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It was May 1st, 2011, during the PSN’s infamous outage, and I did not have any games to play. I had already beaten Fallout: New Vegas, and the two games I was playing currently, Bad Company 2 and Metal Gear Online, were useless without being able to play online, so I searched around the house for games I could play; ANY games. After searching around the house, digging out of every box in the basement, I only found Guitar Hero III (but no guitar), DJ Hero (but no turntable), and oddly, My Street. For those who are unfamiliar with the game My Street, it was Sony’s answer to Mario Party, boasting several different mini-games to play, with the added novelty of online play. I distinctly remember loathing this game when I was eight because of its many gameplay issues and low-budget feel, making the game extremely frustrating. However, I was drawn to the horrible voice-acting and characters, making it a game that my brother and I remember as being so bad, that it was funny to play.

I opened the case hoping that the CD was still inside, and it was, to my elation. However, on the opposite side of the case, on top of the game manual, there was a sticky note with the words “Do Not Play!!!!” scribbled on it in sloppy cursive, handwriting that I immediately recognized as my own. I stared at the note, trying to remember why I wrote it… “Did the game freeze my ps2? No, as I would have taken it back to the game store….” I made up all these scenarios in my head, trying to find a valid reason for why I wrote the note. Then I finally remembered, and as I did, my heart dropped, and the largest knot formed in my stomach…

It was March of 2005, I was ten years old, and I had just traded my old PS2 for the slim one, and I was so excited to play it. The reason why I was so excited was not only because of the new design, but also because there was an Ethernet port built in to the slim ps2, so I was finally able to play online, without my parents knowing, as they took away my network adapter for my old ps2. I ran through my collection of games to find one that I could play online with, and I only found My Street. As I mentioned before, it wasn’t my favorite game, but at ten years old, I did not care, so I popped it into my new ps2, plugged the Ethernet cable in, fiddled with the network settings, and I was ready to play online. I joined many games, and although I lost a lot, I still had fun playing.

However, I noticed something weird; there was this player named “ala” followed by some numbers I couldn’t recall, that was in every game I played. At first, I did not think much about it, but soon, I realized that the other players of the game would disappear one-by-one, and I would be left alone with this “ala” person. The more I played, I noticed that a message would appear on the screen right before each player would disappear from the game; I initially thought it was just a loading screen, but no... it was some kind of message…. I quickly grabbed a note pad and a pen, and tried to jot down the message for every split second that I saw it as I played the game, and my heart started to race as I wrote down the message: “Ala… Wants… To… Play… With… Y-…You.” I almost jumped off my bed in terror of the message I wrote down… especially as it was accompanied by a terrifying drawing of a face.
Ala Wants To Play With You
I quickly ripped the paper out of the notepad and threw it in the garbage and I turned off my PS2. So many thoughts were racing in my head… I thought about telling my parents, but I really did not want to play that game again, and I did not want to tell them that I was playing online. I also thought about throwing it away, but I got it as a present from my aunt, and my parents would not be happy if they saw that I was trying to get rid of it. I decided to just eject the game and put it in its case, and I quickly scribbled “Do Not Play!!!!” on a sticky note and put it in the case, too, in case I forgot. I put it in a box in my parents’ office so that I would never look at it again…

As I remembered this story from six years ago, I shuddered at that message, “Ala Wants To Play With You.” What was Ala? I googled it. No results for the first page, only random organizations. Then, I finally found it on a theology website: Ala was a female demon from Slavic mythology that was known to destroy crops and…eat children. A lump formed in my throat as I said those last two words aloud, as if I was affirming myself that my eyes weren’t deceiving me. I tried to find rational explanations for occurrence, such as that someone was hacking the game, and was just trying to mess with me, or that this whole ordeal did not happen, and that it was just my ten-year old imagination; I just didn’t know. I should have settled for those excuses, and left it at that, but my curiosity got the better of me; I wanted to play the game again, and settle my paranoia once and for all.

I popped the game into my fat ps3, and started the game, telling myself repeatedly, “Just play the cheesy story mode, and it will confirm that there is nothing supernatural about this game. It will be a good laugh.” I let the goofy opening cutscene play, where the camera pans around different parts of the neighborhood that the game takes place in, showing the game characters dancing… however, the music was gone, and so were the characters, and instead, the camera panned around an empty neighborhood, giving me a tense feeling that carried down my spine… I started breathing frantically until I could not handle it anymore, and I quickly pressed the start button to skip that eerie cutscene. “Maybe it was just a glitch,” I told myself, “the ps2 emulation on the ps3 was always unreliable.” I started a new game and created my character with no more weird occurrences, and I started to lighten up; maybe the game wasn’t haunted, just a bunch of coincidences. Then, the first cutscene started where there is a shot of the exterior of your house as your mother tells you to make friends and play outside. However, instead, my character’s mom said, “Honey! Ala is here and she wants to play with you!” I quickly leaped from my bed and turned off the ps3 from the back. My anxiety came back, and I had a panic attack, hyperventilating while slowly losing consciousness… with that haunting sentence being played back in my head…. Luckily, my parents discovered me on the floor of my room quickly, and I after a couple of minutes, I finally regained consciousness….

After the paramedics had left, my parents asked me what happened, and I told them that it was just stress from school… I couldn’t tell them, I couldn’t play that game again to prove to them that I wasn’t crazy. I tried to sell it to GameStop, but they were not accepting trades for PS2 games, and I didn’t get any takers on eBay either. I decided to keep the game, and stow it back in the basement, so that one day, when I muster up the courage, I will be able to show someone this game. Only then will I be able to verify my sanity…

Written by Pixelninja4 (talk) 15:32, January 28, 2014 (UTC)

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