_hojo:Eye of the Beholder

August 30, 2010

_Many years ago, I had 2 addictions. Actually, that’s a lie. I had a few addictions. Nothing like drugs or anything, don’t worry. Anyways, I had some addictions. The addictions I speak of, specifically, were Minesweeper and AIM. More specifically, talking to a girl I had a big crush on on AIM. Even more specifically, talking to her on AIM while playing Minesweeper. All the time.

_During a time of my life when I probably should have been focused on more scholarly activities, I spent pretty much all of my free time on the computer. I would literally run to the computer and sign on AIM. While AIM was connecting, I would open up the start menu and start up Minesweeper. If she was online, I would play and chat at the same time, Minesweeper always taking a backseat to the true object of my affection. We hadn’t been friends for long before I had started to grow feelings for her…if you asked me what it was that attracted me, I couldn’t really answer. I already known plenty of online girl friends (as in friends that were girls), I didn’t know what she looked like (At least, not when I first developed a crush on her. She did turn out to be very cute ;-D) It was more something about her mannerisms that I found charming. Something about the way she…typed? I don’t know. For whatever reason, I became fixated on her.

_As you can imagine, she wouldn’t always be online. So plenty of time would go by where I’d just sit around with an AIM buddy list docked on the right side of the screen while  played Minesweeper. Sometimes hours would pass while I played. Endless squares, numbers, smiley faces, deady faces. I would say that I was singularly focused on improving my times…except that I’d always take a moment between games to see if she signed on. But past that, I was singularly focused. Other people would chat with me, but I  would always converse with them between games. Times always came first.

_A long time past. Lots of Minesweeper. Lots of conversations went by. She never really noticed that I was completely into her, because every once in a while, she’d mention her long distance relationship with her boyfriend. That never really stopped being painful. Long down the road, she broke up with him. A while after that, I asked what she thought about me. She liked me as a friend. Straight out of a movie. And just like the movies…it’s bad. I still talked to her after that, because I liked talking to her. But I noticed myself playing a lot more Minesweeper during those conversations.

_You might find yourself thinking “What does any of this have to do with gaming at all?” Well…it’s just to help put things into perspective. As you might imagine, due to all of this, I have a…unique connection to the game of Minesweeper. Shockingly enough, a little bit of an emotional attachment to it. It would sound a little stupid out of context, but given everything said, you might understand why this is so. But perhaps…it wouldn’t be quite so stupid even without the context.

_Let us assume that everything told here is just a single possible theory as to the meaning of the game Minesweeper. The narrator of this story is in fact the Smiley Face at the top of the window, with his heart being the minefield. It must be tread on lightly, lest one wrong move set off an explosion resulting in a loss. Just like in life, some relationships are easy, with solutions falling into your lap. Others may ask for lots of guesswork, and in the end will likely prove to not be winnable.

_Of course, this is all a bunch of shit. Minesweeper doesn’t have a meaning. It’s just a logic/guessing puzzle game. Or does it? I don’t know. But I think that’s the point. What if someone DID see meaning in it? Would that make Minesweeper artistic or would it be the person that saw the vision of what it meant? When watching children’s shows on PBS, do you think there was a grand artistic vision behind them, or that the creators simply wanted to make something wholesome that kids could watch? What if someone looks at a Warhol painting, and all they see is a picture of soup? Would any of these facts render any of these as art/not art? Is being “art” something you can actually label as “fact”? If a hundred people walked out of a theater saying that “Eraserhead” was visually striking, full of symbolism and stunningly artistic, but one guy said “I didn’t get it, it’s just a jumble of shit,”  would you toss out his opinion and say it’s definitely “art” because the majority disagrees, even though the poplar opinion is still just an opinion? If you were to consider anything put to canvas as art, does that include those coloring projects I had to do in middle school? (Seriously, I was assigned coloring projects in middle school. What a joke.)

_So what’s my point in all of this? I’m not sure. I think the main point is “Don’t put so much stock into what other people think, because they might think something stupid, like Minesweeper having a meaning.” Past that…I just kind of had an idea, and went with it. I just wanted to put something down in the blog while I had an idea and the drive. I’d been having a hard time writing anything I liked lately. I think this came out…average.

_As a footnote, I rarely play Minesweeper anymore, though I do still enjoy it when I do, and I don’t particularly like looking at the AIM window very much.



  1. Brother, I understand this wayyyy too well. I’ve had similar cases like this MANY times. Like passing the whole night awake waiting and hoping the girl would get online.

  2. There’s nothing like a good game of Minesweeper to get the mind working. But I have to say, your post definitely made me think a lot more than any game of Minesweeper ever could. I commend you, sir.

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