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I suppose I’ve always been a bit of a loner. I’ve had a few friends that were close. Comrades in arms and humor. But as time has passed, there’s a handful that have stuck around. And a smaller handful that I’ve let stay. I’ve purged my steam friends list a few times in the years since Valve did that for you every week or so. And my skype is awash with dead accounts and contacts. The ease of connection that defines our times also comes with an ease to disconnect. To vanish.

I’d say my prime social gaming was in the era right before Half Life 2. When my parent’s crappy dell and 20 bucks I found on the ground at high school unlocked a world of first person gaming to me. I had enjoyed consoles, sure. But online play in 32 man pubs was lovely. Counterstrike was my first port of call. But then I moved on to Day of Defeat ( |RIP|, [B0W], and [BAW] servers were my stomping grounds) Natural Selection ( [I AM] ) and Sven Coop (I still rock my {RS} tags) It was a social circles that supplemented my sparse social life as a closeted gay teen in Bush era Texas.

There were WoW guilds too. I remember my first guild, and wandering about until I decided that roleplay was my main calling. Moving from Nordrassil to Twisting Nether, to Wyrmrest to Moon Guard, each with their own small communities in and of themselves. I remember the Twisting Nether Gazette, the Wyrmrest community. And enjoyed the whole of Moon Guard ina leery half ashamed way.

There was also Second Life, I found the steampunk communities of Steelhead, New Babbage, Steeltopia, Caledon and Armada breakaway alluring. And I contributed many a spark that lead to inventions and change. A steampunk aircraft carrier and many friends and mentors along the way. I’d like to think that a few of my ideas lead to the greatness. I know I was at least one of the voices to the now numerous books New Babbage has collaborated on.

But what I miss, what I long for, are the pub servers of the Half-Life days. I play battlefield 1 with a sense of glee, but with no sense of companionship. The alltalk and large team voice chats that I used to forge friendships and at times rivalries are gone. It’s entirely absent in BF1, I’ve hardly ever used the in game voice chat. I’ve used a discord for a bit, though it’s mostly deserted now. Day of Infamy quenches quite a bit of my Day of Defeat itch. But it lacks that social aspect that the original and source had for me… Though that may just me not committing to a server.

I suppose that’s part of my unease as well. I’m none too sure if it is the rest of the world or myself causing this loneliness. Many years ago I tried to kill myself. And while I’ve mainly recovered, it did give me a bit of brain damage. I’ve never really got that examined due to lack of funds..(Unrelated note to that, heard Destructoid may be hiring interns?) I retreated quite a bit since then. And have only occasionally stuck a toe out. The ease others seem to have with things is limitless. So I suspect part of things have to do with me.

All that being said, I still miss the days when I played the latest suicide hero map on DoD or NS. I miss the cafe of rabid snarks. Those days when spending hours in front of a CRT monitor consisted about 40% gaming, and 60% socializing.

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About The Baked Potatoone of us since 5:52 AM on 07.28.2013

Generic Texan gay gaming nerd in his late 20's, sometimes funny, kind of an asshole. Definitely a recluse.

Spent some time working support for video game companies.
Got a few fancy books and plastic statues in lieu of a living wage.
Spent a little less time trying to write for sites. One isn't around anymore, the other dropped me for a bad review.

And to think all this started with Disney DOS games when I was 4.