While my impression of the overall level of discourse in Home was inevitably tinged by that first encounter, I quickly learned that there are tons of fantastic conversations to be had in Home, covering a variety of topics ranging from the tastiness of Dannon Danimals to the artistic merit of Matthew Barney's Blood of Two. I even went as far as to create an elaborate back story for my limp - I insist my character had a limp - that involved me losing my left leg while interning on the Time Bandit, my favorite ship on Deadliest Catch. This is what I would tell to girls ... if I had ever learned to communicate.


Unfortunately, I never did. My interactions with other people consisted of me arriving during awkward pauses of conversation while the other parties involved waited for the hulking, disfigured John Tesh lookalike standing within breath mint distance to return to whatever bog he'd lumbered out from.

After an hour of hobbling around purposelessly, I made my way to the bowling alley. It was a pleasant surprise, the first real sense of usefulness I'd found in Home. The place was packed with avatars bowling, playing pool, chatting it up or hunkered down in front of glowing arcade machines. That was where I belonged: in a dark corner, detached from human contact, the glow of a videogame illuminating my disproportioned face.

I wandered the arcade until I finally found an empty echochrome machine. I approached it slowly and waited for it to load. (All things in Home are downloaded per piece, and apparently the arcade games were no exception.) The wait did not temper my lust. I'd earned this.

Finally, I was in. This version of echochrome was different from its PSP and PSN counterparts - a curious combination of echochrome and childhood favorite Spellavator. I tried to immerse myself in its novel gameplay, but failed miserably my first couple gos - a male and female avatar next to me kept breaking my concentration. They exchanged ages and asked for pictures. The female didn't have any, conveniently enough, but Desperate Dude sent his along regardless. I sighed and went back to my game.

As my skills increased, so did the intensity of the conversation going on next to me. I'd just cleared the screen of four enemies when-

>that's how u like it huh?

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