I Understand Video Games Aren't Real
By Leslie Anderson
1 October 2012
But it doesn't matter
that part of this memory is a simulation.
One night I watched my boyfriend play videogames.
I was unsure of him, still. I suspected
he would hurt or ignore me soon.
In the game he found a dungeon—you know the kind,
with stone walls and giant rats,
littered with skeletons.
One set of bones was too small, a child or infant,
beautifully rendered in yellow-white and gray,
in a small wooden coffin. It sat on a table
as if someone had casually set it there,
with the candles and the ancient books.
It seemed cruel of the designers to just set it there.
He kept going back to it, the crosshair
of his point of view hovered over the ribcage.
I realize he didn't even notice he was doing it.
His brow tightened, the controller
still in his hands. There was sadness
in the room that was human.
And the dungeon wasn't real, or the child,
or the future, and the thread between us
was, likewise, a construction of our minds.
But these things are important
and I am beginning to think of them
a little more.