Shoot Club

Veteran game writer Tom Chick continues his gritty exploration of the videogame lifestyle at The Escapist. Shoot Club features an unnamed protagonist as he plays games.

Shoot Club

He has just demonstrated whatever principle of physics makes a flail do more damage than a mace. He dabs at his mouth, with the yo-yo dangling from his hand, unadmonished and ignored. There's a tiny splotch of blood on his lip, like in some Western when the cowboy has been punched and is about to get really mad.

Shoot Club

It's just as hard to stay in sync with games. Some guys plow straight through starting the day a game is released. But some guys have jobs, wives, or a predilection for World of Warcraft. Some guys like Mike just take a long time because they're not very good.

Shoot Club

There's a strange sound, like SPANG!, and the paper target shakes wildly at the far end of the range.

"Hey!"

Trevor jerks back and sits down hard on the floor.

Shoot Club

You think about what it must be like to be a cop. You think about what it must be like in Iraq. You think about the prospect of a little kid finding one. You think about people who've shot themselves in the head, in the mouth, or against the right temple. You think about how this could stop anyone from doing anything you didn't want them to do. You think about justice and power and crime and punishment and retribution and suicide, even if none of these words occurs to you. A new universe of implication is born from your first shot.

Shoot Club

There were only a couple other guys in the dark cool room, futzing around with their guns or talking to each other. They didn't look at us. They didn't need to. We had the stink of guys who had no idea what we were doing.

Shoot Club

"Why not? Why is this not gun porn? Look at that. Look at my big fat gun." For show, he reloaded his Generic Near-Future-ish Assault Rifle (or GenN-FAR), wasting a clip in the process. If there was one thing GRAW did right, it was keeping track of clips instead of presenting ammo as a pool of bullets. We would appreciate this a few days later, after bruising our soft gamer thumbs struggling to push rounds into their clips.

Shoot Club

My friend Trevor has just been shot. It's a Saturday and he's on the ground. Mostly we're looking down at him. We don't know what to do in a situation like this. Do you rip off your shirt and fashion a makeshift tourniquet? Do you press on the wound? Do you yell 'man down'?

Shoot Club

"So I hear there was a big event in Los Angeles this week?" the owner asks me. "You attended, yes? Press credentials and all. How was it?"

"Yeah, they have it every year. Los Angeles is really nice. Nintendo had a good presentation, but the Playstation 3 is in trouble. Rock Band is really cool."

"Ah, well." He has no idea what I'm talking about. I need to remember to prepare a 'How was E3' sound bite for mainstream people.

Shoot Club

I've prepped for the 'How was E3?' question. It's like when you go on vacation and come back. Everyone asks how your vacation was, but most of them don't really want a blow-by-blow account. You have to be ready with a quick overall summary and one or two bite-sized anecdotes. Something like: 'It was great. We saw dolphins. The weather was awesome, but it rained on us one day.'

"It was great. Santa Monica is really nice. Nintendo had a good presentation, but the Playstation 3 is in trouble. Rock Band is really cool."

Douglas nods and then starts to tell us about this chick he knows who just got breast implants.

Shoot Club

Radio Shoot Club is on the Air.

Shoot Club

"We've worked with a lot of high profile people." He has stopped in front of several pictures on the wall, presumably of high profile people. He gestures at one of an older guy, grinning. I nod as if I know who it is.

"Rob Schneider," he says.

"Yes, right." Man, what happened to Rob Schneider? What a long long fall from A Fork in the Tale.

Shoot Club

"This car sucks balls," Douglas notes.

"Dude."

"What? 'Sucks' or 'balls'?"

"Both. Together."

"This car sucks. It can lick my balls. How's that?"

Sometimes I wish there was a way to disinvite people from Shoot Club. Of all my friends, I like Douglas the least.

Shoot Club

Forza 2 is a great group game. We pass the controller around, taking turns doing races. We do the early races with really good cars so all we have to do is steer. We'll be level 20 in no time. Our real opponents aren't the other cars so much as our own speed. No one can resist the temptation to go as fast as he can whenever he can for as long as he can. Maybe this isn't such a great way to teach good driving habits.

Shoot Club

"May I see yours drivers license and registration?" The cop took them back to his car.

"Are we going to get arrested?" Donny asked, excited.

"I wonder who's going to bail us out," Trevor said. "I can't call your mom."

"I wonder who's going to let everyone in at Shoot Club?" I said. "It starts in twenty minutes."

Shoot Club

"I love how they always have Honda Civics in these games," Trevor says, considering various cone shapes in front of Godzilla's mouth. Trevor has a Civic in the real non-Forza world. He bought it used, and it was supposedly tricked out with some fancy muffler, but I'm pretty sure the noise it makes isn't the noise a muffler is supposed to make if it's not broken.