For this post I'm changing my normal tone to do what most people do with blogs: write about personal experience. Unless you have specific interest in my life, feel free to stop reading here.
There's something about the male psyche that is intrinsically drawn to the sound of machine-gun fire. Luckily for the world at large, the only kind I've ever used are fired with the left mouse button.
I'm not a big gamer, despite the fact that several of my friends are. When I do game, I almost always play a tie-in from something else I like: the first real game I ever played was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for PC, and a shameful portion of my life at 13-14 was spent conquering and re-conquering Middle-Earth as various races from Lord of the Rings. It wasn't until later that I got my first taste of a first-person shooter, during Friday lunchtimes at my high school when a loose collective of the thin and pasty would gather in one of the computer rooms to eschew sunlight and social interaction in favour of simulated violence.
The games played there were varied, but the important part is that I was introduced to online multiplayer gaming. Those lunchtimes lost their attraction for me after a while, but gaming never has, and it was through them that I met some of my best friends. A large part of what kept me sane through the trials and tribulations of VCE was coming home and joining a Skype call with my friends before we all jumped on someone's server and unwound with whatever game we enjoyed at the time. Some of us from those days have gone their separate ways now, but those that remain are a close-knit group I am lucky to be part of, and even though we only see each other a few times a year the friendship remains because we talk over Skype and bond over simulated slaughter on a regular basis.
Whether it's building houses to keep the monsters out, mowing each other down with hails of bullets or standing back-to-back against hordes of infected, these guys are my gaming-world brothers. Even when it's each other we're pinning to walls with crossbow bolts or vaporizing with explosive barrels (which is most of the time) the bond is strong and the laughs just keep rolling out. In the spirit of friendship, we annihilate each other.
I know these guys have my back in the real world because they've got it in there, and I will always have theirs. So this is a shout-out to my gaming buddies Nimrod, DeltaHax and TrolleyFodder, may the slaughter never cease.
Amoeba Man Creepy Magee DeadPotato FlawlessCowboy