My Time at Gaming Karate Island

I was told to keep this under wraps under pain of death, and indeed, I’m taking a very big risk in telling you all this. I’m not exactly sure why I’m writing this down if I know the consequences to be so dire. Maybe it’s an earthly desire to leave behind a bit of my legacy, or the last ramblings of a man who was apart of something that changes a person. I may never be sure, but there is one thing that is true.


You all must know.


A few months back I received an invitation to go to a “private” event. In the invitation it assured me I would be shown something amazing, something that could advance my career in leaps and bounds. Naturally, as a hungry up and comer, I took this chance and packed my things.

I arrived a little earlier than the requested time, and I took this chance to chat it up with some of the others that had arrived. We were all game critics and press, and none of the others where told what specifically was going on either. The atmosphere was tense. We all sensed something big coming, something life changing. However, there was also a slight mixed emotion that I couldn’t understand why it was there. Mixed with all the hype and excitement was something foreign, out of place amongst such jovial moods. A slight taste of fear.

Afterwords we were ushered into a plane, again with no explanation. Once on the plane we were fed and watered, and we all soon began to feel unusually tired, so we all fell asleep.  We awoke shortly after we touched down, and we were all separated and taken to our rooms. We were told that the event would take place later that night. I, being ever the devout employee, decided to unpack my things and get to work finishing my 3DS copy of “Hello Kitty Island Adventure 3D Funbonanza” for review (5 out of 5 by the way, amazing game with a rich story). Still, I couldn’t quite shake that feeling that tugged at the back of my mind. I was on edge.

Later that night we were all gathered into a small area in front of a small stage. They had done it up to look like an island native theme, with fake skull heads on spears, and tiki torches, and even a small, grassy throne. We all chattered eagerly amongst ourselves, deeply anxious and curious to finally discover the exact nature of our time here. A man then slowly walked on stage, and motioned for our silence. We all stopped immediately, transfixed on this new figure. He looked around, then nodded to some of his workers, and then opened his mouth to speak.

“Welcome, game critics, to my little, humble island. I’m glad we have all gathered you here today, as we have something incredible in store for you.” His words echoed in the silence, each note filled with power. The way he said incredible caused that slight feeling in me to stir. “We have decided we would let you review our product. However, we have also decided you must earn it,” confused glances were exchanged amongst the crowd, some murmured whispers let loose, “and to earn it, you must experience it.” The murmurs grew louder, and that feeling that had been gnawing at me began to grow. I looked around for any indication of what was in store, mostly to try and prove myself wrong. However, my eyes flashed past an employee of the event wearing the logo of the company around his neck. I desperately searched around for escape, but it seems they had us surrounded. It hadn’t dawned on most of my fellow colleagues yet. “So as such, I’ve decided to bring some of you here to let you experience the feelings and the emotions behind this game. Perhaps such an experience will help you better understand the characters in the game, and to appreciate what it truly means to be alive.” Panicked, I started to make my way towards the back of the crowd and get away, but a lady with a broad smile stopped me.

“Now now, it’d be rude to leave before you’ve heard all that Midway has to offer.” She smiled pleasantly.

“So gentleman, I have gathered you here so we can all experience it together. We shall all experience Mortal Kombat.”

Some of the crowd began to laugh, and others seemed excited to play a new build of the game. Sensing this, the gamesmaster proceeded to pluck two critics at random from the crowd and brought them on the stage.

“Now, it can be easy to sit back and judge someone’s work when it wasn’t your blood, sweat and tears that went into it. Well, you will experience it. Mostly blood.” The two reviewers looked at each puzzled. Two sets of Wii-motes with nun-chucks were brought out to them. They were offered them, and once in hand, the gamesmaster continued, “Now of course none of you will actually die. That would hurt our image. However, you will have to push yourself to extremes. Cut all ties with your colleagues and turn on them like animals, showing them no mercy. Can you do it? Can you put it all on the line for the chance to review this game early? To see the final build? To play Kratos early? To discover whether or not the rumor that online codes will be required is true? Can you live with yourself if forced to do some brutal things in the name of your career? To the victor shall go exclusive hands on with the game.” It finally began to sink in. The two on stage looked at each other, tensing their bodies. “Are we all understood? Heh heh heh…. well then. You two. Fight!”


My week there was hazy… I don’t remember much beyond that. A little blood lust here and there, the terrified gazes of some of the contestants. Bet you didn’t know, the PS3 remote makes an excellent projectile weapon. In the end we all left alive as promised, but we had been changed. Pushed to a limit we didn’t know we had, then pushed beyond it. Battles were brutal and intense.  We all discovered things about each other and ourselves. The game is shaping up pretty nicely though. I had some hands on time with it.


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Mark Marquez
Mark Marquez 51 posts

Mark Marquez: I, who stand before you in full light of the heavens, command thee, who opens the gates of hell. Come forth divine lightning! THIS ENDS NOW. INDIGNATION!