Hi, g’morning. I don’t normally do stuff like this. Not sure why I’m doing this today. I woke up sharply today out of a dream. Real sharp jerk, you know the sort. The edges of a not-quite-nightmare. Since it was so sharp, I remember more than I would expect, normally.
As most dreams do, it started midway through something. I was playing a videogame, a game about slavery – quite a bad one that I was playing, where you were basically the head of a little girl – probably black? – escaping from slavers in rush-filled swamps. I played it for a little bit, and remembered feeling it was floaty, while still consciously feeling jealous about the developer. The graphics were a bit bad, and I somehow felt that my friends who were women of colour or scholars of American history were going to shred it.
Don’t know why, at the time I felt angry about the developer. I quit the game and
was paying attention to a press release about the game, which went into an inexplicable amount of detail about the developer. About how they were a genius sixteen year old. About how they’d raised over a million dollars on their kickstarter, and they were so cool and so loved and they’d been so smart. It then listed information on how to pay for their game, which was strange, but what was even stranger was the address they gave was nearby
it was nearer than that
it was our spare room
we don’t have a spare room.
So I went out into our backroom and climbed the ladder up out of the water (there was water there, don’t ask), and found a little log cabin up on stilts in our backyard with a big wide screen door and a little kitchen. In that space I found … well, it was a mess. It was a really awful mess, with a big Rottweiler dog that had been malnourished, and a nobody there. With my hand over my nose, I looked around and figured, well, hell, I should feed the dog, it looks awful.
So I took the dog down stairs –
– And I fed the dog some of Elli’s biscuits. But as I went to go back to clean up this space that was my responsibility, angry at this shitty developer for letting a room we… rented him?… get so rotten, I thought, on a whim, to ask the dog, who was filling up on biscuits, if he knew what happened.
Then the dog apologised, because it was <the name of the developer>.
They apologised for their bad games, for their shitty online behaviour, and professed it was all a slow spiral downhill after the failure of their first game, the game they’d kickstarted. And then they told me about this game they’d made, about the game that led to their downfall.
It was called Tiny Squid where you had to catch a tiny squid and raise it into adulthood before letting it go back to the wild. But it was somehow a videogame that required, as part of its play, to actually raise a tiny purple squid into adulthood.
“It inspired emotion, but some reviewers..” the dog wearing shorts and a t-shirt said, “… didn’t appreciate it.” And even as he said it, in the background I heard a voice, I felt the weight of a squid against me, saw flailing tentacles and heard someone shouting It ate my dog! It ate my fucking dog!
That’s when I jerked awake – after four hours of sleep – because I had to check the squid that was leaning against me wasn’t going to eat the dog that I knew was sleeping on the bed.
That’s how I woke up and I wasn’t very happy about it.