A Big Metaphor: The Gaming 'Industry'

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By Johnny-Red
A long, long time ago in an archaic era known as the late 1970's, a bunch of lumberjacks living near the water's edge decided to throw a log in the water. Seeing that it floated, someone finally got the idea to ride it around, mostly as a fun experiment. Quite a few folks seemed to enjoy the log. Even though this big, brown thing floating around in the water really looked like a turd, it was the only method of flotation at the time. Seeing some potential in the log, other lumberjacks decided to throw logs into the water too. Some really were turds and didn't fare too well, some just flat out sunk, but the idea of floating around on the water was slowly gaining popularity.

Within 5 or so years, the surviving lumberjacks had began building the first real rafts. Rafts were much more capable than simply floating logs, and quite a few people living near the coast would come out to see the rafts. Then things took a turn for the worse. In 1983, so many lumberjacks were sinking, and so many of the rafts were so shitty looking, that people basically stopped coming to the beach to see the grisly sight of lumberjacks drowning. Luckily the lumberjacks came to a solution. Seeing the cost of building a raft, coupled with the immense danger in the deep water, they decided to band together into a few large groups. These were the first real shipbuilders.

The early 90's saw the first boats. Granted, by today's standards they were pretty simplistic, but a few of the well-built boats were able to sail out far enough into the water to discover it wasn't just a lake, it was an ocean. When news of the giant fucking ocean reached the shore, the course was clear: The shipbuilders simply HAD to build the most epic god damn boats ever and get out on that vast ocean. For nearly a decade, shipbuilding continued to advance - always getting bigger, stronger, always sailing further and further.

Look ahead to 2004 or so. Long gone were the boats of 1991 - Yes, the ocean was now utterly dominated by a small number of iron-clad Dreadnoughts. The shipbuilders guarded their trade secrets up until now, so the only people building ships had been doing so for decades already. But, in the early years of this new millennium, some of the people who had been living along the shores looked out into the vast ocean and knew that there was still nearly infinite space out there, even with those towering dreadnoughts crashing through the waves...

Then came the submarines.

Submarines were a new way to get out into the water. They didn't require a small army to shovel coal like the engines powering the Dreadnoughts did, and their small size and streamlined design allowed them to zip around beneath the water, changing course at whim. Early on, a few of them got stupid and followed to close to the dreadnoughts, getting boarded or crushed altogether. But for someone who wasn't born the son or daughter of a shipbuilder or sailor, sailing in a submarine was the way to go.

Now it's 2013. The ocean obviously has a lot more vessels floating on it, but it's an ocean for fuck's sake - there's nearly endless amounts of water here. Many of the old Dreadnoughts are still afloat - though some look downright rusty if you ask me - but there's a lot of submarines now. There's also a few Japanese sailors rowing antiquated rafts around, but nobody really cares about them. People have grown to love the submarines. I look up at the people while sitting on the shore here, welding and riveting my submarine together with a few other guys, and I wonder if their hearts are in the right place. I heard an odd tale about a Fish who seemed to believe that the entire ocean was inhabited by one big boat whose sailors all lead torturous and thankless lives at sea. But more and more of the people I hear up on the beach are beginning to believe in these kinds of stories. Some think the ocean is one never-ending naval battle, and that the submarines need to sink the Dreadnoughts before they somehow dry the ocean up. People are beginning to fear and hate the dreadnoughts - No doubt they're massive and iron-clad and imposing, but they didn't invent the ocean, they don't own the ocean. No one ship can. Even a hundred, a thousand, of the largest ships imaginable tied together couldn't take up the whole ocean.

Oh well, I tell myself. The thought of thousands of different vessels all sailing around, almost never getting caught in each other's wake, doesn't make for a very good sailor's tale I suppose. I personally think that before long, those old, weather-beaten Dreadnoughts will have all gone away, sunken altogether or broken down into scrap in dry dock, but even if somehow they keep on sailing forever, it doesn't really bother me. Who knows, maybe there will be a new way to sail before long. In any case, I gotta hurry up and finish this fucking submarine. No - On second thought, I should be careful and take it slow. I've seen a few submarines that were cobbled together in a rush and just ended up shaped like penises. But if I build my submarine right, I'll be able to pass right under pretentious, phallic submarines and Dreadnoughts alike, without so much as a splash.
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© 2013 - 2021 Johnny-Red
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