Perfect Organism

by Brett Marcus Cook

I can only play Alien: Isolation for an hour or two at a time, once every couple of days usually. And when I do play it, I have a hard time sleeping at night. It isn’t necessarily because of how scary and stressful the game can get, although that is part of it given that I now jolt at every little sound I hear. It’s just that, once I’ve played it a little bit, I spend the rest of the day being unable to think about anything else. Not even Taylor Swift’s brilliant new music video can stop it. It may be a bit of a problem.

For one thing, it’s impossible for me to predict what’s going to happen in this game. First, there are the other people stranded on the Sevastopol with you. Some of them will shoot you on sight without a moment’s notice. Others will yell at you to back off and, if you listen and do so, will leave you alone after that. I hid under an operating table as a man whose partners I’d witnessed the Alien murder came into the room, gun drawn, shouting “I know you’re in here, I just want to talk!” I had no idea if he really wanted to talk or if he was going to kill me for letting his friends die. I didn’t have much time to think about it either, as a big problem with shouting is that you give away your position to the Alien, and, well, the Alien is obsessed with killing. Continue reading

So…About My Actual Boyfriend


I posted a fictionalized account on Friday of my experiences going to GameStop. And afterwards my real boyfriend read it and said, “Do I really do that?”

So I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you the differences between the fictionalized version of my boyfriend in the story and my actual boyfriend, whose name is Mike and not “Boyfriend.” Here are the facts.

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Casual Sexism Isn’t Stupid. I’m Stupid.


Am I doing this right? Help.

My favorite part of going to GameStop is when I remove MY PowerUp Rewards card from MY wallet and hand it to the cashier. And he turns to my boyfriend and asks him, “Did you want to use the points you’ve accumulated to pay for this?”

I just stand there smiling stupidly because that’s what I do. I just can’t ever make a decision! It’s so embarrassing. Points? What are those? I’m terrible at math. Is 85,000 points a lot?? How much is that in money?

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The Countdown to Dragon Age: Inquisition


What are you doing while you wait for the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition? Me? I’m waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I can’t even play other video games because all I want is Dragon Age: Inquisition, and everything else feels like a lame substitution, like when someone says, “Don’t eat that ice cream. Have this cup of plain yogurt instead to satisfy those dessert cravings.” It’s like, “SHUT UP, DOOFUS.” While we wait in the mutual agreement that waiting is a crock, let’s look at this collection of gifs you can use when someone asks you what you’re doing with your time prior to the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

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A Little Shout Out to the Neglected

Pssssssssssssssssst hey! Hey, you! The social gamer over there, yeah you. Calm down. I’m not here to insult you. I just want you to know that you’re one of us whether you know that or not. You are one of the ultimate grinders. I envy that dedication and patience. Maybe you are a secret architect building away.

That is a lot of dedication. I had 12 floors and gave up. You go!

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A Cell Phone and the search for Leviathan

The time has come, the time is now: the return of CELL PHONE PHOTOS OF MASS EFFECT is happening!!! And I ain’t even sorry for the Insta-spam, nice people who follow me on IG; James Vega looks better than I’ve ever seen him in cell-phone-pic-of-a-TV-screen close-up.

Allow me to present a very blue soap opera in photos entitled:

Joely Shepard and the Shiny Orbs, or,

What Jennifer Saw in the Mass Effect 3 Leviathan DLC

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Straight-Up Bragging

When Mass Effect 3 froze up on me in the midst of a passionate rendezvous on Saturday night, I ditched it and turned to the game that never fails to satisfy—Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved ^2.

I was really tired and probably should have gone to bed, but it’s hard to stop playing Geometry Wars, and every time I got blown up, I told myself, “Just one more time, just oooone more; you wanna end on a good run…”

And then, friends, eyes dazzled by the pretty colors and reflexes abetted by exhaustion, I entered into the Geometry Wars Trance™, the highly addictive euphoric state chased by veteran Geometry Wars users, and when I emerged at the end of a play-through of Pacifism I saw that I had ANNIHILATED my previous all-time personal high score of 6-million-something.


As you can see, I still have a ways to go before I top my husband’s all-time high of 71-somethin’-mil (achieved when he spaced out into a hard-core Geometry Wars Trance at the end of an afternoon G-Wars binge with our friends Corey and Samantha. It was truly a feat to behold! I am proud/envious of him), but this episode managed to bump me up over his previous high score of 16-million-something. There is nothing like the Geometry Wars Trance. It is powerful. It is transporting. It is unlike any other altered state I have ever experienced, and it is extremely addictive.

I’ve got to play again. Just one more time, just one more; it feels so good, I just need to feel that feeling again, maybe I’ll break 50-mil this time…maybe a HUNDRED, I can’t stop now, just one more


Previously: the colorsssss

Previously: the slippery slope