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"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."
I thought long and hard about what area of expertise I may yield in gaming and came up with nada, zip, nothing. Sure I love fighting games and can appreciate as well as understand the mechanics of them to be a proficient fighter but to call that my "expertise" would be very presumptuous of me. I'm not comfortable saying that. Same thing with every genre of games I play which is about all of them except the simon says silliness of rhythm or music games.
No, under closer scrutiny I realized I'm your typical competent gamer. Yet there is an ability that I possess that accentuates my gaming skills and raises the quality of it. A trait that unto itself is amusing at best but coupled with my gaming, elevates my play significantly. What is this fabled area of expertise of mine? What comes naturally, effortlessly, without barely a thought?
I can sh*t talk ... well.
I have the innate ability to rile people up through my not so velvety voice. To get under their skin and affect or alter the way they actually go about playing their game. It can come across as a simple jab at your skill or lack there of, to just talking about whatever strikes my fancy, preferably a topic to keep you interested enough to make you lose your focus at what it is you're trying to do, beat me. Effective modern day shit talking encompasses all of that and shouldn't just be pigeon-holed into the exchanges of colorful metaphors. So great is the power of my oral artistry that I have fellow friends, Dtoiders whose names shall remain unnamed, that wont play certain games against me like say Poker or Street Fighter unless they mute me altogether. They fear my lulling ways will be their downfall and their assumptions are quite justified.
While many may bemoan what I do, gaming without shit talking would be a very bland landscape indeed. If I were to ask you to think about your favorite gaming memories with your friends, I would wager that the majority of them would include a healthy, if not massive, dose of it. One could say that the creation of headsets for gaming consoles are to facilitate this very thing. Sure others will spout other reasons like better implementation of teamwork and other cliche bullet points but c'mon you know better.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I think in some molecular level, shit talking was embedded within me. If you're on my friend's list and have had the opportunity to play with or against me in any game, I don't think this will be a shocking revelation. Merely a confirmation. To this old school gamer it's not just my quest to best you, but to do so with a heaping amount of what I do best. Comradeship is born from these fires my friends and as I raise the proverbial hammer to hone my skill further, I'm comfortable in saying that yes, this is not just my field of expertise but a major part of my gaming life.
[ I can illustrate this further to any non believers every weekend in our own PS3 Friday Night Fights. Come and join the fun. ]