Editor’s note: Former Crispy Gamer and GameSpy Editor-in-Chief John Keefer has a somber message for us. Read his premortem thoughts below…. -Shoe
By the time you read this, I will be dead.
Yes, deader than the proverbial door nail. (How did that stupid expression come to be? It’s amazing how existential you become at times like this.)
When a person gets to this point in their life, what questions do they ask? This is new for me, so bear with me as I put these thoughts down on paper. Perhaps this shouldn’t be done in such a public forum, but what the hell, you know? I’ll be dead, and maybe someone can get some meaning from this.
How will it happen? That’s a good one. A bullet, maybe? A sharp blade across a vital artery? Maybe it will be a jump with a high-impact ending. It could even be poison or the energy of a hundred suns passing through my body. Pills? Nah. Someone who has lived the type of life that I have usually doesn’t go that way. But no matter how it happens, the key is that it will happen. It’s inevitable.
Where will it happen? Does it matter? It could be an open field with the sun on my face, or a darkened room where I can barely make out shadows against the wall. It could be in the mountains, by a lake, or even during one last shot at living this life to the fullest. But one place it won’t happen is in my bed. Where’s the adventure in that?
Will anyone miss me? I would hope so, but truthfully, probably not. There will be some anguish, but it won’t last long. The family may be sad, but they’ll move on. The boss will find someone else to do what I was doing. The acquaintances I have made may ask themselves if they could have done something to prevent this, but they have their own scripts to follow. In the end, my death will mean little. Life will continue.
How did it come to this? Let me think…I really don’t know. I guess I wasn’t properly prepared for everything that was thrown at me. That makes the most sense. A lot has happened in this life recently, and it started to feel like I just had no control. My brain said one thing, but my actions did something different. I know I should have handled things differently, but it’s too late now. Maybe I can carry what I learned through to the next life.
Well, I feel the time is approaching, and I need to get my last few duties done before it happens. What’s that? Do I have any regrets? No, I guess not. I believe in fate, and I guess my life was just fated to end this way. No pomp, no circumstance, no regrets. Fade to black and all that movie metaphor crap.
I’ll see all of you again sometime, definitely in the next life. Hit the reset button or reload a save game. Such is the life of a video game avatar.
And while I have accepted my lot in death, I do wonder how others handle their situations. Do you get caught in situations that you know will fail, but go on because you feel like you have no control? Do you have a good team in place to help you complete your missions, but for some unknown reason, you don’t follow their directions? Do you rely on a reset button or save game that may never come?
Funny that now I’m thinking about how others feel and react to sometimes unwinnable situations. Maybe that’s what this was supposed to be about.
The impetus for this short story came from an article I read by a Detroit Catholic priest where he pointed out that some young gamers carry the video game mentality into life when faced with tough tasks or difficult decisions. His point? Life has no reset button. An interesting thought to carry through to the New Year…