Game Enjambment is a reoccurring poetry series on games and gaming.

Doki Doki Literature Club! has quickly become one of the internet’s favorite games. Disguised as a cute visual novel where the player joins his best friend’s new literature club, it drops its innocent facade after less than an hour of gameplay. I made the mistake of not knowing anything about this game before I played it.

I’ve had a lifelong fear of Missing No. that I can’t really explain, but to say that DDLC freaked me out is an understatement.

Doki Doki Literature Club!, Dan Salvato, Team Salvato

Literally my heart is racing just looking at this picture.

A monster haunted
me, as a kid. Its name was
Missing No. Its face

was a grey mass of
pixels, places in the code
broken, or maybe

just erased. I wrote,
In a book I once held dear,
“It is a virus.”

I spelled it wrong, though.
“Virus” became “vir-er-es.”
And still, it scared me.

I didn’t know it
was on purpose, in its way.
Rare Candies and balls.

When their faces went
away, an ashen mix of
sapience and fear,

I knew what it was.
It had returned for me, this
virus of my dreams,

this monster of my
nightmares. The code was right there:
broken beyond repair.

Read the rest of the Game Enjambment series.