Blog Post 3: Press Enter

While I enjoyed reading “Press Enter,” I couldn’t understand why Lisa stuck around at Kluge’s place for so long.  She knew that Kluge was killed for doing exactly what she was doing.  She figured out that Kluge was murdered almost instantly, so there was little left do as far as the investigation was concerned.  Something just didn’t add up.  Just like Victor, I found much of the lingo that Lisa uses throughout “Press Enter” to be beyond perplexing.  There was the one part, however, where she described hacking to be like Dungeons and Dragons, saying “you don’t take it a step at a time.  You take it a hundredth of a step at a time.”  She continues to describe some of the questions she asks the computer, once again losing me in a combination of complex metaphors and jargon.  However, it was this point in the story that I understood her addiction to hacking Kluge’s system.

When I was in high school, addictinggames.com was a very popular online gaming site that many members of my high school would frequent.  One person would discover a fun, often challenging game, and then they would tell everyone about it so that would could compete to see who was best (or would become best).  One day, one of my buddies told me about a game entitled “The World’s Hardest Game,” a game where you guide a red square through a maze full of moving blue “enemies” while sometimes collecting yellow circles.  The game had 30 different levels, generally increasing in difficulty, and it would count the amount of times you died as you progressed through the game.  After about two weeks most of my friends had given up completing the game.  Few of us had even advanced beyond level 15, and the following levels seemed nothing short of impossible.  For some reason, though, this just strengthened my resolve.  While the levels were certainly overly complex and intimidating if you examined them as a whole, I began to realize that they were possible to beat if you had a willingness to slowly tackle them section by section (and you had to have a lot of time).  This knowledge, combined with my compulsive need to see what would happen upon defeating the game, pushed me to finally beat the game over the course of a couple weeks.  Even though playing “The World’s Hardest Game” provided me with no tangible benefits, the whole process was simply too engaging.  That must’ve been similar to Lisa’s experience.  By hacking deep into Kluge’s system, she was risking it all.  But she also was discovering information that few other people had access to.  The NSA, the CIA, and the IRS (among others) simply represent levels that are waiting to be beaten, compelling Lisa to beat them.

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3 Responses to Blog Post 3: Press Enter

  1. So you beat the game?

    I love the way you compare Lisa’s behavior to that of a gamer — as I pointed out in my response to Paul below, I think that what drives Lisa (and what Victor doesn’t understand) is how absorbing puzzles can be, especially if they’re immersive and challenging. But until the very end, Lisa doesn’t understand the risk she’s taking — she’s so into the game that she can’t assess the danger it poses to her.

    What’s also worth commenting on (and that leads us into both Boellstorff and Coleman) is the relationship between the real and the virtual in “Press Enter.” Worth bringing up in our conversations in class this week.

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