The Unending Crunch Conversation
Of course this is about Cyberpunk. Of course this has nothing to do with Cyberpunk.
In high school, I had a teacher who taught me to knife fight. Don’t worry, it was after school. He was the kind of teacher who kept his classroom open for nerds, geeks, and anyone else who didn’t have anywhere to go after school.
I could lie and say I don’t remember what I was doing that day. I won’t. My friends and I were talking about Assassin’s Creed. We were miming fights and doing “parkour” rolls on the linoleum floor.
The teacher sauntered over, watched some videos with us, then asked, “Do you want to know how to really fight with a knife?” The answer was obvious.
He was my favorite teacher; he was everyone’s favorite teacher. Any time I did not have another class and his classroom was free, I would be there. I discovered music through his eclectic and immaculate collection of cassettes along the with vintage boombox he had from his days as a student.
I joined a club that gathered in his classroom after school to program, solder, and crash the school’s network with Unreal Tournament matches. The teacher would stay there and supervise, making sure we didn’t burn ourselves (too badly) and giving beaming encouragement for our myriad projects.
I would guess that on many days he was in that classroom for at least 12 hours. Sometimes more. Sometimes weekends. We didn’t mind, he was fun to talk to.
When he died, everyone that had ever known him came to the memorial. We swapped stories like trading cards, trying to complete the set that would leave us in greater awe of our deceased teacher.
We met his son. We tried to share stories with him. He didn’t want to share stories. His son didn’t like us much.
For every story we had of after school escapades, that was one memory the son didn’t get to have of his father. On average, me and my friends spent more time with him as a teacher than his family got to as a father or husband.
He was a dedicated teacher, maybe too much. I’m sure he loved teaching. I’m sure he loved his son.
I’m sure many of the developers at CD Projekt Red (and essentially every large studio) have pride in what they’ve made. I’m sure many millions of players will enjoy their time with the game.
I doubt the collected emotional, relationship, and mental damage will, in the fullness of time, be worth it.