Guess what I’ve been doing recently? Gaming!
I know: after all this time, I’m finally a hip youth, playing ‘vidya’ games and all. I was never a gamer, you see. I enjoyed a bit of Crash Bandicoot when I was small – didn’t we all – and since then I only dipped in and out of very short browser-based games if I liked the art style. Oh, and the Sims. I’m great at the Sims.
Recently, though, I started playing a new game. It’s significantly longer than what I’m used to, but considering it’s mostly storyline-based and centres around what the characters say as opposed to what they do, it’s not something that requires a whole lot of skill. I had been lulled into a false sense of security, is what I’m saying, until I found myself trapped in a little mini-game that required my character to climb a tower. It was about six platforms high, and should therefore have required about six jumps, right? Wrong!
Forty goddamn minutes I was there, trying to get up that tower. I have no idea what I was doing wrong, but it was nigh-on impossible to make it past the third step. It was unbelievably frustrating. I wanted to break my laptop in half by minute 17, but by that time I figured I had spent too long at it to give up now (I also couldn’t figure out how to save and quit, so that did play a role in my decision to keep jumping, yes). So I huffed and I puffed and I tried, tried again to climb that unholy tower, that grotesque Tower of Babylon, until finally I made it to the top, jumped down, and the scene ended. That was it. That was the whole reason for my pain, my stress, the unbearable weight of my being. I went to sleep after that, because it was 1AM and all the excitement made me tired.
Now, despite the anti-climax, I was delighted with myself for reaching the top of that tower. For a minute there, I was (virtually) on top of the (virtual) world. And it got me thinking, as do most of the allegories I’ve included in my editorials, about Endeavour and why we bother with it.
This marks my last editorial as editor of Byline, and it all started back when I first joined the Express in 2015. I applied for the position of Humour Editor about a week after the CAO results were first released, and I got my place on a course in this college. I’ve been here ever since, despite my motivations for doing so changing over time. When I first applied to this publication, I wanted some sort of work experience, because I had my heart set on a career in journalism upon graduation. Now, not so much. Instead, I’ve stayed because I just enjoy being here. I enjoy the writing, I enjoy being around a genuinely nice group of people. Even though just ‘enjoying’ something for the sake of it isn’t necessarily going to get me a career doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.
Anyway, I just want to say thank you to all of you: everyone who’s read Byline this year or even picked it up for the first time today; all of the Express staff; but particularly the people who’ve worked so hard to make this year’s Byline so bomb (as the kids say). You’re all the real MVPs: I’m just the guy who sells overpriced bottles of water at the match. I hope you’ve all had a great year despite, y’know, *gestures vaguely at world events*. Good luck to all in the last few weeks of the college year – not that you need it, you smart cookies – and remember that, if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. As long as everything is consensual.