Photograph by Mark Kauffman


Games That Play People

Those beeping video invaders are dazzling, fun-and even addictive

Let us have no more lamenation that our microprocessed era lacks heroes (plinkety-plunk od Pete Seeger's banjo).  The spirit of mighty John Henry, the steel-driving man who beat the steam drill (plunk-plunk-plunk), lives on in the indomitable courage and abused optic nerves of a Mount Prospect Ill., high school boy named Steve Juraszek (Seeger whacks out several yards of fancy banjo work and begins a ballad):

Well, Steve Juraszek dropped his quarter,

Just half and hour before noon (plink-plunk).
He would die in the end, when the blasters zapped his men,
But he vowed that wouldn't happen soon, poor boy.
He vowed that wouldn't happen soon.

At six that night they called his mother,
Said, "Ma'am, your boy's not comin' home.
He's shootin' fast and hot, at

the mutants and the pods,
And the microchip is processing a groan, oh my,
The microchip is letting out a groan."

Oh, they fed him on pizza and cola,
His fingers were cramping up and cold.
His eyeballs were raw, when a dum-dee-dum he saw,
And it something dum-dee-dum foretold.

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