Monday, July 11, 2005

An Open Letter to My XBox Controller

[Freshy rejected from McSweeny's.]

Dear XBox Controller,

Baby, I’m sorry. I know I said I wouldn’t throw you again. But you’ve got to believe me when I say it wasn’t my fault. That goddamned cheating whore of a CPU made me do it.

I know you don’t want to hear any more excuses, but just listen. It was the Super Bowl in Madden. I was on my fifteenth season, okay? Do you know how many hours that is? All those heartbreaking playoff losses along the way? And here I was, in the big game, ready to win it all. Up 20-14, less than a minute to play, I just had to run the clock out, and the 2020 Chicago Bears would hoist the Lombardi Trophy. I could taste the virtual champagne.

And then that AI—that lousy, no good, dirty AI—fucked me. Made me fumble, scooped up the ball, broke five tackles, and ran it back for the winning touchdown.

I know it wasn’t your fault. You responded perfectly when I pressed B to sprint and X to dive for that desperation tackle. You just caught me at a bad time. I was blind with rage, baby, I didn’t know what I was doing.

I know, I know, you’ve heard it before. The last level in Halo. The CIA level in Splinter Cell. Every driving game you’ve played with me. I know you’ve talked to my exes, too: the four Nintendo 64 controllers, the PlayStation 2 controllers (the original and that cheap MadCatz tramp), even the old Genesis gamepad.

But you can’t leave me. I’m nothing without you, you know that. I’ll be stuck with demo mode loops. And what about the good times we had? Online deathmatches in Halo 2. That last gold medal in Project Gotham Racing 2. Slicing that guy up with the chain saw in Grand Theft Auto. We’re a team.

So I mean it, I’ll never hurt you again. Next time that bitch CPU starts pushing me around, I’m going to set you down on a pillow—a nice, velvet pillow I got picked out, just for you—and then I’ll go punch a wall.

What do you say? Can I plug you in again?

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