How to: Gaming

“STFU NOOB my grandmom can play better than you”
Every opponent you’ve played against.

There are many addictions, yet few are as lethal and damaging as games. Unlike other forms, it doesn’t poison your lungs or liver. In fact, it doesn’t even attack you physically. It slowly destroys everything else though, and nobody ever takes it seriously.

First to go is your perfect academic record. Then your social life. Then your hobbies. After that, your eating habits begin to spoil. Your sleep timings. Soon, everything. You begin to exist only to game, and it’s the only thing that gives you peace.

Meh. Who cares? What else do you even want to do? Also, gaming is the most underrated skill ever. Wait till you need pilots for all the robot soldiers, or strategists for the future wars – we’re military commanders in training. Professional gaming is now a viable career. Wake up grandpa, nobody wants to be an actual footballer anymore, we’d rather be kicking ass without actually having to move our own.

There are tons of gaming anecdotes and peculiarities I can tell you about, but these are the most iconic moments of my keyboard smashing lifestyle. Non-gamers might start to learn a little about what an awe-inspiring species we are, and true gamers will… well, they’re probably too busy gaming to read this shit. Reading is for noobs.

ACHIEVEMENTS UNLOCKED:

Time-Travel: When you decide to play a mission and sleep so you can wake up for tomorrow’s test, and after five minutes realise that it’s dawn already and you’re too sleepy to stand.

Gollum: When you become completely nocturnal and sleep when the sunrises because your eyes feel weird staring at things in natural light.

Learning Curve: When you steadily get better at a game, start playing brilliantly, and then after that, somehow, the more you play, the worse you get.

Beginner’s Luck: When a complete noob pwns you in a game you’ve been playing for years.

Multilingual: When you play online with people of other countries often, and have therefore developed a rich vocabulary of swear words in different languages. (cyka blyet)

Socialite: When you meet someone online and bond with them over time. Eventually you meet them irl (in real life for the noobs) and become close friends.

Failed Comic: When 90% of people don’t get your jokes, because 90% of them reference the games you play.

Hotel California: When you’ve tried to quit a game more than five times unsuccessfully.

The Legend, The Name: When your online nick is used to refer to you more frequently than your actual name.

Futuristic Rage: When the game requires a higher graphics card than the one you already have.

Ridin’ Solo: When you finish the game without referring to the walkthrough more than thrice.

Master of All, Except for One: When you refuse to play a particular game because you’re a champion in everything, but you suck at this, no matter how hard you try.

***

It’s a lifestyle with which most people share a love-hate relationship. Outsiders can see why it’s flawed, or what’s wrong with it, but rarely do you see what’s right. Nights of fragging friends shamelessly are infinitely more satisfying than an awkward dinner in a restaurant, and the bonds developed are so easy. You always have something you can do together, something you can talk about, and a clear hierarchy: The best player calls the shots.

It’s easily the best recreational activity. Movies and TV shows, no matter how gripping, can never be as immersive. There’s a constant adrenaline rush, a feeling of accomplishment you get on completion and most importantly, it focuses on you. You cannot help but empathize with the character because you are him. It’s not a different medium, it’s an upgrade to the same medium.

Of course, that’s only true for single player games. Multiplayers meanwhile have their own magnetic appeal. There’s a massive culture associated with multiplayers. Lore, bugs, lingo, mannerisms and the attitude of the players. For DotA, there are iconic players like SingSing and Dendi who are worshipped, there’s an active trading/betting system that people follow very closely, and there’s a uniting, deep-seated hatred for Russian players.

Gaming is too broad spectrum however. Two gamers might be polar opposites who disagree with each other completely and have nothing in common. I thought it’d help to classify things, so here’s a breakdown of what the most popular games mean to me.

DotA : The King of Games, the most addictive and also the most enjoyable. It has a steep learning curve, but if you survive that, you’ll realise you’ve discovered an entire new world. It’s impossible to be strained or bored playing this which is its biggest advantage and disadvantage. Watch out for the Pinoys and the Russians.

FIFA : Poster child of football enthusiasts everywhere, the amount you bond over this game is unreal. Curiously, while playing anything else gets you called ‘nerd’ ,this is the nerd’s shortcut to being a pseudo-jock. The games go from an action-packed close ManU vs Chelsea to Im-so-bored-let’s-do-this Chunnam Dragons vs India.

CS: Father of all first-person shooters. This game can be picked up quickly (I went from flashbanging myself continually to learning every last pixel of de_dust in a day), which makes it very noob friendly. People hate campers though, and when you die you can always scream “LAG!”

CoD: The cooler version of CS. With better graphics, more PC requirements, more guns and MOAR LAG!

GTA: You cannot grow to be a decent law-abiding citizen without letting your inner devil loose in this game. If only life were as easy as chucking people out of snazzy cars while driving off in them, shooting a stranger in the street because you didn’t like how he looked, and blowing up a pizza place… because you can.

LOL: Are you a 12 year old retarded kid in the UK? No? Play DotA then.

AoE: This game was invented soon after the fire and the wheel, and has taught me more history and management than 15 years of schooling. When in doubt, start hitting those cheats.

Assassins Creed: One of the top franchises in recent times. A must-play for most people, and a spectacular way to get started on single-player or stealth games.

Team Fortress: What are you, a hipster?

NFS: Driving Lesson No.1. Advantage: You can do anything you want, and escape the cops. Barely any pedestrians to kill. Disadvantage: It shows you all the cars you’ll never be able to afford or drive.

Blur: The game-version of death race, hell hath no fury like that of a player who’s hit by three rockets in a row.

Slenderman: The game that causes a roomful of ‘brave’ souls to start screaming and crying in panic.

Pokemon: Most people’s first love, this game instills an irrational fear of encountering zubats in dark places.

Candy Crush Saga : You’re a real pro gamer, aren’t you? Would you show me what level you are on? <chucks phone with force on the ground, repeatedly stomps on it>

That’s all folks. GGWP.P.S.

Game recommendations:
Stanley Parable (short, and the most meta thing ever)
Bioshock (best PC game I have ever seen)

Kartik Reddy

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