Thursday, 17 February 2011

That's me in the corner/That's (not) me in the spotlight (A Letter Concerning Halo Reach)

IHeartReach
Dear Bungie,

I am writing to thank you, for one particular part of your recent and in almost all senses admirable game, Halo: Reach. This part was clearly designed with me, Alex Spencer, in mind, and for this personalised service to loyal fans you should be applauded. The Holographic Decoy is, as I imagine you already know, a great big hug to my mind as a gamer.

For people like me, for whom there is no greater gaming pleasure than really, deeply annoying one's friends, this is a beautiful invention. Thankyou for that moment of opponent bafflement when two of me come running at them. Thankyou for this new feather in the sniper's cap, smoking out an enemy with a decoy mindlessly running in their direction, before splitting their skull in twain on the moment they poke it out from cover. Thankyou, most of all, for giving me a way to make my friends chase after an entirely lifeless holographic copy of myself, only to realise, having spent half of their precious ammunition, that it melts away under their pistol-whipping melee attack.

The Holographic Decoy represents nothing less than a sheer one-hundred-percent endorsement of my gaming habits and pleasures. The low-level griefing of friends has found a new tool, tailored and sharpened to its specific, sadistic purpose. For this is a method more destructive than ramming someone's car off the road during a tightly-fought race; more annoying than kicking someone at just the right moment during an otherwise civilised game of Wii Golf. More beautifully, aggravatingly simple than Solium Infernum's Vendetta bartering system, which allowed me to tie rudely-phrased passes at fellow players' mothers to ridiculous demands.

It is an electronic version of me which all of their senses invite them to shoot, but by which they achieve nothing except their own frustration. This is all I have ever asked of you, Bungie, and with Halo: Reach, you have finally delivered. Thankyou.

Yours loyally,
Alex Spencer
xxx
GOTCHA!

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Videogames, film, music, comics: feed them into the Alex-Spencer machine and out come neat little articles. Like the ones you're looking at here.