Semester Projects 2012

Why “Ready Player Two”?

The following post is from my semester project blog, Ready Player Two.

When I was younger, my parents would take me and my brother to the arcade down the street. The appropriately named Mr. Arcade was a place that we begged to go to every weekend. I can still remember the blue carpets, the picnic tables in the back for the parents, and the flickering lights of each arcade cabinet. My brother and I would head in different directions and, for the first time in my life, I got to make my own decision on what to play.

I can still remember the sound of the quarter dropping into the slot and the phrase that would blink after I put a couple in:

Ready Player One

For most of my life, I was Player Two. Since my brother was older than me, he always got to be Player One. He was Mario and I was Luigi. Years later, a book titled Ready Player One was released and instead of buying a physical copy, I bought the audiobook instead. I listened to it on every commute to, and from, school. It was filled with references to the ’80s and the Arcade Era. I loved it.

When it came time to choose a title for my blog, I listened to the book again. Then I came up with, Ready Player Two. Most, if not all, of the posts will be centered around video games. But not the Mainstream games we’ve all come to know. Not the Call of Duty’s or the Battlefield 3‘s. But the games you have to search for, the ones you have to dig around for. The overlooked games, the younger brothers.

This week, I’ll be covering Cart Life. Marketed as a “Retail Simulator” it puts you in the lives of two, or three if you pay $5 for it, people living in fictional city who work as street vendors. Programmed and distributed by one person, Cart Life is surprisingly one of the most engrossing games I’ve played thus far. Everything about the game affects you on an emotional or psychological level. The game puts you in the lives of these people and once you start playing, it’s hard to get them out of your head.

Part 1 (which will be up on Tuesday), will be about the first character I played, Andrus Poder.

And Part 2 (which will be up on Thursday), will be about the second character I played, Melanie Emberley.

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