Hello everyone and welcome to day 11 of my 31/31! I’m writing this blog immediately after my last one, so I’m kind of in a down mood considering the last blog I wrote was a bit of a downer. I figured I would just continue with the mental cleanse and write today’s blog while I was at it. So, today’s blog is going to be a confessions style blog of every bad-gamer act that I’ve committed during my time as a gamer. Here goes:
-Confession #1: When playing FPS’ online with friends, I only speak Arabic into the microphones.
Explanation: Well, this is a habit that I haven’t done recently, but is one that I take the most shame in personally. It all stems from my semi-twisted sense of humor. See, I’m someone who loves comedy, and include comics such as Daniel Tosh and Louis C.K. among my favorites. Yes, their comedy crosses the line, but it’s so bad it’s good a lot of the time. Now, I was at a friend’s house one day playing an FPS online with a microphone and I overheard another player bad-talk Arab’s and other Middle Eastern people. Being a bit more irrational at that age, instead of just muting the player and moving on, I decided to feed the troll. I decided to have a little fun with them. So I spoke to them only in Arabic, effectively freaking out the other players, and gaining a laugh out of my friends in the room. This was especially effective since I was really screaming the Arabic, not speaking it, and the map we were on took place in Iraq, which is a country with a significant Arabic-speaking population in it. However, I’m now really ashamed of that. Even though it was (and still is…) a hilarious act, it’s also one that further perpetuates the stereotypes against Muslims and Arabs in gaming, and that’s something that I could not stand being a part of.

-Confession #2: I’ve only pre-ordered a single game in my life.
Explanation: I’m someone who is a fiscal conservative. I love to save money, and am someone who even as a child had a hard time coming up with items for a birthday or Christmas wish list. Honestly, I am probably one of the worst people in the world to get gifts for. When it comes to games, I consider them an investment. If I spend my money on a product, I want to be sure that I get a reasonable return on my investment in the form of entertainment. And so, I often have to look at one or multiple reviews of a game before I even contemplate buying it. I just think that there is very, very, very rarely something that is a sure thing upon release, and so unless a game is both a sure thing, and has some convincing pre-order bonuses, I won’t even contemplate pre-ordering it.

-Confession #3: I worry way too much about how well I do playing games.
Explanation: I’m someone who’s a strategist. I’m a thinker. I always have way too many thoughts in my head, and am constantly trying to improve my strategy when it comes to just about anything. I’ve always been a firm believer of “mind over matter” and it really hasn’t let me down yet. Regardless of the game genre, I try to play to the best of my ability. It’s something that is reflective of the rest of my life. As long as I’m doing something to the best of my ability, am having fun with it, and am doing it with a good heart, then I have nothing to be worried or ashamed of. If I am playing a racing game, I always try to find any kind of shortcuts that I can, or try to bump into other racers if it is a close finish. I own a NASCAR game for my Gamecube, and I always try to bump into the other drivers in order to gain an advantage. In FPS games, I always look at my KDR, and will hide for as long as I can in order to keep the game close and keep my KDR respectable. In Fighting games, I will spawn attacks as long as I can in order to have enemies not attack me. I’ll also use my shield as much as possible, and I will try to stay away from the fight in general if it’s a stock match. In general, I have a hard time turning down my competitiveness, even if it’s with friends or younger family members. While I am competitive, I try to counter-act that with being a good role model of sportsmanship. If you are a good sport about it outside the game, and what you do is allowed inside the game, then by all means go for it.

-Confession #4: As much as I would like to think that I enjoy JRPG’S, I think the story in almost all of them are snooze-worthy.
Explanation: I am someone who loves many different types of games. I try to keep an open mind, and try all different types of game genres. However, as I get older, I notice which genres get ignored in my gaming library, and which ones are played. One of the ones ignored is the JRPG. I love many of them, but I usually cannot play many of them for too long, since I find the story of them really boring. I often find the characters way over dramatized, and it’s difficult to relate to someone who has demon powers or the like. For example, in the Trapt Super Replay (Which is great by the way!), I am totally on Dan’s side when he wants to skip the storyline. While I bet that the story is interesting if paid attention to, I just think the whole thing feels like a really weird soap opera.

-Confession #5: As much as I adore the Legend of Zelda, it took me 16 years of my life before I actually enjoyed the gameplay of any of them.
Explanation: This one is a bit of a misnomer. The first Legend of Zelda game I played was A Link to the Past when I was 4, since my babysitter owned the game. I loved that game, and still do, but at that age, I was content playing just about any game. So excluding that game, I never really fully got back into the series until I was 16, and I was playing the game Twilight Princess for the Nintendo Wii. I had played many of the other entries in the series, and had loved the story of all of them, but I found the story to be really boring. I mean, I perceived it as an open-world game where you just walk everywhere. Who wants to do that? While I now know that there’s a lot more than that, I generally gave up on playing the series further after giving up on each game only 30 minutes in or so.

-Confession #6: I vehemently defend horrible games and their place in the gaming universe.
Explanation: I am someone who also tries to find value in anything. I think that anything has purpose and value, and resourcefulness is a value that I actually picked up from my brother, and is a trait that I really admire in him. So when I see a really bad game, I often will play them or enjoy playing them just for the humor of it. Games like Overblood and Cyberia are perfect in their imperfections. Games like Mario Party can provide fun and humor in their minigames, and games like Sonic Unleashed have beautiful graphics, despite the treacherous night segments.

-Confession #7: Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario 64, AND Super Mario Sunshine were games that I hated for the longest amount of time.
Explanation: While I love all of these games, I honestly did not like them for a long time. Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World were the first games I was introduced to when I was young. Again, they were games that my babysitter owned. The games were okay in my opinion, but were just not true Mario games. Super Mario Bros. 3 had a weird color palette, and the tanooki leaf was really weird in my opinion. Super Mario 64 had just weird gameplay, and the 3D world was too bizarre for me at the time. When I played Super Mario Sunshine, I disliked the gameplay of the water mechanics, and I got lost in the hubworld for a really, really long time. This frustration really bugged me for the longest time. It didn’t help that I disliked the look of the ink all over the levels, because it was just really tough to look at.

-Confession #8: I don’t have a subscription to Game Informer.
Explanation: I am an avid reader. My family has subscriptions to many magazines, and Game Informer is just an added cost that we can’t afford. I find the website to be a fine substitution for the magazine though, and my best friend subscribes to them, so I just read his articles whenever I’m over there. I feel bad using the website without having a subscription. It’s an irrational thought, but I just want to support the product since it is continuously excellent. It’s just not going to happen though. 
-Confession #9: I enjoy taking out my own teammates when friendly fire is on during a game.
Explanation: One of my favorite things to do is see my friend’s reactions when I take them out with friendly fire in a game. It leaves me to play the hero, and is just a fun thing to do in my opinion. It makes it more of a free-for-all, and is just hilarious. It’s weird though, since I am one of the best teammates you can have if friendly fire is turned off. I always play support or defense classes, I help scout out info, and I’ll be a distraction or a tribute so another player can capture an objective. But turn friendly fire on, and I turn into a madman.

-Confession #10: The best part of Sim City isn’t building a city, it’s watching it burn. Robots must be involved too.
Explanation: I love the Sim City franchise, but building the city isn’t my favorite part of the games. My favorite is destroying the city. I have spent many, many hours playing the game, and I always find building the city tedious. You often feel as if you are on your own, especially since the sims aren’t a whole lot of help. Block by block, it takes a long time to build a satisfactory city. However, the true satisfaction comes when you just might happen to take a lightning bolt to the power plant. First, you have to make the city lose power. Then, a volcano has to erupt on the edge of the town blocking off exit routes. Then, call in the giant robots in the center of the town. This leaves just the buildings standing around town, with most of the people left in the suburbs. Not enough destruction you might say? Well then, take an earthquake and place the epicenter of it right in the center of town. Follow that up with a twister and some meteors, and laugh, laugh to your heart’s content as the city crumbles below you. Finally, clean up the town with a few fires to down the last remaining buildings. Afterwards, start a new save file and repeat. See, I have this down to a fine art. That’s how many times I’ve done tha…… Oh gosh. Oh gosh. I need to go see a therapist about this one.

-Confession #11: Pitfalls in Animal Crossing. And lots of them.
Explanation: This one is fun. Pitfalls are a common item that is familiar to any player of the series. Some gamers like to ignore the items, but I love to use them on my neighbors. Every time I see one of them fall into a pitfall a struggle to get up, I get just a little bit of enjoyment. Of course, the best part is going to a friend’s town on their memory card and just littering the town with pitfalls if they aren’t paying attention. In addition to the pitfalls, I also love to troll Mr. Resetti. See, me and him go a while back. He gave me nightmares as a kid, so much so, that I quit playing the game for about 4 years. However, I now decide to respond in any kind of ridiculous manner whenever he demands the newest reprimand or apology after my resetting the game. 

-Confession #12: I think all voice acting is the same.
Explanation: This one is a bit tougher to explain. While many people can tell the difference between voice acting, I for one rarely notice the difference. Of course, I can tell a really bad one from a good one, but if the character’s mouth is moving at the same time sound is coming out, then I’m fine. I just need to understand the story, and I often just pick up the story from the text anyways. This one is interesting though, especially since I have a really good sense of hearing. Voice acting though is an art that apparently is just too nuanced for my auditory abilities. 

-Confession #13: Any time I get to use something that explodes, crashes, or lights on fire, I’m happy.
Explanation: I am a pretty big chicken in real life, so any time I can do something a bit crazy in a video game, I’m happy. For example, in Team Fortress 2, I love to play as the pyro. Even though my “good” side wins out often and I’ll play as medic or engineer to help the team, I do think the class that is the most fun is the pyro. There’s just something so simple and entertaining to starting the character’s flamethrower, and watching all the characters run away as quickly as possible. In Super Smash Brothers, I love to play as Pikachu and just drop infinite thunderbolts, watching them crack and explode over my head. When playing Star Wars: Battlefront 2, I love to be the shock trooper and just thunderbolt my enemies. In games like Call of Duty or the James Bond series, I use grenades to get the majority of my kills. A gun takes a while to get the enemy down, so why not just get a whole area. In my NASCAR game, me and my brother take the two cars that we are playing as and go backwards at full speed into the incoming traffic, causing a massive fireball of cars to pile up.
        Well, there you have it. I umm… I think I’m going to go sit down and reflect right now. Maybe take a walk by a river somewhere. But there it is. 13 of my biggest gaming sins. What are yours? Were any of mine over-the-line? Not bad enough? Feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be sure to answer as soon as I can. As always, thanks for reading, and do the right thing out there next time you game.