The Aging Gamer / by Jeffrey Lo

September 16 - The Aging Gamer.jpg


YANG, a 30 year old man, sitting in the food court of a mall.

YANG is playing his Nintendo Switch while eating a salad.


YANG: Shit… shit… shit…


A disappointed sound comes from the Switch.


YANG: Damnit. How do you – ? What am I doing wrong?


YANG shakes his head and continues to play.

DYLAN, an 11 year old boy, slowly approaches YANG.

DYLAN has one hand behind his back and Panda Express in the other.

After some time, YANG eventually notices DYLAN.


YANG: Oh! Hi.


DYLAN raises his hand up in response.

A brief silence.


YANG: Can I help you with something, buddy?


A brief silence.

DYLAN starts to slowly reveal his own Nintendo Switch.


YANG: Oh! You play Switch too?


DYALN nods his head.


YANG: Cool, man.




YANG: Um… What’s your name?

DYLAN (Timid): Dylan.

YANG: Dylan. Cool. Nice to meet you.

DYLAN: … What game are you playing?

YANG: Me? Zelda. The new Zelda. Breath of the Wild? You heard of it?


DYLAN nods his head.


YANG: What about you?

DYLAN: Fortnight.

YANG: Fortnight? Cool. I mean. Of course. Lots of kids are playing Fortnight now. Do a lot of your friends play Fortnight?


DYLAN nods his head.


YANG: Cool.

DYLAN: But I don’t have that many friends…


DYLAN: But Billy plays Fortnight.

YANG: Billy’s your friend?

DYLAN: Kind of.

YANG: Kind of?

DYLAN: He’s my brother.




DYLAN: Do you want to play?

YANG: Do I wanna play…? Fortnight?

DYLAN: Do you have Fornight?

YANG: Um. I think so. Yeah. I think I downloaded it. I played it a bit but not too much.

DYLAN: It’s ok if you don’t wanna –

YANG: No! I do! We can! Sure sure sure.

DYLAN: I’m not that good…

YANG: That’s no big deal. Hold on, let me just – what’s your friend code?


DYLAN hands YANG his Switch.

YANG connects their Switches together.

YANG hands DYLAN back his Switch.


YANG: Alright, shall we - ?


DYLAN nods his head.


YANG: Cool.


They start to play.

After an unreasonably short amount of time –


YANG: Oh! Someone got me! Wait is that you?

DYLAN: Sorry.

YANG: No it’s –


YANG looks closer at his screen.


YANG: Are you dancing on my body!?


DYLAN gives YANG a wry smile.

DYLAN: Yeah.


YANG eats his salad as he watches the game finish.


YANG: Wha – Huh? You just – Wow!


DYLAN enters what looks like a gaming trance.

A victorious sound comes for DYLAN’s Switch.


YANG: Whoa…


DYLAN takes a few bites of his orange chicken and packs up.

DYLAN stands up.

YANG: You hustled me…

DYLAN: Good game. 


DYLAN puts his hands up for a high five.


YANG, confused, reciprocates the high five.




DYLAN walks away.


YANG: … bye.