29 September, 2014

So, You've Made a Huge Mistake.

I decided to enter into the glorious future that has been promised. I bought a Playstation for.
I made a big, dumb mistake: I bought a Playstation 4.

God help me, I bought a Playstation 4.

Now, now, let me explain myself. There's a confluence of factors involved. First of all, I had some Amazon gift points burning a hole in my pocket from an unrelated charge that I had to make on my credit charge. Secondly, The Last of Us is a game that I desperately wanted to play that I never had the chance to (and it was just re-released on the PS4). Then there's Destiny, a game with so much money and hype behind it, that it actually generates its own gravitational field. That seems like a good way to avoid my responsibilities (and in space!). Lastly, buying a Playstation 4 is but one mistake in a long line of mistakes. It's not so much a silly decision as it is a pathological one.

Now that it's all said and done and hooked up, you know what impresses me most so far about this whole thing?

The menus.

I bet this thing is just bleeding radiation.
They're so cool. They're slick. They're easy to use. They're all right there in front of you. They aren't hidden behind “blades” and you don't have to swipe through nine of them to get to what you want. Mot importantly, they move at the speed of a button press. What a concept! It's nice and it's a little thing like this that makes me think that I made the right choice. I mean, it has to be. It just has to be.

Having said that, I can't tell if it's an indictment of the system's features (and lack there of) or if it's an example of how I'm allowing the littler, dumber things in life to bring me pleasure. I mean, two years ago, before my retail job completely ground my dreams into dust, all of the little things in life were just that: Little things.

It's finding a dime or seeing that the show you like has a new season on Netflix. It's finding out that your bank account has twenty more bucks than you thought it did. It's a baby or a puppy showing up at work. Two years ago I wouldn't have batted an eye at these things. But now? That's the only thing that's keeping me going.

The big things don't quite cut it. They often come with big disappointments. You invested all of this time, money, and effort and then you find out that its defective. Or its slow. Or that one feature you were really looking forward to is busted as hell. And all of this knowledge cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of five-hundred dollars. Free things, the little, every day things that you find around your life do not do this to you. They can't.

And today? Today I saw a French bulldog puppy and I petted it and it was the best day I've had in a long, long time. I petted the hell out of that dog.

I realize that's more or less the size of the future: It's a whole lot of little things, adding up to you eventually dying.

That's all this sort of thing ever is. It's putting a brand new telephone in your house. It's trying out this gramophone thing. It's making sex movies with your home 8mm. It's playing the song you want in the order you want to listen to them in! It's the incremental additions that actually make up the future. Rarely ever is it some revelation that changes everything. And that revelation certainly isn't going to be a box of plastic that turns mathematics into distraction (because you are still going to die).

Behold, puny fleshbags! The future!
Yet, it's neat to have something new in your life. The Playstation 4 is neat, and as dumb as video games are, as pointless as killing digital zombies is, as regressive as screaming at a TV because I was “killed” by an illiterate 12 year old, as little as this progresses me in either a professional or financial way, it's still kind of neat. Just a little bit.

It's grabbing the future by the horns because you can. It's seeing that as expensive and as slick as it all is, behind it is the same, comforting, familiar ideas that you've always seen. It plays movies. It plays games. It runs out of batteries. It can't connect to the internet. It breaks. It impresses your nephew. It's the future. It's here, it's kind of fun, and it isn't scary at all. And that's kind of neat.

Right?

Well, for four hundred bucks it damn well better be. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get beaten up by some aliens for a couple of hours because I'm working towards getting a new scarf.