Soon after we got our Japanese Playstation2 in beautiful Ocean Blue, we went shopping for games. In the electronic wonderland of Akihabara we came across the game Rez. "Have you ever played it?" Justin asked me. "No," I replied, "it's like a music shooting game, right? Seems sorta boring."
Ever on the media consumer, Justin insisted, "But this one comes with a trance vibrator!"
I looked at the package curiously. "I wonder what that's for? It costs nearly 2000 yen more!"
"Let's get it!"
Excited, we inserted our very first Japanese game into our brand new console. We hooked up the trance vibrator, and I began to play the game. The game is, truly, a stunningly beautiful thing. It is a "music shooting" game, but of such elegance and coolness it's in a genre all its own. The premise places you as a futuristic hacker, avoiding security systems and navigating through databases to crack codes in a way strongly reminiscent of Tron. Your mission: information needs to be free. "Flying down neon corridors shooting space/machine beings in time to techno music", as Justin put it, is a pretty good description, as is "Tron on Ecstasy." The game bills itself as synesthesia - union of senses. But even that doesn't begin to relay the feeling of the game. Even without the trance vibrator, the game puts you into a trance state - it's a raver's game, a game of pure sensation. The goals are simply to progress to the next level - not so complicated. But getting there is a sublime visual and aural experience. There's also an invincible "travelling" mode, if you want to just sit back and move through the levels without worrying about your avatar's taking damage.
But god damn, the trance vibrator started thumping like crazy in time with the music.
Well, what would you have done? I moved the vibrator into my lap.
"Oh my GOD! This game rocks! Here, you play." I handed him the controller but you'd better believe I kept that vibrator right there in my lap.
Justin hadn't been paying that much attention to the exact location of the vibrator, since the game is visually quite absorbing, too. But I wanted to concentrate a little more on the, er, physical aspect of the game. I took off my pants.
Justin got the idea. "Wow."
We sat side my side on our makeshift couch, I with the trance vibrator and Justin with the controller. As the levels got more advanced, so did the vibrations... revving up to an intense pulsing throbbing...
Pretty soon the levels and the images onscreen were just a faint blur to me. I knocked off my glasses and leaned back. I was in a daze. From far away, it seemed, I could hear Justin saying things like, "I made it to the next level!" and "This is cool!" but I was lost in my own little trance vibrating world.
We drew the curtains and darkened the room. Justin played for hours. Dreamily I would once in a while say things like, "Could you do the 2nd Area again? That's my favorite."
After many of my langorous gasps and moans, we stopped playing, and tried to analyze the gameplay experience. "I don't know exactly what the game designers intended with that trance vibrator thing - but it had to be this, right?"
"It's a total stoner game," said Justin.
"But don't you think this trance vibrator extension is so your girlfriend can get off while you're playing the game? Or so a girl gamer can get off while she's playing the game?"
"It was a bit odd," said Justin, "my fingers were working the controls, but they were also kind of working you."
"Mmm. Did you like it?"
He smiled. "I wonder how it works on guys?"
Now, let me confess that this is not the first time that I've used a game component to, er, stimulate myself physically. Ever since they invented the whole rumble pack/vibrating technology in controllers, it's been on my mind, and sometimes in my practice (fellow game girls, you know what I'm talking about). The thing is, though, it's often frustrating since the vibrations are not nice and steady, but sporadic. Also I found it's tough to actually play the game and use the controller in nasty ways at the same time. I did discover that Halo was a pretty good game for this (although for not much else), because as the gunner in the Warthog, you have unlimited ammo and you can just park yourself somewhere and rat-tat-tat to your heart's content. Another issue, and one not solved by the Xbox controller, is the shape of the device - less than ideal. That's why I was so excited by Rez's trance vibrator, since it seems to have no other purpose than to act as a masturbatory aid. Its shape is pretty nice, it can slip easily under your skirt or in your panties, it comes with a protective "glove" which you can wash, and it emits a regular pulsating rhythm that gets ever more intense and thrilling the deeper you go into the game. Damn, by the end I was writhing on the floor! Synesthesia indeed.
Am I wrong? Has anyone else found a better use for it?
Update 11/13/02: Due to increasing traffic and my inability to pay for the bandwidth required, I have disabled comments for the time being. I will set up a "view comments" window, but it's not ready yet.
Thanks for all your contributions.