>> Narrative #1

He finally gave in to the alarm clock and decided to get himself out of bed, no matter how demanding the task seemed to be. The alarm had been beeping on and off every 9 minutes for the past two hours thanks to the snooze button. It now read 3pm. The fact that it was the only button on top of the thing had, maybe, something to do with it. He then thought of what could be done to help it be more efficient: be further away than arm’s length and not have a big button on top of it. Rather, one of those annoying reset buttons one needs a pen to get to. That or a bucket of water.

As he got up, he suddenly felt it, just as if he’d hit his head on something hard above him, it strikes without warning, the much feared “hang over”. He couldn’t help but feel like Elephant man walking through a car wash.

Standing on both his feet, he proceeds to walk across the jungle of crap that inhabits his floor and somehow makes it to the door.

As he crosses the room and its mess, he tries to think of last night’s events. For now its just a blur. He then tries to remember what he dreamt about. As he’s doing this, he grabs the first tshirt and pants he finds on his way. Finally making it out the door and feeling a true sense of accomplishment, he realizes in horror that he still needs to cover twice the distance to get to his welcoming desk-chair, his pitstop on the way to the kitchen.

Walking down the stairs, his choice of games revolve around in the back of his head: Will it first be a round of Wow, or a stealth attack on Soviet forces in Freedom Fighters? Why not complete the arena quest in Fable?

His daily ritual starts by the holy and sacred mug of black tea (with 3 sugars) accompanied by 2 sigarets. He secretly and ironically refers to it as “the Breakfast of Champions”. Now the day can finally start. Letting his weight fall into his chair, his hand takes control of the mouse as if by reflex.

The cursor rapidly takes life and goes straight for the WoW icon, Auction House sales must be checked! Cash-in the gold coins and repost the expired stuff. A good day is when “personal (virtual) finances” go up by 50gold (coins). If its late enough in the afternoon it means there will be plenty people to “pwn” (pronounced : ‘poon’, derived from “own” and synonymous to “excert dominance”) in the battlegrounds. His main character boasts a proud 1800 kills under his belt, although he bitterly regrets not playing the game before the expansion came out as he could have earned his character a military title.

He reflects on how big a part of people’s lives distractions seems to have taken over. He thinks back of the days of Ancient Rome where Colosseums were built only as a means to distract and satisfy the crouds/mobs thus pacifying them in the process. Now we use neurologists to determine the best ways to generate dopamine in one’s brain when playing videogames. And they say videogames breed violence/crime, what of daily televised live fights?

He definitely was a nocturnal person. The night was his kingdom. It was when he felt at one with the elements, when he felt most calm and at peace. Things made more sense at 3am than they did during the day. It felt like time stopped. Not only was everything closed and people asleep, but both streets and sidewalks were empty, lifeless. Nothing moved. One couldn’t even perceive flow of time through the movement of any object (like someone walking by or a leaf falling off a branch). It was during the night he got most art-work done and most ideas/inspirations. Day-time just seemed too stressful, eventful, unpredictable, a loss of time and freedom.

[somewhat later in the day]

This was life he thought, sitting outside against a shop window smoking a sigaret, a prostitute 1 meter away both left and right. A quick glance at his watch told him it was almost midnight. His contact was running late, stuck in some pub he had claimed. It seems its the only way for them to be respected is by making people wait.

Regardless of the situation, he felt a strong sense of comfort, in his element. The fact that it was one of the city’s worst areas didn’t bother him the least bit, quite the contrary. He had the distinct gift to blend into any kind of croud. Not only did he get away with it, he also made acquaintances and friends on the way. He knew people from all kinds of backgrounds, from any social class. He displayed an obvious preference for the underground because it was the only place where he felt he could truly be himself without feeling like an outcast. He felt he didn’t need to prove anything to anyone, he was accepted as he was and respected as such. A world without facades where one is viewed purely from a humanistic point of view, valued for one’s code of conduct and sense of morality.

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