The Designer of Games

So pleased to meet you, Mr Morte -- just take
a seat.  My work awaits your clear-eyed view,
your grasp of what draws gamers to the screen,
transfixes gaze, blots out all other thoughts,
glues their sweaty palms to hand controls
for hours until the image smears, sound fades,
and sleep suspends their hard-edged second lives.
You'll note the bleeding edge of hardware here:
its humming cards draw Baghdad's streets,
its dusty maze of twisted lanes, in sharp 3-D,
then home in on the glistening splash of blood,
the rose that blooms when snipers hit their mark --
so finely rendered, are they not?  Likewise the soundscape:
firecracker gunfire, mortar thumps, soft moans,
the groans of wounded foes, loud orders barked,
the rattle of a dying breath, perhaps.

I've put the player firmly on the scene,
to fill the boots of bold Marines who walk
those deadly roads, for -- what?  Some fifty bucks
at retail?  Have I won you over, Mr Morte?

First published in The Barefoot Muse, 2008

© David Nourse 2010


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