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Blindfire avatar 4:52 PM on 08.03.2009
I Suck at Games: The Fighting Disease

Hi, Iím Blindfire, and I am a fight-a-holic. I love fighting games, probably more than most rational men should. I only wish that they loved me back.

For me, it all started with Mortal Kombat III. MK3 was my first introduction to the concept of a fighting game, and it was one of the coolest things Iíd ever seen. Punching, kicking, freezing people solid, crazy grappling-hook-spike-rope-things, fatalities. It was intoxicating to watch, and devastating for me to play. I think in an entire day I could manage one or two wins out of sheer luck. It would be a long time before I touched another fighting game. Iíve played a few over the years. Iíve dabbled in Tekken, Iíve tried out Soul Calibur, but nothing to this day can compare to what Dead or Alive 4 did to me.

Dead or Alive 4 was my own personal Armageddon. For awhile there, I was certain that this terrible, terrible thing might have been crafted in magical foundries before time was time, specifically for the purpose of punishing me for some terrible thing I might do in the future; some unholy realm of madness I must be responsible for creating that will someday consume the universe as we know it.

It took a week before I could stand to play long enough to reach my first contact with Alpha. I still remember the first time I met that soulless monster. It is permanently etched into my being because within four seconds, sixty percent of my health bar had been depleted. It was as if time stopped for just a moment, so that I could truly savor the moment which would forever demoralize me, the moment that came as such a terrible shock; all my success up to that moment was for naught. I had been judged, and I was not worthy.


Pictured: Doom Incarnate

I knew that somewhere inside me there was the capability to learn this game. It would just take time, time and dedication. For more than a month I donít think I touched another game. I was consumed by the single-minded desire to not suck at this game. My mouse clicks have led whole armies to victory in the daunting face of assured defeat. My dexterity has sent many a terrorist to their untimely death. My perception has allowed me to be three steps ahead of my opponent at all times. I could defeat this game.

It was somewhere around this point that I no longer desired to play the game for fun. I struggled through defeat after defeat, a man completely possessed by a maddening need to get better, if only to prove that I could do it. I had gone beyond yelling obscenities at my TV screen. I may have gone beyond the ability to form sentences and think rationally. I sat, rigid, hands contorted into some strange controller-like shape, going through motions of moves when my 360 was too hot to use. My brain had become an archive of self-defined movements that could lead fluidly into one another. I knew that this had come a long way from a passing interest in a game. I had twisted it into a terrible obsession, one so deep and dark that it might very well scar me forever. I lusted for success like never before in a video game.

Finally, that moment came. I destroyed Alpha once. Twice. Three times. Four times. I lost count. My mastery was complete. ÖWith one character. I sat down and stared at the character select screen. I could already feel the sense of impending doom as I selected the next character that looked like fun and set to work.

And so the process began anew, and my destruction was complete.

From that point on I have been in love with fighting games.

Today, my poison is Street Fighter IV. Having never played a Street Fighter game before (I know, I know, sacrilege, blasphemy, all that), I was in for a rude awakening to just how punishing a fighting game could be. I had no idea what I was in for as I looked at the character select screen and, for no particular reason at all, picked Guile. Nothing about Guile was easy. Even now, after a lot of experience and a brand new fightstick, nothing about Guile is easy. The odds always appear to be stacked against him, just like me. We are quite the match.

I am still terrible, and fighting games still hate me, but I think that Iíve learned to make peace with that.

Tagged:    cblog    Opinion Editorial  

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