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A cartoon depiction of the author, wearing a hoodie and smiling

To pass down video games is to live vicariously through someone else’s playthrough. Whenever I made my younger brother play a game that I liked, I would get so frustrated at how he wasn’t getting it right, or would miss every possible hidden room in a level. His experience wasn’t the one that I recommended; how could he get it so wrong? I’m the oldest of two brothers, so that’s the only role I know: yelling over his shoulder like an English teacher, turning play into work.

He doesn’t understand what I saw in these games in the first place, and probably never will. In the future, he will understand what it’s like to have Peggle streamed to him intraveneously while riding a hoverboard and also wearing some cool sunglasses. He won’t, however, be able to convince his son or daughter that that was ever considered fun.

I’ll never get to know what that’s like. And that’s fine, because it sounds stupid.

Hit Self-Destruct: End Of History