Being a homebody and not having much to do on Saturday nights, I started looking into online games that I could play with other people. I found some forums where they talked about various sites that were popular, so I ended up downloading a battle game. I created an account, installed the software, and jumped right in.

The game began and after about five seconds I was dead. I joined another battle and after spawning into the game, I again was dead in about five seconds. Game over. I spent two hours going through this and was getting a little frustrated. I went back into the forums to see what was going on and learned that there were people who didn’t like noobs (beginners) and would just kill them to get them out of the battle. They only wanted experienced players with good stats.

I probably would have quit but since girls wouldn’t go out with me and I didn’t have much else to do, I decided to stick it out. Night after night I would join the battle and eventually was able to build up some meager stats to where people would let me play. I discovered all kinds of people who liked to tell you how to play. “Look at the idiot!” “My God you’re a moron!” “Why are you here,you brainless fool?”

I was really encouraged by the gaming community in how they made suggestions to improve my game play.

Truth is though, my stats were really bad. I studied the game, asked in the chats on how to get better, and just did a lot of homework. I finally realized that if you wanted people to think you were a good player, then you had to buy your stats. I upgraded my internet connection to the fastest speed possible. I bought a gaming computer with a killer video card and a high definition monitor. I paid for a premium account at the gaming site. I also found mods and cheats on the internet that would give me an advantage during a battle. I still had no real clue what I was doing but my stats shot up because I was killing other players who couldn’t afford to pay for all the upgrades that I had.

With better stats came respect. I was making friends in the game chats. I never knew an online gamer could actually have friends. One of the people I would chat with, we decided we should meet as he didn’t live too far from my home. With directions in hand I set out to meet him. The route took me to a secluded part of the state. The road turned into gravel and then dirt. I was beginning to think I was lost because the road started becoming more of a path and I couldn’t turn around with the rocks on each side and the branches scraping the side of my car. However, I did arrive to where my friend had his home. It was an old trailer with tires all over the yard and hundreds of pieces of scrap metal. I knew it was my friend’s house because there was a plastic pink flamingo out front.

It’s kind of weird how you picture someone and then see them for the first time. The guy who came out of the trailer was wearing old, faded overalls and nothing else. He was well over 400 pounds but there was a great, huge smile behind his scraggly beard. The smile was lopsided because most of the teeth were gone and the few teeth that were left were stained with tobacco juice.

His online handle was “xxD34THDOOM5150xx” and it seemed to fit.

Suddenly somewhere in the distance I could hear a banjo playing. My friend turned out to be a little disappointing in real life, he was so different when talking online. I couldn’t sit down for a week after meeting with him. I decided not to ever visit him again.

I continued to spend more money and buy my stats and the better my stats the more of a legend I became in the game. Undaunted by my letdown from meeting xxD34THDOOM5150xx, I set up a rendezvous with another one of my gaming friends, but I thought it best to meet in a public place this time around. We set up a lunch date at a local mall.

I was really excited to meet “19FLOW3RPW3R88.” She had a sexy voice and was single. It seemed too good to be true, a girl actually wanting to meet with me!

When I got to the food court at the mall, I looked all over for 19FLOW3RPW3R88. I walked slowly by every table that had a girl sitting at it and trying to catch their eye to see if they would recognize me by the description I had given. After a while I felt a tap on my shoulder from behind and when I turned around, there was a 12-year-old boy. When he said hello I recognized the voice and realized that I had assumed my friend was female. He was there with his mom and when they both smiled to say hello, they both had very little teeth and the ones remaining also were heavily
stained with tobacco juice.

We ate lunch together, but I set a new record for how fast I could eat.

When I got home I was met by my mother. I still lived at home with mom and she would use a sharpie pen to write my name in my underwear. She was wondering how a pair of underwear got in the wash with the name xxD34THDOOM5150xx on it. I just shrugged and quickly went to my room and logged in. I was feeling a bit down from all this so I whipped out my credit card to upgrade my gaming account, so I could buy more stats.

Someone told me I should change my handle to IDIOT because that would match the way I played. I began to feel better after that. I began to realize I had finally made it into the online gaming community. I had friends, people who were willing to offer suggestions on how I played, and soon my mother would be bringing dinner into my room, so I could keep playing.

So yeah, that’s my life as an online gamer, but I felt like I wasn’t quite there yet. I began to wonder if mom would like to move into a trailer park and pay for me to get banjo lessons.

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