The Quirky Gamer

For whatever reason, it has been said that you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friends’ nose. This is going somewhere, promise.

What you don’t hear is that your friend may in fact pick his or her own nose as well. So, while you can pick your friends quite easily, there may be some facets of their character that are not entirely kosher.

Two such acquaintances of mine are in possession of such a quirk.

The first created his own form of Achievements long before the Xbox 360 birthed the term. Always fond of renting, he found of way of manipulating the system to suit his sick ways.

My friend kept instruction booklets.

Need to get in touch with Naomi in Metal Gear Solid? Have fun taking that trip to GameFAQs. Want to scope out Dante’s repertoire of moves and abilities while your Mom drives you back home from Blockbuster? Impossible. With each and every rental, those printed pages had to be his. They acted as a reminder of his triumphs. Should his mind fail him (to which I’d argue it already had), those booklets would serve as proof to his grandchildren that he was in fact, a “super pro.” His tales of grandeur were based on truths, yes, he had beaten dozens of games. Which was another aspect of his disease. He couldn’t return a game to the store until he had beaten it. Late fees be damned, he had to see every piece of content that sat on that disc. So when that copy of Dino Crisis 3 finally came back in stock for rental after weeks of waiting, you could not peruse it’s likely black and white instruction booklet. Seperate, these are two sins worthy of ranking among the seven deadly. But together? A pain I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. What an asshole. 

Less hurtful but nonetheless insane, is a friend who managed to see Paper Mario as a direct insult against the genre in which is resided. His reasoning? Numbers.

A friend of the RPG genre, he’s grown fond of his protagonist’s growth and evolution. That’s easy to understand, it’s practically a hallmark of the genre.  But his love goes deeper. To him, seeing those numbers bounce out of an enemy’s crippled body with each successful slash of his sword is comparable to a drug. This dude was practically smoking sticky every time he’d actively battle one demon or another. But after awhile, he tired of those initial low-ball numbers. He desperately needed something stronger. It wasn’t long before he had to level up his lethality to float his bone boat. Going above and beyond triple digits of hurt is how those rocks of his could manage to get off. He can say, without any hesitation, that the sensation he feels is akin to placing his hand on Cloud’s raging bicep and feeling that muscle flex and quiver. 

But his addiction became so problematic that he began to make unforgivable mistakes. Rock bottom came when he put on his his bitch-face over the Paper Mario series. To him, it’s damage counters were paltry, more akin to a Sesame Street lesson on simple addition than an example of a true RPG. Bosses that could be destroyed with anything less than thousands of cuts and multiple firagagagagas weren’t worthy of his time. Mario wasn’t becoming any stronger. No, the world around him was becoming weaker. Paper Mario, the lord’s gift to the N64 and Gamecube, were not worthy of his time. Was this belief even possible? I never paid any mind to those numbers, and yet here’s someone who can’t play a game if they’re not meeting his high standards. If one were to play The Legend of Dragoon, should they not give every RPG their time in the sun? And where does he go from here? Avoiding Games without a jump button? Swearing off God Rays?

Hopefully it’s clear to you know that one never knows what they’re getting into when it comes to the most important ship of all; friendship. If someone is killing animals, at least you can step back and say, “Maybe this dude isn’t for me. Maybe he just wants me as a coat.” But a gamer’s tells are a lot less glaring. What lies behind that “Rogues do it from behind” t-shirt? Only one way to find out. Be careful out there.