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Posts Tagged ‘online gaming

Weekly #9: One Life to Live

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I cannot believe that Aladdin for Sega Genesis is on YouTube! This might be the only video game that I didn’t mind playing. Of course, I was terrified the whole time. Fact: I’m terrified of video/online games (shock, I know). To be fair, I’m not a big fan of any games, including board games, trivia, Jeopardy – you name it, I have little use for it. And I have absolutely zero interest in online gaming, whether it be by desktop, console, or hand-held device.

Hear me out. I grew up with three older brothers and one younger brother. All played the various games on the popular consoles over the years (Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, XBox, PlayStation). Oh, don’t forget Game Boy. That was the first portable item that had real value for them. I tried my hand at each game, but I was quickly killed by my opponent, or more likely took the wrong turn and got myself killed all on my own. You might be saying, “Big deal, everyone gets killed off at some point.” True, yet I managed to be killed every single time, and all within five minutes or less. There were those games where the loser wouldn’t necessarily “die,” but not being able to get the Giants quarterback on Madden NFL to even throw the ball sure felt like death.

Needless to say, I don’t have that competitive edge that makes me keep going until I win. But I wanted to fit in with the boys. So every once in a while, instead of just singing show tunes alone in my room, I would pick up the controller and dread the moment my life would come to an abrupt and seemingly unfair end in each world. The anxiety that would plague me later in life probably was born in these moments.

No game caused more angst than the GoldenEye 007 first-person shooter game. My very real and daily fear that I’m going to die by magnified gun wielded by an MI6 agent on the fourth floor of a missile silo in Russia — yea, that comes from playing this.

I literally wanted to vomit and cry, simultaneously, whenever I participated in a mission. One brother would always coax me with, “Don’t worry, I’ll help you figure it out.” False. At no point did he or the others offer any advice other than “Just push A! Not B, IDIOT, A!” Usually we played in the “Normal” mode, the goal of which was to kill your opponent as many times as possible in a set period of time. If three of us played at once, it was always 2 vs. 1, them vs. me. I quickly found out that they were excellent strategists, and they were excellent marksmen. The worst was when we played in the “You Only Live Twice” mode. It was the same deal except I was eliminated even faster (two deaths and you’re out). This swift knockout should have come as a relief, yet it only served to worsen my tachycardia.

What message did I take away from this? My brothers are trying to kill me, over and over again, and they are highly capable of doing so in a coordinated fashion. Sometimes I’d just find a cement room and stare at the wall, shooting random bullet holes in it until they found me. (I’m sure that says something about my proclivity towards learned helplessness.)

That’s all my way of saying that, no, I have not and likely will not participate in MMORPGs. I once watched someone “play” Second Life and lost interest in 30 seconds. I feel like I am already living a kind of second life via my presence on various social networking sites. I know there are benefits to using MMORPGs and many find great value in them (including being able to write your own story/narrative in real time and with others). However, this is not my preferred avenue for fictional living. My lack of experience and serious fears (see above and watch the film Gamer to understand) will prevent me from becoming a regular user of such games. That’s not to say that I don’t want to learn about them, especially how I can use them in my professional life. I do, which is why I am excited for tomorrow’s class.

At this moment, however, I can’t imagine spending my personal time or money on gaming. I only have one life to live, and this just isn’t my cup of tea.

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