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In which John continues to review mobile games. This week: True Skate.

Leave games you'd like to see in the comments!
So today we're gonna be reviewing the game True Skate, a mobile game that is absolutely nothing like true skateboarding which is precisely what makes it such an enjoyable game. Like anyone who has ever actually used a skateboard knows that they are fiendishly difficult to bend to your will, whereas when playing True Skate you learn how to do 540 quad dolphin flips within about 45 seconds of purchasing the app.

There are a variety of skate-parks in the game, each designed to offer slightly different challenges, but all are themed around the same central challenge which is to distract you from some way-down, deep dread that you feel all the time. It's difficult to establish the precise root of this dread because it's so hard to look at directly, not least because the Apple and Android App Store offer magnificent distractions like True Skate for 99 cents or less, although you have to pay extra to download additional skate-parks and buy cool boards. But all in you can get 100 reasonable hours of distracting gameplay for about $8 which is return on investment that books, movies, magazines, and et cetera just can't match.

But right, about the dread. I think it's partly a fear that I'm wasting by brief flicker of consciousness, partly the constant if low-level terror of being stuck inside of just one particular slowly degenerating body, partly the weird feeling I often have that despite being ostensibly me and me ostensibly being a collection of thoughts and feelings I am to a large degree not in control of those thoughts and feelings. Basically True Skate is a very simple game seeking to address a very complicated set of problems.

And then there's the problem of boredom, or there used to be anyway. It’s hard to describe boredom because it's an emotional experience mostly defined by absence. Boredom was the feeling people used to get when they couldn’t find either engagement or distraction and so you sort of had to live alone inside your head. Now I know the human brain more or less fills the skull but the thing about boredom was that it made your brain feel small. You felt like your brain was rattling around inside your skull, like a lone ice cube in a martini shaker. It felt like when you're outside at a party on a cold night and you wore your most attractive coat instead of your warmest one and now you're both cold and incurably annoyed with yourself. Boredom was a horror partly because it was widely viewed as your fault. People would often say that only boring people get bored, or they would tell you to read a book. But a mere book couldn't distract you from this rattling, freezing, antsy discomfort of  a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of.

Enter the unadulterated miracle of True Skate which offers the kind of solid, deep-down distraction that nothing in the so called real world can compete with. People say it's wrong to be distracted, that we need to be attentive, that we need to be here now wherever here is. But what if here is unbearable? What if here is a mile deep sea of dread and you aren't a particularly good swimmer? Of course we must strive toward awareness, we must, whenever possible, use the gift of consciousness to make conversation and love and art. Of course we can't over use the gift of distraction. But let us not wholly deny ourselves the exceptional comfort of distractions like True Skate.

I just 540'd a mondo gap, by the way, which is the kind of thing that would never happen in real life, and that's precisely the point.