So, there we were – on a street in China, I think it was – pinned down by an enemy who had encamped himself on the edge of a loading platform. Two of my battle buddies were trapped, and there was no way around him. In my ear, I could hear my comrades begging for someone to please take the bastard out.
I hatched a plan. I crept up a ramp near the platform, and rolled a flash-bang grenade into the doorway on the back of the building. It worked; the enemy sprang from his perch and began to unload his whole clip into the doorway, figuring it was being breached.
I shot the poor bastard right in the side of his head. He dropped his gun, grabbed his face and fell to the ground, dead.
In my earpiece, I heard the exclamations of joy from my colleagues as they rushed forward. Alas, my victory was short lived; as the flash-bang had led one enemy to believe someone was exiting the door, the other enemies inside were alerted that someone was possible breaching their little pillbox, and so the baddies began pouring out onto the platform, each gunning for yours truly. I died. Quickly.
If you’ve been wondering why this blog has not been more frequently updated since, say, late November, you have Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to thank – at least for my absence. As for my cohorts on the blog, I don’t know what their excuse has been. One or two of ‘em had a baby or something stupid, I don’t know. Another probably has the clap, and a couple are teachers who are just too timid to post anything interesting, and so choose not to post at all.
As for me, I’ve had Modern Warfare 3. See, this blog – like any other blog – isn’t about you, the reader; it’s about me, the writer who shills out $20 a year for the domain name (and that wasn’t even my first choice). It’s my therapy, my loudspeaker, my hobby. I figure, if I’m going to be writing for myself anyway, I may as well send it out into the world somehow, and since people don’t publish pamphlets anymore, I use this blog.
So, as I come in from work, feed and wash the kid, tidy up around the house and settle in for a little “me” time, I have a few pursuits to enjoy. I can read, catch up on my sewing (yes, I have things that need mending, what of it?), watch a movie or some television, or write. Since I compose these little diatribes on a laptop, it’s rather easy to combine the “watching television” and “writing” things.
Or, I can play videogames. And, for damned near two months, this has been my pursuit; largely owing to the addictive nature of Call of Duty, which I enjoy, even though I’m rather awful at the game.
Seriously, I’m bad. I’ve had messages from people asking me to leave their team. I often finish in the last three on my team, if not dead last. I consider myself a real asset to my team if my kill-to-death ratio is 1:1. And when others finish below me, or when I finish in the top three on my team, I realize that my team has some serious problems. I am regularly and frequently “pwned” by the same enemy, killed over and over and over for the duration of a match.
But, then, I’m a very casual gamer; I’m not some out-of-work 20-something who has all day to sit around in his underwear at his parents’ house and play Call of Duty. I have a daughter, a wife, a house and a job; Call of Duty is a leisurely pursuit; not a major part of my life.
Now, I have learned enough to make myself at least dangerous – if not particularly scary – in the game. I no longer just crouch in a corner and hope no one happens by, nor do I run devil-may-care through an open field figuring that there’s no one around who’d take a shot at me. And, in many instances, I’ve got a 50-50 shot at taking out an enemy if left to fend for myself one-on-one.
But, I get shot in the back a lot, and if there’s more than one enemy in my crosshairs, I’m usually able to take out only one before his buddies do me in. I also get stabbed a lot, and I’m prone to getting sniped and bombed – though I survive a lot of grenade attacks, somehow.
Still, it’s entertainment, and rarely do I get so mad that the game is no longer fun. And if a group is simply way too lethal for me to be competitive, it’s a simple matter to resign myself from the lobby and join another group, searching for greener, easier-to-kill grasses.
Given that I’m writing this blog, you can be sure that I’m not playing Call of Duty tonight, so if you’re hoping for easy quarry, don’t hold your breath. And I’m hoping to begin posting more, because writing these blogs – and my popular “Dispatches from the Road” posts – are rewarding in and of themselves.