June 17, 2015

Black Box: An excerpt from DEATH BY VIDEO GAME


blackboxBlack Box is about the worst experience of my life,” she says. “I am not going to talk about what the game is about; that’s why it’s in a black box. When I finish the game I may invite several of my friends and explain what it’s about.”

For Romero, these are the games that she has to birth into the world, to get them out of her. Black Box has cost more than a thousand dollars to make and it’s something that cannot be sold. It’s played inside a two-by-two-foot black plexiglass cube. It sits on a platform and is subtly lit from underneath. ‘When you look inside you can see forty figures,’ she explains.

In the centre of these figures is a smaller one. On top of the black box is an adding machine. The adding machine says 1, 4, 5, 10, 10, 10 then it says 40 and repeats that number endlessly on the paper as it spills down to the floor.”

Read the rest in Death By Video Game—available for purchase here, at your neighborhood independent bookstore, at Barnes & Noble, or at Amazon.

Simon Parkin is a journalist whose writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, the Guardian, ESPN, and a number of other publications. DEATH BY VIDEO GAME is his first book.