Nicholson Baker has “always had pacifist leanings” so it was interesting to read about his first experiences playing video games, mostly the popular violent ones: Halo 3, Red Dead Redemption, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, etc.
To begin with, you must master the controller. On the Xbox 360 controller, which looks like a catamaran, there are seventeen possible points of contact. In order to run, crouch, aim, fire, pause, leap, speak, stab, grab, kick, dismember, unlock, climb, crawl, parry, roll, or resuscitate a fallen comrade, you must press or nudge or woggle these various buttons singly or in combination, performing tiny feats of exactitude that are different for each game. It’s a little like playing “Blue Rondo a la Turk” on the clarinet, then switching to the tenor sax, then the oboe, then back to the clarinet.
Bummer that the whole article isn’t online.