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Infinite Jest, page 322.

Eschaton takes eight to twelve to play, w/ 400 tennis balls so dead and bald they can’t even be used for service drills anymore, plus an open expanse equal to the area of four contiguous tennis courts, plus a head for data-retrieval and coldly logical cognition, along with at least 40 megabytes of available RAM and wide array of tennis paraphernalia. The vade mecumish rulebook that Pemulis in Y.P.W. got Hal Incandenza to write — with appendices and sample c:\Pink2\Mathpak\Endstat-path Decision-Tree applied game thearoy — is about as long and interesting as J. Bunyan’s stupefying Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come, and a pretty tough nut to compress into anything lively (although every year a dozen or more E.T.A. kids memorize the thing at such a fanatical depth that they sometimes report reciting mumbled passages under light dental or cosmetic anesthesia, years later). But if Hal had a Luger pointed at him and were under compulsion to try, he’d probably start by explaining that each of the 400 dead tennis balls in the game’s global arsenal represents a 5-megaton thermonuclear warhead. Of the total number of a given day’s players, three compose a theoretical Anschluss designated AMNAT, another three SOVWAR, one or two REDCHI, another one or two wacko but always pesky LIBSYR or more formidable IRLIBSYR, and that the day’s remaining players, depending on involved random considerations, can form anything from SOUTHAF to INDPAK to like an independent cell of Nuck insurgents with a 50-click Howitzer and big ideas.

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