In honor of John K’s new X-box 360, I’d like to share a one of my favorite memories regarding video gaming with John and company over the years. The following took place years ago and is, perhaps, my earliest memory of playing a video game with this group.

I played Myth all the way through without one, single casualty using a combination of advanced strategy, astounding patience, cunning and meticulous use of level replay over and over and over until my stats were completely perfect. As I finished the game, John decided we should link up online with Mick and try some group missions, so Sean set up our end and we all convened one fateful evening.

As I am prone to do, I launched into a detailed explanation of what strategies worked best for a clean, 100% win while we all picked our troops. I chose the archers, Sean the bomb-throwing dwarves, Mick the kick-ass berserkers and John the noble warriors.

As we walked our troops into our first battle, I once more calmly explained the strategy to my fellows before lining my archers up on a ridge overlooking the battlefield. The blips of enemy appeared to the far north on our screens and my archers readied to lay down a starter volley of arrows.

Steph_W: Steady. Steady, troops. I’ll drop as many as I can and then the dwarves can begin bombing.

[The troops ready. Suddenly and inexplicably, the entire line of berserkers starts running north, out onto the battlefield.]

Steph_W: Wait! Berserkers! Wait, no!! Archers, then dwarf bombers, THEN berserkers hand-to-hand with the back of the enemy pack, warriors with the front!!!

Mick_S: I’m bored. I don’t want to wait. And they are berserkers, for God’s sake. No one tells them what to do.

Sean_W: Well, then, it’s my turn too. I’m going.

[Berserkers begin to fall in clumps, hit by friendly fire dwarf bombs]

Mick_S: You idiot! Your hitting my berserkers!

Sean_W: Your berserkers shouldn’t have been out there. See? That’s what happens.

John_K: I didn’t realize we could kill each other….

[Warrior smites two dwarves]

Sean_W: Dammit!! That was my dwarf, you jerk!

[Extreme right of warrior line evaporates in dwarf bomb explosion]

John_K: Dick!

Mick_S: I’m coming back!

[The whole line of dwarves run off into the cover of the trees to the left of the screen, throwing bombs back at the charging warriors as the berserkers come blazing back towards friendly territory. The chat window bursts with expletives. As the enemy troops show up, the dwarf line is down to one lone bomb thrower, the warriors one wounded soldier and the berserkers completely decimated. The enemy army stands, puzzled, before converging on the line of archers and wiping them out. The enemy incurs very few casualties, although the archers do their very best to both run and shoot arrows at the same time. As the enemy leaves, a friendly fire bomb blasts from the treeline and explodes the last friendly warrior]

John_K: Shit. That enemy army won.

Mick_S: Wow, they sure did.

Sean_W: Nice strategy, Steph.

Steph_W has logged off.

I’ll post more video game stories now and again. I’m sure the theme will become apparent.