O my gentil rederes, it hath been a thinge of muche difficultee and laboure for to type euen the smallest entrie in myn blogge. For somer, lyk vnto a songe of Barry Manilow, hath ydrawn alle the spirit and vigor from my limbes and hert. For the gretre part of the hot moneth of July ich laye in my garden on my comfortable lawn-chaire and langwisshed lyk vnto sum yonge lover who hath ydumpede been. Ich daubede myn foreheed wyth a moyste towel and did drinke mvch of somer drinkes swich as margaritae and daquiri.
By night, ich busyede myself with wrytynge of my Tales of Canterburye. And yet methinketh that the somer hete did even then overwhelme my fantasie, for alle of the tales ich enditede dide involve snowe and watir and plesaunte coolinge pass-tymes. In the Knightes Tale, ich wrote that Theseus did constructe a grete swimminge poole in which Arcite and Palamon wolde pleye of marco polo for the winninge of Emilye. The Nonnes Preestes tale was of a penguin ycleped Chanticleer. The Monkes tale was a liste of thos who stood in heigh degree and from yt felle and aftir wente on vacacioun in plesaunte tropicale isles. Alas! Yt semeth that ich muste crosse ovt much of this werke and starte ayein from the beginninge. Yet peraventure ich shal lete stande the Squires tale of Frostie the Snowman and how he was drawen limbe from limbe by Cambyuskan the grete kinge of Tartarye for to be putte in coolinge drinkes, and how aftir, Cambyuskan’s doghter Canacee did fynde the corne-cobbe pipe and button nose and knewe of hir fadires crueltee.
And yet the thinge moost detrimentale to my werke did come nat from the hete, but from my sone. Oon night whanne ich coud write no more, ich herde from litel Lowyses room terrible soundes and grete crashinges and betinges of taboures. Quakynge wyth drede, ich opnede hys doore, and founde hym hole and sounde.
‘What maner of grete din ys that?’ quod Ich.
‘Unwack yowerself a litel, Dizzad. Ich am playinge Auriole,’ Lowys replyede, and did poynte towardes hys ‘Exboxe CCCLX.’
By Seynt Nintendus, ich thoghte to myself, thes aren thos 'video games' the which Lowys ys alwey pleyinge. A grete curiousitee dide posess me, and so ich askede Lowys to shewe me of the propertees of the games. He taughte me the lore of thes merveilous stories, the which aren peyntures that moue and haue sounde and often are made yn Japan, and aren controllid by a small devyce or engine ycovered wyth buttones that ys helde yn the hand.
Heu michi quod sterilem uitam duxi iuvenilem! Ther were no swich games of video whanne ich was a yonge man, and thus ich knewe litel of the sport and mirthe that ys in hem. For soothly, thei aren quite clever and also do improue the coordinacioun of the hande and the eye. Lowys and ich dide sette at pleyinge of the games and we stoppid nat vntil the cokke of morwenyge dide crowe. It rockede, and from thenne on ich was caught in the trappe. Thus my Tales of Canterburye were on the back-burner yputte. The dayes aren fulle of reste, and the nightes fulle of games of video. Whanne Philippe chid me yestirmorn for pleyinge of youthful sporte ich tolde hir that thys was a grete waye to bonde wyth Lowys; she seyde in replye, 'Whatevir happenede to helpinge hym wyth his grammer homewerke?' (for she ys a woman who loveth the laste worde moore than ower lord Jesu).
Here beginneth the descripcioun of the Ludi de Visionibus
Syn ye, my rederes, are folke lyk myself who kanne noght of games of video, ich thoghte ich wolde here descriven the wondirs of thes tales, and liste the names of sum of the moore notable games, as Lowys hath informede me of hem and shewn hem to me on hys manye computirs and consoles of gamynge.
DONKEYE-KYNGE: Yn thys game, ye playe a peasaunt who hath yn his care a smal donkeye. Ye use the gentil beeste to dryve yower carte and to transporte donge, for which ye are payde ful litel, and yet ye muste kepe obeiant and meke to wards the bettir and mower substantiale menne of yower village. At the ende of XX minutes, a purveyor of the kinge cometh and taketh aweye the donkey, and then ye, the pesaunte, are sesed wyth despayr and do falle deed. Then ye, the playere, are rankid by how manye piles of donge ye hauen transportid and wyth howe much meekeness.
CIVILISATIOUN: Yn this ful lernede game, ye playe the ful course of civilisacioun on the globe of the erthe. Erst, ye do governe the civilisacioun of the Golden Age, and gathir acornes and the croppes that the erthe ytself doth yive forth withouten labour. Lowys sayeth that this part of the game ‘sucketh’ for ther ys no werre or fightinge. And then oon of yower folke fyndeth golde in the grounde, and an othir iren for to make wepnes of werre and thus the golden age doth ende. In sequence, ye playe thurgh the grete tymes of the Babyloniens, the Persyenes, and Alixaundre, and the Romayns, and then then ye come to the age of Steel, the which ys oure tyme, of longe werres and terrible, and of the divisioun bitwene the popes of Rome and Avignon and the Grete Pestilence. At the ende of the game, ye do muche penaunce for the sinnes of the werlde and thanne ther ys sum musique.
TROJAN KOMBAT: Yn this game of video, ye playe oon of the renouned knightes of Troye or Grece, and do battel yn single combat by pressinge the buttons on yower controller. My fauorite character ys Troylus! Ech caracter hath the same ‘basic moves,’ but yf ye presse the buttones yn speciale combinaciouns, the characteres kan do ‘special moves.’ Ich haue heere ycopyed the special moues for Troylus, for my remembraunce:
A + A + UP + DOUNE: The ‘Canticus Troili’: it bringeth yn Pandarus to fight alongside Troylus.
A + UP + LEFT + RIGHT + B: The ‘Litera Troili’: it maketh Troylus to sitte adown and rolle hys herte to and fro to seke how he may best descryven his wo to hys ladye (-nat verye effective in combat!!)
B + A + DOWN + DOWN + UP + UP + A + CROSS YOWERSELFE: Maketh Troylus to speke of divine purveyaunce, the whiche doth paralyse yower opponente wyth confusioun
...and yet, wyth alle thes speciale moues, everye tyme that ich playe Troylus, Lowys doth playe Achille, and ich am defeatede!
TYGER WOODSES HUNTINGE AND HAWKINGE: This game doth make simulacioun of noble sportes, so that thos who aren nat of rich estaat maye ride of fyne horses and chase the kinges deere and hawke wyth gode briddes of preye. This game taketh the name of the grete hunter and falconer Tigere Woods, who hath IV tymes taken the prize of the Maysteres Tournament of Falconry, and twies won the daye at the PGA Championshippe of Boare-Huntinge. Manye a time haue ich sene nobles go to hawke and hunte, and ich do promise yow that this game ys verye realistic. At the ende of the hunte, noble ladyes come to the partye of hunteres and ther ys gentil talke of loue (presse B as faste as ye kan and ye shalle sigh wyth grete loue and affecioun!) and al the while the churles preparen the deere for roastinge. Ye kan choose to playe as seuerale noble hunteres, yncludynge my lord Johannes of Gaunte (BSL! He muste haue needed sum extra cashe for hys werres yn Spayne!!).
AURIOLE: This game ys of the kynde ycleped ‘FPS,’ or ‘firste-persone sermon,’ in whiche ye see as yf out of the eyes of a noble prechour named Mayster Cheeve, and ye traverse the countree prechynge to manye folke. Ye fynde manye bookes of storyes of deedes of seyntes and manye bookes of lore with whiche ye maye equip yowerselfe. My fauorite ys John Bromyardes Summa predicantium - it hath the longest range and ys effective ayeinst alle classes of societee. Sum tyme yn the game ye espyen heretickes, and ye maye kille hem wyth the aide of the seculer authoritees. Yf ye haue grete success, ye receyve an auriole that shineth arounde yower hede. Ye kan also playe this game in competicioun wyth otheres ‘on-line,’ in whatte ys callid a ‘dethe matche.’ Ther ys a maner of speche vsid by thos who playe Auriole in ‘deth matches’– to winne a game ys to ‘pwne’ the othir playeres; conversiones thurgh yower prechynge are called ‘fragges,’ and thos who are of litel experience (lyk myself) are yclepede ‘noobs,’ or novices.
GRANDE THEFTE, COLLUSIOUN, AND MAYNTENANCE: Ich had herde of this game bifor, for manye a petiticioun hath ben yiven to the kinge in parlemente concerynyge the threte that thys game wille make childrene in to violent felouns. Ich was astonyed to heere that Lowys had boughte it hym self, by bribinge a clerk of the video games store. And yet, ther ys litel mattir for worrye, for the game itself ys a satire of the disordred state of lawe in this contree. Ye run arounde and commit various actes of trespass with force and armes, and then use yower patrones and affinitee groupes to get yow out of prisone. Ther ys even a 'mini game' yn whiche a sheriff doth presente yow wyth a writ to appeare in courte and ye teare yt yn piece-meale (by pressinge the A button very faste!). Ye gayne riche landes by doynge yower neighbours wronges and oppressiouns. Ye kan evene take the liverie of various corrupt local lordes, and putte the robes and hattes and pinnes on and looke at yowerself yn the mirour. Althogh ich trye to be a man of moralitee, ich muste admit that this game ys verye fun! Every tyme ich do commit trailbaston and hitte a lawyer ovir the heede to take of hys coynes, ich do pretende yt ys that wankere Johannes Gower! Ywis, ich do thinke that this game pleseth nat the menne of parlement for yt striketh verye close to the merke.
And so, my noble rederes, vntil the hete of somer fullie abateth, ich shal be up wyth litel Lowys, in hys attic room, playinge of video games and drinkinge depe draughtes of mountayne dewe. C U L8re, gentilz!