Transcending Me…h

The life of a couch potato isn't always as dull as you'd think! Just deciding which side to sit and whether to use the recliner can take ages!

Those that know me well will testify that I am generally quite apathetic about life. No big surprise, I’m a big lad and confirmed couch potato who’s sorta moved from the couch to a chair at the dining table to mooch about online with Facebook, a couple of forums and tarting about making new friends in the somewhat vain hope of finding a partner – yes, I go on a couple of dating sites too.

So… how does that all fit around being (or attempting to be) a gamer?

Well, over the last three years or so there have been one or two games that have really caught my attention, my imagination, and have transcended the apathy of life and got me out of that little rut… I say little… it’s probably a lot bigger rut than I’ll admit but that’s ok! Part of the apathy is to bury one’s head and ignore certain things. ;o)

The first of those games many, many moons ago was Baldur’s Gate – a Forgotten Realms based RPG that allowed you to control character and build a party (not THAT kind of party!) to cross the Realms and save the day! Just the kind of thing I loved when playing Dungeons and Dragons for real when my brother dragged me along to a game he and his friends were taking a whole weekend for. Building a character and keeping him or her alive through the battles, gaining experience and levelling up, battling all comers and generally immersing myself in a world other than my own was a great thing at the time.

My ex-wife's response to 'shall we go see my friends for some D&D

Reaching that final battle and winning came as a slight anti climax though, but that was fine because I could start over with a high level that made it even easier to walk through a battle and gain more experience and new levels made up for it and the fun continued… and continued even longer with Baldur’s Gate II, Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale II. All great games and forever in my heart because they allowed me to indulge in my enjoyment of Dungeons and Dragons without having to persuade my now ex-wife to drag herself out of the house and join me in a game with friends she didn’t really like. Those games allowed me an escape from a life that wasn’t happy. Something I’ll never forget.

The next game to really pull me away from the couch was Command & Conquer: Generals (and Zero Hour). It was bought for me as a gift by Mark and Lorna and it quickly got me engrossed in building bases, amassing arms and trying to obliterate the computer controlled opponents in order to reach the next enemy as quickly as possible. Again it was at a time in my life when a relationship was on the rocks and it provided an escape from the mundane. What it also achieved is a quick introduction into multiplayer online gaming! WOOHOO!! I could play against friends who were far away without having to get out of the house! I was one happy-thetic bear I can tell you!

Since then, and the acquisition of an X-Box 360, the tally of games that have got me out of my world and interacting with others has increased to include Burnout Paradise, Call of Duty 3 and, in a lesser way, Trials HD. All fantastic in their own way and all meh breaking too.

COVER ME!! But not with that quilt, thanks!

One game though stands out. It’s not complicated but it is immersive and I was introduced to it by a friend from work. Counterstrike Source

When I came to the game it was already a good few years old and there were hardened campaigners out there scrimming in teams and clans and generally getting well into the tactics of defending bomb sites or planting bombs as terrorists and generally trying to kill each other as quickly as possible with a selection of weapons and small ordinance. It quickly caught my attention and away I went running around different maps trying to keep up with experienced team mates and not blind them with flashbangs or kill them with badly thrown grenades. Great fun all in all but it was another aspect of the online gaming scene that has continued to draw me in night after night and keep me up til way past the time I should go to bed because of wanting just one more round… and thats Gun Game! For those who’ve not come across this yet it’s an individual game where you start with a small Glock pistol and you have to run around and kill your opponents in order to gain the next (and usually bigger, more powerful) weapon and eventually win the game by knifing an opponent!

Might not sound as involved as games like Fallout or Left 4 Dead, or as technical as Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 but it’s the one thing that assures my place in the gaming world. Not perhaps as a hardened Gamer… but definitely as a Game-Meh ;o)

Last five articles by Pete



  1. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    I’ve managed to avoid Dungeons And Dragons my entire life, with my only link being the 80s cartoon with the annoying little unicorn and the girl who had the wonderful ability of “wearing leopard skin and having a stick”. I’ve never tried those RPGs, mainly because they look like party games and I’ve never really got into them. I tried Neverwinter Nights and couldn’t get to grips with having to use different characters for different things, so I was spoiled when the Elder Scrolls series came out… mainly Morrowind and Oblivion, as I could just be ONE person wandering around doing stuff.

    As Lorna has said before though, and you said as much yourself… there are times when you just can’t get motivated to play games. I’m the same a lot of the time, and it takes one hell of a game to spark my interest again. At the moment it’s Risen, and it’ll soon either be Borderlands or Dragon Age :)

    Such a cool first post dood, good to have you here!!

  2. Lorna Lorna says:

    I go through bouts of apathy with everything, especially games and it has led to me having a mile high stack of classics which i haven’t yet played – Balder’s Gate being among them! I also never used to online game much, but I think it takes just the right one to get your juices flowing so to speak. Burnout Paradise was one of them and though I’m still pretty much a gaming recluse, I’m more open to heading online, though only usually with friends or familiras rather than taking a gamble wtth mysogynistic, homophobic, rascist, rude randoms!

    Great first post btw ;)

  3. Pete says:

    hehe thanks guys :)

    One of the great things about CSS is that I have admin on the server I play on most and they have a zero tolerance for racism and abuse! Even swearing is frowned upon so I have great fun kicking people off and banning them for repeat offences!! :D Same thing went when running my own small forum lol Admin Powers FTW!! :D

  4. Lorna Lorna says:

    Sooopoib! If you were admin on every multiplayer game, there would be no more hassle!

  5. Tiq says:

    Oh god… gun game. the lads at esc play CSS farely regularly and one of my fondest ever memories was tying for first place with shaft (Esc’s resident king of all things counterstrike) after a brutally chaotic half hour match that ended with me and shaft attempting to out manuever one another and finally culminating in me being stabbed in the face. :D

    Oddly enough the maddeningly paced chaos of gun game is usually the perfect prescription for me when I suffer gaming apathy as it usually comes after finishing a hefty rpg or similarly story driven game, and all I need is to be surrounded by utter chaos that doesn’t give me time to stop and think. It also helps being surrounded by gamers who can appreciate a mode like gun game, because they know how to have a laugh and don’t take things too seriously.

  6. Pete Pete says:

    I think you’ve summed up the appeal of CSS Gun Game perfectly for me Tiq :) The sheer unthinking chaos of it fits perfectly with the Meh lifestyle as it doesn’t need any real brain power :D

  7. Ben says:

    Counter Strike was the first game that opened my eyes to two things with gaming, the ultra competitive side and the skill factor, this is going back 10years or so now I imagine.

    I can remember when I first started out playing, logging onto my usual servers and there being a couple of regulars on there that had seemingly the anticipation skills and reflexes of something inhuman, it was soul destroying getting killed over and over again, the game really introduced me to the whole “skill factor” of games.

    I’ve migrated from Counter Strike to Team Fortress 2 these days, it fills my urge for blood lust in a way only Valve knows how :)

  8. Pete Pete says:

    lol I know that feeling well Ben!! It’s taken me about 3 years to get about mediocre in the game now lol Very frustrating at times and I’ll often be shouting at the screen after a seemingly impossible kill shot ;)

  9. Kat says:

    I’m catching up finally. Loved the blog Pete! I lolled at Game-Meh :D

  10. Pete Pete says:

    hehehe thanks Kat ;)

    Curently Lego Star Wars 2 is transcending the meh so it’s all good ;) :D

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