Sunday, June 11, 2006

Halo Xbox: Why don't I play more?

In a word: I suck. In more words, read on.

Guys at work often have Halo 2 Xbox video gaming sessions, and I often intend to show up, and have played a few times, yet typically I bail. On the surface, my excuse is that I opt to spend time with family. Yet the games often go on long after everyone at home is off to bed, so I think there is a deeper reason why I tend to no-show.

I play the game so rarely that I usually need to relearn the complex joystick device (which is much more than a "stick") and have no finesse whatsoever. After an hour or two, I'm starting to get the hang of it again, but still feel woefully outclassed by everyone else, who race around me like 8 year olds at a toddler park. "No Steve, don't eat the sand!" Usually, other players leave me alone, since there's not much sport in offing someone who's barely able to avoid smacking into walls and what not. But this only leads to feelings of isolation.

I'm not usually one to whine or turn down a challenge, but there's only so much demoralization and frustration one can tolerate. It starts to feel like "Getting Hit on the Head Lessons" (No, not "owww!", but "waaah!". "Waaah!". "Good!"). So I usually only show up when in an exceptionally resilient emotional state that can take any amount of abuse and inferiority trip.

One of these days when my boys are older, mind, I'll have one of these devices at home and will be able to spend hours at a time on it, without getting interrupted to change a diaper. It's really quite an impressive immersive experience. In no time, my reflexes will be optimized for these joysticks on steroids, I'll have hardware accelerated my gray matter to dominate virtual worlds of mass destruction. Co-workers beware! Or maybe I'll take up Tai Chi instead. Could go either way.