They WERE trying to stop, they were sure of it. But the game was just so good. Try as they might, they couldn’t pull themselves away.

In the minutes between their turns, huddled around the flickering screen, they constructed theories about the game’s magic. What made it so addictive? “NAIP,” a tiny sticker on the back of the otherwise perfectly normal arcade cabinet read. Many of their theories centered around the four letters. The National Association for Insane Psychiatrists, perhaps? It seemed so bad science fiction, so very Hollywood backlot trash, but it wouldn’t have surprised them to learn that mind-control was at work. How else could they explain it? The game itself was nothing special. Indeed, while they weren’t playing, SUPER INSANE DEER HUNTING DELUXE 4 seemed quite unappetizing. It was only when they found themselves, almost accidentally, once again cradling the awkwardly pink plastic rifle that every industrious thought fled their minds and they began plugging away at the pixelated ungulates.

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