Xbox Diaries--I am a Sneaky Bastard

My base was being overrun. The alien horde was coming from all directions. As commander of my slowly defeated armada, my back was against the wall. My digital troops were looking at me as RAW 33 knocked each defensive position out. The society of little army men that I had trained would soon come to an end. God help us all.

In the online gaming world I am an old bastard. But I have found that there are many old bastards out there. However, we tend to get schooled by one of two types of major game players in the Xbox world.

The first type is the 15 year old who is to young to drive. As such, he is at home a great deal. He is able to practice constantly while eating hot pockets yet gaining no weight. He still has all his hair, he doesn’t have to worry about his prostate and on Sat. mornings he is able to watch cartoons without interruption.

The second type is the 19 year old college player. He has even more free time than the 15 year old. Think about it. He doesn’t usually have to go to class until after 10 am. He gets done no later than 2. He is the dorm dweller, having no job and no responsibility. He has no mother so he can stay up until 3 am every night practicing his Hossman Annilation skills. He is usually high.

I on the other hand, have responsibilities. I have an 8 to 5 job. I have a daughter that doesn’t go to bed until 7:30. I have a wife that is pregnant and requires a lot of backrubs. I have 2 dogs that require licking time. It is amazing that I find anytime at all to practice my skills.

But this is not the main advantage that the younger players have over us, the over 30 crowd.

Reflexes. They have been tuned for years. They have grown up in the 24 hours news cycle. They have assimilated information based on 5 second sound bites. They have grown up in a world strictly tailored to train them to whip my ass on online gaming.

For these kids, they have known nothing else but the internet. They have no idea what a dial up modem is. They have no idea that there used to be no internet. They have had email addresses for the same amount of time that they have had their SSN cards. They would not know what a “green screen” computer is.

For these young bastions of our future, pac-man was never a life changing expierence. Galaga was never ground breaking, and Q-bert was never a graphics breakthrough. They have no idea that there was something called a Sega or an Atari 2600. They have no idea that mall arcades used to cost just 25 cents. And they have no idea of how great I used to be.

They have grown up in a world with no respect for tradition. They have grown up in a world with no respect for experience. These young bastards have had the gaming world thrown at their feet and have no sense of history. They have taken it and made it their own.

And maybe this is how it should be. That us old gamers are pushed aside to make room for the quicker ones, the younger ones that have the drive and the time to conquer all. Yes, I have been pushed aside by technology. I let life happen and take me away from gaming. I have let things like family and responsibility take precedence while they have let digital escapades rule all. I have been ignored and discarded. I am yesterday, they are tomorrow. And they are entitled. But………………..

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men. Whose gonna do it? You, Raw 33? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That my digital base’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves digital lives.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me in that game, you need me in that game. We use words like honor, code and loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a kid that who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very virtual reality freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.

I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a controller and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Thank you Jack, let’s give them some truth.

Here is the truth. That while your reflexes and cocky nature has served you well, you lack the experience to determine the beast you are up against. Life experience son, you should pay heed.

So while you are faster than me and can take in more information quicker than me. I can understand it on a level that will take you many years to get to. I am smarter than you, little one. Your very nature refuses to let you accept this possibility. But whether you accept it or not, it is true. It is gospel and you should prepare yourself for the hellfire I’m about to bring down in the digital universe. And as you learn this lesson my son, remember this: The man that knows how will always have a job, but the man that knows Why will always be his boss.

And so you are bringing your armada to my virtual base. All your forces are committed into ridding the online world of someone like me, over 30 but hanging on to my youth like an addict to a needle. The game looks won, you prepare to smack talk—in which way are you going to insult my mother.

But, my friend, you have tunnel vision. You have not seen the bigger picture. For example, you have not noticed that you should probably look to your digital east. If you had, you would have seen the true force I have assembled and not the few token tanks I have left for you to destroy in my base.

And you have not noticed that within that very force, there are some different digital characters there. You see, while you were on your way to attack me, you did not realize that I, the Hossman, have made a truce with another player in the game. We have combined forces just outside of your visual range. As you went south, we assembled in the east with a force strong enough to make it to Berlin by Christmas.

And finally, my young fool, You have neglected your north. Your base is weak to the north. How do I know? Because unlike you, who charge with nothing but brute force, I have done recon. I have sent spies into your base. Oh yes, my young fool, I know ever weakness that you have. And to the north I have sent an armada of engineers that will very soon take over your base that is now unprotected.

As you attack my empty decoy base, you will think that this is to easy. You will not understand why you are getting no resistance. That understanding will dawn on you as soon as you hear the words “Your building’s have been captured.” And “Our base is under attack”. Then you will have understanding dawn on you like a money shot. But it will be to late. Because the instant you realize what is happening, and all your forces begin to turn from my base, I will blow it up myself. Your force will be destroyed and you will have no choice but to look on while I plunder your own base.

I will be safely hidden in my other base, yes, I took the time to build two. My deathstar will be fully operational while your friends on the planet Endor walk into a trap.

Welcome to the dark side, bitch.

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