How To Play Video Games, Part II

Previously: How to play video games for the first time in fifteen years.

  1. You are going to play Super Mario World.

  2. You are going to play Super Mario World

  3. You are going to play Super Mario World until you get to the level you normally handed the controllers off to the nearest boy and asked him to finish that level for you

  4. “If we take one more step, Mr. Frodo….it’ll be the furthest from home I’ve ever been.”

  5. You are going to play Super Mario World until you get to the level beyond the level you normally handed the controllers off to the nearest boy and asked him to finish that level for you

  6. You are going to die every time you play a new level

  7. You are going to scream every time you die every time you play a new level

  8. You are going to scream reflexively, impulsively, compulsively, without direction, thought, control, or intention

  9. Each new level is going to feel like the first day of junior high and also the morning of your scheduled execution as the main character in Kind Hearts and Coronets

  10. “The Death Star's development and subsequent construction ensued for years, with Lemelisk working at the Maw Installation alongside designers including Frap Radicon and Umak Leth. When the station was finally completed, it was destroyed by the Alliance to Restore the Republic at the Battle of Yavin. Furious at the fact that the Alliance had been able to locate and exploit a fatal flaw in the design, Emperor Palpatine had Lemelisk executed, and subsequently resurrected in a clone body. Palpatine ordered Lemelisk to design a new Death Star, one that did not possess the same fatal flaw as the original. During development, the Emperor executed and resurrected Lemelisk a further six times.”

  11. Get stuck on the Cheese Bridge

  12. Delete the file and start over

  13. You are going to play Super Mario World

  14. Get stuck in the Forest of Illusion

  15. Delete the file and start over

  16. You are going to play Super Mario World

  17. Your living companion has at this point played her way through Mario’s Odyssey, Yoshi’s Island, and most of Donkey Kong’s Tropic Freeze

  18. You are going to play Super Mario World

  19. Get stuck in Tubular

  20. Delete the file and start over

  21. You are going to play Super Mario World

  22. Get stuck in the Valley of Bowser

  23. Go back to Yoshi’s Island. Begin again.

  24. Begin again.

  25. Begin again.

  26. This time perfect

  27. This time clean

  28. Delete everything and begin again.

  29. You have been playing this game, with significant breaks, since 1992 and you have never beaten Bowser. Begin again.

  30. Begin again! You are the furthest from home that you have ever been!