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Video Games Saved My Life

Submitted by Spam at 2009-04-21 09:38:35 EDT
Rating: 1.81 on 78 ratings (78 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

Back In the late nineties, video-games were a lot more honest.

There were never any illusions that what you were doing was a productive use of your time. You could never, for example, say that you played games as a way to lose weight or stay in shape, despite how energetic Super Bishi-Bashi may have seemed at the time. Likewise, you could spend literally days watching the intricate interactions between characters in Final Fantasy VII but you knew that this wouldn't make you an expert in the human condition, no matter how much you blubbed when Aries died.

Nope, in the nineties there were no pretentions about the games we played, it was pure decadence, a total and unadulterated waste of time. You knew with absolute certainty that, later on in life, nothing you ever learnt while playing playstation in your underwear as a zitty, sun-starved adolescent would EVER prove useful in 'the real world'


You were wrong.


It's also a misconception too that being good at computer games is never a cool thing, because in lots of scenarios, it really is. Nowadays, for example, there is nothing uncool or geeky about going round to a friend's house while he and a couple of others play PGR4 and being able to spank 4 seconds off his fastest lap time, in fact, there's a certain amount of kudos to go with it.

Sexist as it may sound though, I will concede that it's rarely something that impresses the ladies.

Which is why when, in my early twenties, the local nightclub bought in an old school PS1 that you could play for free on a massive projector screen, I steadfastly ignored it, refused to even look at it.

I hate nightclubs, always have. I hate the sweat, the attitude, the music, the clothes, the pushing to the bar, the overly-expensive underly alcoholic drinks, the sneering looks from the majority of the female patrons. Hate the lot. Naturally, I used to go every week. Twice a week. Without fail.

No, sorry, there's no prizes for guessing why.

But it certainly wasn't to play video games because even as a naive twenty year old, I'd already realised that, strange as it seemed, Pussy and Tekken 2 did not make good bedfellows. Even though you have to admit, you'd have definitely fucked Nina Williams.

Sometimes though, no matter how much you try and keep the compartments of your life separate, no matter how much you try and lead that dual existence, you just can't, just like all good miracle weight loss pills, you can't avoid little bit of leakage. And yeah, it's shit. This is the story of one of those unfortunate cross-overs.




I'm barely 20 and it's early on in a untypically balmy summer night out in Kettering. Kettering is a shithole so it's no surprise that club we're in is the sort of dive where the toilets smell fresher than the dance floor and the barstaff have that kind of furtive look like they've already worked out their escape routes for when the inevitable happens and one of the drunken punters finally decides to use the line of Sambuca shots that seem to perpetually sit on the bar to burn the place down. It's been a hot afternoon and that always spells trouble because it means that most of the twats in the place have been out drinking since early afternoon and just not bothered to go home and sober up for an hour because let's face it, we're Brits and we love our beer gardens almost as much as we do our casual racism.

by 10pm the sun has finally disappeared over the horizon and the bar starts to fill out almost completely with men, the women still being at home and applying their make-up or somesuch. We do our own thing, my friends and I, and just sit there drunkenly pointing out to each other how fucking terrible the place is and how, you know, one day maybe, we should go somewhere different. Of course, we never do, we're English so we crave misery.

Suddenly, over the top of the ridiculous 'Summer Tunez' (whigfield), we hear a roar from the other side of the dance floor and everybody turns their head simultaneously like big Pete Sampras serving an ace on centre court.

A crowd has formed around the PS1 and there, standing in the middle, bare chested and arms raised in some twisted parody of a victory celebration, stands a typical example of why there should be an minimum IQ requirement to be allowed to survive passed the age of 16. Sweat runs down his face and, as he lets out another unintelligible bellow, the whole bar notices the PS1 controller in his hand and Knows. It must have been some battle.

We all turn back to our conversation only, five minutes later, to have to whole scenario repeated, except this time the poor kid whose just been pounded has the pleasure of this drunken hooligan screaming in his face. Not words mind. Just "OOOOOOOoooooooooooo" in a tone he probably thought was derogatory, were he to know the actual meaning of the word.

This continues through the night and after about an hour, a huge crowd has assembled around the projector. The only people left on the dancefloor are the women as every man in the whole fucking club gathers round to watch this gorilla murder contender after contender in one of the longest running winning streaks since Morgan Freeman started entering himself into the Movie Narrator of the Year Awards.

"Who thinks they can take me? Huh? I am INVINCIBLE. Anybody. ANYBODY... I DARE YOU TO FIGHT ME"

And yeah it's was childish and melodramatic but like I say, games in clubs aint my bag so I never even considered stepping up.

"Sam Can." One of my friends shouts.

Fuck

"Yeah," another pipes up "Sam'll kick your fucking ass."

An eerie silence settles over the crowd and I could fucking swear the music even stops as everybody looks at my overly enthusiastic friend.

"...erm... on the game of course..."

So the music starts up again.

I try and wave away the challenge with an uninterested shake of my head but before I know it, I'm being pushed up to the front of the crowd and a controller's in my hand and from nowhere, somebody's taken it upon themselves to be a fucking compere and shouts out "Here comes a new challenger" and all of a sudden I'm in the geeky whiteboy version of 8 mile, against a six foot behemoth of a man who draws a finger across his throat and glares at me with an expression of bulgy eyed psychosis.

"I'm gonna fuck you up" he shouts at me and for a second I'm a little scared he really means it, but in a flash his attentions back on the screen and there's a look of nerdy concentration as he tries to work out exactly which character he's gonna use to dole out his beating.

And yeah, when I notice that it's Tekken 2 and he's picked Law, I already know exactly how this is gonna end because while he may be the Morgan Freeman of videogames, when it comes to Tekken, I'm James Earl motherfucking Jones. There's 30-odd people watching though and I wanna give them a show, so I pick King.

It's one round winner takes all and the fight lasts all of 30 seconds. I take off about a quarter of his bar with standard kick/punch moves, just setting him up for the piece de resistance: The Mexican 5 throw combo. I see King duck under his guard and grab him and as soon as the hold takes, all my friends know it's goodnight, they've suffered the same fate themselves. But I wanna give it some showmanship right? So I enter all of the commands as quickly as I possibly can and then put the pad down and just walk away while the fight's still in progress. It takes about 30 seconds to go through all of the motions of that particular move so by the time the game is shouting out 'Perfect' and 'King Wins' I'm already leaning at the bar ordering myself another brandy.

A couple of people start to jeer at the loser but the majority of them are all just pissing themselves at me having the audacity to just walk away halfway through and still fucking win.

And yeah, there's one thing you don't want to do when playing Tekken 2 against a steroid munching meathead in a seedy nightclub and that's make him look stupid because predictably enough he comes back over with two of his mates and demands a fucking rematch. I hold my hands up to protest but it's in vain.

"You're fucking playing" he growls.

And so round 2. He picks Lei and I go for Bruce and hit him with the Four Hit knee combo. Fight's over.

Round 3. I really wanna take the piss now so I pick Paul and beat the guy without ever throwing a punch, I just use reversals. It's a tough fight this one but I still come through

And it goes on. For fucking hours. I hit this guy with everything I know in the game, The Yoshimitsu Hari-Kari strike, Jack's Gigaton Punch, Baeks infinite hit kick combo, Ganryu's stupid fucking dancing slap routine. Every time I win, I turn to leave and every time, he grabs me and yells in my face "You're staying until I beat you."

I look around forlornly for back-up, but my friends all think it's fucking hilarious and just hang back in the crowd and watch with wide toothy grins.

After a while it's all too much and I decide enough's, enough. The gorilla is fucking drenched in sweat from the amount of effort he's been expending on this and I kind of feel sorry for him because as much as a prick as he is, I've just consistently embarrassed him in front of the entire male population of the night club for over an hour. Not only that, but a while back people have actually started cheering my fucking name out, which would normally be cool as fuck, but somewhere along the line it got distorted so now every time I win, it's to the sound of a room full of drunken dickheads chanting 'Dan! Dan! Dan!; which is irritating to say the least.

So, for the first time ever in my career, I decide I'm gonna sell out and do the unthinkable. I'm gonna throw the fight.

I don't even make a show of it. I land one punch so as not to go out to a Perfect (obviously) and then spend the rest of the fight with one hand on the controller, half turned away from the screen. And that's when it all kicks off.

Gorilla boy looks disgusted and points an accusatory finger at me.

"You did that on fucking purpose"

He starts to walk towards me and I can tell that the crowd enjoying the game is about to get a taste of the live show. Somebody else feels it too and yells out 'Fight!' and as soon as the word's out, gorilla launches himself at me.

It's an ugly brawl, he's not sober enough to fight properly and I'm a huge fucking pussy terrified I'm gonna get my ass kicked. I think somewhere in the recesses of our minds, we so want our 'moves' to be shrouded in the video-game perfection we've just witnessed. It's over before it even get's started though which is a shame, cos I was about to hit him with my Kazuya Tenstring but a bouncer comes steaming in, splits us up and promptly twats Gorilla round round the chops a couple of times, presumably, for not picking his fave character. A couple of stamps to the guys head and he's quickly dragged out face down leaving a barely noticeable trail of blood in his wake. Flawless Victory.

The bouncer comes back to me with a grin and I cringe cos I'm expecting to get ejected in the same manner but he just puts his hand out for me to shake.

"Good game kid." He says with a smile.


Next week, the PS1 was gone, never to return.


But the worst thing, the absolute ballbreaker about the whole deal, is that my friends, who set me up for this from the start and left me there to fucking deal with it on my own, still tell this story the same fucking way.


"Hey Sam," they say, "Remember that time when that guy beat you at Tekken?"


Fucking wankers.





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Reviews


Submitted by therealgeddylee at 2009-06-16 01:56:34 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Spam, I love your fucking writing, man. I only wish I had the heart to -2 you for spoiling FFVII for me. I've started that game a hundred fucking times but I never got past disc 1. Damn you Spam. Damn you.

Submitted by orphelia at 2009-05-14 14:33:23 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Ratings don't mean shit.
See comment two below.
(I can't help myself)

Submitted by Spam at 2009-05-14 08:55:47 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

if you re-rate posts with a TLawrence rating, his rating disappears.

Submitted by v1p3r0412 at 2009-05-12 23:37:02 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

if it wasnt for your and ophelia's posts I probobly would have said fuck this site after the first post went all fuckered up in the comments, Cheers to you spam. You honestly make my dat at work so much more entertaining. And make all the flaming in my comments worth it. LoL

Submitted by orphelia at 2009-05-05 18:49:35 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Sometimes, I find your geekiness hard to swallow.
like your gloopy, jellified spunk.

Submitted by Fey at 2009-04-26 05:02:11 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Can_Always_Trust_A_Liar at 2009-04-26 04:01:15 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

-2, video games killed the radio star!

Submitted by rob_berg at 2009-04-26 03:54:08 EDT (#)
Rating: 2


PROPPER.

Submitted by rob_berg at 2009-04-26 03:49:31 EDT (#)
Rating: 2


I don't know what this post is about, but I was fucking awesome at karate fighter.

It didn't ruin my life or anything.



NARF.

Submitted by orphelia at 2009-04-26 03:03:29 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

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Submitted by Berty (user info) at 2009-04-22 10:47:55 BST (#)
Ranking: 2

Submitted by Unabonger (user info) at 2009-04-22 02:18:48 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

B@W!
---

I am writing Bart a strongly worded mail regarding the fact this post is not B@W.

You are single handedly propping up Uber. Dude.

Submitted by Phallic_Cymbals at 2009-04-23 04:22:37 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

You're like an entertaining version of JoeyG.

Submitted by kaos-king at 2009-04-23 00:23:04 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Ballare at 2009-04-22 07:56:01 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Berty at 2009-04-22 05:47:55 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Unabonger (user info) at 2009-04-22 02:18:48 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

B@W!

Submitted by NintendoCzar at 2009-04-22 03:52:03 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

didn't read, about videogames


i used to be about that, and now?

one word: sex.

-JS3

Submitted by Unabonger at 2009-04-22 02:18:48 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

B@W!

Submitted by Rawrg at 2009-04-22 01:11:07 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Glorious story.

Submitted by JonnyX at 2009-04-22 00:22:31 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

FLAWLESS VICTORY...

Submitted by pandora at 2009-04-22 00:12:14 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by shadow (user info) at 2009-04-21 15:32:12 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

Video games teach us hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, and how to take out a horde of zombies with common tools.

There is no limit to their usefulness.
-----------------------------------------------

I always suspected that this was true, as they seemed to improve my driving skills. This was before they started using similar technology to train soldiers and pilots.

Submitted by melkorthedelerious at 2009-04-21 23:24:37 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Entertaining.

Submitted by esceptico at 2009-04-21 20:55:11 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I'm a gamer so, yeah... thanks for spoiling FFVII.... ass.

Submitted by captainrads at 2009-04-21 20:23:20 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Awesome story, makes me want to go play some Super Smash Bros...but I've got studying to do.

If you're referring to games like Wii Fit which are supposed to help you get fit, they've already been sued because it doesn't help you get fit. I pray that they lost and had to pay Nintendo for being obnoxious, greedy idiots.

Submitted by simple_catalyst at 2009-04-21 19:17:24 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Spam (user info) at 2009-04-21 09:39:29 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

written ages ago. I havn't proof-read, spellchecked or even edited it down because frankly, I don't think you guys are worth it.

+

spellcheck is for wizards.

Submitted by Cakes at 2009-04-21 18:26:35 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Classic.

(If any club nearby had Madden on big screen, I'd probably be on it like Lisa Lampanelli on Lebron James.)

Submitted by i_can_get_you_a_toe at 2009-04-21 17:25:46 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

' we're Brits and we love our beer gardens almost as much as we do our casual racism.'

Loved that part.

Submitted by Spam at 2009-04-21 16:49:19 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Actually I think I might intentionally try and get a Neg rating on my next post. That will truly be breaking new ground.

Submitted by Spam at 2009-04-21 16:48:00 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

No explanation necessary old bean. I would rather have a slew of ones and zeros with actual reasons behind them then a perfect 2 No Comment. And as I said, I totally agree with you, I'd rate this 0 at best: There is no denying that its lackluster shite. Especially when compared to some other posts.

Fear not, you shall be in the forefront of my mind when I pen my next Magnum Opus.

Submitted by S.I. Co. at 2009-04-21 16:15:51 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

I was going to bump my rating up just because I generally like what you have to put on this website but then I read your title and failed to see how video games saved your life...? Might have saved you from an ass kicking but the bouncer saved you from an ass kicking.

Go ahead, drum up another post while I wait.

Submitted by cheerios at 2009-04-21 16:08:03 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Merlina at 2009-04-21 16:00:36 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

AWESOME


Submitted by Sinistral at 2009-04-21 15:59:37 EDT (#)
Rating: 2


Submitted by Ducky at 2009-04-21 15:36:04 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I liked this.

I also like Mario and Mario 3 on nes. I also like Portal, and cake.

Submitted by shadow at 2009-04-21 15:32:12 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Video games teach us hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, and how to take out a horde of zombies with common tools.

There is no limit to their usefulness.

Submitted by JoeyG at 2009-04-21 15:19:58 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I stupidly, fucking STUPIDLY, one evening attempted to play one of those dancemaster game machines, where you have to jump about and step on the footpads in time with the hail of arrows streaming down the screen.

Apparently, it's much better to play one of those without a pint in your hand. After the first mistimed jump, my beer splashes on the footpads, and the next jump see me slipping into some aggravated version of the splits, leaving me with groin strain for the next 3 days, and an ego the size of a hydrogen atom.

Submitted by orphelia at 2009-04-21 15:18:07 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by SkullBiter at 2009-04-21 14:33:31 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Kick ass.

Submitted by scourge at 2009-04-21 14:32:16 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by redskieslookfake (user info) at 2009-04-21 14:30:48 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

Look, maybe Ophelia should make a post asking for people to fuck her and we can stop this awful flirting she does.

----

amen.

Submitted by redskieslookfake at 2009-04-21 14:30:48 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Look, maybe Ophelia should make a post asking for people to fuck her and we can stop this awful flirting she does.

Submitted by orphelia at 2009-04-21 13:41:40 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

The comments are vomit inducing.

Submitted by tinactin at 2009-04-21 13:12:07 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

"big Pete Sampras" is creepy

Submitted by Fucking foul at 2009-04-21 12:20:12 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I can't resist a good anal-leakage metaphor. Never could.

Submitted by SullyThePirate at 2009-04-21 12:16:19 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

PostCoital, they actually made a DOA beach volleyball game specifically for nerds to jack it to. Hell, your sister probably strapped on a big black dildo and pretended to rub one out to it.

Submitted by SgtHartman at 2009-04-21 12:12:17 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

haha @ below

Submitted by j0andre1 at 2009-04-21 12:11:48 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Awesome

Submitted by Post_Coital at 2009-04-21 12:06:55 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Nerd-tastic.

Ever play DOA2: Hardcore for PS2 and find yourself eventually beating off to the jiggly girl characters.....yeah me either....*Cough cough*

Submitted by Dervel at 2009-04-21 11:51:52 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

My words fell off!

Think I said something geeky about Civ and Total War, so, yeah. Kool & the gang.

Submitted by Brdn_Nkd at 2009-04-21 11:50:25 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by bromide at 2009-04-21 11:48:32 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Nina Williams was indeed incredibly hot :)

Submitted by HellRazer at 2009-04-21 11:35:48 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

This post made me feel the same way I do when I watch 300.

P.S. - I'm flying to England to have the International Tekken Championship with you.

Submitted by redskieslookfake at 2009-04-21 11:32:22 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

You suck at Tekken. Clearly

Submitted by Dervel at 2009-04-21 11:25:46 EDT (#)
Rating: 2


Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2009-04-21 11:18:35 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by SgtHartman at 2009-04-21 11:02:11 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by sage104 (user info) at 2009-04-21 11:00:35 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

Spam...you know how much I love you, and my countless attempts to express that love to you have gone unrequited.

I'M the brokenhearted one. </3 :(

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Submitted by Spam (user info) at 2009-04-21 10:58:37 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

you have no idea sgt.

:'(
==============================
*sniffle* *sniffle*

its just so sad...

Submitted by Sage at 2009-04-21 11:00:35 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Spam...you know how much I love you, and my countless attempts to express that love to you have gone unrequited.

I'M the brokenhearted one. </3 :(

Submitted by Spam at 2009-04-21 10:58:37 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

you have no idea sgt.

:'(

Submitted by iddqd at 2009-04-21 10:56:47 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

good ending.

Submitted by SgtHartman at 2009-04-21 10:56:45 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

broken hearted below

Submitted by Spam at 2009-04-21 10:56:05 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Sage never commenst on my posts anymore. Not even to say hello. It is most upsetting. makes me want to cry.

Submitted by Sage at 2009-04-21 10:54:41 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by scourge at 2009-04-21 10:49:48 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

well then count me in slappy!

Submitted by EmissionImpossible at 2009-04-21 10:47:38 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

you've seen my camwhores! if not view my latest montage!

Submitted by scourge at 2009-04-21 10:40:53 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

are you a hit with the ladies?

Submitted by EmissionImpossible at 2009-04-21 10:39:16 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

hey scourge, you aspire to be like me? cool and hip?

Submitted by scourge at 2009-04-21 10:32:55 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

heh

there's always one or two people around whose presence makes me feel not so bad about myself for persisting in coming to this wasteland, and right now you're one of them.




fuck that sentence was clumsy.

Submitted by wardy at 2009-04-21 10:30:46 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

B@W

Submitted by sexualchocolate1984 at 2009-04-21 10:18:54 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

I fucking hate clubs too. If they would stick a Playstation in our local I'd be much happier going there.

Clubs are for single people.

Submitted by SgtHartman at 2009-04-21 10:16:11 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Fuckin SPAM

I have been such a Gran Tourismo 4 junkie lately its putting a strain on my marriage.

The fact that I RULE at it though provides me with some consolation.

Submitted by Spam at 2009-04-21 10:10:12 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

Submitted by sicosemen (user info) at 2009-04-21 10:09:01 EDT (#)
Ranking: 1

This just didn't have the same luster for me to revel in like your others.

--

I Totally agree. I've lost my muse.

Submitted by Yozz at 2009-04-21 10:09:16 EDT (#)
Rating: 2


Submitted by S.I. Co. at 2009-04-21 10:09:01 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

This just didn't have the same luster for me to revel in like your others.

Submitted by EmissionImpossible at 2009-04-21 10:06:29 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

LOL relegation lil dwarf

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2009-04-21 10:02:50 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

This was a good read for story line.

Video games are still wank, though.

Submitted by Spam at 2009-04-21 10:00:07 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

Submitted by The_Drake (user info) at 2009-04-21 09:57:07 EDT (#)
Ranking: 2

Good post...


but it's Aeris.


....Jesus dude....take a little pride in your Final Fantasy talk....sheesh.

---

Fuck that was schoolboy wasn't it?

I'll never make SOLDIER.

Submitted by The_Drake at 2009-04-21 09:57:07 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Good post...


but it's Aeris.


....Jesus dude....take a little pride in your Final Fantasy talk....sheesh.

Submitted by BLITZKREIG_BOB at 2009-04-21 09:51:31 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Dork.

Submitted by HateMudkips at 2009-04-21 09:47:41 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by AJ at 2009-04-21 09:45:30 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Spam at 2009-04-21 09:39:29 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

written ages ago. I havn't proof-read, spellchecked or even edited it down because frankly, I don't think you guys are worth it.


What's everyone so worked up about? So there's a comet. Big deal.
It'll burn up in out atmosphere, and whatever's left will be no bigger
than a chihuahua's head.

-- Homer Simpson
Bart's Comet