Before you tear this letter up, please, hear me out. Are you still there? You are? Fantastic. Look, it’s been a hard week for us, that’s for sure. As you know, I recently purchased a new fighting title; you may recall my furious mashing of all your relevant buttons in the hours that followed. You took it on the chin, despite any indignity I may have caused, fumbling across your extrusions with the elegance of a drunken adolescent. In time I grew more comfortable with the premise and mechanics, gracefully dancing across your surfaces like a leaf on the wind. These were the good times, my dear controller, we were happy. Soon after, to my abashed recollection, that harpy of nagging competition reared it’s ugly, networked head. I signed into my account, I entered a ranked match and we battled gloriously, side by side. It was a beautiful moment. Full of fear, anxiety, nerves and the expectations that we would realize our hidden potential and reign in infamy throughout this virtual world. Allow me to draw your attention to the outcome of this deranged experience that has since robbed me of my virginal online promise. You f****** failed me!
Oh, that’s right. Take that in – let it process. Don’t fight the tears, let them flow. Let them rain down in a shameful river of your ineptitude, you glorified remote. The one time I need you to perform with clarity, you choke. You received the whisperings of omniscience through my fingers, translating them into a garbled seizure of twisted shame. Still, I battled on. Like a handicapped underdog, I spewed forth combinations of tactical brilliance that might have been recorded in song and scripture alike, witnessing them unfold before me in a spasm of helplessness. By the end of the third round my innocent dreams were set upon with fire and sword – and as the saying goes, my dear controller, shit rolls down hill.
I’m not proud of what I did in that brief moment of hate-fueled madness. I know I crossed the line when I gunned you towards the floor with with the fiery passion of a dying sun. Watching with shameful glee as you, like a meteorite from the heavens, plummeted downward, approaching the off-white doom that awaited below. Four seconds. That sickening thud of worlds colliding was followed by four, haunting, seconds, of gravity defying hang time. Witnessing your anguished, suspended twirl, was enough to realize what I had done. Hanging my head in shame as you skittered into an abandoned corner of the room, I knew there was no excuse for the Johnny Mac rage-spiking you received.
Listen, I want to take this opportunity- no, that’s all wrong. It’s got no heart. I need this opportunity, to talk about the seriousness of this issue. We both know that this relationship has never been perfect. There are times when I get frustrated, angry, occasionally what some might even describe as wrathful. I’ve said things. Things I’m not proud of, to you, for no acceptable reason. You know I don’t mean them, but that doesn’t make it right. I’ve blamed you, cursing your existence through thinly veiled, muffled cries of malcontent. That’s not fair. Sure, every once in awhile one of your buttons stick, or your analog doesn’t register a click when I clearly clicked it at the appropriate time! No, I’m doing it again, I apologize.
Despite my near infallible execution in all our gaming related endeavors, things continue to happen. I die. I don’t win the big game. I don’t save the world. I suppose that isn’t your fault, is it? These things just happen, don’t they? No one to blame but this wacky universe full of chaos and randomness. Hah. See, things are already getting better – I’m learning to accept the impossible for you. The impossibility of stuff just sort of, happening for no reason as I masterfully input a series of movements that will decide the fate of the world. We’ll just pin it on the universe, I guess – what’s the universe going to say about it? Anyway, I want you to know that I realize you are just as important in this relationship as I am. Well not as important, per se, but like a solid forty percent, to my sixty. Maybe seventy-thirty – I’m seventy. That sounded better in my head. What I’m trying to say is you’re a big part of what we have going for us, you know? I hope you realize that - because I have.
The sad irony of your namesake, controller, is reminder enough that you are at the merciful-(less) whim of those that own you. In point of fact you have no control. You’re a victim of circumstance, being blamed for infractions ranging in severity from unresponsiveness to the holocaust. It’s not fair and you shouldn’t be punished, especially fatally, for the consequences of your masters’ ineffectiveness. You were the first peripheral I destroyed, controller. You know what? I don’t like referring to you by your function. You should have a name, albeit posthumously. Mitch? I’ll call you Mitch. Listen Mitch, you were the first and only controller I’ve ever broken, but don’t despair, for your death was not in vain. I vow, here and now, to treat my peripherals with the tender care they so rightfully deserve. You’ve changed me, Mitch. You’ve made me a better gamer – a better person. I’m just sorry you had to be the martyr. I’ll never forget you, because you – are irreplaceable.
Brandin is really a nice guy. Seriously. This is, like, the first time this has ever happened. He likes kittens and spring time and everything else you like, too. You can follow him on Twitter.
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