The editors over at IGN just compiled an article confessing to all of their most embarrassing moments in gaming addiction. And in a word, they’re awesome.
They run the gamut of everything you expect from nerdy gaming stories. From bringing up games on first dates, to locking your self away when a new game comes out, to only changing your clothes so other people won’t know you’ve been doing nothing but playing WoW all day.
Which brings me to one of my favourite stories about my love of gaming. It’s a story of extreme (misplaced?) dedication, and nerdy fanaticism that is heart warming in a way only a gamer could fully appreciate.
Travel back in time with me, back to mid October 2007, Halo 3 had been out for almost a month and was rocking the collective socks of all the gamers I knew, except for my self. I didn’t have an Xbox 360 at the time, and thus could not “finish the fight” for my self. I had to wait patiently while all my friends played online and saved the universe.
This was very hard for me, I didn’t want to read any reviews or watch any videos lest I ruin the end of a trilogy I had put so many gaming hours into. Keep in mind, I got Halo the day the OG Xbox came out, and even lined up to get Halo 2 at midnight. So after waiting for almost a month, and with my anticipation at a fever pitch, I was fighting to contain my self when my friend Matt told me he was bringing his 360 and Halo 3 to his dorm room, down the hall from me. I couldn’t let a golden opportunity like this slip me by.
So that afternoon everyone came over to Matt’s to check out his new tv and play some split screen Halo 3. It ruled, and I found that my Halo 2 skills would translate pretty well into this HD entry into the series. But the best news was yet to come.
That night, everyone was going to head downtown for drinks that night. This was good becuase I was still 2 weeks away from turning legal, and with a baby face like mine, there was no hope of finding a convincing fake id. So when time came for everyone to get in the waiting cabs, I made my move.
“Hey Matt, is it cool if I just, play a few rounds of Halo 3 after you guys leave?”
“Yea sure, just make sure the door’s locked when you leave”
A fair request, but as it turned out, that wasn’t necessary. From when the whole gang left at 11pm, until 5 am when they all stumbled back in, I was in Matt’s room playing the ever-loving shit out of Halo 3. I had been waiting to play this game for a long time, not just that month after release, but really since Halo 2 had come out and ended on a cliff hanger 3 years before. Once I was alone with this game I didn’t pause, get up, pee, drink, or eat. I was determined to finish the fight and I was so satisfied that I barely noticed the hours fly by.
I did however, notice my friends stumbling down the hall. And I distinctly remember one of the girls say, in a completely joking manner,
“Could you IMAGINE if John was still playing that game when we came back”
The group was still laughing when they got to the door while I had to sit there and wait for the inevitable embarrassment of how true she was.
However, I had three things going for me. One, I knew that, well it is pretty funny that I’ve been sitting here for the last 6 hours playing Halo. Two, my friends were, drunk, like really, really, pass out of the closest soft thing drunk. Which quickly happened. And three, I wasn’t going to stop just becuase I got a little embarrassed. I mean, come on! I still haven’t completed the game! And damn it I was going to finish this damn trilogy.
That’s part of what I love about being a gamer. Even when we do things that are so undeniably embarrassing, we can still wear it like a badge of honor. We’ve grown up being ridiculed for our passion so we can laugh at our selves for our dedication. It also brings us together, every gamer has a story like this one. Which is what makes it even easier to talk about these ultra nerdy moments becuase you know someone will have an embarrassing story to top yours. Or in my case, you’ll have an other gamer waiting in the wings to share your enjoyment.
So I played for another hour to beat the game, watched all the credits, and felt damn satisfied. But here’s the kicker, Matt’s roommate was still up. After watching the credits roll he looked at me and said,
“Want to do some co op?”
“Damn right I do”
And when I headed to bed at 7am that day, just as the sun was coming up, I realized somehting. This all-nighter will never be topped by anything I ever do in my university career. It never was, and still hasn’t been.