I often forget I have a human body. There is no sensation when typing. It is another form of speech. Fingers don't exist just like my tongue does not as I talk. Never mind anything below the neck. As I've entered my thirties I find myself noticing my body more. When I teach there will be a sudden realization that I have arms. That I am a bag of the necessary things that create a human. That I am moving around. I was playing Hotline Miami last night and I realized I had arms. And fingers. Each crushed skull, each flung item, every shot gun and every single fucking time I slipped and went the wrong direction was a result of my finger banging on the keyboard. Sometimes they were stupid bangs. Eventually they were enough for the game to say that I had won. My fingers didn't know the difference between the failures and the successes.
The last time I had felt this weird from playing a video game was GTA: San Andreas(?) where I was jumping over tractor trailers on a bicycle and then went for a drive. Me driving is the part that didn't feel real.
As I continued to fail one level so brilliantly that I began to wonder if I wasn't playing the game entirely wrong, I found a video of the stage and confirmed that no, I wasn't getting what to do wrong. I was just executing it poorly. Back to work.
It was not the violence nor the questioning of the violence nor was it the potential that it was being nonsensical to show a point of nonsense. Hotline Miami offered such rapid fire gameplay that my mind was taken somewhere else entirely. I could feel the keys under my fingers as each press brought me so close to victory until a misstep forced my left index finger to the letter R.
R would be banged down and I would start again. My fingers would fly as my brain tried to make sense of what it was to get through the game. And when the credits scrolled, I had my fingers still. And they brought up the next game to play.