It's been a long time coming, but we've decided it's time to cravenly submit to the dominant form of critical discourse in the early twenty-first century. That is, list features. However, as is our wont, we will subvert the form as best we can. Which isn't very best at all, but we're trying, no, really, we're trying. ("very best at all"? - Ed)
Anyway - for our first countdown we decided... well, everyone talks about occasionally dreaming of a game. But what happens in those dreams? There's the question. So we sent a mail around at RPS, and ended up with a selection of dreams. Not as many as we'd have thought, but it seems that people tend to forget dreams when they wake up. No, really. Anyway, enough were gathered to make a list of sorts and hopefully prompt people to tell us about their own game-dreams in the comments thread. We promise the forthcoming Toilets In Games Countdown UltroMegaFeature will be incredible. Probably. Anyway, to start it off, let's have a picture of splendid dream-based (yet non-featured) videogame Psychonauts to liven up this texty entry...
And on with the count-down.
11) "Bollocks. I had an Ultima Online one and can't remember it." [Meer]
10) "A few nights ago I was snowboarding in a dream. Except it wasn't real snowboarding, it was videogame snowboarding. I set off down this pretty much vertical slope, which was packed full with snow drifts, in a mass of enormously impressive particle effects. Problem being, of course, I couldn't see anything, and was turning blind and it wasn't handling at all. I ended up comparing it unfavorably to console games SSX and Amped and wished people didn't release such second rate stuff on the PC." [Gillen]
9) "I've had multiple World of Warcraft wish fulfillment dreams (ultra-dagger drops off boggo vulture, someone gives me 2000g for an epic flying mount...), which I'm suitably ashamed of." [Meer]
8) "I had a Puzzle Quest dream recently. Nothing else. Just A Puzzle Quest Screen floating before me, and I was playing it. It was kind of in a semi-lucid state, so could move stuff around. Clearly, I woke up in a cold sweat." [Gillen]
7) "I had a dream about Bioshock a couple of nights ago. It was me and a girl in a bathysphere going down, except the bathysphere was cylindrical like a torpedo and it just kept sinking further and further. And further. Until eventually it starting hitting things beneath us and bouncing about and I started fervently believing I was going to die." [Quinns]
6) "Last week I was dreaming the 3D rotational map from Eve Online. I discovered a new region, with stations I'd not visited before. I moved the corporation there and we lived happily ever after." [Rossignol]
5) "Okay, this isn't about any specific game, but I was stuck in some kind of roleplaying game situation. Fantasy kingdom sort of thing, but very cutsie. I had to do some simple task, but to do that I realise I needed a certain tool. To get the tool, I had to do a quest for someone else, which required another too and... well, it went on for a bit, until I actually thought "I'm sick to fucking death of faux-Miyamoto Zelda-esque quest structuring bullshit" and woke up in protest." [Gillen]
4) "There was the Bioshock one i had in Vancouver. Wandering around a flooded ballroom with a decapitated corpse sat at a piano. Splicers dropped through the ceiling and I woke up terrified. It was part of a longer dream but that's the only scene I can recall. Oh - the song from Fallout 3 - I Don't Want To Set The World on Fire by The Inkspots - was playing in the background, and suitably haunting." [ Meer]
3) "The details are vague, but I was inside Crysis. Not playing it externally, but seemingly playing it by actually being there. And it was lots of fun, seemed really good, right up until we were (I didn't seem to be alone - perhaps it offered co-op?) attacking the giant alien things, and I remember thinking, "This is boring now." Dream, or PROPHECY? We shall see." [Walker]
2) "Argh. There was the Silent Hill inspired dream. It started normally. I was told to babysit my 2-year-old niece in my sister's big house. Except as I chased my niece around she was always just disappearing around the next corner, her back always to me. I chased her up to the attic where I had to crawl through a tiny hole, then followed as she disappeared around a spiraling corridor with grey walls. I remember the grey walls. In the centre of the spiral my niece had stopped running, and was turned around to face me as I rounded the final corner. And as she stared at me, I saw that she didn't have her skin on." [Quinns]
1) "As an obsessed Quake dude I would dream about Quake sessions where the avatars had the real, human heads of their players. I would also dream up real heads for players who were important in my online games, but I had never met, and only had a game/IRC impression of. I sometimes wonder if their dream heads were anything like their real heads." [Rossignol]
Have you had any freaky-headed Quake-dude dreams recently, readers?