A last crusade for gaming

By Daorcey Le Bray

I graduate in a month and a half, and I have a plan.

Nineteen inches of monitor, an über-video card, latest motherboard, 10-button joystick with throttle and kickback and a host of the latest first person shooters and space fighter sims. It’s a recipe for the greatest of self-imposed exile, and for the first time in my life, I’ll have not only the resources, but the time to enjoy it.

That’s the plan.

I honestly believe that once the reading and writing of post-secondary education ceases, all I’ll have to do is work at whatever career this communications degree gets me. I’ll have the time to sit with my computer, thoroughly connected to the world, living the sub-reality of Star Wars Galaxies and Counter- Strike.

But I’ve had this dream before.

I had my first taste of the glory of unlimited, no responsibilities, eat-sleep-pee gaming in high school. For one 72-hour period, I played a part in a geek odyssey. With the use of a friend’s top-of-the-line computer, I joined a five-man LAN.

It was an unabashed sausage-fest. A wonderful, unwashed communion of flesh and electronics, where individuals lived desires and faced fears through melodramatic fictional worlds of strategy, skill and unthinkable carnage.

I had seen nerdvana and it was good.

Then there was school, finals and exams worth 50 per cent of my grade. There was no time to play again. So I dreamt of university life filled with time ripe for gaming. I knew the next stage of my life would allow what I truly needed: play and lots of it.

Four of my friends felt the same way. They rented a bi-level apartment together and created the ultimate web of Ethernet dreams. The lease on utopia was for eight months.

They all failed.

It was not the dream that failed, that succeeded in brilliant fashion. They failed university and were kicked out of the apartment because of it. Ironically, the dream self-destructed like an unthrown digital grenade.

University success and gaming don’t want to hold hands. If you want to pass, you have to pass on the play-sleep-eat-pee situation. If you want to have both, you’d better give your head a shake.

It wasn’t meant to be.

Which brings me back to this plan in which I’ve already invested hundreds of dollars in computer preparation so that I may, yet again, experience the holy grail of gaming­­–the full-fledged lifestyle that meshes man and machine.

My only worry now is that greener grass on the other side of university is an illusion, just like it was five years ago. Is it possible that the free time required to game-like-you-mean-it does not exist? I shudder at the thought that a successful career after university might not have room for the parallel realities a pure gaming lifestyle creates.

Will the monolith of creative power that sits in my apartment be used for little more than a word processor?

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