Archive for August 10th, 2007

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Upon reflection, I may have been a bad teammate

August 10, 2007

We have a videogame room at our office with all the major consoles in it, and sometimes my co-workers & I will play games against each other on our lunch break, which has the bad side effect of encouraging sabotage.  The worst example of this I can think of was the time I came back early from lunch & logged in as my co-workers’ characters on the Nintendo and then proceeded to bowl 10 frames of straight gutterballs for both of them to ensure that they would lose their magical star-colored bowling balls in Wii Sports, and I would be the only player with a “Pro” ball.  It kinda made me laugh at the time, but then later I felt bad about it, but now when I think about it I kinda laugh again.  And feel bad about it.

To avoid this kind of unpleasantness, we also play games where we are on the same team.  One of the more popular ones has us all play as soldiers trying to eliminate the forces of a despot in Central America & be airlifted to safety.  I’m not sure why, but on repeated occasions when the final villain has been dispatched and the console tells us that the choppers are coming in to bring us safely home, I invariably shoot both my teammates in the back before the helicopter can land.  I don’t do it EVERY time, because this would be predictable, and thus defeat the element of surprise that I rely on when killing my own team members.  But I’ve done it more than once.

I’m not sure what it is about the videogame room, but I suspect it brings out the worst in me.

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A great disturbance in the Force

August 10, 2007

For the past week, this casual game has been occupying the spare cycles of me & a few friends.  The goal is deceptively simple. Fire a ball into the arena.  It will swell up until it touches a wall, or another ball.  Then, using more shots, try & destroy the ball.  It takes three hits to remove a ball completely.  You lose immediately if one of your shots ricochets back beyond the firing line.  For a while now I could rest easy knowing that the high score in my peer group was owned by me, but today a onetime friend & now fierce adversary has usurped the throne.  My 30 points pales to his 34.  I know what you’re all thinking: who would do such a thing?  Why did I not sense his potential for betrayal earlier?  I should have cut off his mousing finger when I had the chance.

But I’m not here to dwell on his wicked misdeeds, but rather to tell you an even deeper tragedy.  Earlier today I was all set to restore honor & dignity to the Jonson name by reclaiming the lead when a tragic misfire occurred.  The ball immediately ricocheted back & I was undone. This game is such a cruel task mistress, I’m not sure any of you who haven’t fallen prey to its wiles can truly understand.  Let me just say this: until today, I had always thought that if I was ever granted one-time access to a time machine I would go back and warn the passengers on the Titantic not to board, or perhaps try & shoot Hitler before he came to power.  But now I know the truth.  When I get my hands on a time machine, I’m going back to earlier today, right before I clicked the mouse button on that fateful shot.  Sorry, Jews.  I’ll make it up to you!