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P2 Press Start: Blargg! or The Heart of DtoidLA

I played Guitar Hero for the first time at my friend –and sometimes P2- Tom’s house. Guitar Hero was the reason I bought a PS2. It was a console exclusive at the time. I loved it, and I was pretty good at it. With practice I got even better. I had no idea at the time what role it would have in the direction my life would go.

I joined Destructoid.

Around E3 ’07 Dtoid partied with GayGamer.net at Akbar. I wanted to go, but Donna wasn’t keen on me going to a bar which I’d never done in a part of town I’d never been to to hang out with people I’d never met. I was bummed.

3 weeks later Chad Concelmo invited Dtoiders in LA to come play Rock Band at his house, even though there was No Apparent Reason for this Party Donna was okay with it because Chad… was one of the ones who ran the site(?) or whatever.

I got to Chad’s house, and Chad’s great. He’s one of the best most welcoming people. I was still way way nervous. People were playing Rock Band and others were playing handhelds on the couch. I got some food and drink and hovered nervously. Introductions were made, and that was cool.

Pardon me while I grab my magic happiness wand

The person singing was done singing and a spot opened in this new game I’d never played before. Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash sounded familiar. It opens with a loud high “Wooo!” which I terrifyingly realized… a couple of measures before it happened. I can sing, so I went for it (all kinds of crazy nervous though). People were surprised, maybe impressed, maybe that was wishful thinking. The song went fine. Rock Band is FUN! I sang another. I got on guitar my first chance. I started on Hard because I didn’t know how it compared to Guitar Hero. No problem it turned out, so I went to Expert. There were some murmurs from the other players about failing the song, but I was okay. I might have needed saving once or twice (and it really helped that we were only playing the easy stuff as no one had unlocked the harder songs.

It was so much fun at Chad’s that Dexter345 had a NARP at his place. (Donna came this time! SW33T!) Again Rock Band was the staple for 4-player gaming with easy drop-in/drop-out players. Again I played Expert on Guitar/Bass. Afterward, Dexter345 popped the question: Would I be in a Rock Band band with him? He’d watched me play on Expert. He knew other players much better than me, but we lived close by and could meet most Sundays and get through the game… together. I was very happy to say “Yes.”

“The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.” – The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Dexter345 became one of the most important P2’s in my life. We named the band Blargg! and on our Sunday sessions we would advance in the game. I was getting better and better. Dexter (the superior player) was on Guitar and I on Bass. Sometimes we would switch it up for variety, but our plan was to conquer the Endless Setlist.

We didn’t just play Rock Band. Dexter played L4D on 360 with a pretty regular Dtoid group. I was welcomed and though my skills were sub-par I had a lot of fun. I hear the horror stories of online gaming and the raging derogatory remarks from Haloteens and Call-of-Duty-Dootieheads. I never had that experience and I never want it. Instead here was a great group of people all being cool and having fun. I remember a specific time we each in turn started singing Disney songs and the others on their headsets would join in. Okay, not when I started singing. They just all burst out laughing at my heartfelt start to Out There from Hunchback of Notre Dame. After L4D came L4D2 then Borderlands. I even tried Gears of War 2 and 1 as long as Dexter was my P2. I’ll admit: when a fun co-op first-person game comes out, I sort of count on him to be there for me. When I was looking to pre-order Portal 2, Dexter was a factor in deciding which system to get it for. He was getting it for the PS3, so I did too.

Apparently my song choice was ‘out there’ indeed. (bah-dum CRASH)

In the meantime, almost every NARP seemed to feature Rock Band. It was the ultimate game for a party. Whether it was your first NARP or you're a Dtoid Editor in town for some gaming event, jumping into a familiar game and enjoying 5-star and almost 5-star success made you feel welcome and part of the Dtoid community. Even if you didn't play the game, it was like having music on while you ate pizza and drank beer and talked about sex and life while standing in the kitchen or slid down a giant slide (or whatever you did).

Dexter and I finally set the date to bring our band to fulfillment. We live streamed our 6-hour long Rock Epic and planned a NARP to start in the final hours. I was surprised there were people were interested in what we were doing, but sure enough some Dtoiders watched the stream and people showed up at the end to see KyleGamgee and Dexter345 finish the Endless Setlist. Our reward was Platinum status in the game and eternal glory in that game forevermore! (Actually, Rock Band 2 had just come out, so we were probably done with it) I expected the Xbox 360 to be turned off and the plastic instruments of sheer joy to be put away for the night. Nope. Other people wanted to play and Rock Band stuck around for a few more hours. I think eventually it got put away and we watched some porn. Maybe, I don’t remember.

is it getting hot in here?


Dexter got married (congrats, man!) and moved to Phoenix. Dtoid LA hasn't been as active as it was in previous years. There's lots of little reasons for this, but I know that this body misses one of its most important organs. Dexter is always trying to get people together to hang out and play games and drink and feel welcome. Personally,I look forward to the next time I get to go to PAX Prime. Dexter345 really makes the most of that amazing experience and I'd like nothing more than to lock stride with him there and be his P2.
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About KyleGamgeeone of us since 3:35 PM on 11.16.2006

I've got a backlog (games I have that I still need to beat). Everybody does.

BioShock and Portal are some of my favorite games.

I love the SNES. So many great games Pilotwings, SMW, F-Zero, UN Squadron, FFIV & VI, Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, ActRaiser, Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past... the list goes on.

I love playing the Xbox 360. I enjoy the Wii just fine, but I LOVE the 360.

Iplay Rock Band the most (probably) at parties, or in my Rock Band band Blargg with Dexter345.
Xbox LIVE:KyleGamgee
Mii code:[email protected]


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