Time for a little Bank Holiday fun. Community man Luke Kennedy spins an ‘Outer Limits’ bizarro tale from a land where chess was never created. Until now. Read on, dear reader, if you dare…
The scene is set. The combined corporation of Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony (Named ‘Ninmicrony’) have put their new platform in a room to be evaluated by a handful of developers. The small crowd circumvent a table in the dark room. Cigarette smoke hangs like an enigmatic fog. Bottles of beer pepper the place like brown, glass-like flowers. You’d be unable to cut the atmosphere with a good daedric sword. Suddenly, the representative of Ninmicrony appears from nowhere. On its head sits a green helmet with an orange visor; on its torso a red shirt and blue dungarees. It’s arms hold a large, cartoonish spanner. Everything is perpetually divine, and the Master of making big deals out of stuff begins to speak.
‘We have something new. It’s called Chess.”
A rainbow coloured light shimmers down on the table, illuminating a checkered 64bit square. The Ninmicrony representative giggles, the crowd screams with terror. An cacophony of ‘What is it’s? commences and the room becomes a warzone. The light glints on the little wooden pieces as confused fighting occurs. Programmers create virtual piranhas. Marketers grab bags of money, charging into the chaos. Even the sound design teams were invited.
Who knew that a simple premise could reflect such violence! The supposed placid and gentle developers of the modern age can be so venomous.
A light appears. An angelic, fluorescent shaft enters the room, and the groups of sweaty men stop fighting. The light slowly begins to reveal itself, and before the mesmerized gamers stands Warren Spector. His wings touch the faces of the developers as he walks to The Representative. He whispers in his ear, and sit’s at the ‘Chess’ table. His brightly coloured eyes scan the board, his inquisitiveness calming those around him. ‘Peace gentlemen. We shall have peace.’
‘Come the men among us. We shall view this thing with open eyes. This chess!’ Spector shouts.
Ken Levine comes first. He comes in a purple leotard, a lute hanging around his shoulder and a top hat sitting on his head. Yoko Ono’s ‘Number 9’ plays on a nearby boombox in accordance with his entrance. He sit’s and plays the little game of chess.
Levine: ‘Such a beautiful game. It reflects the segregation in modern society by metaphorically executing the common neo-culture of black ethnicity versus white ethnicity.’
A door opens. In crawls a cardboard box followed by a swarm of red exclamation marks. Behind the strange object ‘Lo laa lee la loo’ can be heard. The Rockstar developers even stop stabbing a prostitute to see the phenomena.
Ken and Koj
Kojima then repeats the process. His spectacles zoom in and out, examining each piece in scrutinizing detail.
Kojima: ‘Why doesn’t the king have a throne? Shouldn’t they have a castle. The castle should be of Germanic origin. Late 15th century. I would like to see some dialogue and stealth. Lot’s of dialogue. I would like to see the bishop stealing orphans skin.’
Levine: ‘Oh Kojima.’
Kojima. ‘Oh Ken.’
They kiss, as the door opens once again. In runs John Carmack. John was already there before he was there however. He nods to Spector, Kojima and Levine, and takes his place.
Carmack: ‘Gun play is non-existent. And what are the graphics? This is the modern age. Give me a good hour with this and I guarantee it’ll look better. I’ll have the Knights curvature intact. The lighting effects on the pieces will make Weta Digital cream in their pants.’
Levine: ‘There’s some Maths books for you to gnaw on in the corner Carmack.’
Carmack: ‘Fuck you Levine, you liberal hippie. Fuck you X squared.’
Cliffy to the B
The troupe all sit around, discussing their cleverness among the inferior developers. Peter Molyneux throws down a stink bomb and runs away laughing like a schoolgirl. Again, the door opens and who should it be but Cliff Bleszinski. The loudest of all entries, the sounds of ‘Ugggghs’ and Lamborghini’s can be heard as he comes in on a surfboard made out of metal. AC/DC is also heard. Ken rubs his temples, while Kojima laughs. Carmack just sighs. Spector remains silent.
Bleszinski: ‘Waogh Bro! This game is fucking terrible. There just isn’t any fucking guns or metal or bro-ness or shit. The Bishops should be bros but they keep walking past each other. The Queen though, she’s hot. She’d get it.
And so it was. Fascinated by the simple game of chess, the modern developers begin playing the game. Cliffy complains of lag while Kojima whinges about the squares being slightly unparalleled. Levine loves the dominant order of aristocracy, but wished for a more immersive world. ”I feel so non-immersed” he states. Carmack wins game after game. Going by the general favorable view of it, Spector again whispers to The Representative. The game is published.
In the outer world, the game of chess is shunned by the world. Some call it ‘noob materl’ others say it’s not ‘suitable for their required artistic needs (Sad face).’ Reports find 90% of Eskimos used it for firewood. Reports also find that the board was used by unambitious teenagers to ‘shield their virginity.’ One old man sees the reaction and puts his statement forward, clearly and direct. ”Chess is where it all started” he says.
– Luke Kennedy.