Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

We all know that a healthy level of competition is good. It keeps us alert, focused and can often help to make even the most mundane of tasks a little more exciting. That’s all good and well, but I’ve passed the stage of healthy competition a LONG time ago; to the point where it can become a threat, not only to my reputation, but also to my safety and to the personal bodily integrity of those around me.

Since I turn everyday activities into competitive duels, you do not want to see what happens when I am actually involved in some sort of “real” competition. I have actually forcibly removed myself on numerous occasions from “friendly” board games owing to my condition. It’s difficult, especially when people are doing badly. I break into a cold sweat; start chewing on my gums and grinding my teeth. People invite me to join, but I equate that to someone offering a recovering drug addict a quick line.

Competition is like a drug to me; one which affects me in a very different way to most others. While most people manage to control their emotion, I just can’t. The game will undoubtedly end in one of two ways. In the first scenario, I will either be unleashing profanities at my ignorant team mates, my cheating competitors or at the game itself for having ludicrous rules when I lose. If I do win, then there will be just as much profanity, but simply directed as abuse towards my fallen opponents. Either way, there will be tears or no further board games or future invites for that matter.

Since I am now running out of places for healthy competition with people who know me (or wish they didn’t) I need to create my own competitions with strangers. One great place to meet unnamed combatants is while shopping. I often eye someone out; sidle my trolley in beside theirs; give them the nod acknowledging that I accept their challenge to a competitive “shop-off”.

They’ll be grabbing an item off the shelf. I’ll grab two. They’ll take a 500g tub. I’ll take the 10kg Family pack (who really needs that much mayonnaise anyway). They’ll grab some green peppers. I’ll grab ten (even though I hate green peppers and am deathly allergic – these are the sacrifices a true competitor has to make). If they take the last of an item I’ll either steal it out of their trolley or find a way to crush the item, nullifying their strategic advantage (it’s all just tactics). You would think that this kind of behaviour would get me kicked out of the store, but the shop owners love the fact that I buy more than anyone else. You hear that? Yeah! They Love me ‘cos I’m the best! In your face!

I race old ladies across busy intersections. I open up giant franchise refreshment stations next to little kids’ lemonade stands (or buy them out if they refuse to leave).

I turn everything into a competition. Who can brush their teeth faster? Who can stay up later? Who can drive towards oncoming traffic the longest? I don’t know why I do it. Maybe it’s to impress people or just to remind everyone how awesome I am, but people don’t seem that impressed that I always come first – in the bedroom, women especially so.

The key though is always to remain humble, which I am. In fact I’m probably the most humble person in the country, if not the world. I’m WAY more humble than you!

Damnit, I did it again! I promised myself I wouldn’t and yet for the umpteenth time here I am. I looked at my budget, I couldn’t afford to buy any new games and yet as the hype built around the “next best thing” I fell into the trap… again.

How many titles have I bought as a direct result of getting sucked into the hype machine? “Better graphics, unexpected story twists, new weapons, zombies with lasers, improved cover system, revolutionary new bla bla bla”, I fall for it every time.

OMG the new COD BlackCraft 2: God of Gears is coming out in 219 days! Pre-Order NOW… and I get a free key ring! Whoot! What? And an oversized T-shirt? WIN!

At this stage, if I don’t immediately pre-order the game due to a rare moment of lucidity, I will sit and ferment in my ever-maddening brew of insanity. Every forum will be abuzz with “strategically” leaked details about new features, speculation as to how the story will end; and purposefully vague press releases about how this game will “revolutionise” the way we see gaming.

And if I manage to get through this stage, as we get closer and closer to the launch or “what will surely be the greatest day of mankind”, the previews and hands-on demos will appear. Magazines and gaming websites will be filled with reviews about how this game “has everything”. “It will change your life, make you happy and even do your taxes”. At this point I am either rocking myself to sleep as consolation for the fact that I haven’t bought the “biggest thing in gaming since electricity”, or I have removed myself from all media that may inadvertently remind me that my life is going to remain a soulless void, unless I have this game.

Release day… today! And guess what?

Damnit, I did it again! I promised myself I wouldn’t and for the umpteenth time here I am again. Don’t get me wrong – when I first held the game in my hands I felt an immeasurable “oneness” with the Universe. For in that moment…there was nothing but pure bliss. I tore off the plastic covering and, shaking with anticipation, inserted the game ever so cautiously into my console.

After the mind blowing opening sequence of pre-rendered awesomnicity concluded, I was left with a weird sense of “that looked awesome” and yet “that made no sense”. It is at this point that a familiar little voice piped up from deep within me – the voice of bitter disappointment.

The game is buggy; the story is contrived; the game is essentially more of the same only rushed and is over far too soon, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth and emptiness in my soul and wallet that lingers long after it should.

The hype machine takes another casualty.

I go back to the forums to see if my feelings are shared and lo and behold, the former followers are all up in arms about how “fail” this game is. At least they would be if it weren’t for the fact that details about “WarCreed 7: Uncharted Warfare” are out and if I pre-order now I get a pencil sharpener!

And so the machine grinds on…