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Playing With Others: Surpassing Your Friend (plus small intro)

So, start with a slight intro since I haven't posted a cblog before. I've been a lover of interactive digital entertainment since I was 3, when my mom bought a NES for my brother and I. I'm a bit of a Nintendo fanboy because of that, but it hasn't kept me from enjoying pretty much every console that has been released since. I won't go into my favorite games or genres as that will take longer than I want to spend on it, but I'm currently enjoying Lost Odyssey, Mega Man 9, SSFIITHDR, L4D, TF2, Mirror's Edge, SC4, Psychonauts, Persona 3, and RB2. I've been enlisted in the US Air Force a little more than 5 years now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll be happy to answer questions if you have them, but for now I'll get on with the main topic.

PS: I skated through English class in the 3 years that I was in HS and I tested out of English my senior year. There WILL be mistakes. I know you guys are going to blast me for it, just do me a favor and leave some constructive criticism when you've satisfied that need, k?

Have you ever had a friend who was in love with a game that you just couldn't grasp? A game that they had incredible talent in and you were less than mediocre? My friend's game of choice was Quake III: Arena, and he was damn near a master at it.

Those of you who are familiar with Q3 will know that the multiplayer community is filled with some of the most talented FPS players in the world. If you haven't watched a good Q3 frag/trick video before, go ahead and check out the Q3 section at Own-Age.com and prepare to have your mind blown. Some favorites are Get Quaked 3 and Annihilation. Q3 is easily the fastest pace shooter there is. Some people would say that there is not strategy involved, but those are people who haven't spent a significant amount of time with the game and don't yet grasp what item control and spawn control is.

Ok, enough about the game, back to the topic. My friend was in love with Q3, specifically a mod called Rocket Arena. We were both in the military stationed at Ramstein AFB, Germany, and for some reason clicked as friends. We were both gamers, but had some significant differences in taste. He was primarily a PC gamer with some Nintendo interests while I was almost solely interested in consoles. I did have a PC however, and he promptly convinced me to install Q3, the updates, and the Rocket Arena Mod. Playing the single player mode, I got loosely acquainted with the controls, and hopped on to his server. I was promptly trounced, and in a match to 15 frags was able to bring him to 80% armor, 100% health once. If you've never been so thoroughly massacred, it is not a pleasant feeling. Of course, I was not excited to play more Q3 Rocket Arena with my friend.

Over the course of the next 3-4 months, my friend would on a daily basis beg me to play to 15, 10, even 5 frags. I was loathe to walk into defeat over and over again, but being defeated took less time than it did to dissuade him from playing, so more often than not I hopped on, put forth a valiant yet useless effort, and moved on to other things. Every once in a while, I would hit 2 rail shots in a row and score a frag, but fairly consistently he was able to reproduce the results he did the first time we played.

By this time I had realized that he was not going to stop asking me to play with him anytime in the near future, so I decided that I was not going to be massacred any longer. I downloaded a server browser, I started researching tactics and strategy online, and started playing Q3 almost exclusively in my spare time. Even after my friend had gotten involved with a girl and had stopped asking me to play almost entirely, I kept at it and noticed myself slowly but surely improving, eventually to the point that I was able to complete any single player level on the Nightmare difficulty consistently.

Fast forward 6 months. My friend has stopped dating the girl that pulled him away in the first place, he's started spending more time in his dorm room again, and now he wants to play Q3 Rocket Arena again. In that time period, my Q3 playing had definitely slowed down some, but I had long since come to appreciate the skill and quick thinking that was required to play at a high level. That first rematch was almost the complete opposite of what our very first match had been. We played to 15 and he scored a single frag. I out-manuevered and out-shot him on every occassion. After a few weeks of practice, he was able to present me with a slight challenge, but was never able to beat me again.

That was probably one of the best feelings I've had in gaming. I entered the Q3 world a scrub, with little to no experience in FPS games. I was so bad that at first I had little interest in exploring the genre, much less playing more Q3. Being constantly defeated by my friend, however, drove me to do the work and improve myself. Surpassing him after starting so low is one of my greatest achievements in the video game world. I'm not friends with him anymore (turns out he is a little bit of an asshole), but I'll never forget that he is responsible for introducing me to the genre responsible for Q3, TF2, L4D, and CS, which never cease to entertain me no matter how short or long the time I spend with them.
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About Funksyone of us since 4:36 AM on 01.05.2009

A Fucking. Beast.

...at several fighting games and random shooters.

...and racquetball, if you care.
Xbox LIVE:Funksy
Steam ID:funksy


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