I quickly find myself in spawn camp hell with sniper bullets to the dome for everyone on my team.
One of the offenders performs a requisite victory crouch.
Except he’s a good 2 feet off of my body.
My entire team quits except for one low-level noob and me.
My lone partner continues charging headlong across the map as the opposing team, rolling as a group, descends upon him. I concoct a devious plan.
I follow just behind my clueless friend and as the enemy descends upon him in a race to get the kill. I lob all of my grenades and blast them, killing at least three of them. Lather rinse repeat.
The game is almost tied and I’m at the bottom of some stairs with the entire team at the top. I beckon them to come at me and they all refuse. We lose by two kills, but I lose knowing that they fear me. Moral victory: achieved. The noob I callously used as bait to achieve this feat sends me a friend request, thinking I’m the best teammate ever. Glad to be of service.
On to Left 4 Dead. I end up teamed with that rarest of gaming pleasures: a real live girl voicing Zoey. Even better, she’s really damn good. Zombie asses are being blasted. Good times are being had by all.
Inevitably, another teammate starts in with inappropriate remarks aimed at the perceived female in our midst. While I stick to mere groans and sarcastic reproaches, the only teammate without a mic takes offense and begins shooting our rude friend down.
This kicks off a shitstorm of the two gamers downing each other while Zoey and myself pick them up and try to negotiate a peace settlement. Fighting off the hordes of zombies became an afterthought, but still we were somehow making it through. Still, this had to stop. Until now we’d been having a great damn game.
A peace is negotiated between the three of us with headsets, but the knight of white continues his attack, leading to the attacked player starting a vote to kick him. Since he won’t stop shooting, I vote to kick. Turns out, he was in a party with Zoey, who is kicked along with him. So now it’s just me and the guy whose shitty online manners started it all. I never encountered another female gamer with a mic again. This jackass just killed the last unicorn.
And not only that, but I soon realize he made me an accomplice!
I see someone on my friends list playing Horde mode in Gears of War 3; my other favorite co-op game. This will restore my faith in humanity the old fashioned way, by ganging up to kill sentient things that are different than us.
I join my friend’s game and see that he has been soloing to boost his level. He says its cool that I joined and we commence wrecking locust face. For some added entertainment value, he is rapping Nas’ Illmatic album from front to back.
I reflexively begin serving as his hype man.
Soon a third player joins, and even more locust faces are wrecked. We all up in this shit now. But after a few rounds, our new friend dies and blames his demise on a lack of communication due to our host’s impromptu accapella hip-hop performance.
What commences can only be called an epic confrontation of verbal street cred. This small town dork could only listen while two alpha males went at it like the winner was getting all of the females to himself.
The two trade tales of irl asswhoopings until logical critical mass is reached. Our host once shot a man. In the ass. For his mama. Can you top that? You cannot. Peace is made, beef is squashed, props are given, and I’m left realizing that my street cred is definitely lacking, even among gamers. Nonetheless, I can still wreck locust face with the best of them. So when it comes to games:
You know what always makes me feel like a badass? Beating other players up in video games. Marvel vs Capcom 3 it is. Jump online and my team of Deadpool, Morrigan, and Doom is faced with the familiar sight of Sentinel, Dante, and Wesker. The one-button noob dream team.
My opponent predictably leads with Sentinel and even more predictably utilizes the infamously cheap tactic of spamming one-button high-low beam cancels, resulting in his character saying “neutral-neutralize!” over and over while covering most of the screen with laser fire every second my foot is not in his ass. I get in, wreck his shit, and finish his last character off with a full-team air juggle combo ending with Morrigan’s mid-air hyper finisher.
“You are already dead.”
While basking in the glow of my epic victory, I receive a message from my opponent, who has so heartily failed in succeeding with the cheapest possible attack plan. The message reads ”everthing u do is cheap! Kill urself”. “Cheap” he says.
But I do love the smell of hatemail in the morning…
Moving on, I come up against a guy way out of my league who beats me mercilessly with a Wolverine/Dante corner trap. Every time he lands a hit, it’s a minute-long combo of death. After taking my beatings, I search for another game. I find one. It’s the same guy.
This time around, when he begins his combo, I actually set my controller down and reach for some snacks. He miraculously misses a hit, notices Morrigan just standing there, and ceases his attack. As I fumble for the controller, I accidentally hit the taunt button, hilariously causing my battered fighter to demurely/ironically ask “is that all?” I decide this is awesome and continue spamming the taunt for several seconds while my superior opponent watches me incredulously, perhaps thinking his superior skills have broken my brain.
After he polishes me off, I get a message from my conqueror.
It reads simply “GG”. Perhaps the most polite combination of letters in the gamer alphabet. I am shocked and, for some reason, appalled. A skilled gamer just kicked my ass and then sent me a positive message? Everything I know about online competitive gaming has been shattered. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Suddenly, I know what I have to do. There is only one way to assure that this bizarre act of online gaming kindness does not tear the fabric of space and time with its paradoxical nature. I must restore balance. So I message him back. The message reads “KILL YOURSELF!” And once again, all was right in the world of online gaming.