Words on a Screen: A 16-Bit Opera on an 8-Bit Track

Notes: The aesthetic of this script as looking like an online chat forum is more than intentional. I visualize two Soloists. This can be an animated 16-bit cartoon with pixelated sprites or even an interactive basic video game. I can see a male and a female character sitting in front of their computers: with their heads to us, but we can see their faces as icons on each other’s screens. For example, the boy’s face would be on her screen and her face would be on his.

I can also see them playing a video game RPG with basic pixel characters: especially when they talk about “epics of epicness.” I also see their dialogue appearing in blue boxes over their heads when they sing.

In addition, I can hear the music as being synthetic and electronic like the soundtracks one would find in old Nintendo video games or old-style arcade games.

These are obviously just suggestions though and live-performers and stagecraft can be used as well.

<<Him>> They say this isn’t real.

<<Her>> They tell me not

to waste my time.

<<Them>> She/he’s not flesh or bone enough

to hold me.

<<Him>> A keyboard is not the texture

of her skin.

<<Her>>  My headphones aren’t his lips at my ear.

<<Him>> But I can look at her text and feel her grin.

<<Her>> I can hear his voice

both deep and


<<Them>> These are the games we play

when the medium is the message

of connection.

<<Him>> Words on a screen.

<<Her>> Touch on a phone.

<<Him>> Our love can be seen.

<<Her>> But we are forever alone.

<<Him>> But are we?

<<Her>> Are we really?

<<Him>> We live trapped in our

blood and bone.

<<Her>> We put on our social

masks, our created


<<Him>> You can walk among people

all alone.

<<Her>> We live personal space

where only silence falls.

<<Them>> Background chatter

white noise

to lose yourself in

a distance of static.

<<Him>> So I played the game of life

where you can’t beat your bosses

<<Her>> because you work for them.

<<Him>> Where you can’t find coins

from floating boxes or the bushes

<<Her>>  The money runs out.

<<Him>> And your princess is never in another castle.

<<Her>> There are no extra lives

and few second chances.

<<Him>> Each day lags.

<<Her>> Each day an epic battle of


<<Them>> Until we played the games we play

where the medium is the message

of connection.

<<Him>> Words on a screen

<<Her>> Touch on a phone

<<Him>> Our love can be seen

<<Her>> But we are forever


<<Him>> But are we?

<<Her>> Are we really?

<<Him>> I used to hate two-player games.

<<Her>> I’d not be some fanboy’s

“girl-gamer” trophy.

<<Him>> Devolving into

player vs. player

<<Her>> Disgusting words and


<<Him>> But just when the Flame Wars

seemed to never end

<< Her>> I’d just about given up …

<<Him>> We met on a Fan Site

<< Her>> Looking for an 8-Bit

Convention Flight.

<<Him>> And on the Internet

<< Her>>  something

<<Him>> was

<<Her>> finally

<<Them>> Right.

<<Him>> We planned to share a room

with friends as our cash

was tight.

<<Her>>  We talked on the forum

about our 8-Bit tracks

<<Him>> exchanged e-mails

<<Her>> chatting deep into the


<<Him>> We got to talk

about martial arts.

<<Her>> I got to pick his brain.

<<Him>> I told her in the Matrix

I’d side with the Machines.

<<Her>> I told him about my art

in different fanzines.

<<Him>> Until the glass of the screen became

a permeable thing

<<Her>> As we Skyped

our voices rang with


<<Him>> Until

<<Her>> After exchanging pictures

<<Him>> wireless electricity crackled

<<Her>> just as Tesla had intended

<<Them>>  And we

exhaled …

pixelations ….

For we played the games we play

where the medium is the message

of connection.

<<Him>> Offline they still say this

isn’t real.

<<Her>> That passion and pain

are just words on a


<<Him>> Sound and fury flying across

digital space,

signifying nothing.

<<Them>> On our 8-Bit Convention Day

we plan to meet

<<Him>> Face-to-face

<<Her>> Flesh-to-flesh

<<Him>> Text-to-text

<<Her>> and brain-to-brain

<<Them>> Even if they think we’re insane.

<<Her>> Perhaps it could be a


<< Them>> For words on a screen

connect pure and clean

and Offline can be messy.

<<Him>> I think

<<Her>> Yet I believe

<<Them>> Yet we know

in this 8-Bit Theatre

this 16-Bit Opera

our epics of epicness

will unite past blood,

bone, sex and continents

to make the greatest

multi-player role-playing

game of all!

For words on a screen

and touch on a phone

make love visible

and we are not alone.

Our medium is our message.

We are our medium,

and we are … real.

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