Posted in writing

Rejected Christmas Ghosts

Evan Nizer Scruge saved up all this his money until this moment; the Steam Christmas sale, when games could go up to 90% off.  It was truly a time of wonder.  However, as each of his wishlisted items slowly popped up, he realized none of them seemed as interesting as they did when he first added them.  The ones he really wanted were still only 25% off too, what a rip.  Discouraged, he launched Team Fortress 2, hoping to get a few rounds of deathmatch in until he felt like falling asleep.

Eyes too heavy to properly find headshots, his arms fell from his keyboard and mouse.  His glass of eggnog almost empty, he slumped back in the chair and quickly fell asleep.

In his sleep, the first ghost appeared to him, carrying a sack that was bulging full.  “I am the Ghost of Logged Hours.” It explained to him.

“All of those hours logged into online games, MMO’s, imagine what you could have done.  Do you know why you had no girlfriend to bring to your parent’s house this Christmas?  All those times in high school, when you were farming gold rather than going to prom.  There was probably some girl out there waiting to be asked out, but it seemed like every other guy had a date already.  That could have been you.

You don’t have any scholarships either, I see.  Did you really find it necessary to go raiding with your guild mates rather than enrolling in extra-curricular activities?  Scholarship boards really eat that shit up you know.  Now you have to work part time to pay for your McDonalds.  If you just got a scholarship, you could have ditched that job and had even more time for your games.”

The images of keyboard shortcuts and in game auction houses drifted out of view, and Evan found himself faced with another ghost.

“I am the Ghost of Spending Time with your Family.  You know somewhere out there your relatives are arranged around a warm fireplace, enjoying each other’s company.

Perhaps somebody brought Cards Against Humanity.  You love that game, but you could never imagine yourself trying to explain ‘bukakke’ to your mother and grandmother. Worse is finding out that they already know what it is.  Have they partaken in it themselves? Or did they discover through your browser history?  Which is the worst prospect?

If you were there, you could have drifted the conversation in a different direction, or even chosen a whole different game to begin with.  Perhaps Apples to Apples.”

Arms twitching, dreaming of double checking that he had properly used ‘incognito mode,’ the ghost faded out.  Before his temporary internet files had a chance to head to the recycle bin, the third and final ghost appeared to him; wearing his graduation cap, tassel still in place.

“I am the Ghost of Passed up College Majors. Look at you, Mr.  Game designer himself.  What have you made?  What’s that, you barely even remember Java?  What about C++?  Not even C?

You know how you took a minor in graphic design so you could make a proper looking thumbnail for the app store when you eventually wanted to sell your Pacman ripoff? Nobody is going to buy it, you know.  Look at its ratings.  One and a half stars.  Well if you had just taken a few more classes, you could have gone for a double major.  You wouldn’t even have to freelance then.  I know,  working in an office and wearing something more dressy than a graphic Tee sounds awful, but at least you would have a constant income. Think of all the Steam games you could buy then, dummy.”

Shooting awake, he panicked.  Looking at the clock, he noticed it had moved quite a bit; now in the A.M. times.  The deals had updated in the Steam Store.  With a quick restart, he awaited for the welcome message to greet him.

“Sweet, Civ V is 50% off.”

 

I have one more story for tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

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