Doom 3 The Perfect Anodyne To Today’s World

Some years ago when Doom 3 was published, The Lion, a devotee if not a success at playing the original Doom, rushed out and bought the game, installed it on his latest computer, and quickly found himself outclassed by pixel demons of all sorts springing at him from dark corridors. The Lion, in a regrettable display of inadequacy and game timidity, stopped playing about a third of the way through, having gotten permanently stuck in some dark, hot unnameable corridor deep in the depths of Mars.

During his recent bout of doubt, uncertainty, mortality, and anger, The Lion, in a fit of what might be psychic desperation, installed the game on his newest computer (no, not the laptop, the other one with the really fast quad processor, lots of memory, and a digital monitor) and began again to probe the evil that lurks in game programmers’ minds.

And succeeded. The Lion made it all the way to the end, having cheated only twice, and not at all in the final parts of the game. He vanquished the Cyberdemon and closed the Hellgate, and did it without having a single nightmare. The Lion, in full disclosure mode, admits that he achieved the milestone, or perhaps tombstone, at recruit level, the lowest skill level.

The Lion graciously accepts the congratulations he wishes upon himself. Thank you, thank you, and thank all the little demons who made it possible, especially the nasty little babies with wings and fangs (The Lion is not fond of children, unless barbecued with a nice sauce).

There is a point to this excessive verbal spillage.

Doom 3 is totally engrossing. It requires complete concentration, nerves of at least hardened tin, and focused eye-hand coordination. And the psychic rewards gained through the successful slaughter of demons seeking to slaughter the player can be immense.

For example, after a difficult morning reading the newspaper, one can load up Doom 3 and pretend that the demons falling before one’s plasma gun or shotgun, or indeed the BFG, are Republicans. That can be a tremendously satisfying feeling, and has the added benefit of dispersing all that animus so that it does not drive one to splatter gallons of Republican blood in the nearest gated community. Perhaps all those right-wing Republicans who want to put monitors in our bedrooms, point their oh-so-moral fingers of disapproval at all manner of enjoyments, like violent video games, and generally drag us back to the Dark Ages of what they consider religious enlightenment (slavery, bigotry, theocracy, oligarchy, and all-around general fascism), perhaps they might want to reconsider, given that our little pleasures very likely keep us from ripping them apart on the street, in part due to the dispersion of animus, but also because while we are enjoying our Doom 3 and our sexual fantasies we’re not paying attention to their foul deeds.

And just to give the tiniest little iota of an example, in today’s Boston Globe the stories on the front page include, in apparent order of importance as deemed by the Globe’s editors, a huge picture from some basketball game played last night in Boston; a story about people draining their retirement funds to pay for current bills; another about an Anglican bishop worrying about his ‘flock’ being abused by the Zimbabwe version of the Khmer Rouge government; a third about Gloucester teens screwing themselves into a higher pregnancy rate; and the fourth story, being about subway passengers on the Blue Line slipping and sliding on the hard plastic seats of the new subway cars.

At the bottom of page two are a few hundred words on the new Senate report detailing how the President and Vice-President, Bush and Cheney respectively, lied and deceived the United States into a disastrous war in Iraq.

The Lion suspects that the editors of the Globe are spending way too much time playing intense video games. Or perhaps they are simply simple Republicans who checked their brains into the Republican Party at birth, finding no other use for them during the course of their lives and careers.

The Lion, currently without weapons or ammunition, aside from his keyboard and Internet connection, has determined to begin a new round of Doom 3, playing at the second level. It makes some of the pain go away for a while, though it has the disadvantage of letting millions of Republicans live on in blissful stupidity for another day or two.  And there’s that Lieberman fellow, a Senator apparently, to consider too. Talk about transgendered demons! There’s a special place in the bowels of Mars for him, and The Lion is determined to find it.

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14 Responses

  1. Now there’s a tenuous link πŸ˜‰

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  2. What, you mean my link to sanity? Hell, I always thought it was obvious that my sanity was at best tenuous!

    πŸ™‚

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  3. Well, you encouraged me to try Doom again. Emphasis on try.

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  4. No, the link between space invaders and politics.

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  5. steph –

    But that’s a natural. It’s perfectly obvious that aliens have taken over the government here. You must see that Bush is an alien, right? He walks funny, his eyes are nutsy, he can’t handle English. Certain signs of Martian origin, or possibly extra-solar origin. Tau Ceti, perhaps, or Alpha Centauri.

    b.t. –

    It works out if you remember a couple of things. One, save often. Two, practice calming breathing before opening a door or entering a room. Three, find a visual walkthrough and a cheat list. And finally, keep some tranquilizers at hand. Good luck, good hunting.

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  6. Ric: Nah, McCain isn’t an Alpha, or even a Tau. He’s most likely a Gamma, at least in brain power. But he could breed like an Alpha.

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  7. ()-

    I had Johnny Mac pegged as a Linear A. Nobody’s been able to penetrate its density either.

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  8. We’re all Doomed.

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  9. Ric – I’m probably one of the few in our age group who can totally relate to your vicarious trips into the gaming world. I have avoided all games for about 2 years now, but not for lack of appreciation of the diversion. I never tried Doom. I think the closest game to that type that I played was Half-Life (while I enjoyed it, I’m more of a third-person games type of guy). You’re motivating Ric – damn you and your demonic world.

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  10. evo –

    Have you tried Half-Life 2? Stunning game, and much of it is played outdoors rather than in dark tunnels filled with demons and squalling babies.

    Doom 3 has the added advantage of being at least somewhat aerobic. When you’re not sliding your chair around to dodge demon fireballs, your heartrate is guaranteed to elevate from the constant surprise attacks. These things jump out of the frigging walls!

    But Doom et al have nothing on my inner demonic world. Angst, anxiety, financial worries, philosophical concerns, mortality, cats, lack of girlfriend, crabgrass, depression, wireless access security – I mean the list just goes on and on. Not to mention the difficulty of getting my butt into the chair to write a new book. And what happened to my budding study of Shakespeare’s sonnets?

    See? Doom doesn’t scare me. My life scares me.

    Maybe I can borrow some ice cream from the neighbors…

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  11. Ric: You have crabgrass? Damn, dude. Screw the ice cream. Have some scotch.

    I think you have a pretty neat idea here regarding why people play fantasy games. When reality is stressful, it’s kind of nice to go someplace in which a mistake just means you start over. Horror movies and books, fantasy role playing games, computer and video games, even the Bible are all fantasy worlds.

    Hmmmmm. The Bible as a fantasy role playing game. Could be interesting. Could make fundogelical heads explode.

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  12. ()-

    I suspect the Bible is the longest running fantasy game in history. And the blood and the corpses are real.

    Exploding fundogelicals… I like that. Here’s a game that could be run on them. Buy up the Bible publishing companies. Keep putting out Bibles, but make slight changes in the text, subtle ones that change meanings. Build them up incrementally over several years. Attribute them to new scholarship. The ultimate goal is to completely change conceptions of god in ways that make fundogelicals explode.

    Now that deserves a Scotch!

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  13. Doom 3 has the added advantage of being at least somewhat aerobic. When you’re not sliding your chair around to dodge demon fireballs, your heartrate is guaranteed to elevate from the constant surprise attacks. These things jump out of the frigging walls!

    I hate you so much. Old PS2 warming up.

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  14. evo –

    Remember to keep a defibrillator handy…

    πŸ™‚

    And you might want to keep this available… Doom 3 walkthrough

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