COMPOSED A FEW HOURS BEFORE THE SUMMER
FUNDRAISER, ON REVISITING THE MEMORIES OF
PAST REVIEWS DURING AN AFTERNOON.
JUNE 10, 2015.
No poem of mine was composed under circumstances more vexing for me to remember than this. I began it upon completing my Prospectus Examination, and concluded it just as I was entering the start of the Summer fundraiser, after a rest of less than a single day, with the site. Not a line of it was altered, and not any part of it written down till I reached the fundraiser launch. It was published almost immediately after on the site of which so much is referenced in these verses.
FOUR years have past; four summers, with the length
Of four long winters! and again I hear
The readers, crawling from their basement-lairs
With a dark vengeful murmur. –Once again
Do I behold these vile and horrid games,
That on a blank unwritten page impress
Thoughts of more dire seclusion; and connect
The gameplay with the mis’ry of review.
The day is come when I again compose
Here, within this small library, and view
The list of worthless crap, these mismade ‘games’,
Which at this season, with their unique quirks,
Are placed in one great list, and ope themselves
To votes and comments. Once again I see
These art-works, hardly art-works, little spots
Of artless thought run wild: these aesthetic piles,
Rank to the very nose; and odour of crap
Sent up, verily, from among the lot!
With some noisome music, as might seem
Of a vagrant Motok roaming through a bin,
Or of yon Sabin’s wife, vociferous,
Rejecting our Zestria.
These unseemly forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of far better games, I have owed to them
In hours of anxiousness, sensations sad,
Felt in the thumbs, and felt along the arms;
And passing even into my purer mind,
Impeding entertainment: –feelings too
Of unremembered ag’ny: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that worst portion of a game website,
The little, scoreless, unremembered, rant
Of hatred and of spite. Not less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another pain,
Of aspect more hateful; that wrathful mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all the unintelligible games
Are heightened: –that salty and bitchy mood,
In which the enmities harshly shove us on,–
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost a’boiling, we bang on keys
With force, and become a raving fiend:
While with an ear unhinged by the chaotic
Disharmony, and the grating sound effects,
We hear the gutt’ring rasp of death.
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft–
In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart–
How oft, in spirit, have I turned from thee,
O Deadly Tow’rs! thou pinnacle of the worst,
How often has my spirit turned from thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I sit, not only with the sense
Of dawning unease, but with anxious thoughts
For future years. And so I rightly fear,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came unto this site; when like a child
I bounded from game to game, platformers,
shooters, and Japanese role-playing games,
Wherever fun was had: so unlike a man
Flying from something that he dreads; like one
Who sought the thing he loved. For gai’ty then
(The better pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all. –I cannot tell
What then I was. The eight-bit game soundtracks
Haunted me like a passion: pixel art,
The writing, and the great and heroic plot,
Their cliches and their tropes, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.
–That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. And for this
Faint I, now mourn, now murmur; other pains
Have followed; for such loss, I do believe
Are but scarce recompense. For I have learned
To look on games, not as in the hour
Of gamesome youth; but hearing oftentime
The still, sad music of orchestral scores,
Both harsh and grating, and of ample power
To irritate and annoy. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the pang
Of agitated thoughts; a sense perverse
Of something far more deeply disconnected,
Whose dwelling’s in the light of flaring lenses,
Procedural oceans and the fractal air,
And occluded sky, and in the mind of devs;
A motion and a design, that disturbs
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
In all new games. Therefore am I still
A lover of the pixels and chiptunes,
Simplicity; and the best that we behold
From our great past; of all the mighty scope
Of eye, and ear, –both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In games and the classics of the past,
The anchor of my good mem’ries, the nurse
The guide, the guardian of my youth, and joy,
Of all my gaming being.
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! And this prayer I make,
Knowing that gaming oft betrays
The heart that loves it; ’tis ‘privilege’
To expect, through years of life, that it will lead
From joy to joy; for now games can so deform
The mind that is within, so depress
With senselessness sanctimony, and so bore
With pontification, that neither good tongues,
Careful judgements, nor the comments of calm men,
Nor critique in which kindness is, nor all
The rational intercourse of reasonable life,
Shall e’er prevail against them, or disturb
Their mis’rable faith, that all which we behold
Is full of curses. Therefore let the classics
Shine on thee in thy solitary gaming;
And let the cartridges work freely
When you blow upon them: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If misogyny, or privilege, or racism, or patriarchy,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance–
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence–wilt thou then forget
That at this shelf of these wonderous games
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Gaming, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love–oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That even after many long complaints, many years
Of moaning, these round discs and dusty carts,
And this great gaming history, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!
Information, Instructions, Rules
1. How It Works: Lusipurr will play, complete, and review whatever individual game is determined by total donations received at the close of the four-week-long drive (ending at midnight US EDT on 8 July). Lusipurr will stream his entire playthrough of the selected game on the Lusipurr.com Twitch.tv channel.
2. The List: The list has been personally chosen by Lusipurr and consists entirely of NES games (excluding the Ø-tier game). Lusipurr himself has ordered the games so that, for him, each tier is worse than the previous tier, with the first game being a bit worse than mediocre and the last game being catastrophically awful. All of the games are well-known (for various reasons), and have been selected so as to be very entertaining both for vewing and reviewing purposes.
3. Stretch Goals: For every $50 beyond the top donation tier ($300), Lusipurr will review one additional game from the list (excluding the Ø-tier game). Any and all additional games will be chosen at random from those available until all six games have been chosen (at $550). Donations beyond $550 will incur no reward except for continuous, red-faced, fist-shaking ire from Lusipurr at being made to review six awful games.
4. Timeframe: A review will follow within a week after the game is completed. If more than one game is selected, Lusipurr will complete and review at least one game per week until all of the games are completed and reviewed. Obviously, medical or other serious extremities may delay reviews.
SAVANTE – DONATOR PRIMUS!
WOLFE – SWIFTLY SECOND DONATOR!
GYME – THE THIRD BIRTHDAY DONATOR!
IMITANIS – QUARTUS DONATOR MUNDI!
DANCING MATT – DONATOR QUEST V!
BILLY – CRUEL SIXTH SUMMER DONATOR!
LANE – VENGEFUL SEVENTH DONATOR!
DONATION TARGET ACCOMPLISHED!
STRETCH GOAL REVIEWS UNLOCKED: 2
The Summer Fundraiser is closed! Stay tuned to TSM 332 for a drawing of stretch review games!