I suck at video games. Okay, not really. I’m pretty decent at some video games. I mean, sure, it’s only certain titles. Like I’m really awesome at the Lion King on Sega Genesis; I only had to use the walkthrough guide once. Shut up! The lava level was hard!
The thing I really suck at is playing video games online. I can’t even compete. A while ago I was trying to play Call of Duty 3 (I know, I’m like three versions behind, but I like World War 2… and it was on sale…) and I was getting killed left, right, and centre, and then left again as I spawned right where I was killed a second ago. It was literally so bad that there was a pile of dead bodies in a courtyard, and they were all mine. Do you know how depressing that is? You start thinking to yourself “Dude, you might as well just throw yourself on a grenade and get it over with. Maybe you can unlock the Purple Heart achievement, or the Too Slow at Aiming Down the Sights achievement, or the Most Deaths at the Hands of a Twelve Year Old achievement.”
‘Cause that’s the thing worst thing about it. I could sit up all night playing a two player game against myself just to practice shooting that stupid virtual bolt action rifle, but as soon as I log into my Live account and join a Free-For-All some kid across the country who’s less than half my age is still going to take me down without blinking an eye, as the echo of their tinny voice (tinny both because of age and headset quality) resonates into my ears and my soul.
“Ha Ha! Stupid noob!”
Which is true. I am a noob (I think- I don’t really know what that means…). But then I start thinking. It’s not just the twelve year olds who are uncannily advanced at make-believe warfare; let’s face it, it’s guys of all ages who are tea bagging my dead bodies and my ego. Killing me as easily as I flip the lights on and off in the house I rent. These are grown goddamn men that are boosting their kill-death ratios by using me as a slow moving, slightly confused looking, anaemic target. It’s always just when I’m close to breaking down into a frustrated round of tears and masturbation that I have a thought: “How did these bastards get so good at killing Nazis?”
And then I think “Why do I always choose to be a Nazi?” But I just write that question down in my therapy journal to address later.
But seriously, how did they get so good at this stupid game? Are they just hardcore gamers? Are they glitch geeks? Red Bull representatives? Disciples of Dumbeldore using their wands to cast the Confundus Charm to degrade the level of my game?
No. No. Dude, they’re just better. A lot better.
A lot better at a stupid video game.
The thing is though, should I really care if I’m not good enough to keep up? Or turn a corner without getting killed? Or even fire my gun? I’ve got a wife and a twenty month old boy-o. I’ve got other hobbies and I’ve got friends. I’ve got places to go and people to see! (Okay, not the last two things…) Why should it bother me that some unknown entity somewhere else in the world can scope me from across the level and shoot the helmet off my head? And why am I wearing this stupid helmet if it does nothing to protect my brain?
It really shouldn’t bother me that I don’t spend thirty hours a day sitting on my couch, ignoring my family, blocking out the world, and existing on corn chips and flat Root Beer. It shouldn’t bother me that I have the ability to hold a conversation in person with an actual human being, albeit a limited ability (like a young Luke Skywalker). And it definitely shouldn’t bother me that I spend the daylight hours breathing fresh air and using my legs. But it does.
Oh well. I guess I only have two choices. I could either stick to playing and keep trying to die less or I could give up on Call of Duty, dust of the ole Sega, and finally defeat Scar on Pride Rock. The smart thing would be not to keep putting myself in the position to fail at a game that I obviously have no business playing. But no, I won’t do that. I’ll keep going back for more punishment, and more verbal abuse from that jerk-off twelve year old in Arkansas. I’ll keep trying to get a single goddamn kill while continuing to be the laughing stock of every match I play. And even though my twenty month old boy-o is smart enough to know that I should give up, I’ll keep trying and I’ll keep failing. I’ll keep dying and I’ll keep getting tea bagged.
Why? Because I suck.
And I’m a noob, whatever that means…