Pixelation: I Gave Red Dead Redemption Up For Adoption, I’m A Bad Father

[pixelation | weekly gaming & life column every wednesday or uh thursday]


I came to a realization a couple of nights ago. It haunted me. It was one of those realizations that comes with something like “Oh, god, god no!” Not as fierce as the “Oh, god, god no!” that hit me once in my teenage years when I shit my pants in a Toys R Us. Not as nauseating as the “Oh god, god no!” that hit me when I realized last week that my Nana was naked behind her door as she told me that she was getting dressed, her loose turkey flesh clutching the door like a claw.

But a moment of realization that I didn’t want to face. I had to man up.

I realized that I should probably trade-in Red Dead Redemption. Give that shit up for adoption. Tip my cap and accept the obvious: I was never, ever, going to play it. And as I wasn’t playing it, its resale value was going to whiter on the vine, until it was eventually worthless. It would age on my video game rack, and at some point I would simply look at it, realize I was never going to play it, realize it was worth nothing, and send it into my trash barrel with my Chez-It boxes and fabric softeners.

As I type this, I’ve already done the deed. As I handed the son of a bitch over to the kid at Gamestop, it was with a sense of failure. I had failed as a gamer. I’m not really sure why I bought Red Dead Redemption, outside of the acclaim it got. I’m certain it’s a great game, that was obvious from the forty-four minutes of it that I’ve played since May. If it was simply a matter of measuring worth, I would have traded in my unfinished copy of Final Fantasy XIII back in March, about four minutes after I woke up from the Suck Coma the game put me into.

But I owe Final Fantasy sadly an allegiance that I do not owe RDR. I’mprobably a worse man for this.

I wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t for me. Worse than that, I knew with an already enormous backlog, I wouldn’t get to it. And if I ever did end up playing it, I would have been the worst father ever. Abusive! Swearing when I failed a mission. It would have been a chore. I never could have loved it like it deserved.

So I traded it in. I got some serious cash for it too, well, uh, Gamestop Fantastibucks or whatever their credit is called. I took that fucking credit, and I threw it down immediately on Fallout: New Vegas. I had put money down on that fucker a couple of months back, but listen man – that collector’s edition ain’t going to pay for itself, is it? It was a prudent, grown-up moment for me. Though to be fair, that’s really not saying much about me. Grown-up moments are also when I manage to eat   a granola bar and not end up with half of it on my carpet. Or down the stairs. Or on my shirt.

I’m a fucking slob, but love me anyways.

When it was all said and done, I had to realize that sometime last year, I decided that I should probably buy every game that caught the gaming world’s collective eye. It was an expensive proposition, and ultimately more than the money I spent on it, it was really time-consuming. If I’m intrigued about a movie that’s getting acclaim or interest, be it Bubble-Pop bullshit or Indie Wanking cooing, it’s only two hours and ten bucks. The gaming world? Yeah man, it’s like way different. Everything costs like $60, and more than that, everything takes fucking hours upon hours upon hours.

It was a notion I decided to hide under my conscious, putting it under my figurative bed where I hide my sense of social boundaries, trauma over Those Movies, and other ghosts. I swore to myself I’d get to it eventually, right? But now its almost August and I’m already staring at games I actually want to play, and I’m all…ZOMG, fuck.

Still, it hurt. I had failed. I had taken RDR into my home. Placed him on top of my 360, the token place for the latest acquisition. You should have seen how proud it was, to ascend to a throne usually reserved for my 33rd playthrough of Fallout 3 or Mass Effect 2. But there it sat. Eons passed. Confused, it wondered how it could sit there, and yet I was wandering the Wasteland yet again.

I tried to tell RDR the truth, that it wasn’t him, it was me. But that only hurt him more. Sure!, he sniffed. Whatever!, he lamented, claiming he never wanted to be played anyways. So I did him a solid, I traded him in today. Pledging to not play with the hearts of games I truly can’t, won’t, don’t want to love.