In my younger days, I may have had a slight problem with video game addiction. There was a time that I considered myself the Yoda of all gaming and would gladly match my skills against anyone in the known universe. Of course this was back when I had a Sega Dreamcast or a trusty Nintendo—the first one. Looking back I realize that even abstraction art looked better than the graphics that I had come to know and love.
Much time has passed obviously and my gaming skills have greatly detoriated in that time. Kids, marriage and a ghastly thumb injury has kept me out of the gaming world. My hopes of going pro have forever been dashed. However, I have decided to get back in. The main reason being that having kids is not conducive to having a poker night with the buddies anymore. I mean, I could do it I suppose and get back at 3 in the morning. Sure, and I could not be married anymore either. The last time I did that, I came home drunk with my brother in law. We thought we were being quiet but I suppose that tripping over the dog and screaming at him is not as covert as I had hoped. It didn’t matter though as my wife was waiting for me in her robe, tears and a look that would make Ghandi give up. Did I mention that I didn’t call her either? Thus, the poker night has been canceled henceforth and I don’t get to see the guys much.
This is where the Xbox gaming system comes in. I have the ability to play online at anytime! Against anyone! I can get just as drunk from my bedroom with my wife close by. She can closely monitor my behavior and recommend any changes that she wishes, such as the ever helpful reminding me that I am a dork.. She likes to do this a lot while I play my online gaming. Granted, the headset that I think makes me look very Star Trek illicits only a nod and I’m sure a thought reminding herself why she married me in the first place. But online gaming, I have learned, has enabled me to contact people wherever and get some dude time when I need it. I have a daughter, a wife, and 2 female animals. Me and the Dog, named after the Wrath of Kahn by the way, are a bit outnumbered with “America’s Next Top Model” repeats.
One of the premier games to play on line is a nice, jaunty little ditty called Gears of War. To call this game violent is to call the Mona Lisa pretty, it just doesn’t do it justice. The main, and most gruesome weapon, is your chainsaw equipped machine gun. Yes, you can come around a corner and literally saw someone one in half, vertically. And no, these aren’t the sissy graphics of yesteryear. The person getting the rather indepth root canal via chain saw will begin to twitch and scream as he is being introduced to Jesus. This is followed by blood being splattered on your viewing scream, but not so much as you can’t see each individual rib, kidney, spine and various other hungry man parts flop around on the screen with a still twitching leg. The detail is amazing. I wonder how many faces of death video’s these guys had to watch to get the detail right. But then I remember it is a Microsoft game, (insert big evil corporation here), and realize that this probably is just the Tuesday schedule for them. Hmmm, that was a pretty weak joke, but suck it, it’s my blog.
As this game is so over the top and violent, I automatically love it. I figure that since it is such a mature game, most of the gamers would be around my age—32. How the world has changed since my gaming days. I have had many shocks in my life, some good, some great, but I swear to all that is holy, none have really matched Mr. Foul Mouth Preteen. I have discovered my white whale.
Gears is my first online gaming experience and I am quiet excited to test out my old skills. In my lingo, I was once very dope at playing video games. This is now known, apparently, as “gaming” and being a “gamer”. Rock and roll bubba, I’m a Gamer hardcore. Even though I haven’t played in a long while, I’m sure that the other older gentlemen may just be getting back into it as well and I hope to chat about games and then tax deductions. I join a game being hosted by the online moniker of “Poop23”. Ok, that’s somewhat funny, and I’m guessing it’s a man in his late 40’s who needs a lot of Metamucil. My online gamer “tag” as it is called is Namssoh, which is Hossman backwards. Namssoh means business folks, let’s strap it on!.
No sooner do I join than do I realize two things: 1. My “gaming” skills are right were I left them with the Sega Dreamcast, king of Crapcity 2. I am the oldest guy on here, by a long shot. It’s not even close. I have at least a good 12 years on the next oldest. Somehow, I begin to feel dirty. Must take shower.
I also realize something else. Violent and gruesome games attract violent and gruesome gamers. Who knew? The personalities of the next 7 people that I am playing with are no different other than age. There is so much profanity being laced through the internet that I want to start ID-ing these little punks to see if they have permission to be on here. THE BOX SAYS “FOR MATURE AUDIENCES” YOU LITTLE DEVIL SPAWN! The kicker is, most are under the age of 17 so I have no idea where they learned some of this filth they are spewing much less why they are spewing it? This wasn’t just some playful teasing. This was down right, mother insulting, fighting words that were coming out of here.
Let me elaborate the worst of it for you, dear blogger. In this game, Gears of War, teams of 4 work against eachother to kill you as gruesomely as you can. You thus get points for every kill, but the over all objective is for the Team to win. However, the Gear Heads out there have a very different philosophy. DO NOT STEAL THEIR KILLS. In other words, if they are shooting at a guy, and you shoot as well and end up getting the kill, you get the credit. The person that did all the work gets nothing. No big deal right, the team wins?
This happened with me. Mr. Poop23 and I were actively hunting an opposing player when Mr. Poop23 starting shooting at him. I figure I’ll help out and start shooting to, but I get the kill myself. Mr. Poop then launches on a tirade of profanity that was like poetry woven by the devil himself. I’m not sure how much I can put here, but basically, my sexuality was put into question, the size of my wang was greatly insulted and I’m sure I received a couple of death threats in there as well as my mother and any other relative I had. It was terrifying. The great part of all this: THIS WAS A KID. He couldn’t have been more than 14. “You took my kill, namssoh you (*^&^%*^%*^()!” It only got worse from there.
I was shocked, so shocked that I didn’t know what to say. Now, I’m not a small man. I got some build on me, although most of it now is in the form of a Santa Like stomach. I’ve never been much afraid of a fight either. But an online fight? I was way out of my league. This little guy was basically telling me he was going to come to my house and have his way with my dog while I watched. So I said the grown-up response “excuse me?” I retaliated. Yeah, let’s see how he likes that, the little pecker head.
This did not go good for me as he then proceeded to theorize that I like to have relations with midget aliens. Seriously, most of it made no sense but I found myself instantly intrigued by the tapestry of insults he was hurling my way. I commented to myself “Well that just doesn’t make sense, how could I possibly poop in my own mouth?”
I would like to say that I called him out on it. I would like to say that I used my superior maturity and college learning to put the little demon child in his place. That all of a sudden, after hearing my words of wisdom, he decided that team work was indeed the best course of action and that he should eat all his vegetables as well and not ever do drugs. I would like to say that I did that. But I can’t.
What did I say. Absolutely nothing. Not a thing. Not a word left my mouth. Yes, a 14 year old intimidated me in the world of online gaming. I started questioning my own worth. Had I made some online gaming rudeness and not realize it? Have I offended the online community with my ignorance. I hate myself, why do I even get out of bed in the morning, I don’t know. The other players are laughing at me, I can hear it. Where’s my Prozac!
In short, it was humiliating, and I’m not even sure why. I guess it might have been because Mr. Poop23 had great stature at the game, I mean, the boy was very good. Maybe at that point, he becomes the more experienced one, and me the infant. Let’s see his ass pay a mortgage though!
The game ended with me be very quiet for the next ½ hour, letting my online player hide in a corner while everyone else seemed to be having a good time. Mr. Poop23 had to leave, and I quote “Time for bed” was heard over the headset. Mr. Poop23 had a big day tomorrow and needed to get his rest. However, as a final insult, he used some weird online voodoo knowledge to permentatly bar me from ever playing in his game again.
Where’s my whiskey?