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Tubatic avatar 1:19 AM on 07.29.2010  (server time)
Shooter Love and The Lonely Zone

My handle is Tubatic, and I like shooters.

The first time I realized it was UN Squadron, one of the first games I had for the Super Nintendo. I'd played others before it. Dark, tech heavy games about laser guns and aliens. Standard stuff at the time. But I'd never played one with actual planes and a realistic setting. Bright colors, quick action, and Capcom's trademark amazing music made for a great shooter experience to open me up to the world of 2D shootans.

In the world of loving shooters, I'm no more fanatic than I am in the world of dedicated and committed fighters. I don't own a fight stick, I don't rightly understand character tiers, and I barely understand the fundamental principals of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Similarly, I've never beaten Ikaruga (not for lack of trying!), and I've never 'tated my TV to get the optimal viewing size on an obscure Japanese shooter. If love for gaming things is measured in how much obscure knowledge you know, I hate shooters, actually.

But honestly, whatever. Easy enough to get caught up in the Gamerscore/Epeen/various other metaphorical manhood waving and think less of yourself as a dedicated game lover. But its all personal and all as tangible as the thrill you get from playing your games. I recently sat down at a lunch table at the local mall food court and played Espgaluda IIon my iPod through its entirety using Tateha. For that half an hour or so, I had the whole world to myself.

Tapping into that mindfire that started year ago flying fighter planes, I zoned in on this great translation of the shooter genre. Big explosions, weapons changes power ups. Focusing fire and dodging bullets. Sliding my finger back and forth, I weaved near unconscious dances around enemy fire. Speedier and more precise than any joystick, I WAS the Last Starfighter AND the Wizard, controlling a petite anime girl with fire wings, shooting green shots all across the screen. Everyone was in that food court with me, but none of them were there. Zoned in tuned out and when I came to, it was just in time to book it back from my lunch hour.

Its crunchtime for my team, and the windowless walls of "The Cooler" were a stark contrast to the wonder world I came back from. It all seemed to soon. The experience seemed to all too quick. Maybe the sip of sweet shooter sensuality was too satisfying to be real. I pined for that feeling a little for the rest of the day. Some say we game to escape. I don't know that I was running from "The Cooler" that day, but the well spent hour away from code-breaking lockdown was the most "free" I had felt in the last two weeks of working hours.

Its moments like those that remind me why I care so much about gaming. Not this crude matter, this internet handle or this postulating and pretentious blogosphere that I call home. Core to dedicating every unimportant part of my life to gaming stuff is that feeling. This singularity in mood, perception and whole experience that a "real" gamer gets. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, thats what its like in words. I'll never do it justice. You've really got to find it for yourself.

Have you been there Destructoid? Shout out if you love or like shooters!

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