Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Counting Blue Cars

 Pick Your Avatar

They raised their eyebrow, confused. “Why do all these people look they’re ready for guitar hero?” Not waiting for an answer, they scrolled through the options. Some had glam rock hair from the 80s, some had emotive black hair that swooped over one eye, and some had beautiful ‘fros with a Hendrix acid scarf wrapped around their forehead. All carried a guitar, which then looked like it could be customized further on the next screen.

She chewed her lip behind them, nervous. “It um…it starts in a Music Store so it ends up being your first weapon.”

“Spoiler alert!” 

She squeaked and brought her hands to her mouth and tried to be patient as they picked the avatar with long braids and beads. The character wore aviators and camo pants. She had a lot of fun creating the different personas. She had each written with different personalities and voiced by different actors. She thought it would add to replay value.

“You should add in info about each type here.” They were thumbing through the different guitars to go with their avatar of choice. She hummed thoughtfully as she watched. “Like, I would make it that it’s just explaining differences musically and structurally but really it’s describing its stats. Since it’s a weapon, you know?” They looked back the girl watching them. “Are all guitars created equal?”

“For now, yes. For the alpha I might have it adjusted but it’ll be a lot and I’m on a deadline.” 

“Don’t you have people for that?” They picked a sleek black strat with steel strings. The game went to a loading screen and [insert opening video] popped up on the screen. Their face fell. “I don’t get to watch the intro?”

“You get to play the intro! And yes, I do have people for that. As you can see, there is other work that needs done.” She was reminded of old movies and how the girls chewed on their hair. She had thought it ridiculous at the time but as she watched now, she understood. Anxiety makes people do crazy things. Anxiety and pent up energy just waiting, festering. She heard the familiar growl indicating a gruesome zombie attack was about to start. She smiled and bounced slightly.

“Yo, I can hear that. Who…” Their avatar looked around the corner down the next aisle to find a zombie girl barely clutching a drumstick. “God, that’s fucking sick.”

The avatar scrambled backward nearly missing stacked amps. “What the shit!” It exclaimed and the controller vibrated. The noise got the zombie’s attention and she started shuffling closer and closer. A guitar on a nearby wall, the same that was designed on the startup screen, started glowing green as the game waited for the player to run to it and swing for the first tutorial kill.

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