"working on my faults and cracks..."

7.02.2007

Lumberjack tea-bagging


Hard-core gamers, like any other bull-headed kind of athlete, also have their own "locker room" of sorts where the biggest dicks shower and stand around afterwards, comparing their wangs, telling gay jokes, and snapping the groveling noobs and benchwarmers with wet towels.

Ah, yes. Gamer leaderboards.

What probably began innocently enough as a way to competitively track statistics across a wide range of players, the leaderboards and gamerscores have evolved into something more sinister than just "nerd cred," and have now become the exclusive place to display the size of one's e-penis, or cower in shame for lack of gaming prowess.

While the amount of available playtime has dropped off since picking up Odin Sphere, and working on the Home and Warhawk betas, I still play Resistance more than I probably should. Naturally, due to my vested interest in the game, I have from time to time, poked around the leaderboards because it's hard to imagine how incredibly small your own johnson is, until you cross someone who pushes theirs around in a wheelbarrow.

Then last night, I met Him. The Ron Jeremy of Resistance: Fall of Man. The man with a virtual penis so large, it is visible from outer space; snaking along the Great Wall of China, splashing in the Nile, and high-fiving the Eiffel Tower. His name is Fullerton, and he stands unchallenged at the very top of a 500 man** leaderboard, proudly displaying his mighty manhood for all to see.
Ninety-eight thousand kills.

8:00 am. Pacific Standard Time. A routine 8 man deathmatch, on a map I don't much care for. He was in with several other members of his posse, helping them with their medal count. In between prayers, hiding, and getting waxed, I listened to Him chat with other players over the mic. He sounded tired. His voice was dry and emotionless. I imagined him in a stuffy living room with empty Funyun bags scattered about the shag carpet; his face bathed in only the television's glow, chained to a barcalounger and clutching a sixaxis. There is dried saliva in the corners of his mouth, and a milk carton filled with old urine on the floor. He is unable to move. A lukewarm glass of Tang tempts him from a stool across the room. He will have a drink "after one more game."

As I am picked off for the umpteenth time sprinting for the map's only shotgun, he calmly told us of "15 hour marathon sessions," his clan being "on 24/7," and "nothing matters after 100k."
Silence--Fullerton speaketh. The other players are in awe. He was their prophet--one of those fruity cult leader imbeciles spreading the gospel of insanity. Stranger still though, the others were listening. Intently. To them, it was like happening upon the same drugstore on a quiet Wednesday night when Jesus buys his shampoo. To them, it was like playing with a god. A malevolent, sadistic god who reveled in kicking their teeth in. Still, a trivial price to pay, for the honor of sharing a god's bandwidth.
If anything, I am extremely amused.

Someone has the gall to LAARK me, as my mind struggles to with the numbers...struggles to grasp the sheer amount of time he has spent playing...


The round finishes, and Fullerton invites all the "good sports" with mics from the previous game (all the doe-eyed admirers with kicked-in teeth), to a private team deathmatch. We are all placed on the same team. I am thrilled.
Wait.
No I'm not. I refuse to be starstruck, to acknowledge playing alongside greatness. He is a false prophet.
Still, I swallow my indifference and join the game.
I am in the zone. I manage to shoot, electrocute, and set on fire many other players, without getting shot very much myself. I finish third of eighteen. Fullerton congratulates me.
Oh. My. God.
Fullerton acknowledged me. I cannot breathe.
Forget everything I just said about merciless jocks, penises, and false prophets.
This is the best day of my life.




* While I have no idea exactly how many players in total are registered for eligibility on the leaderboards, I do know that Resistance has sold more than a million copies, and that the chap in 500th place still has just over 25000 kills. So, any reasonable estimate probably puts me and my 5,500 kills somewhere between 603,958th place, and dead fucking last. There is no microscope powerful enough to reaffirm the sad reality that I am not, in fact, "all that is man."
 
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