Holy Sh!t I Became A Casual

This has been a moose cock sized pill to swallow, but I have to be honest with myself and tell everyone…I have become a casual gamer. It really hurts for me to say, and even writing this, I’m contemplating Bourdaining myself over this realization. The transition from a hardcore gamer to casual was gradual, but it is here, and there is no turning back.

I’ve always had a sense of pride in being great at every game I played. I was borderline obsessive in my quest to get better that it would affect most facets of my life. I would practice or grind for hours and days until I got to the top tier of that particular game, whether it be an FPS, MMO, or Hack and Slash RPG, which were my main genres of gameplay. With all this training and playing, I would win the most coveted prize of all, a good ol’ fashioned tee-bag to rub it in the people’s faces when I would fuck them up virtually. And good lord, those tea-bags were sweet.

My first few heroin-like addictions in the gaming world came with two games in early 2000; Everquest, which is world-renowned for its poop-socking troglodyte fanbase, and Counterstrike, one of the founding fathers of the competitive FPS genre and their whiney and ever raging players. I dove headfirst into both, pumping days and hours into each. At 12 years old, I had unlimited time and an un-mashed, un-alcohol-abused brain, which was good at clicking things quickly. I used this youth, vitality, and unlimited time to rise in the ranks of Counterstrikes competitive CAL league and be in an end-game raiding guild in Everquest. I felt like a fucking king in my domain; I was sure this greatness grew my penis size by at least 3 inches.

Everquest Lady Nagafen

This unbridled greatness followed me into college as well, where no game was my equal. Indy games didn’t even have a chance. At one point, I was 4th in the U.S. at the relatively unknown but highly enjoyable Double Fine productions game, Trenched, which got rebranded to Iron Brigade. These were the golden days of gaming in my life.

Now I am finding that I am the one being tea-bagged on a fairly regular basis, and man does it hurt. It is horrifically demoralizing as a man in his 30s being called various racist or homophobic slurs by a 12-year-olds. The quick headshots followed by him sitting on my virtual head and cackling as he calls me a “newb” hits different now. It feels like yesterday that I was that 12-year-old screaming various epithets and ruining some 30 somethings day in Counterstrike as he raged behind a microphone. What fucking happened?


Life. Life happened. With ever-growing responsibilities, there is no way I can sit in front of a game for 12-hour stints anymore. And if I did, I also assume I would be fired from my day job, and DCF would be knocking on my door for neglecting my children. I’m lucky to get a few hours of a week to play, and I’m finding that when I do, it has been way more enjoyable than when I was in the constant grind of my hardcore playstyle. Instead of focusing on trying to be the best, I get to sit back, relax, and enjoy my time in a fantasy world with elves and shit. It’s refreshing.

Although I was great at being the best at games, it came with a rough side effect. I would get burnt out from the constant grind. I would lose interest when I reached the peak of that game and drop it like an unwanted pregnancy in a dumpster, never to return. Now, in my advanced gaming age, there is no peak to reach. So, I just sit back and enjoy my time with that dumpster baby and watch it grow into a dumpster person.

I am beginning to realize that the competitive gaming world is for the sub-25-year-olds. There are a few outliers, of course. But, if you are older than 30 and getting insanely pissed off at a video game, you’re a douche bag, and clearly, life hasn’t knocked you down enough as it has to most 30-year-olds.

It’s time for me, and the rest of us old-timers, to be put out to pasture and pass the torch to the next generation of overly confident, highly obnoxious children. We have no chance against their unlimited time and absent parents. But, we can take solace in the fact that we can now actually enjoy the games we play, and take our time doing so.

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