Austin Boosinger is some sort of writer and gamer.
Once, he had a choice of getting daftly murdered or embracing the girl of his dreams. True story. It was the late 80’s. He was playing this game Karateka, a computer game about saving a princess with, well… karate. The whole deal seemed really important at the time, as he was only a kid. Monumental, even. So he walked (in the game), slowly with trepidation, completely oblivious to such a choice. It seemed he had reached the near-end of the game, and he was moving toward the princess herself. And then, before he knew it, the princess kills “him” with a kick to the head. He was stunned and on the verge of tears. He played through again, quickly running this time into her arms, and was lauded with the appreciation he’d wished for with such a romantic gesture. It was at that moment that he was completely immersed. He was that character, as shallow as he was. Unlike other forms of media, this one—the video game—gave him more than sympathy for it’s protagonist—it gave him empathy. He moved on to play another game by Karateka’s creator, Jordan Mechner, entitled The Last Express. It was more of an adventure game. And it allowed much more choice. More autonomy. And this little boy began to obsess over game after game…
What else can I say about this writer?
He appears to believe that adventure games (and games in general) might be one of the strongest ways to understand (and be) others, allowing for unprecedented events to take place that not even method actors can scam up. He’s played/seen/read an awful lot since Karateka. And maybe it hasn’t really sunk in yet. But he seems to know that in his pursuit of a good game, book, film, and the immersion into a character’s life—he’ll certainly be running.
Austin lives, beautifully, in Portland Oregon.
He also writes about games on his blog, GamingReverie.com