Unreal Grownup Geek
So I started playing a new game on the PC which has really been taking up away way too much free time. I downloaded the multiplayer demo a few days ago and have played it everyday. It's called Unreal Tournament 2004. The demo can be downloaded here for free.
Anyway the game is really cool. It's played on the internet with other people logged onto a server. If there are 20 people playing the game at once, we're all playing together in real time. Online. Two teams. Fighting. We all have our player names. My Unreal name is 'HeRmaN MuRdsTer'. At first I was surprised by this game because it moves really fast and it took me longer than usual to get into the groove and understand it. The strategy is deeper and the weapon choices more advanced. For the first time I felt a new action game sped up to the point where I started to feel my age in the gaming world. But I stuck with Unreal 2004 and can compete for the most part. It gets pretty intense. I'm a low-midlevel player I guess. Anyway, the game has this new feature where if you hold down the 'F' key you can actually talk into your computer mic and communicate in the room with the other players. For strategy or taunting or whatever. Like you can say, 'Lets get in the tank! I'll drive! You be gunner...' and 'Roger that..' or whatever. Cool right?!
So during a particularly heated match (which we won btw) there was alot of talking going on. About half-way through the game I started to listen to the voices and I realized something upsetting. They all sounded like they were 14 year old boys. Here I was a supposed grownup playing this game with a bunch 14 year olds! Talking to them and stuff! I felt like weird about it or something. Like I shouldn't be there or talking to them or whatever. Like I shouldn't be there at all. Obviously I'm no sicko but it felt strange to be talking and playing with anonymous teenagers over the net. Like a whole room full of them. And I felt profoundly immature to not only be playing but to have been taunting them after wins or bragging after I did something I thought was cool. As the only adult in the room I thought maybe I should be the best at the game or at least the most mature. But I was neither.
I pictured myself a grownup guy showing up at the skate park with a brand new skateboard with one sticker on it (which says something embarrassing like 'Phat!'). All suited up with kneepads and a helmet and wearing a Blink 182 t-shirt. Trying simple jumps and stuff while the kids looked at me like... 'Whats up with the old dude trying to keep up? Is he a narc or what?'
Fortunately the game kicks ass which overcomes any ageish insecurities I might have... and I know I'm not only grownup out there.
Just took a break to write this and now the MuRdsTer is going back for more!