The game case felt heavy in his hands, as if it was trying to push its way to the ground. Still wrapped in its original plastic, it was worth about one hundred and twenty dollars. They hadn’t made enough copies of the game, when it had first come out. Some people who had pre-ordered the game still didn’t have their own copy. Sam had been lucky. He’d pre-ordered his copy from a smaller store. It wasn’t a popular place, few people even knew that it existed, but Sam went there all the time.
He was a gamer, though his girlfriend was even more of one. While he could spend 10-20 hours a week playing games, she’d spent 30-40 hours a week on them. She’d always ask him to play with her, and he would most of the time. He loved to play games with the girl, but he couldn’t do it all the time. He had homework, and regular work, and his own projects that he was working on.
He remembered trying to decide if paying one hundred dollars for the game was worth it. He had never liked MMOs, but they were Megan’s favorite type of game. The game cost a little less than a day of working for him. But he could just imagine her face, the sparkle in her eyes and the excitement in her voice when she saw that he’d gotten it. He had planned on telling her immediately, but she was one of the people who didn’t get their copy of the game, even though it was pre-ordered.
He decided that it would be awkward for him to show it to her before she’d gotten her own, so he kept it to himself for a while. Eventually, he’d even forgotten about it. Her copy kept getting delayed because the company couldn’t keep up with the demand that was created. The game had ended up stashed away in his closet.
They had been dating for more than a year, they met each other a few days before that. They shared a zoology class together. He’d always loved the class, while Megan was taking it to fill a gen-ed requirement. She asked him for some help on one the first homework assignment and they hit it off really well. He asked her out a few days later.
The game case slipped out of his hands, falling to the floor with a light thud. Bruises had formed on his hands where they’d been pushing into the corner of the case.
Megan had dragged him to a game shop, once. One of the bigger releases. Some single player game that everyone was super excited for. She had them camping out in front of the store for a whole day, just to get the game. The day was slow at some points, but for the most part he had enjoyed just sitting there with Megan. The best part, though, was when she got her hands around the case. That look she got in her eyes whenever she was really happy, or excited about something.
Sam looked at his phone, which was sitting screen-down on the floor a foot away from him. He reached out towards it, putting his hand around it for a moment. He didn’t quite want to pick it up, but he did anyways. The screen hadn’t locked yet, and his recent messages were showing.
“Sam! Youll never guesss what I got!”
He threw the phone and it spun across the room, striking the wall on the far end. He picked the game case up again, staring at the front of it. He started tearing through the plastic wrapping around it, the wrapping repeatedly slipping from his hand, or catching on a corner of the case. He struggled popping the case open, but when he did, he took out the small cartridge on the inside.
Quickly slipping it into the slot on his VR Machine, he pulled the helmet on and turned the machine on. A whirring noise proceeded, followed by the home screen of the console showing. He had the game starting seconds later.
“Would you like to create a new character?”