The woes of a second-rate gamer

April 12th, 2010 in .Blogs .Gadgets
Mrs Mario

I adore gaming. I really do. I’ve loved it ever since I owned my first ZX Spectrum and I’ve  played games consistently ever since. Unfortunately I suck at it. Really, I do. You’d think that after hours of solid practise in the world of the FPS I’d be a kick ass sharp shooter with nerves of steel.

You’d be wrong.

In fact, I seem to be getting worse rather than getting better. I spent the best part of three days trying to get past the striders in HL2. THREE DAYS! On medium difficulty. The shame is almost too much to bear. Perhaps I should consider beating myself.

This didn’t bother me much when I first started out. I was alone at home with nothing but my keyboard to stand in judgement of my less than sterling attempts to kill monsters/aliens/baddies, and so I didn’t care. In fact, I thought I was pretty good.

Then I landed a gig as the editor of a leading technology and gaming magazine. It was a dream come true and I was agog with the excitement of it all. I was even vibrating with delight at the thought of my very first interoffice game of Quake. I would show off my l33t skills. I would crush my opponents. I would prove that girls could game.

I was eaten alive. No sooner had I spawned than I was dead again. It was horrifying. This is not to say that girls can’t game, far from it. Actually the person who ended up ganking me the most was my female co-worker who screamed with laughter at my feebleness.

There was only one way I could handle this shame. I renamed myself cannonfoddergirl and continued to partake of the end-of-the-day gaming with glee. It was the source of great amusement in the office that no matter how often I played, I remained at the same steady level of crapness. I may have inherited a love of gaming but I most certainly had not been blessed with any kind of talent.

Fortunately for me, my talentlessness (if such a word did not exist before, it does now) stood me in good stead. It earned me some kind of respect. I wasn’t faking my passion for gaming; I was just a little on the “special” side.

However, the same did not apply for my appearance at gaming gatherings in the old days of laboriously packing your PC into the car, carrying it into a hall/house/cafe and setting it all up just so you can game for a few hours. There I was met with derision and scorn.

While I completely respect the fact that the competitive spirit is an inherent part of the scene, I also think that you can have enormous fun just by playing the game. I had long since abandoned all hope of ever winning or appearing near the top of the leaderboard. Hell, I would do a jig if my name sat second from the end. But I did start to feel the woe of the second rate gamer.

Perhaps there should be a spot for us underachievers? A little token that reassures us and tells us that it’s ok to be crap. Certainly I could do with some reassurance that a gang of able gamers isn’t going to show up at my house and take my kit away because I don’t deserve it…

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