bastard pinball

1978 - 2012 - 1

In REDPRISON there is only one game to play: pinball. Its neon throbs into a headache; its din refracts through every corridor, an aching lure into the warm and waxing violence of abject tedium. Inert bodies line behind yours for a turn, barely breathing.

This is an accurate record of three wet Monday nights I spent in front of the machine, faithfully imagining that I were you, remembering me.


left and right arrows: flick flippers
up arrow: agitate the enclosure
down arrow: squish springy things
r: produce another ball

If you play via the game link, you may click 'edit' to play individual levels. The point is not to win (though you are welcome to try) but to pass the time exposed to certain stimuli, thinking less than usual.

For a more accurate experience:

Prepare beforehand by acquiring the following items (these may be purchased, borrowed, or otherwise available):

- a humidifier
- an electric fan with a 'low' setting
- a temperature-controlled room
- a heating pad
- a clean and non-toxic paper towel
- a resealable plastic bag
- a functioning refrigerator
- a functioning alarm clock
- a way to play the game

Wait until you would normally brush your teeth at night. Before brushing, fold the clean paper towel and place it in your mouth. Close your mouth and leave the towel in until it is fully soaked in your saliva (n.b. moving your tongue may help), then remove it and place it in the plastic bag. Seal the bag and place it inside the functioning refrigerator. Make sure the bag does not leak, as we do not want cross-contamination between your saliva and the various particulate matters wafting about the refrigerator.

Next, prepare your area of play. Set up the humidifier and heating pad nearby the computer you will use to play. Make sure neither is turned on, as heating pads are potential fire hazards when left unattended, and the humidifier may run out of water before you start playing. Both items should merely be at the ready. Place the fan such that it points to where you will sit/stand in front of the computer, and will blow humidified air in your direction. Finally, prepare the computer so that you are able to start the game as efficiently as possible.

Just before your normal bedtime, set the room temperature to hold at whatever threshold you consider slightly too chilly for a sleeveless shirt. Continue your normal pre-bed routine, then set the alarm to wake you in 3 hours, and place the alarm at least 3.5 meters (approximately 11.5 feet) from where you will sleep. Quickly refresh in your memory the remaining instructions, to avoid rereading them when you wake. Then go to bed as you otherwise normally do.

When the alarm goes off, disable it and bring it with you. Do not change out of your sleep clothes or don anything further. Go to the refrigerator and retrieve the bag with soaked paper-towel. Bring it with you to the play area. Start the fan, the humidifier, and the heating pad (in that order). The fan should be set to "low" and facing you, blowing the humidifier's mist toward you.

Next, set the alarm to go off in two hours and place it nearby. This is simply to ensure that your play session does not exceed two continuous hours. You should not interrupt too much sleep.

Next get into position in front of the computer, and place the heating pad over your belly. The warmth should help somewhat with the chill. Remove the damp paper towel from the plastic sack. Drape the towel across your shoulders and chest like a necklace. Your old saliva should smell strange to you.

Now wake your computer for play. Review the prompt and controls, and think of the room that held the machine. Hold this place in mind and play.

Stop when the alarm goes off or after the experience becomes unbearable.

In many ways, you are lucky.

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