Dear Mr. Nishikado,

I can’t believe that it’s been twenty-five years since I was first graced with the presence of your sacred game. One swollen thumb. One racing heart. One Kool-Aid ring that stained my upper lip for the entirety of a school year. Back then, I considered it my authentic, yet feeble attempt to keep pace with the boys who had already begun to grow hair under their arms and noses. In the end, they just thought that I never learned how to bathe correctly.

My dedication to your game is such that I still, until this very day, have the 2600 wired to my television, the cartridge locked into place ready to go at any given hour. I still look for a sound comparable to the chirping that echoes when a single laser is fired. I thought I had found it once in the ocean, but I was mistaken. My wife, even now, after all our years together, has trouble coming to terms with my obsession—she says it’s a bit extreme and childish and even yelled at me one morning after she claimed to have dreamt an entire night in pixels.

And just the other day, I walked in on my six-year-old, mid-game, shouting at the television screen. He threw the controller to the ground and stormed out of the room saying that the game “was for dum-dums and kids with broken brains.”

Jesus, what a difference twenty years makes.

I should probably begin wrapping up, but before I do, I did have a few questions I’ve been dying to ask you. I understand that you are probably very busy, but if you would be so kind to answer them at your leisure:

Do you ever feel like you compromised your vision for 8-bit technology? Have you ever tried to render a self-portrait while playing Space Invaders using the glint and reflection of the television screen? What are your thoughts on the enormity of scores these days? Do you really think we need to go to such extremes as receiving one billion points for taking the life out of one single alien? I’m sure it’s aligned with our notion today that bigger always means better, but don’t they realize that it’s all relative anyways?

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you. I will let you know if I should find a sound equal to that of the lasers. I’m sure you would be interested to know.

With All My Sincerity,
Jason Bacasa
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania