Modern video games kick the shit out of most ideas of heaven. We've built a million immortal Valhallas and conjured realms that at any other point in history would have required several pounds of hallucinogen and a magic spell that transported you inside Salvador Dali. For the last decade, the word "Katamari" has brought more joy and genuine distraction from the world's troubles than the word "nirvana."
This is a god I'd pray to, just to hear his reply.
But these promised (and delivered by wireless connection) lands have demons, too, and just like in every predictable science fiction story, the real monsters were inside us all along. Six types of gamer take a world where we literally play with a global supercomputer network and piss all over it. We only wish they tried that physically. At least then they'd get the high voltage burns they deserve, where they deserve them.
Five laps of glorious blue-sparking velocity combat, you've taken the lead at the last corner, you're powering down the home stretch, and microseconds from the finish line, DING! Disconnected! Your opponent would rather switch off their system than let anyone else win. You know that victory is yours, but a big part of gaming is how your brain's pleasure center can be remote controlled by a four-cent sound chip. Not finishing isn't just frustrating, it's long-distance blue balling.
Making this the world's kinkiest sex toy.
Winning doesn't mean anything if it's not possible to lose, but "not meaning anything" is these assholes' entire life strategy. They're trying to create a 100 percent win record at the expense of those numbers meaning something. For example, they've also satisfied 100 percent of all their past lovers, but that's because they know exactly where to touch themselves, and because someone whose idea of satisfaction is cheating to win at Mario Kart is incredibly easy to please. Note that I'm not calling all video gamers virgins. In 2013 that would be like calling all car owners scared of horses. But the sort of person who'd pull out rather than let someone else even enjoy Mario Kart is not the sort of person who has a lover.
"She's just mad because I always come first."
This problem is so endemic that every online game is defined by whether it punishes disconnectors. If it doesn't, it sucks, because it's impossible to win. Which means modern games have to work out how to be fun, administer millions of simultaneous connections, AND engineer a way to punish snowflakes so bubble wrapped that they can't even handle losing at make-believe.
Modern multiplayer games feature more teamwork than a Disney movie about a down-on-their-luck cheerleading squad learning to win a bridge tournament (a challenge that involves learning bridge, then keeping each other alive for 80 years to become old enough to care about bridge). An array of classes and loadouts let players adapt to specific roles and shifting objectives, including point defense, medic, target designation, and farming. Or they could be the third idiot on your team to scream "I WANNA SNIPE" and now you've lost.
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"I just find it easier to interact with people this way and don't understand why that's terrifying."
True, a video game is the least worst-possible place for someone to declare that their only joy is long-range shooting things through the head, but it's still terrible. It doesn't matter if your team is going room to room in tunnels or being steamrollered by tanks, he's going to run up a crane at the very corner of the map and spend half an hour plinking at enemy infantry ... which will be much easier for him, now that your team is effectively outnumbered and the enemy are holding a grenade-explosion-based music festival around your spawn points.
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"Hi, I've got a delivery for a 'screwed team'?"
This is the sort of sociopath that anti-video-game campaigners have been warning us about. There are infinitely billion single-player games about shooting enemies in the head, but these people don't want to play single player.
"It's only fun if I know they're real people. Wait, where are you going?"
As far as they're concerned, all the other players are just background sprites in their personal game. But because they're not Michael Jordan, you'll still lose and hate them.