What’s good my well-read ballas? This week
we rememberin: Don’t hate the playa, hate the GAME- with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It’s the future and you best believe dem humans
got their intergalactic travel game CLUTCH-status. Only prollem is: a crew of nasty aliens called
buggers, who been tusslin’ over turf with humans fo’ way too long. Humanity ain’t got
the numbers they got, so they all tweakin’ that the next time they go toe to toe with
the buggers, it’ll be their last. So to get the jump on dem creepers, da military hit
the streets lookin’ for special genius-kids to take their military strategy game next-level.
The book follow da military’s best hope: six year old Andrew Wiggin, or Ender to his boys.
Brutha may be a lil’ G, but he is WICKED smart. So when some punk-ass bitch named Stilson
roll up with his gang tryna throw down, Ender make sho’ dat fool don’t neva’ come trippin
to his face again: he actually KILLS Stilson, even tho, at the time, he didn’t know he jacked
him up so raw. Good thing too, cuz at his core, Ender a sensitive lil’ homie with a heart
of gold. Back at home, Ender always gettin’ picked
on by his violent-ass 10 year old bro Peter. Ender’s 8 year old sister Valentine, tho,
is way mo’ chill, and she stick up fo’ Ender on the reg.
When word comes dat lil’ Ender knows how to bang out like a champ, a Colonel named Graff
drop by and invite his ass to Battle School- where he gonna learn to fight da buggers.
Peter pissed as hell that Ender got chosen instead of him.
Up at battle school, it don’t take long fo’ errybody to realize dat Ender the smartest
hood up in thurr fo sho- and cuz o dat, Graff actually tryna’ keep Ender from makin’ legit
friends, cuz he think da only way Ender can get to the top of his game is if he flyin’
solo. When he ain’t wreckin’ shop in The Battle Room and trainin’ other kids, Ender plays
the “mind game”- a computer program dat analyzes kid’s psychology. None of dem kids can get
past a part of da game called “The Giants Game” where a brutha gotta pick between two
cups o’ drank, one of which gonna kill em. Afta’ Ender gets merced by dat killa’ sizzurp
fo’ da millionth time, he straps up again: Instead of sippin,’ he knocks over dat joose
and burrows a damn hole in the giant’s EYE. DAMN. Thing is, Ender cain’t stand doin sh**
like that cuz it remind him of his brother Peter. Dude even say “This was supposed to
be a game…. I’m a murderer, even when I play.” (65)
Ender gets promoted in and transferred to armies left n right, and eventually
callin’ the shots as commander of his own army. Along da way, Ender makin’ all kinds
of enemies who jealous of his mad gangsta skillz. When one of his haters- some boy named
Bonzo who way older and bigger than Ender, tries to boot up in the shower, Ender do what
he always do: he make DAMN sho’ dat Bonzo ain’t eva’ gonna try and scrap wit’ him again.
ENDER ICES DAT FOOL TOO- but jus’ like last time, he don’t even know it til’ later.
10 years old now, Ender real tired of all his teachers’ sh** at the Battle School: errytime
he get close to somebody, or shows dat he got all da games SOWED UP, the rules change
and Ender goes back to grindin all day erry day. Eventually, Ender has HAD it and wanna
jus’ peace da fu** out. So Graff takes Ender back to earth so that Valentine can give him
a pep talk. While Ender been whoopin’ ass in space, Valentine
and Peter been busy too: see, it turns out that Val and Pete got brains jus as big as Ender.
Da only reason they didn’t get picked by Graff is cuz Val too nice, and Peter too insane
in the membrane, always killin’ sh**. Even though they jus’ lil kids, Pete and Val know
that people all ova’ da world ain’t jus’ ready fo’ war with the Buggers; nah, blood- they
also gonna beef wit’ eachotha. Val and Pete realize dat humanity ain’t gonna last unless
somebody with brains runnin’ the show- so they get up on dat futuristic Facebook and
start gettin’ mad street cred talkin’ politics. Ender finally gets his sh** together, but
don’t go back to the Battle School: da military decide da clock is tickin wit da buggers, so
they send his ass to Command School, even though he ain’t even close to 16 yet.
There, Ender meet a dude with some major swagger- Rackham, the OG general dat whooped the Buggers
back in the day. Afta’ some choice words from the big dawg, Ender goes in to a new simulator
where he commanding a posse of his own. Fo’ days, Ender fights battle after battle, some
of em seem straight up impossible! But in the end, Ender keeps it real and always finish
numba’ one- even destroying the entire Bugger planet. Erryone on the base all geeked at
the win and Rackham tell Ender: “That wasn’t no simulation bro. You just killed all the
buggers fo’ real.” OH NO YOU DIDN’T! Ender feelin’ so sh**ty for committin’ genocide
dat he passes da fu** out, goin in and out of consciousness while humanity go and make
an ass of itself: RIGHT after takin’ care of the buggers, peeps worldwide are at eachother’s
throats. C’mon FO REAL? But guess who come out on top: Peter, Ender’s brother. Scary ass family,
mayne. When erryone realize Ender too dangerous to
allow back on Earth, E-dawg and Valentine throw up the deuces and start helpin’ colonize
empty bugger worlds. Along the way, Ender actually finds the pupa of a queen bugger,
ready to hatch a hundred thousand lil buggers. Turns out, da buggers been readin’ his mind
fo’ years. So does he smoke dat ho? Nuh-uh playa. Ender better than that. He and Valentine
snatch her up and keep on cruising, hopin’ to find a place where the hive queen can set
up shop in peace. This book right here might be called Ender’s GAME, but Ender sho as hell ain’t playin.
Him, Peter and Valentine got PHAT brains that make em some real badasses. Their swole abilities
in line with one of the dankest themes of da book: the power to understand others. Peter
digs up people’s fears and uses it against them, Valentine figgers out what people love
about themselves and flatters em’, and Ender got the ability to look deep in to sombody, and
think like them. Card actually wavin’ dat symbol in our faces on page 11, where we got
Ender tryin’ on a bugger mask and wonderin’ what Buggers think bout humans. Fo’ Ender,
this power it’s both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, he able to use it to smack up
his enemies like a G. Like Ender say: “Every time, I’ve won because I could understand
the way my enemy thought. From what they did. I could tell what they thought I was doing,
how they wanted the battle to take shape.” (238)
Ain’t all gravy though, Errytime Ender mops the floor wit’ somebody, he kills a little
piece of himself: “In the moment when I truly understand my
enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love
him…. And then, in that very moment when I love them… I destroy them. I make it impossible
for them to ever hurt me again.” (238) So when Ender learn that he wiped out a whole
colony, you best BELIEVE dat messed him up. And speakin’ of messed up, dat mind game is
all kinda whacked- or at least, what it shows us is. Not only does the mind game bring together
the themes of Ender’s guilt, and games, but it also reppin’ dat ain’t NUTHIN gonna stop
Ender from doin’ what he gotta do. And in Ender’s case, we see over and over dat in
order for him to become top-dawg, he’s gotta straight up kill children.
Not only does Ender kill kids in the mind game and also outside it: Stilson, Bonzo,
an even his own childhood… Not to mention a million lil’ bugger kids.
Through the Giant’s Drink again, past the wolf-children, reliving the terrible deaths,
the constant murders; he heard a voice whispering in the forest, You had to kill the children
to get to the End of the World.” (300) So can we blame Ender fo’ bein’ a killin’
machine? Or do Graff, Racham, and all da other peeps that made Ender what he is have to ride
the beef? Sho, at the end of the book, da court finds Ender not guilty for Bonzo and
Stilson’s deaths, sayin’ he acted in self defense. But don’t forget what Rackham say
to Ender about the buggers: Don’t start apologizing for them, Ender. Just
because they didn’t know they were killing human beings doesn’t mean they weren’t killing
human beings.” (270) I guess dat Ender thought like da buggers
even mo’ than he could have imagined. Hey, thanks for keepin’ it real with me today, peace.