Fiction: Kevin Costner and Child


"Kevin Costner and Child" - A Video Game Proposal

A down-on-his-luck Costner is charged with taking care of a relative’s young son (or daughter) for a weekend.  The game’s goal is to raise Costner back to the career heights of the late 1980s and early 1990s.  The player takes on the role of the child, whose sex can be changed as desired.  The child is about eight years old, comes from a broken home, and begins the game nervous and malnourished.  Costner, on the other hand, is overly-nourished, especially with beer and beef and various spirits.

Gameplay comprises a series of challenges in which a hungover Costner places an enormous amount of responsibility in the hands of the timid, hollow-eyed child, all while seeking to cure his hangover with the “hair of the dog.”  Naturally, just a hair won’t do, and despite any success in acquiring alcoholic beverages, Costner persistently seeks more.  The child’s job is to guide both Costner and himself to safety, while managing a series of obstacles and other challenges posed by Costner’s erratic behavior and occasionally frightening demands.

For example, an early stage in the game may involve Costner entering a bar to seek refreshment.  His young charge, aware of Costner’s precarious hold on sobriety and eager to keep Costner within the easily-punctured boundaries of responsibility, is refused entry due to his young age.  However, gameplay will allow for the child to seek surreptitious means to entry, after which he “rescues” Costner from drink by employing distraction and desperately screamed white lies.

A further stage will involve Costner suddenly finding the need to fly to Phoenix to participate in a photo shoot for High Times.  This extended adventure can be broken up into a number of segments, beginning with a drive to the airport.  Due to Costner’s advanced drunkenness at this juncture, he forces the child to commandeer a parked car.  Unable to see over the dash, and with the most rudimentary understanding of the controls, the child receives sporadic and semi-coherent coaching from Costner, who shouts directions while lying listlessly across the backseat.  The child pilots the car, against all odds, through a variety of road-oriented obstacles, finally arriving on a busy runway where he must dodge taxiing airliners.  Finally, a series of runway ground controllers wave the car toward the correct private jet and Costner incoherently stumbles aboard his flight.

Later, in the Los Angeles section of the game, we find Costner employing the child rather extra-legally as a personal assistant as the actor struggles to regain control over his career.  The child is charged with a number of routine “gofer” activities, which he must maintain while managing an ever-mounting onslaught of dangerous and increasingly illegal challenges.  One such situation may involve Costner soliciting the company of a prostitute in a paparazzi-heavy section of Brentwood.  The child must execute a widespread campaign of misinformation and damage control in order to avoid besmirching Costner’s revived career. 

Another such level in the Los Angeles section may be a gaffe-laden speech given by Costner at a Hollywood awards ceremony.  While presenting an award, Costner lapses into a politically-charged but generally nonsensical ramble on the subject of the BP oil spill, Native American rights, and the ups and downs of getting blonder with age.  The child is then challenged to avoid further such incidents by rigging Costner with a voice-manipulation gadget for future awards shows; the player will thus be able to cover Costner blunders with his own voice, processed to mimic Costner’s.

Agents, publicists, and industry executives must be handled with growing frequency.  As Costner’s acting career resumes, he experiences spiritual growth, seeking the advice and wisdom of swamis, gurus, bhagwans, monks, voodoo priests, and peyote dealers.  At one point in the game, he is photographed wearing Apache warpaint and a disposable diaper.  There are rumors that Costner has submitted to a Scientology audit, rumors that the child will neither confirm nor deny, just as he will neither confirm nor deny reports of Costner having met with rabbis or Tom Cruise.

Scripts begin to pour in, each of which the child will have to read and summarize for prompt discussion with Costner, who will generally show up to such meetings in flip-flops, accompanied by a pitcher of pina coladas or a crispy blonde with skin like jerky.  Project selection will generally rest with the child, although Costner will occasionally blurt, “I like this one!  Let’s do it!” which will precipitate an immediate and often unwise commitment.  Selection of projects must therefore be accomplished without Costner in the room if possible, which will be difficult, as he will tend to unexpectedly show up shirtless and demand to be taken jet skiing or parasailing or to perform country music in Europe and points north.

Scoring will be complex but will generally be calculated based on the efficacy of the child in preventing Costner from further damaging his reputation and avoiding physical injury.  The player’s ultimate goal is to guide Costner to an Academy Award for Best Actor before reaching the age of sixty.

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