Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Black Heart of Leopold McGinnis

Readers of this blog is be treated to some of the finastest wrriting in the English langij. Today we dig deep into the earth's crust to expose Canadian writer Leopold McGinnis. A multi-talented member of the ULA, Leopold barely breaks a sweat juggling several fun, high-quality projects at once. His latest is a serialized novel called Game Quest. A new entry gets posted (blog-style) every weekend at Leopold's site, and when the whole online shebang is finished, all you computer nerds will be able to buy the book in print. Hypocrites!

The Adventures Blog editorial crew has the latest chapter logged for you below, but first let us flex those journalistic muscles we supposedly developed in school...

Adventures Blog: "Tell us, Leopold, what is Game Quest about?"

Leopold McGinnis: "It's about the hostile takeover of the world's foremost computer gaming company in the mid-90s, at a time when both the gaming industry & the Internet was experiencing a meteoric rise & entering mainstream culture. Thematically, Game Quest is about the effect business & profit-motives have on art, culture, our daily lives and happiness..."

Game Quest
Chapter 11: the really short chapter
by Leopold McGinnis

June 22nd, 1994




Will pushed the door to his home office open slightly to watch his daughter at work. She sat unaware of his presence, cross-legged in the big chair, the flickering lights of the game illuminating the side of her face he could see. She was running around on screen with a ridiculously large weapon, firing rockets and strafing behind pillars.

“What are you playing?” he asked. She liked his office computer because it was faster. He had already agreed to upgrade the one in her room, because he couldn't even get on his own computer anymore. He hadn't gotten around to lifting the parts from the office yet, though. Kendra hadn't wanted to give in to their daughter's demands, but Will felt a little sorry for her. As kids, both their children had loved the freedom of life out in the woods. But somehow it was antithetical to the teenage mind. He couldn't see Heather wanting to go to malls if they were around - she'd probably stake her identity in being one who despised malls - but here neither option was available for her. She seemed to like playing games and chatting over SupraNet, though.

Without turning or making any other response that would signify that she recognized his existence in the room Heather answered, “Gloom 2.”



“I thought you didn't like Gloom.”

“I don't really, but this is the only game I can do multiplayer on Killnet.”

“This is over the Internet?”

“Yeah. I signed up for it.”

Will stepped in closer for a look. He knew a little bit about Killnet. He hadn't had time to keep up, things had been so busy. But seeing it in action, seeing his daughter dance a tango of death with four other intelligent players from different parts of the continent, jumping, dodging, strafing…he could understand why people were so excited about it. Even watching it was intense.

“I joined a clan. We're practicing. So far we've got four girls.”

Will was impressed by the speed and skill with which the other players on the screen moved about. He thought it was funny that these four girls were playing as men-at-war. But then he realized all the characters wore space helmets…so they could be any sex under there, really…or species.

“I heard about this Killnet. You paid for this out of your allowance?” Will didn't like the name of the thing. It seemed like they were selling the business on the idea that killing was fun…or cool. He wasn't sure if he was more annoyed that they sold it that way…or that it worked.

Heather was busy concentrating on the game. “Yeah.” She said. She nuked one of the other players into a bloody sauce. “It's great.” Her responses came toneless like a zombie…she was really concentrating.

Will watched for a while longer. She really was good. He'd played Gloom 1 in his office sometimes…but he wasn't nearly as good as this.

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