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Reliable Source: Hardcore Gamer Nearly Killed by Casual Gaming

Marion Cox | 20 Mar 2010 14:00
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Instead of Milo, Microsoft has been shilling a game called Breakout, where you smack balls into boxes. A less mature writer would probably make a joke there. I, however, will take the high road and just say that, as simple as it sounds, there is a certain amount of pleasure to be had from watching people flail around like an epileptic at a disco. I think the Germans have a word for that even, isn't it scheunefreund? [Ed. Note: Scheunefreund roughly translates into Barn Friend. I don't get it either.]

And then it happened - I got so caught up in the experience that I decided to stay in line and play. It wasn't my fault: there was a very pretty boothbabe in a bright orange wig who kind of looked like Leeloo from The Fifth Element. She smiled at me. I'd like to think that it was a genuine smile, though I suspect that it was just her job description to smile at all the bald fat guys.

As I got closer to the front of the line, I became nervous. I nearly bolted more than once, until I noticed Greg Tito and Russ Pitts waving at me from the sidelines, pushing me on. Even more reason for me not to back down. I wouldn't give them something to harass me about later.

As I started playing, something strange happened; I started having dumb, stupid fun. I noticed my editor, Greg, cheering at me from the sidelines - I tried to wave at him and missed a ball, falling flat on my ass. I must have looked ridiculous laughing, flailing wildly and tripping over my own feet. I got back up feeling a little short of breath. Greg looked at me and mouthed, "Are you okay?"

I guess I didn't look okay, but I continued anyway. It seemed like everyone was cheering for me and having a good time watching the fat man dance. Even the pretty boothbabe smiled at me again as if to say "Don't worry, everyone here today is just letting go and having fun."

That was all I needed. I was going to finish my game even if it was more embarrassing than the time I tried playing Track and Field on the Nintendo Power Pad and wound up kicking my friend's poodle across the living room.

No sooner had I resigned myself to finishing my game than the room began to spin. I hadn't been drinking (much), so something was wrong. I gave a look over at the boothbabe only to see the look of shock on Greg's face. That was the last thing I remember before I blacked out.

I woke up in some backroom of the conference. It was pitch black and smelled like ammonia - I think it was a janitor closet. Greg, Russ and the friendly booth babe were all gone. GDC had been closed for the night and there was literally no one there. I guess Microsoft had presumed me dead and tossed my body in a closet to cover up a PR nightmare.

I discovered later that The Escapist crew had gone off to the Activision's True Crime party. And while they were hobnobbing with hotshot game designers and pole dancers, I spent the remainder of the night locked in the conference hall. All I had was every game demo for 2010 to keep me company. Too bad the power wasn't on.

I think I'm done with motion controllers.

Also Greg Tito, if you're reading this: Watch your back - I'm coming for you, man. [Ed. Note: I think Marion's joking. Haha, what a card...]

Marion Cox would like to thank the person who left the suicide note in his pocket; it was quite good.

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