Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random Activities

I find, lately, that I seem to miss my martial arts days. They are quite distant behind me but I sometimes find myself thinking about them. Unfortunately, martial arts classes are quite expensive and time-consuming, and not really a necessity. I never really felt 100% like I fit in with the class--I'm not big on the structure and militaristic style. I'd survive approximately five minutes in the army before I mouthed off to my superior and got thrown out.

I don't know if anyone would think that I was good or not. I tend to think that I was pretty good at some aspects of martial arts. Memorization was not one of those aspects. But the physical facets--I could do those. Also, I could block someone's foot with my face really well. Many a time I got my ass handed to me, but never by someone of a lower rank than me. Of that, I am proud.

I watched the first episode of WCG Ultimate Gamer on SciFi last night. I'm not really sure what to think. On the one hand, I think it is way cool to not only have professional gaming exist, but to also have it in the spotlight. Way cool. And the fact that they have to do "real world" challenges is pretty amusing. Last night, the game of choice was Rock Band 2. But the contestants also had to play real instruments in front of an audience, performing a song by The Donnas. My favorite quote went something like "playing a real guitar is far different than playing a Rock Band guitar controller." Ya think? Quotes like that make me laugh...and then make me think that the stereotype of gamers never getting out of their parents' basement might be true. Well, for everyone except me of course. I have my own basement I can't get out of.

Anyhoo, the show itself was relatively amusing. The dude who lost was a dick, and I'm glad I won't have to put up with his attitude. He was nice at times but, otherwise, was a raging jerkface. He lost horribly to another guy in a Rock Band 2 duel. What's funny is, I'm watching this show thinking "wow, I could actually beat some of these pro gamers at this game." But I know, realistically, they'd probably wipe the floor with me at probably every other game.

I think professional gaming is made of awesome. I often wish that I had the talent and time to put forth in competition. The closest I've ever come was back in high school (and early college) when a local arcade held Street Fighter II tournaments--Monday Night Fights. Does that date me, or what? I'm old! Shove it! I won. I won a lot. Basically, during any given contest, either I or a friend of mine would clean up. Every once in a while some darkhorse would come along and dethrone us for a week, only get pummeled and bloodied the next week and take their place in the abyssal pit of loserdome (can't we get beyond Loser Dome?). It was fun, and there was prize money collected from the entry fees. I also pissed off many a frat boy when I was in college because I could put away challengers all day on one quarter. Actually, it cost two quarters, but the former sounds cooler. Deal with it.

These days, professional gaming is an actual career like, say, football. There are professional gaming leagues. People devote all day every day to "training" and, I'm sure, the game probably ceases to actually be fun at that point. These people would eclipse any skills I have in a heartbeat with their hundreds of hours of analysis and to-the-second timing. I also don't live anywhere near a city that has any of these competitions. Ah, if only video games were this big when I was a kid. I could have kicked anyone's ass righteously at Combat on the Atari 2600. Bring it on, yo!

From the pain and downtrodden

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