I'm thinking about Enter the Matrix lately. Even as I say those words I am struck by the absurdity and craziness of them. Enter the Matrix is almost certainly not a good game, it currently holds a 62 out of 100 on Metacritic. Yet, it represents one of my favorite memories from playing games from when I was younger.
Back in grand ol' 2003 when Enter the Matrix came out me and my best friend were each silly dumb 11 year old kids who liked the Matrix and were over the moon at the chance to jump in and play as Neo, The Chosen One. Of course, little did we know thats not actually what was going to happen in the game.
Yet, we didn't care, we got consumed by the story that Enter the Matrix sought to weave, its incredible, at the time, moments that blew our 11 year old minds and left us stunned at what video games could do. Staying up late throughout the night, eating junk food, trading the controller and jokes as we tirelessly poured ourselves into the game. It was a blast and represented so much of what I love about games.
We never finished though. Eventually, sometime during the middle of the night we passed out due to sheer exhaustion. Once we woke up the following morning we of course went back to playing the game more, but eventually the weekend came to an end, school started on Monday, and we moved on to the next game the local movie store had to offer.
That weekend with Enter the Matrix was fantastic though. Every weekend playing video games with my friends always was. Playing Matrix's wacky, surreal story, goofing-off and playing all night with one of my best friends, eating like shit, talking trash, and just trying again and again everytime we died(which spoilers was a metric ton). It's a wonderful example of the synergy that video games and that time in my life had. Of staying up as late as you could. Of cracking jokes and eating delicious foods. Of just getting to spend a weekend doing something you love with your favorite people. The experiences and memories you can share with others that games offer is just so far ahead of any other medium. You can go to movies or a concert, but its not the same as staying up for days trying to beat a single game or a single level. Enter the Matrix is flawed, for many different reasons, yet none of that matters and damn if I'm not curious to see what the game's ending is. I'm heading out to see that friend again in a few weeks and you know what, I think we got some unfinished business to handle and I can't wait.