Part 5: The Win Condition, The Black Box

Chapter 26: The Assertion

John was on the phone with his boss again. For better or worse, he was not playing a game with Arya this time. 

The boss said, “I’ve got another one for you, John, this one’s a real doozy!”

Normally, John would have cringed and pretended to be fine. Instead, he took a deep breath.

“Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I’m trying to be more straightforward lately. I really don’t like reviewing mostly shitty games. I’d prefer if maybe half of my games were nonsense, and half were from decent studios.” John waited, biting his lip.

“Oh!” the boss said. “Honestly… wow, I feel pretty bad now. I had no idea you didn’t like it. Your reviews were just so saucy, I thought you liked that sort of thing.”

“Don’t feel bad, it’s my fault for not saying anything sooner. And you’re not wrong, I do like writing saucy reviews. I just don’t like only writing saucy reviews, y’know?”

“Totally makes sense. Yeah, let me check the list… I actually can give you one of the upcoming triple A titles, I hadn’t figured out who to give that one yet. I’m afraid I might still have more shitty titles for you than good ones for a bit as folks work through their backlogs, but I hear you loud and clear.”

“Thanks, Boss, I really appreciate it.” John was shocked that it had been that easy. He’d been sure that it take much more convincing than that.

“I appreciate you being honest! I don’t want you to hate your job, I swear. I’ll send you over the details in a sec.”

“Cool, sounds good.”

John’s boss hung up. They were always so abrupt, but John was now starting to wonder if it maybe wasn’t as personal as he’d originally thought. They reacted way better than he’d expected to his request, and had really sounded sincere. They were just… busy. John, for his part, needed to get busy writing his Black Box review. He finally knew what he was going to say.


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