Normal is boringReal or Not?
The room was shrouded in darkness, illuminated by the bright light emanating from the computer screen. The walls of the room had signs of posters being put up, now barren, a box filled with memorabilia set aside, collecting dust.
Kyuhyun sat with his headset on in the dimly lit room and frantically tapped on his keyboard trying to kill all the enemies. He looked at the bar showing the names and numbers of remaining players decreasing, strategies on how to clear the stage already forming in his mind. He swiftly cleared the area and moved ahead, his kill count increasing as the timer ticked.
"Yes", Kyuhyun yelled triumphantly when he succeeded in clearing the stage, throwing his hands up in the air. He removed his headset and set it aside, ignoring the comments of the players he had just defeated.
He took a last sip of beer and ate a few crisps, as he crossed to the other side of his room, all the while sat in his revolving chair. He crushed the beer can and threw it in the dustbin along with the wrappers, wiping the corners of his mouth with his t-shirt sleeve. His eyes fell on the discarded clothes piled at the bathroom door, but he ignored them and headed out.
He went out of his bedroom to the kitchen, picked up his mobile that was on the counter and instantly sweared.
"! Why are there so many missed calls?"
His finger scrolled the screen, to a long list of missed calls. His mobile was accidently set to silent mode and he missed several calls from his boss, Mr Choi. Kyuhyun sat on the sofa with his feet up and contemplated calling, "Why was he calling me so late anyway?" He checked to see if there were any messages but was puzzled to find no text message.
"If it was so urgent that he had to call me several times, why not leave a message?" He wondered aloud.
His finger hovered over the call back button for a long time, when he was startled by the abrupt ringtone, the name 'Manager Choi' flashing on the screen.
"Damn it", Kyuhyun nearly dropped his mobile in fright, instantly sitting upright. Seeing that it was his boss calling again he immediately picked up, "Sorry, I was busy." Kyuhyun started with an apology. His boss however didn't care, "What took you so long? Nevermind, I have a very special prototype game which needs testing."
"I could check it out tomorrow", Kyuhyun interrupted.
"No. No you can't." His boss replied. "It is an important project which I am not allowed to hold onto for long. I have already sent it to your house. It'll be there any minute."
"What's so special about it?" Kyuhyun asked.
"It's so special that I have to ask my most talented employee to test it in his free time". Kyuhyun almost scoffed at hearing the praise aimed at him.
His boss lowered his voice, "Do not under any circumstances reveal that you have this game with you. Don't even talk about it to your family. Please."
"It's that important", Kyuhyun wondered aloud. "Yes it is", his boss answered promptly. "Start working on it as soon as possible."
Kyuhyun sat with the parcel carefully ripped open, staring at the game CD placed in a black box. His boss had abruptly ended the call when his door bell rang. Kyuhyun was annoyed by the late night request from his boss, but he knew that a special projects pays special perks.
So there he was, running low on sleep with dark circles around his eyes and a hungry stomach, staring at a video game he knew nothing about. He flipped the case back and forth finding that there was no instructions pamphlet or even a name label on it. It just had a small x on the corner of the CD, written in red. He frowned at the mysterious game in his hand wondering what's so special about this nameless game.
Kyuhyun scratched his stomach which rumbled aloud, reminding him to eat something. He reprimanded himself as he cooked a pack of noodles and placed some kimchi on a plate, "Why did I waste my time playing games when I could have rested instead?" He lightly prodded his eyebags, pouting at his reflection on the refrigerator door, "I look terrible". He sighed as he ate his dinner hastily, his curiosity making him impatient to start testing the game.
Kyuhyun was an avid gamer since his school days. Despite being a ranker in his school, he found the world of video games more interesting. So what if nobody wants to be his friend because he is too good, too smart for them. He has his games, where the characters are his best friends, letting him experience how friendship feels, what real life really means. This world is too normal, too obvious and too boring. He can predict from a mile when a person is being nice to him for benefits.
Whereas in the games, the trusts and betrayals are always out of left field, appearing when he least expects it. This is what makes him want to immerse himself in the world of games.
The early fondness of games and his smart brain obviously led him to the road of a game developer/tester. But the fun he thought he had while playing games initially, has faded now. Now playing games is work and what used to be enjoying the thrills of unexpected turn,