Friday, October 05, 2007
Yeah, could I get a melee over here? Thanks.
Once upon a time I was pretty into Halo. I had my brother’s game system at my house and I would come home from work, take off my trouser socks and spend a little quality time with Oreos and X-box. I could get through several levels, willing myself to forget that I was on little kid super easy mode. I liked having the small pterodactyl aliens and the big blue Aquaman aliens explode with a single shot from my shotgun. I got pretty good at maneuvering in the various all-terrain vehicles. I finally figured out which button I needed to push to switch weapons. Things were going pretty well.
But as fun as it was to play Halo poorly by myself, it was doubly fun to play Halo poorly in front of other people. Occasionally my brothers or some friends from work would organize a game of Halo that involved days of preparation. We would have to lay in stores: seven layer dip, Coke, Oreos (for me), several televisions and something called a hub. The hub always gave us problems. Nobody really knew who had the hub or if we had a hub. Once it was finally located in the back of someone’s car, there were several cooks in the kitchen of the hub, trying to hook it up to all the different X-boxes, trying to make everything talk to everything.
I just tried to stay out of the way. I know that I was only invited as a circus side-show freak Halo playing girl and wasn’t expected to participate in the set-up.
Eventually, the world was as it should be and everyone was on the right map and the right team and the game commenced. I was always put on the better team as a sort of sexist handicap. My job usually involved running for the hills and trying to snipe people from a safe distance, or drawing enemy fire as I got stuck in a corner or lost my bearings in the middle of the map.
I never was any good at Halo. If I played too long my contacts would dry out and I'd get a headache. One time I made the people I was playing with turn their controllers upside down to play, and I still didn’t win (although that was a pretty fun game for me).
I’m not going to psychoanalyze why I liked playing it so much. I think it’s got to be the camaraderie. Or the addiction to entertainment. Or the latent aggression.
Take your pick.