Stay a while and listen while I break from my usual M.O. of reviewing hoards of games to recount an offbeat tale of railguns and romance.
It was some time ago, so far back that I can’t quite recall the exact year, but I can narrow it down to near the end of the previous century. I was wasting time on mIRC, which is technically a program designed for chatting, but in reality is a filthy cesspool of illicit activity and depravity. It must have seemed so idyllic to all us poor, angry youths with emotional issues and flexible morals, but that’s a tale for another time. The point is that I was speaking to an associate from an industrial music room and in the throes of our collective boredom we decided to try our hands at an online deathmatch game of Quake 2.
A deathmatch game with only two players in pretty large maps isn’t a whole lot of fun so my associate, let’s call him Fatso, helpfully suggested that he bring along two friends to make things more interesting. Fatso introduced me to, let’s call them What’s-his-face and Raspina, and so began the most historic match of Quake 2 of all time (which is technically not an exaggeration from my perspective).
I don’t want to toot my own horn again, but I was pretty good at Quake 2 back in the day, and so it ended up being a pretty one sided affair. What’s-his-face was so average and entirely devoid of interesting features that I can’t recall a single detail about his involvement. Fatso was at least bad enough to be memorable, as I had to find strange, annoying new ways to kill him just to amuse myself. I remember literally running around him in circles, slowly shooting him to death with the pistol as he flailed helplessly, missing every blubbery shot.
And then there was Raspina. Raspina, who I found hiding in a ceiling vent, not to be in a good sniping position or anything like that, but in the hope that no one would find her there because she was not an fps fan and had no idea what she was doing. I saw her cowering up there like a frightened cat and just couldn’t bring myself to shoot her in the face. We then agreed to a truce, where I wouldn’t kill her unless she attacked me first. Apparently this act of virtual chivalry left an impression on her, as we ended up staying in touch after that, even long after I stopped talking to Fatso (who turned out to be quite a jerk).
Raspina and I found ourselves taking quite a liking to each other, but being young, poor, and living thousands of miles apart, there wasn’t a whole lot we could do about it other than to remain friends. We continued to talk online and on the phone for something like seven years, occasionally playing other online games like TetriNET or World of Warcraft, before circumstances changed enough that we could meet.
10 years ago, on this very day actually, we finally did meet and we’ve been inseparable ever since, and even married for almost 5 years now too. Our only real problem (at least in terms of our relationship) these days is fighting over whose turn it is to play their game on the big screen each night and which kind of ridiculous nerd thing we’re going to buy for our place next.
So clearly the moral of this story is that if you learn how to Quake 2 properly then you too can find happiness! But seriously, I tell you this not solely to ramble on in a semi-bragging manner about my personal life, but also to extend what I suppose is a message of hope to any lonely gamers out there:
Don’t listen to any close-minded luddite that condescendingly tries to tell you that video games are pointless or unimportant or not real art or whatever painfully stupid thing they say to you right before they turn around and go watch television or sit in a chat room or whatever other hypocritically similar hobby they fill their nights with. Those people can go eat a…pickle.
And don’t settle for anyone that isn’t the best for you or anyone who treats the things you love like they’re a nuisance that they have to put up with or something that should be hidden from them, because let me tell you, being with someone who actually enjoys almost all the same things, who you don’t have to go hide from in another room when you want to do something you like, is well worth the time and effort.
Do what you love and stick with it no matter what and eventually you’ll find that perfect person for you like I finally did.
- This article is dedicated to Baroness Fotchenstein, player of games, bringer of happiness.