“It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.” — The 3 rules of videogame-mountaineering.
It’s been building all year maybe the last two years – we just hadn’t noticed. It must be, what six or seven feet thick and the winter release schedule has just made it thicker, deeper, more impenetrable.
The build-up of games on the north-face has turned what should have been a five-day ascent, into a maybe a three or four-week task. For the completionist, this whole expedition is looking bleak. Or dare I say it, doomed.
“Once drunk, we’ll sleep on the bare videogame-mountain with the sky as a blanket and the Earth as a pillow.” — Li Po, Chinese poet. Dodonpachi Grandmaster.
We’re running out of time. Running out of useful hours in the day. With every new day the hours of sunlight becomes greater, increasing the risk of game-avalanche, decreasing time to attack the game-face. There’s was a particularly loose-looking stack of Ubisoft titles which have already claimed the life of my dear friend, Sir Oswald Montgomery (xbl Gamertag – OZZYW33D).
With fewer hours available to set aside to scaling the titles, my men are filling their downtime with daytime activities to keep their spirits up at base camp – angry birds, Super Mario 3DS. Someone even had the energy to bring a Playstation Vita into camp, forgetting it had no games. Oh how we laughed.
But none of these provided much relief or respite from the nagging, torture of knowing that the game-peak will still be there in the morning. Will still be as big and will be bigger every launch date. If we don’t make good ground on the titles in front of us soon, we could end up abandoning the expedition and God forbid, mothballing the entire project.
“Great things are done when men and game-mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street.” — William Blake, Gnomic Verses – favorite controller – The Gamecube Wavebird.
Within only two days of leaving base camp, I knew scaling the pile of titles was going to be a struggle. The days lost needlessly to LA Noire, StreetpassQuest and Child of Eden had caught up with us and it wasn’t long before our attempt was yet again abandoned as we returned to base camp 3 to take stock and wait for better playing conditions.
The younger members of the team are the most optimistic – they have the time and the energy. They keep their heads up and show no fear. Us veterans have been here before – we’re running out of time to complete what’s in front of us; to get through the mountain.
With each day lost to bad conditions, new obstacles are put in our way: drunken purchases, Mass Effect demos, Resident Evil videos, Ebay bargains.
The blizzard of titles has no let-up. It cares not for the gamer’s limitations. We adventurers are time-poor and Mother Gamture is doing her level-best to blow hazard and haze in our face every Friday.
“The game-mountains have rules. they are harsh rules, but they are there, and if you keep to them you are safe. A game-mountain is not like men. A game-mountain is sincere. The weapons to conquer it exist inside you, inside your soul.” — Walter Bonatti, XBL gamertag “Mungbean_killer85”
There will be a winner one day. One of us, man or mountain, will be beaten. But yet again, as the sands of time run out for another day, there is a horrible inevitability that the game-mountain will not only beat us, but take us with it for good.
We’ve only enough supplies (pot noodles and kleenex) to last us one more push. We go for it at dawn tomorrow – a marathon attempt. If we fail, the Lovecraftian mountain of cases, downloads and watch-lists will consume us.
But if we succeed, the pile of titles will be consumed by us. Yet we will have to return. And return we will.
“I believe that the ascent of his game-mountain forms an essential chapter in the complete duty of man, and that it is wrong to leave any console without setting foot on its highest peak.” — Sir Leslie Stephen, xbl gamertag “Ac111111dhau5”
DrHamHock and his gaming expedition did not succeed in their attempt and we taken by the mountain. He is survived by his Girlfriend, her son, his 3DS and few interesting Minecraft seeds.