That Shark Game WIP

In the second person, with elements of creative non-fiction.

That Shark Game

There’s this game. You’re a shark and your job is to evolve. You think that’s your job. There’s this economy where some of the fish that you eat give you gold and diamonds, and you use the gold to pimp out your shark (???) and the diamonds to revive yourself if you die. Your other job is to not starve to death. Oh, and if you collect these seashells, they give you secret missions. And the secret missions help you upgrade the shark.

With each shark that you upgrade, things seem to get a little harder. There are a lot of things that can hurt you if you don’t eat them first: puffer fish, swordfish, rays, other sharks. You end up eating a lot of other sharks. And then there are a few things that you can’t eat: noxious gases escaping from busted open canisters, jellyfish, mines, and lionfish. Maybe with the later sharks all the humans that you end up eating learn to defend themselves. In some playthroughs, you eat more humans than any other species – except maybe butterfly fish. Apparently the ocean is lousy with them.

The level is big, but your shark is fast, so it doesn’t take long to get from side to side. If you go too deep, the pressure makes your life bar decrease faster. It’s a fun game. For the iPhone.

Except you wonder what it’s like to be a real shark, and you realize it’s probably much more difficult. For one, the distances are longer, and you know that there is some realism to the game’s obstacles – except they left out some because it would have made it, well, maybe too hard. Sharks are tough as hell, and all. You know that they, like alligators, have existed in large numbers since the time of the dinosaurs. Except now they don’t exist in large numbers anymore.

If a real shark ate a person, that shark would be dead. Deader than dead. And probably the people whose beach it is would want to kill all the other sharks around. Some beaches have these things called Shark Hooks. They bait hooks and leave them a certain distance away from the shore. If any sharks get close enough to shore to smell the bait, they are supposed to hook themselves. For the safety of beach goers, sharks aren’t allowed to come near the coast. They should stick to their normal hunting grounds. After all, that’s where the finning ships can get them and sell their fins for somebody’s wedding. It isn’t as if they kill them or anything: they just take their fins, and then release the shark back into the water. That isn’t the same as killing them outright.

So, maybe the sharks shouldn’t stay near their usual hunting and breeding grounds. Maybe they should go not-too-close-to-shore and not-too-close-to-where-instinct-tells-them-to-go. After all, there’s plenty of food in the big blue, right? Plenty of fish in the sea.
You think, actually, that sharks should try hanging out near that garbage spiral – the one that’s the size of Texas or whatever – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Wikipedia calls it a “gyre of marine trash.” Very Yeats. Surely they could find something to eat there.

Oh and then don’t sharks have natural predators? Like, squids and killer whales and such? Not to mention that dolphins like to chase them off by shoving their noses at them and pushing tourists up so that they can get a photo-op.

Yeah, it is a pretty good game. But it lacks realism, or whatever.

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