The Katonian Press: Gamer Wonders If He’ll Ever Get In A Match

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Gamer Wonders If He’ll Ever Get In A Match

waiting for playerCincinnati, Ohio – Brady Anderson settled in for an evening of online gaming Friday, hoping to “get in a few good games” before hitting the hay.  Craving the visceral satisfaction of taking on other human opponents, Brady popped in his recent diversion of choice, Red Faction: Guerrilla, and grabbed a controller.  He cracked open a delicious Mountain Dew: Live Wire and readied himself.

“Let’s do this,” he said to no-one in particular.  His cat sauntered over and rubbed against his owner’s legs.

Navigating the menus, he prepared to enter his favorite gametype. “How about a little Capture the Flag, bitches?” he queried of, again, no-one in the room.  His cat seemed to agree with him, though.

His hopes were soon dashed.

Brady, an avid Quake and Unreal Tournament player of days past, reveled in the strategic back-and-forthery of the flag capturing genre.  He had enjoyed numerous excursions in previous weeks into Red Faction’s take on the gaming classic.  “I like prox mines,” he has been quoted as saying.  But all he could muster on this night was, “What the crud?”  His usual fare had disappeared, and he quickly scanned the short list of match types in the “hopper” hoping to find its replacement.  Eventually, he settled on one that offered up a random variety of different team-oriented game types.

“I’ll just veto until CTF comes up,” said Brady to his cat.  Mr. Whiskers didn’t particularly agree with this tactic, ultimately believing that joining a playlist with the express intent of steering it toward one particular map or game was kind of a dick move.  He was normally quite vocal on this topic but was enjoying having his belly rubbed and could only mutter a half-hearted “meowr” in protest.

He entered the game lobby and waited for others to join, his thumb hovering over the veto button just in case.  The list of gamers filled with placeholders, informing him that he was “Waiting For Players”.  A bead of condensation rolled down his Mountain Dew can, threatening to collect on the surface of his pressboard coffee table.  “Let’s roll,” he uttered, slowly depleting his reserve of clichés.

He waited.

The only indications that any attempt was being made to match him with a game were an animated progress bar in the corner of his screen and the sound of his Xbox spinning the disc madly, as if preparing to hurl it out of the tray at some ridiculous speed and decapitate nearby bystanders and statues, Oddjob style.  He mused to himself that perhaps time was standing still, like bullet-time, but without the bullets or Max Payne’s constipated expression.

Bubbles welled to the surface of his Mountain Dew and popped, their tiny explosions echoing in an aluminum tunnel, counting off the milliseconds.

Suddenly, a gamertag appeared in the list. “Finally!” he exclaimed, with enough gusto to jostle his cat, who had taken to snoozing during the wait.  He read the first name aloud: “BuddahLovah420”.  His eyes rolled, but at least he figured he was in for a cakewalk if this terribly unimaginative stoner ended up on the other team.  But as quickly as the name had appeared, it disappeared.  “Must have knocked over his bong,” Brady announced, really wishing someone else had been in the lobby to hear that.

Mr. Whiskers contemplated how one day he would probably have to murder his owner, but for now his need for a nap was more pressing and found a quiet corner of the couch to stretch out upon.

After waiting a few more minutes, a frustrated Brady exited the game and ran the network diagnostic, convinced that perhaps his router “needed to be bumped” or that the Xbox Live service was “fubarred” again.  When all came back clear, he rebooted his box and tried again.  “Probably just a momentary matchmaking glitch,” he muttered returning to the online lobby.

The progress bar mocked him silently.

Time slowed to a crawl. Brady occupied himself by attempting to drink just enough of his beverage to allow him to tilt the can and still have it stand upright.  When this got old, he paid a few bills, updated his Facebook status (twice), checked out that latest cosplay pictures on Kotaku, wrote a haiku about teabagging (“You bested me, sir / My penance is your nutsack / Thrust upon my face”), and organized the bills in his wallet from smallest to largest denomination, sorted by serial numbers.  Finally, his screen began to show activity, with placeholder text filling in with gamertags.  He pounded on the veto button to reject whatever crappy non-capture the flag variant they were trying to force upon him.  In his haste, he almost didn’t realize that his controller had long since shut off.

His veto took, but much to his dismay he was saddled with a game variant lacking completely in flags.  Not that it really mattered, as the game only lasted a minute before the server stopped responding and he found his character an impotent immortal, impervious to damage but unable to inflict any, roaming the map like an opaque ghost.  This pattern of disappointment would continue for quite some time, with Brady being denied his gaming craving.  “Everyone must be playing the new DLC,” he grumbled.  “Whose leg does a guy have to hump to get some Capture the Flag around here?!” he exclaimed in frustration.

Just then, as if the Gaming Gods had heard his willful bastardization of a Family Guy quote and decided to take pity upon him, he found himself in a full lobby with his beloved flag capturing game queuing up.  His excitement was palpable, and he chugged the rest of his Dew in preparation.  But the Gaming Gods are often cruel and they revel in trickery, often manifesting our desires with a sadistic bent.  Brady had been matched against a party of gamers who had long ago reached the experience cap.  As if fleeing in terror at the mere sight of their rank badges, Brady’s teammates bailed from the game one by one until only he was left to protect his flag from their ever-grasping claws.

He was handily defeated.

The last sight he beheld before the match ended was that of a sea of Ostrich Hammers crashing over him, an avian nightmare of beaks and feathers.  Dejected, he exited the game completely.

“Christ,” sighed Brady, setting his controller down and resigning himself.  “I get it. I’ll buy Halo, already.  Jeeze.”

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16 Responses to The Katonian Press: Gamer Wonders If He’ll Ever Get In A Match

  1. First of all what is Oddjob style?, and second the haiku was the funniest thing i’ve read in a while.

    • chiefnuts05 says:

      Well Mr. 10 year old because that’s how old you had better be if you don’t know who Oddjob is because otherwise it will make me feel very old for being the enlightened one, Oddjob was a James Bond villain who would throw his bowler hat (I think it’s a bowler hat if memory serves) like a frisbee at people’s throats to kill them.

      • augustelc says:

        nah it was the type of hat that abe lincoln had… i forgot what its called

      • I’m actually almost 16 and never really got into the bond movies.

        Maybe i should watch some of the Classic ones?

      • DethPwn says:

        Don’t worry, I’m 14 and I got the reference immediately.

        • Marksman says:

          So am I, but I didn’t get it right away.
          Now I remember though.

    • I agree about it being fudging funny, so good job kato

      But I swear to god, more often than not when I open up one of HMB’s posts one of the first few comments will be mr Undercoverduck saying “I don’t get it” …

  2. cardo says:

    Oddjob was a villian from James Bond. He would throw his hat kinda like Kung Lao. if you dont know who Kung Lao is, well then I’ve lost you.

    • Ahhhh……so like a Frisbee, but alot more deadly!

      • Kato says:

        A bit of hyperbole, I admit. Here’s a really crappy YouTube video of Oddjob:

  3. an A+ for you good sir Kato! XD i tend to think that all games lag and cause frustration similar to what Brady experienced, but that could also be caused by my lack of skill and natural talent. >_<

    • Kato says:

      To misappropriate Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to lag that which can be adequately explained by lack of skill.”

  4. Leeumm says:

    Lol. Great read.

    The lag in multiplayer was the ultimate reason why I got rid of RFG. Great game, not so great matchmaking.

    • Kato says:

      The game is fantastic, the matchmaking is crummy. It is ridiculously unbalanced. I’ve had more than one evening where all it seemed to do was pit me against a team of players way more experienced than me or anyone on my team. Since it doesn’t seem to have any built-in team balancing, the other team will also seem to get an extra player, making things even more difficult. Couple that with no penalty for quitting a match, and games become tedious instead of fun. Of course, that’s when you can actually find a match to join.

      • Leeumm says:

        Amen to that. I mean, it’s a great game, the destructivity (is that even a word?) is fantastic, and it’s great fun, but as said that’s when you manage to get into a game. I struggled through to the second last rank or something and it just became unbearable. It’s a shame, too. If they were to improve upon the matchmaking, it would have been one of my fav games in a while.

  5. DethPwn says:

    Good work, Kato! I like the add of detail!

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