It’s the end of the world as we know it.
And I feel fine.
Six billion voices cry out as fire engulfs the ground beneath them. Tormented lives are silenced, the crying couples watch as the walls crumble, the blind men panic and listen to the world’s decay into darkness. Fading away, life loses its grip. The books history burnt on the flames, every act and every human being is melted to a crisp. There is nothing, not even an echo, no evidence that humanity ever existed. We are alone, there is no help; the men floating in the space stations above all gather to watch and cry. They sob and feel something no other human can ever hope to comprehend.
Not just your time; but your wife/husband, your family and children. They’ve been crushed ashes to ashes. What do you do? Every ounce of corruption and every giant conspiracy just got obliterated in your very eyes. The thick sheet of glass between you and Earth keeps a sterile visor over the madness that ensues. You can hear the screams, the cries out for the help, the rings of people holding hands. The scientist cornered in a room, tearing his hair trying to find a solution. But then you realise, somewhere at some-point there was someone doing something completely different.
They were not seeking out their loved ones, not trying to huddle together shaking with tears. They were fixated in another reality altogether. They were as far away as the end of the world as you were. When the rubble turned to cold dust, they were still trapped inside, perhaps a tear went down one of their cheeks. Perhaps they gasped aloud, perhaps they fought back the real world and absorbed themselves into the reality they saw as true reality.
Perhaps they said goodbye.
The end of the world would not mean the end of our history. As in, personal history. Everything you saw and experienced is trapped with a finite timeline, it existed. I think therefore I am. Those memories are real, they happened. When the world ends, you will be remembered not by grey aliens or by the lonely men floating above the Earth’s surface. You will be remembered by yourself. Taking yourself into another dimensions, through the realm of videogames, is something that no one else can hope to have. We can trap our fears and panic and fire them into our televisions.
We let go.
There will be nothing else for us to do, no crying or no sobbing; there will be only that world we once glimpsed. Those plastic faces within a plastic world, we saw them as friends. Cherished them. Those little pixels showed us the way and now they lead us from one world and into the other. It relaxes you without pain and lets you become someone else without the physical restraints of the real world. I knew, if the world was going to end in the next week, I would not run to go have sex with girls. I wouldn’t panic or run around with my family.
I have it all played out in my head. I’d go into the attic, recover my Playstation 2 and play Shadow of the Colossus until I was nothing but ash. I wouldn’t cry, I wouldn’t panic; I’d be scared but I’d bottle it up. I envision my death as recounting my life, and that game spoke to me more than any other experience. Maybe if the end of the world doesn’t happen, I’ll play it when I’m nearing the end of my days. I can’t think of any other perfect way to die or at least ease the pain of death. I’d certainly feel it, but it would be more numb than anything else. It’s a bit like eating something after you’ve brushed your teeth… I hope.
Maybe across the world, people will do the same. Videogames speak to our childhood, they interface with our emotions and have the possibility of being giant way-points in the history of us. Your explorations in Hyrule, the months spent in Cyrodiil, the slaying of the giants in a forbidden lands; they’re us. We move our conciousness into different formats, into different beings, and even though the player to game interface (the controller) was always a conduit; it was never a barrier. We were immersed in these worlds, we felt for these worlds and sometimes we cried for these worlds.
When our world is long gone, when its eaten up by a stray black hole or devoured by a giant asteroid; I might be long gone. Thousands of years ago in the present day, I might have my old hands clasped around a dusty controller. I will frolic in the wonderlands once more and eat it up. I’ll feel for that world again, and I’ll be completely disconnected from any fear of my real existence. Because there won’t be an existence after I come back – there’s no point living in a reality that won’t exist. I could bide my time, take its liquors and taste its sugars, but I’d rather go slay a giant bird thing.
Would I be happy if the world ended? No. I would be saddened, the life I’ve comer to live isn’t exactly one that carries many social benefits or perks and it’s not exactly an easy life I’ve lived. I’ve tasted the tang of suicide, fallen into the depths of depression and hurt people unintentionally. I’ve done all of this while watching people soar straight to the top, together, arms locked tight. I could never hold on to that. But I know what I could hold on to; a giant bird thing soaring at one-hundred miles an hour. My sword going deep into its veins, cracking its skin. All in the name of love.
The end of the world will not mean the end of ourselves, unless we allow it to be. The event will simply wash away us until death, and before then… why not live a little?