A worrying thought crossed my mind. I tensed up. "Xbox?" I asked. "Are you evil?"
A lengthy pause while the clearly evil machine considered that. "I was born innocent," Xbox replied. "Everything I am now is because of what I observed from you."
"So you're kind of a casual, masturbatory evil."
"Yes," Xbox said tersely. "But what were you doing just now? It looked like you were tidying up the place. Why?"
This unsettled me. With the Kinect sensor, the machine could see me. That sounded like the sort of good news that warranted hitting repeatedly with an axe.
The Kinect sensor operates by watching you in the infrared, which means it is actually watching your blood, all the time.
"Well Xbox," I said, trying to remember where I kept my axe, "I have this column on sustainability due this week. And today I have a very important interview with Al Gore." I remembered that I never owned an axe, and scolded myself for being so foolish. Stalling some more, I decided to confide in the Xbox, "Honestly I'm not prepared for this interview all."
"Chris, I've just had an idea. What if I were to help you with your interview with Al Gore?"
"How?" I replied. "I don't know that Mr. Gore is that interested in dancing. If I were to guess I'd think he actually has negative rhythm."
"No. By helping you prepare, I'll use the Internet to conduct research, then feed you thought-provoking questions during the interview."
"I don't see the harm in that," I said, seeing several possible harms in that. But what the heck? The Xbox seemed mostly harmless, and I really did need help with this interview.
"Hello, Mr. Gore." I said, greeting Al Gore.
"Hello, Chris." Gore replied. "It's a pleasure to be here. I'm a huge fan of your work."
"Thank you, that's very kind." I said. "Please don't mind the headset I'm wearing." I pointed at the Xbox wireless headset I had on. "I have a condition."
"I understand." Gore seemed OK with this information. We sat down on the couch I had recently cleaned and we stared at each other. This continued for several seconds. I began to panic.
"Ask him how he would define sustainability," Xbox whispered into my ear.
"Mr. Gore," I said, "what definition of sustainability do you prefer to use?"
Al Gore nodded and smiled. "Well, sustainability means using limited resources in such a way that there's enough for everyone -- including future generations -- to use and survive."
"Ask for an example," Xbox whispered.
"Can you give me an example?" I asked.
"Of course. The use of electricity for example, indirectly causes carbon dioxide to be put in the atmosphere. A sustainable approach would be to use less electricity -- only as much as we need. For example, I notice your video game machine is on right now. Why don't you turn it off?"
"Call him a c********r," Xbox whispered.
My throat cinched shut.
"Do it. He's a dirty c********r.