Gaming: My Drug of Choice

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I have been called many things in my life. Animal! Murderer! Sadist! KILLER! And yes, I am all of these things and so much more. I have killed thousands of people and taken down the headquarters of countless enemy regimes, all on a daily basis. However, I do all of these things for the good of man. My weapon of choice? 14 buttons, 2 rubber analogue sticks, and a deadly eye reserved for the likes of people that the Government spends billions on to hide from society. I am a gamer and being deadly is what I do.

Since I first sat down in front of my pc screen and started turning the digits on my keyboard into a form of plastic pulp, I was symbiotically drawn to the world of the First Person Shooter. I was 7, and Doom was my heroine. I spent hour upon hour, watching the demons spawn from hell only to be mowed down by the hungry wrath of my chaingun. It was what I lived for. But as time progressed so did my lust for bigger, better, deadlier things. No longer was slaughtering the evil masses enough for me. And I was not alone in my quest at having something more. Numerous gamers shared the same lust that I did. The insatiable lust for that Holy Grail that pushed the boundaries. Then finally…from our desperate pleads, Quake 3: Arena was born. Here it was, a platform where I could not only challenge myself, but challenge my fellow gamers too. Bliksem_182, aka The Shotgun Surgeon, was born. And with my birth, the floodgates of torment were opened.

I would smile in glee as I watched the faces of the other LAN gamers across from me, straining their eyes to narrow squints as they battled valiantly to take me down. I constantly had that mischievous look in my eye that only complete arrogance could bring out of you. When you know there’s only one thing that’s coming their way and it’s got a railgun and their forehead written all over it.

For me, pushing the boundaries of what is socially accepted is what gaming is all about. Stab someone? Go to jail. Beat someone in the street? Go to jail. Shoot someone in the face from a point blank distant with a double barrelled shotgun…well, I think you get the point. Gaming allows us to stand on the edge of reality and feel the thrill of being alive. I think that’s where our addictions come from. And we all have it. I believe everyone on this site has got some form of gaming addiction. Be it an addiction for reading the latest news, an addiction for hearing about the latest games or an addiction for playing them. Me, I have the severe problem of having all 3 of these and so many more. When I was in High School I would daydream in class about what perk in Diablo I was going to select when I levelled up. Or when I had to study, I’d try to make my addiction seem okay by convincing myself I was simply going to take a short break and play one level of Counterstrike and, to my amazement, when I looked again it was dark outside already. But damnit is it a rush to do what we do and I still believe it’s better than any drug around.

Looking down the barrel of my rifle as I pumped round after blazing round into the oncoming mass of challengers. That’s what got me going. Most nights it was usually me on my ace, a can of red bull and a marathon of Heroes of Might and Magic. Yes, believe it or not, but FPS weren’t always my drug of choice. Then as I changed and came of age, so did my habits. Red bull was substituted for beer and HOMM was substituted for Call of Duty 4. The same happened with my weapon of choice, for as the years progressed and the gaming industry evolved, so did my arsenal. I moved from keyboard to controller, from PC Screen to LCD, and pretty soon left my LAN gaming days behind for the PSN, HDMI and a slick, smooth, black Sixaxis piece of gaming love.

But finally, after all these years, there it was again. That same rush I had felt when I first picked up that shotgun in Q3: Arena. The Shotgun Surgeon was reborn and the online community wasn’t ready for what he was bringing to the table. And I rolled with the best of them. Some of SA’s elite COD4 players like Khan-Khan, Vegeta24, MaXim and Coldcat. I took on the big dogs, face to face in blazing glory, and I came out on top. 15th in the world for accuracy. That was my title.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a title that was going to help me pick up girls or get a better job. But it was mine that I had acquired myself. And I was damn proud of it even if I was basically the only one that knew about it. That’s the thing about gaming. We haven’t yet progressed to that stage in the industry where gaming champions are as well known as Lance Armstrong or Muhammad Ali, even though in my opinion we are just as talented as they are. What people don’t understand is that to be a champion gamer requires skill, tact and passion. It requires hour upon hour of relentless dedication towards your addiction. We always push ourselves to be better, faster and stronger. Okay, maybe not stronger, but definitely better and faster than the next guy that comes along.

Continued on Page 2

Last Updated: April 29, 2009

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