Ask Thugfang: The Games

His
Right Dishonourable Loathsomeness, Master Thugfang, is a demon of great infamy
among academic circles. He is a frequent columnist for “Tempter’s Times”, an
assistant editor for “Wickedness Weekly” and current chair of Tempter’s
Training College’s Department of Defense Against the White Arts, after the
sudden disappearance of the most recent head under mysterious circumstances.
Now, His Right Dishonourable Loathsomeness takes your questions. Having
problems with a particularly troublesome patient? Meddlesome enemy agents
stymieing you at every turn? Don’t wait, write immediately to “Ask Thugfang”
C/O “Underworld Magazine.”

Dear
Master Thugfang, My patient is a single worker in his early twenties. I had
been handling him nicely with the World category of temptations. He was quite
the party animal, strip clubs, alcohol, casual drug use, fornication, social
lying, gossip, everything, a really textbook case. Things were going along
nicely until he suddenly stopped all of that. One of his friends introduced him
to online gaming and now that’s all he does every waking minute he’s not at
work. Should I be worried about this new development? Or is it just a phase?
Yours Truly, Worldly Wise.

My Dear Worldly Wise,

This is a new development, of course, not only in
terms of your patient’s personal history, but also in terms of our campaign in
general. The computer game, as such, is a new weapon, but that is still no
excuse for your ignorance. Do you have any idea how much research we’ve
invested in this subject? Have you read even a single one of the scholarly
articles written about it recently, or have you been wasting our time writing
overly wordy and transparently self-congratulatory letters to diabolical
periodicals? And in what possible way is this in my area of expertise? I am a
Master of Defense Against the White Arts. Petty questions like this are so far
beneath my notice, they are insulting.

Worried? Why in the name of Hell should you be
worried? You, and all those devils like you, think so shallowly. So he isn’t
committing all those sins you had been spoon feeding him for so long? No more
lustful glances at that stripper up on her pole? No more boastful lies to his
buddies about that girl he wanted to sleep with? No more weekend benders?
Instead he is wasting his time with some harmless entertainment. The fact that
you even ask if it is “just a phase” tells me that you are hoping it will pass
so you can get back to the real business of shoving the world down his throat.
My dear, poor, ignorant befuddled demon, never shove a temptation down a
patient’s throat. They only end up throwing it up in the end. Let the darling
creatures choose their own temptations. This patient has, for now, left the
world. Never fear, the habits are still there, and you can call on them if the
occasion ever arises. Your thought should now be absorbed in deciding how this
new development is to be used.

The problem I have always had with the World, as a
main line of attack, is that it is too human. That is, there is always human
interaction. Of course our business in the World is to poison, twist, and stunt
human interaction so that it takes place only on the shallowest levels, and is
limited to exploitation and abuse. When that process is firmly established, I
grant you the results are quite gratifying. However, I have seen some sad cases
(not mine, but unfortunate acquaintances I used to have). You see, in the World
there is constant interaction with people, and people are always other. It
requires constant vigilance to ensure that the patient never sees them as
people because if he did he would look for something deeper. The Enemy has a
teaching that persons should give of themselves to each other and that somehow
this will make them more full, instead of more empty. He calls it
“relationship.” According to their doctrine, Heaven is Relationship. (You will, of course, recognize the twist on my
beloved acolyte, Jean Paul’s famous saying that “Hell is other people”.)  To the Enemy and His agents, Heaven is the
fulfillment of all relationships.

That dogma is, of course, heresy to us, but we use
the word as shorthand for whatever-it-is-that-is-really-going-on-there. In any
event “relationship” is purely the enemy’s territory. The last thing we want
our human to have is a relationship. In my mind, the perverted shallow
relationships of the World are really only a concession. In the end, in Hell,
there will be no such thing as even the tiniest vestige of relationship. All
will be turned in upon self in an eternal, crippling self-adulation and hatred.
We want to begin the work as soon as possible since The Enemy created the
little vermin and His calls are deep inside them and hard to eradicate. The
human interactions which we must allow them for now are our concessions to this
weakness in them, which we slowly wean them away from over time.

If you’ve been able to comprehend what I have so
clearly explained above, then you should be able to see why I am so frustrated
by your short-sighted ignorance. Don’t wait for this “phase to pass.” Use it.

Let us first establish what we do not want to have happen. Male humans
will often gather together in one of their homes to play video games, often
combined with beer and pizza. This we absolutely do not want. Of course we have
ways of exploiting even this, but the combination of human interaction, food
and drink, harmless high spirits, and the phenomenon of “fun” renders the event,
on the whole, less than favorable to us. At least they aren’t coming together
for virtuous pursuits, you say? True, and if that’s all I could get I would
take it, but on the whole I say, when the games draw humans together at all it
rather defeats their whole purpose.

Some experts on the subject advocate sex and
violence in video games, and we have made great advances on those fronts. I am
dubious about how much harm they really do to adult humans, but as an indicator
of what the human’s real longings are they are invaluable. After all, he
wouldn’t be playing at buying prostitutes and then killing them if that idea
didn’t have a certain attraction in his heart. And as a part of our overall
flooding of society with those two themes, it is of course only natural.

But to me the real genius of the games is isolation.
Let him sit in his house alone, to play them. If he plays with people he knows
online, so be it. Sometimes a little dose of interaction is better than
nothing. It makes them feel like they are in relationship so it is a
vaccination against the real thing. Let him spend all those longings for
adventure and accomplishment on a series of ones and zeros in a computer
program somewhere.

Does he use them to escape human interaction, that
is the question? When the moment of truth comes, which does he choose, his game
or the other person? To this end, you want to keep that moment of truth as
fleeting and as low key as possible. He should not even know that it is a test
with eternal repercussions when it happens. The moment of truth does not look
like a messenger from the enemy with a flaming sword. Far more often it looks
like a snot-nosed little human brat asking Daddy to read a book. It might look
like a text message from a friend inviting him out. You, of course, can see the
weight of consequence hanging on each of these choices. (At least you should be
able to. From the letter you sent, however, I have my doubts.) He, almost
certainly, cannot, and your business is to blind him more and more until all he
can see is the image on his screen.

 Can you take
the games from being part of his real world, and make them the whole world? If
you can, then you have successfully illusioned him. It is excellent preparation
for when they arrive down below, where never again through all eternity will
any reality ever intrude itself upon their shrinking souls. The human who
voluntarily chooses that while still alive is already half-way to hell. He just
doesn’t know it.

The question is, my dear Worldly Wise, can you teach
him that his fantasy world is more important than The Enemy’s real world? If
not, then do let me know, and I will be happy to arrange for a more intimate
refresher.

Cheers,

Thugfang.

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