Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ask Thugfang: The Games

His Right Dishonourable Loathsomeness, Master Thugfang, is a demon of great infamy among academic circles. He is a frequent columnist for “Tempter’s Times”, an assistant editor for “Wickedness Weekly” and current chair of Tempter’s Training College’s Department of Defense Against the White Arts, after the sudden disappearance of the most recent head under mysterious circumstances. Now, His Right Dishonourable Loathsomeness takes your questions. Having problems with a particularly troublesome patient? Meddlesome enemy agents stymieing you at every turn? Don’t wait, write immediately to “Ask Thugfang” C/O “Underworld Magazine.”

Dear Master Thugfang, My patient is a single worker in his early twenties. I had been handling him nicely with the World category of temptations. He was quite the party animal, strip clubs, alcohol, casual drug use, fornication, social lying, gossip, everything, a really textbook case. Things were going along nicely until he suddenly stopped all of that. One of his friends introduced him to online gaming and now that’s all he does every waking minute he’s not at work. Should I be worried about this new development? Or is it just a phase? Yours Truly, Worldly Wise.

My Dear Worldly Wise,

This is a new development, of course, not only in terms of your patient’s personal history, but also in terms of our campaign in general. The computer game, as such, is a new weapon, but that is still no excuse for your ignorance. Do you have any idea how much research we’ve invested in this subject? Have you read even a single one of the scholarly articles written about it recently, or have you been wasting our time writing overly wordy and transparently self-congratulatory letters to diabolical periodicals? And in what possible way is this in my area of expertise? I am a Master of Defense Against the White Arts. Petty questions like this are so far beneath my notice, they are insulting.

Worried? Why in the name of Hell should you be worried? You, and all those devils like you, think so shallowly. So he isn’t committing all those sins you had been spoon feeding him for so long? No more lustful glances at that stripper up on her pole? No more boastful lies to his buddies about that girl he wanted to sleep with? No more weekend benders? Instead he is wasting his time with some harmless entertainment. The fact that you even ask if it is “just a phase” tells me that you are hoping it will pass so you can get back to the real business of shoving the world down his throat. My dear, poor, ignorant befuddled demon, never shove a temptation down a patient’s throat. They only end up throwing it up in the end. Let the darling creatures choose their own temptations. This patient has, for now, left the world. Never fear, the habits are still there, and you can call on them if the occasion ever arises. Your thought should now be absorbed in deciding how this new development is to be used.

The problem I have always had with the World, as a main line of attack, is that it is too human. That is, there is always human interaction. Of course our business in the World is to poison, twist, and stunt human interaction so that it takes place only on the shallowest levels, and is limited to exploitation and abuse. When that process is firmly established, I grant you the results are quite gratifying. However, I have seen some sad cases (not mine, but unfortunate acquaintances I used to have). You see, in the World there is constant interaction with people, and people are always other. It requires constant vigilance to ensure that the patient never sees them as people because if he did he would look for something deeper. The Enemy has a teaching that persons should give of themselves to each other and that somehow this will make them more full, instead of more empty. He calls it “relationship.” According to their doctrine, Heaven is Relationship. (You will, of course, recognize the twist on my beloved acolyte, Jean Paul’s famous saying that “Hell is other people”.)  To the Enemy and His agents, Heaven is the fulfillment of all relationships.

That dogma is, of course, heresy to us, but we use the word as shorthand for whatever-it-is-that-is-really-going-on-there. In any event “relationship” is purely the enemy’s territory. The last thing we want our human to have is a relationship. In my mind, the perverted shallow relationships of the World are really only a concession. In the end, in Hell, there will be no such thing as even the tiniest vestige of relationship. All will be turned in upon self in an eternal, crippling self-adulation and hatred. We want to begin the work as soon as possible since The Enemy created the little vermin and His calls are deep inside them and hard to eradicate. The human interactions which we must allow them for now are our concessions to this weakness in them, which we slowly wean them away from over time.

If you’ve been able to comprehend what I have so clearly explained above, then you should be able to see why I am so frustrated by your short-sighted ignorance. Don’t wait for this “phase to pass.” Use it.

Let us first establish what we do not want to have happen. Male humans will often gather together in one of their homes to play video games, often combined with beer and pizza. This we absolutely do not want. Of course we have ways of exploiting even this, but the combination of human interaction, food and drink, harmless high spirits, and the phenomenon of “fun” renders the event, on the whole, less than favorable to us. At least they aren’t coming together for virtuous pursuits, you say? True, and if that’s all I could get I would take it, but on the whole I say, when the games draw humans together at all it rather defeats their whole purpose.

Some experts on the subject advocate sex and violence in video games, and we have made great advances on those fronts. I am dubious about how much harm they really do to adult humans, but as an indicator of what the human’s real longings are they are invaluable. After all, he wouldn’t be playing at buying prostitutes and then killing them if that idea didn’t have a certain attraction in his heart. And as a part of our overall flooding of society with those two themes, it is of course only natural.

But to me the real genius of the games is isolation. Let him sit in his house alone, to play them. If he plays with people he knows online, so be it. Sometimes a little dose of interaction is better than nothing. It makes them feel like they are in relationship so it is a vaccination against the real thing. Let him spend all those longings for adventure and accomplishment on a series of ones and zeros in a computer program somewhere.

Does he use them to escape human interaction, that is the question? When the moment of truth comes, which does he choose, his game or the other person? To this end, you want to keep that moment of truth as fleeting and as low key as possible. He should not even know that it is a test with eternal repercussions when it happens. The moment of truth does not look like a messenger from the enemy with a flaming sword. Far more often it looks like a snot-nosed little human brat asking Daddy to read a book. It might look like a text message from a friend inviting him out. You, of course, can see the weight of consequence hanging on each of these choices. (At least you should be able to. From the letter you sent, however, I have my doubts.) He, almost certainly, cannot, and your business is to blind him more and more until all he can see is the image on his screen.

 Can you take the games from being part of his real world, and make them the whole world? If you can, then you have successfully illusioned him. It is excellent preparation for when they arrive down below, where never again through all eternity will any reality ever intrude itself upon their shrinking souls. The human who voluntarily chooses that while still alive is already half-way to hell. He just doesn’t know it.

The question is, my dear Worldly Wise, can you teach him that his fantasy world is more important than The Enemy’s real world? If not, then do let me know, and I will be happy to arrange for a more intimate refresher.



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