I’ve been thinking about life force. Mana. How we pour our life energies into things and how we become them or they become us. I guess that’s sort of like Voodoo, except I know nothing about Voodoo. I only know enough to sound like a complete idiot to somebody who actually knows anything about it. I’m like that with a lot of stuff. Maybe it’s like magic … or maybe it’s like video games.
Yeah, I know something about video games. I’ve played video games for more than 30 years now. The good ones pull you in, past the point where it doesn’t matter that you stopped having fun, you just have to get past THIS next level. I’ve poured myself into Tetris and and Super Mario Bros. and Chess. Lots of video games. OK, Chess is not a video game, but I played it against the computer until I got good. i mean, freaky good. Not Grand-Master good. But where I would make strange illogical moves, not because I knew where they were going, but just because they “felt” right. I cluttered up the board with odd, illogical moves, because it was a good way of confusing the program I was playing. Hours and hours and hours of computer chess. Until it wasn’t something I played or did even, it was just something I was. Chess was something I became, or it became me. I now see my chess phase now as a way of Depressively retreating from the world, but I hadn’t been diagnosed yet then.
I remember getting good at Tetris on the original GameBoy, until the tiny blocks were falling at blurring speeds, and still my fingers knew where to put them before my brain could register even what shape the blocks were. I remember getting up to a level where the game started blinking and playing a fanfare. I had reached “The End!” I could claim that I had MASTERED TETRIS I was MASTER OF THE GAME! There was no more!
There was no more? … Nothing? And I felt disappointed. “What? I didn’t get beat this time? That’s it?” Suddenly the game lost interest for me. I started to wonder if the pleasure in the game came from Mastering it or just getting reassuringly crushed by it time and time again. If I had reached the end, then I couldn’t get incrementally better. So what was the point in playing it any more!
And I couldn’t help but wonder, if I had spent that much time trying to master the guitar or something, anything real or productive, what might I have achieved instead. But I had poured hours and hours into Tetris or Ultima II or Castlevania. Sure, I earned extra lives in the game. But it all made me feel a little hollow inside.
Every computer game I’ve ever played seriously, I’ve poured my life force into it. On some metaphoric and personal level I “become” that little glob of color and light, jumping on mushrooms, hurling turtle shells, riding that happy “whatever-thing” Yoshi is. But when I finally put the game away, it’s rarely with a sense of triumph, accomplishment or fond nostalgia. There’s an emptiness, ike I’ve tossed part of myself into the game and I won’t ever get that back.
Cupidz Bow is written and performed by Godz Poodlz. Godz Poodlz is me and my friend Rhod Durre. Godz Poodlz is an Icon/Rock/Dad Band with a Heavy Metal name and a strong sense of irony. You can download “Cupidz Bow” for the special price of anything you want or nothing at all this week! “Cupidz Bow” is Creative Commons, attribuition, non-comercial, share alike. Share it with friends, remix it, rerecord it, just don’t sell it. Godz Poodlz also has a facebook page, that I hope you’ll LIKE!
“Cupidz Bow” is a love song. It’s a song about the video game Halo, about getting pulled so far emotionally into the game, it gets taken to a bizzare and comic extreme, love. It’s really nerdy love song, with excessively violent imagery. Godz Poodlz came up with what we thought was a funny, imaginary storyline. We started researching the game. And as it turns out, it’s not only a true story, it’s true several times over. Many couples have found each other and love through Halo! There’s even a website dedicated to “the Halo Wedding,” A Match Made in Halo. A couple met in Halo, fell in love in Halo, and are so committed to each other and Halo, they designed their wedding around Halo! Getting married inside the game, that’s an intense commitment. Isn’t it?
The Flying Godz Poodlz logo was designed by Len Peralta, through Monster by Mail. The Halo Poodlz are by Amy Vos McLeod, from the Cupidz Bow video, directed by Joe ‘Covenant’ Lamb, containing video from the game, “Halo,” created by Bungie and owned and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Whew!
Russ Rogers is a songwriter, comedian and children’s entertainer. He has a solo Childrens Show called Rusty’s Rocking Jamboree and has recently recorded an albums worth of more grown up songs in the duo Godz Poodlz. “Musing on a Song” features a different Creative Commons Copyright song each week. Hopefully this will introduce you to some songs and artists with which you’ve been completely unfamiliar. So, if you know of some Creative Commons Artist that deserves more attention, let me know in the comments. One more thing, I’m not in love with the title, “Musing on a Song.” If you’ve got suggestions for a better title, please leave them in the comments too.