Not too long ago, I wrote about how I had rediscovered the joys of gaming. Of how I had been stuck playing the same handful of games for years, and had become so bogged down in the masochistic experience of online multiplayer that I had forgotten what being a gamer was really about.
Now that the honeymoon phase is over and I have to stare at my new gaming bride in the cold, harsh light of a Thursday morning, I’ve come to a horrifying conclusion.
I suck enormous ass at games.
Spending a decade of your life playing DotA, Dota 2 and League of Legends, and then deciding that because you’ve ascended beyond the ranks of the peasants you’re basically the Fatal1ty of Warcraft mods is not unlike challenging Michael Jordan to a 1-on-1 because you won a four-square contest at the local elementary school.
I’ve dubbed this particular phenomenon the “Oscar Pistorius effect”, because I’m edgy like that. This is not to be confused with the near-uncontrollable desire to murder your friend after he picks Oddjob in Goldeneye 64, because I’m not that edgy.
Rather, this is that feeling that you’re better than you are because you curbstomped a few n00bs. Remember when Pistorius wanted to race in the “normal” Olympics because he found that beating disabled runners with pogosticks attached to his legs was a little bit too easy?
Yeah, well, he came last. Or second last. Something around there. I’m finding his Wikipedia page too complex to navigate at this time in the morning. Anyhow, I feel like I need to get off this Oscar Pistorius thing before Dane has an aneurysm.
The point I’m trying to make (poorly and wildly inappropriately) is that I thought because I was good at one thing, I’d be good at another similar thing. But after spending the last few days getting my ass kicked by TrackMania on PS4 and Legend of Zelda on 3DS, I felt about as adept as a one-legged cat trying to bury a shit in a frozen pond.
Or a no-legged runner trying to get away with murder, heyooooo! Okay, that was probably too much. I think that was probably worse than the Oddjob thing.
There’s no worse feeling than thinking you’ve finally got a bit of racing game prowess under your belt, only to lose your first campaign in Mario Kart 7. Especially when you’re playing on a 2DS that looks like this.
Yes, that is actually what my 2DS looks like, and yes I bought it new and for myself. But I feel zero shame because it was like 500 bucks cheaper and I am comfortable with my sexuality, including my vague sexual attraction to Dane “Dreamy” Remendes. Seriously though, it actually was 500 bucks less, and I’m actually just really cheap.
My life is currently full of these humbling experiences. I crushed my (non-gamer) wife at TrackMania with my gaming manhood well intact, but then she brought her friend over (another non-gamer) and she almost freakin’ beat me.
I chuckled and joked about “going easy on her”, hoping they wouldn’t see the deep wells of shame in my eyes as I blinked back the tears. I’m not sure I was very convincing anyway since I spent the entire race hunched over, white-knuckled and swearing loudly.
I’ve spent the last four nights creeping out of bed and playing TrackMania in the dark, and just when I think I’ve gotten better I slam into a wall and restart the map for the 47th time, chasing that elusive gold medal.
The other night I couldn’t even manage a silver medal after around 50 tries. I haven’t slept that badly since I buried that hooker in the woods and left my gloves behind.
All that being said, I still love it. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun playing games, and getting to play it with the greatest thing I can imagine, except for maybe Fresca coming back.
Seriously, what in the actual f**k happened to Fresca? And who ruined Ghosts Pops and Rascals? NOTHING tastes like Fresca, and I didn’t know until it was too late. RIP, old friend.
So, do you too suffer from the OP effect, or have you deluded yourself into thinking you’ve got skills? 1v1 me, bro.