Maximised Total Happiness
Michelle smiled, exhausted, as her baby’s cry filled the hospital room. The lights above her were harsh and cold, and the sheets beneath her were tangled and scratchy, soaked in her sweat and stinking of iodine, but none of that mattered against such a beautiful sound. She heard it so rarely—just once a year.
“Congratulations, Mrs Bergeron,” said the midwife. “It’s a girl.”
“Oh, thank you so much! I’m ecstatic!” She looked over at Nathan, cradling baby Danielle face down in his strong arms. A Happiness Moderator stood by them, uniformed with the usual black suit and easy smile; he lined up a large needle at the base of Danielle’s skull and implanted the HappyChip with a swift movement. Danielle’s cries quieted, then turned to a happy giggle.
written by David Steffen Jetpack Joyride is an endless runner mobile app game published by Halfbrick in 2011. Download it for free from app stores like Google Play. The game stars Barry, a struggling gramophone salesman who breaks into a high-security laboratory to steal an experimental jetpack prototype and makes his escape with it, dodging … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Jetpack Joyride
written by David Steffen Elevator Action is a 1983 spy action game by Taito published in arcade format. As each level begins the player character grapples to the top of a 30-story building and must make their way down to the ground floor through the building filled with gun-toting guards while collecting secret documents along … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Elevator Action
written by David Steffen Missile Command is a franticly paced war game published as an arcade console by Atari in 1980. In each level of the game you have three bases that can fire missiles that need to defend themselves and their cities against incoming enemy missiles. The controls consist of a roller ball for … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Missile Command
written by David Steffen Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a turn based combat game developed for the Nintendo Switch by Ubisoft, which is a mashup of Nintendo popular Mario Bros. franchise and Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids franchise. A new invention has just been completed, a visor that allows the wearer to fuse two other objects into one object. … Continue reading VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Charlie Slawson sat alone in the transit station, watching a set of empty train tracks and wondering why the train was late. Truth be told, he hadn’t known until just then that temporal trains even could be late. He looked around the underground station—its old, brick walls lined with gaudy digital displays, advertising exciting trips … Continue reading DP FICTION #57B: “The Train to Wednesday” by Steven Fischer
written by David Steffen Robotron 2084 was developed by Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar of Vid Kidz and released in 1982. A multi-directional shooter survival game, where the object is to survive in a fight against endless waves of killer robots while rescuing human survivors along the way. The game uses a dual-joystick movement and shooting scheme that made it … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Robotron 2084
written by David Steffen Xevious is a 1983 vertical-scrolling top-down shooter arcade game published by Namco. In the game you have two weapons: a laser that fires straight forward that can destroy air targets, and a bomb that fires forward suitable only for land-based targets. As you travel through the level, other flying ships are … Continue reading GAME REVIEW: Xevious
written by David Steffen Descendants 3 is the third in a series of musical action Disney Channel original movies, and was published on The Disney Channel in August 2019. The kingdom of Auradon is perfect, and populated entirely by Disney movie heroes and their kids (who are somehow all within a few years of each … Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Descendants 3
Jakayla crouched in front of her dark closet. She hadn’t turned on the light because that was an awfully rude thing to do when trying to talk to the monster hidden inside.
“You gotta listen to me,” she whispered. “The news is saying really bad things, like rocks are gonna fall out of the sky and a lot of people are gonna die. You can’t stay in my closet. You gotta go to the basement. There’s dark spaces down there for you to hide in. I won’t tell no one you gone there.”
“Jakayla!” She turned to find Grandma leaning into the bedroom. “I got to run to your auntie’s house. The phone network’s down.”
“The phones don’t work?” Jakayla gasped. “Why? I didn’t think anything had fallen yet?”
“Nothing has, yet. Everyone’s trying to talk to everyone on the phone, and the system can’t handle that. Listen, girl.” Grandma waddled forward to cup Jakayla’s face. “We’re going to be just fine, you hear me? Don’t you worry. Just stay here. We’ll have everyone here together in the basement tonight.”