the angry neighbors or whoever they were ran past, their hum drum lives livened for a brief night by a possible intruder; realizing, like within computer game violence, that the violence can be a friend, a cushion against total apathy though of course this could never be acknowledged.

The window was open. It was easy to mount the first ledge and then with help of a drain pipe grab the lower sill. Sure enough the latch soon gave way and somehow he was inside. O this was the real thing! In the darkness the walls almost seemed like vector graphics yet one couldn't mistake the aroma of a lived in human habitat. With the aid of the night vision goggles the shape of the rooms and objects became fairly clear. All had closed down for the night, even the electrical devices were sleeping, issued from their standby half life so as not to suck energy out the grid and warm up the earth a microscopic bit more. The mini torch beam was highlighting photographs and modern prints. At this point of a game it was essential to keep one's nerve; it was so easy to get over excited over the unexpected new turn and make some dumb error which could have unforeseen dire consequences. He remained calm. He would take a while to find her sleeping hole. This was going to be dangerous; he was pretty sure she would be trying to sleep but whether she was unconscious or not was unknown datum. However, to complete the mission he would have to explore. There did seem to be a murmur coming from beyond the kitchen. He nudged a door open and found a quite small room with what was almost certainly a body spread unceremoniously on a double bed. Alone thank heaven. Approaching he could see she was only wearing her underwear and covered with the thinnest of sheets. Now, he'd only ever done this once before on a dummy during a first aid course. He removed the sheath from his backpack and took out the needle. The sedative had already been inserted in doses advised on the net. She was well gone now, wouldn't feel a thing. The needle found its mark and he delighted in injecting the contents into her soft inner arm. There was almost a sexual thrill in this. Had he consciously allowed such thought to come to the forefront of his mind yet or was he still in an extended realm of the game?

There was perhaps an hour of inspection; not just her, no not only the body. He discovered photo albums bursting with the suspected friends and family and numerous men who has probably been and gone from her life. She often had a playful look, he could tell she had a sense of humour perhaps of the absurd too. She had clearly traveled; here was Sydney harbour bridge, here the Statue of Liberty. Perhaps they had been those short package trips; there was no journal in evidence so he would have to let the pictures tell a story. Then there was her; live, warm and real right here. No computer game could match this and yet the strange other-reality feeling was there. The colour of the underwear was only revealed by the the mini-torch; purple. Not unexciting, he gently smoothed the skin of her forehead and arms and legs but never touched the most intimate areas. That had never been part of the mission and he would have considered himself a failure to have gone 'that far'. He brushed the breast, almost accidentally. He gazed for some time at the face. Yes, he thought her beautiful. He would never have gone this far otherwise. The sedative, he knew, only kept the subject at a certain depth of unconsciousness for about ninety minutes. He could not risk staying much longer. There was now an emerging thrill over the realization that she would go about her life tomorrow and never know a thing about all this. One challenge he had set himself was to take a a small trinket just to remind himself that he had had the nerve to do this and hadn't dreamt it or that it had just been another mission within the game. He decided on a photo that had been absentmindedly stuffed in the back of one of the albums. She was playing with a pet dog, perhaps in the family home, maybe it was her younger sister looking on in the background. He also felt a little like defecating at this moment but knew it would be crazy to use her toilet. It was not too urgent and was more of an excited feeling than anything; like when one was hunting for Christmas presents as a child knowing it was forbidden yet aroused to the hilt that one might peep the desired object, touch it, imagine playing with it.

He had returned home somehow. It had all gone so smoothly, so without a hitch. There would be no advance in the game to look forward to, something that might be pursued the following night perhaps bragging to Ginger of Delila. No, this was his secret and the pay off had been within the act. That he would never know her, never speak to her had been part of the satisfaction. That he had broken into the sacred space of another human being didn't seem to occur to him with much force. After all the things one did in the game! Who cares, as long as you can get away with it. Just turn on the news and there is the latest executive or politician who has broken the rules, gone further than they supposedly should. They were playing too, but they'd lost; they'd been stupid and now had to feel the public gaze and perhaps even lose their liberty. No other missions had been planned by him; this was a whole new scenario in gaming; a particularly lonely though thrilling one.
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