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The thousand natural shocks of the gamer

Ninja Murgi: I like games.
Captain Kauwa: I like games.
NM: Dude we should totally be friends and like hang out.
CK: We already do.
NM: Oh.
We have a dream. We don't remember it. It's the law of dreaming. We had a nightmare. Make that nightmares. And we remember them. That is the curse of dreaming.
We will remind you now too, of how once we feared the dark, you and us. How, in our quest for good gaming, we suffered, you and us. We will remind the masses of the cost of gaming. We will tell all, about how we suffered.
[Excerpt of woe]

CK: The game was Fable: The Lost Chapters. Action-RPG at its best. Almost best. Pretty fudging awesome, at that. Peter Molyneux made a pretty solid game that was really enjoyable to play, and hooking, thanks to its awesome gameplay and fun graphics. Yes, fun. I had been at it for a day straight, desperately avoiding taking breaks until it was too much for my little bladder. Food was forgotten, and friends? I had more enemies in-game than I cared for, what need did I have for friends? No. I HAD A DREAM! Well, someone in the game had a dream. I pursued my quests, and I was justly rewarded. And damned if I didn't keep at it unless it was something oh-so-important in real life that I had little choice but to abandon my halos and flying-butterflies-around-the-head avatar in order to take care of real world business. I left, monitor turned off and the game still running.

Two days later, I return to my mission. Only to discover that my graphics card fried.

NM: Woe betide us. We have suffered in the name of gaming.

Is this not a nightmare, the collective suffering of the gaming community? When reality infringes upon our fantasy, upon our gaming, upon our only mode of escape, as the Murgi said, woe betide us. Yes, we know, our brother has suffered. Eulogies are offered in the name of great leaders and great warriors.

Epochs are written and literature created by great writers and their stories are told and retold. But the plight of the honest procrastinating gamer is always left unsaid. Is our pain not pain?

Is the gamer not worthy of his own epic tale of suffering? If you prick us do we not bleed, if you tickle us, do we not giggle? Then consider this article a tribute, to all the fried graphics cards out there and their despairing owners. We have partaken of that same bitter fruit. It is not an apple. We have tasted that great melon of despair. And fried graphics cards aren't the only vile seed this fruit contains. Corrupt save files leave behind a taste on the tongue of brake fluid and oranges.
[Excerpt of woe]

NM: The game was Prince of Persia, The Sands of Time. The gamer was awed and with wide-eyed fervour he played the game deep into the recesses of the night. At about 5 am, on one of those memorable nights, when the moonlight didn't manage to filter in through the curtains to flash a glare upon his TV, his fearsome father walked in and yelled at him Something about some failed math test. Who cares about algebra when the Prince is scaling walls? The next day when he turned his PS2 on, the game file had gone bust. The gamer failed another math test in grief.

CK: Was this gamer you? I remember this test. I passed…

NM: …
Yet another example of gaming woe, we're stricken with this particular brand of sanity-racking incidence more often than we like. Just like the Black Death, it comes to us from the depths of some gaming hell, in the safety and comfort of our home and takes with it everything a man holds sacred, a save game of a game played really well and really long. Really, really long. And just like another epidemic disease, this affliction lurks beneath our fragile gaming utopia, burrowing deep, poised to strike at us at our most vulnerable. In the face of save file corruption, we're helpless.


CK: Btw, I was trying to play your Mass Effect save game to see where you were at. It wasn't loading.

NM: Must you malign me, brother? Wait, save file? Where?! When!?
[Excerpt of woe]

CK: The game was Gears of War. The first one. It wasn't like I was very interested in it. I had no idea about it. How could I be interested in something I had no knowledge of? Yet, it came highly recommended, from many corners of my circle. Tangents, I guess.

It was with low expectations that I went to my dealer for gaming jack. He had few friends, and even fewer enemies. Sometimes, I wondered which side of the fence he put me on. I hear he keeps one of his personal friends in the second drawer to his right. It's black and has six things to say. I decided I never wanted to hear him speak.

NM: Get on the damned story, Kauwa.

CK: Right, right. Gamejack provided me a copy of GoW. I took it home, mildly apprehensive. Insert disc one. And fail.

NM: Told you to quit that dude. You never listen to me.

CK: We go way back. Anyway, I took it back, and got myself another copy. Insert disc one. Mister read-him.txt says for me to copy everything to the hdd. I do as I am bidded. Install. Missing Games for Windows. Please install. Say what? Missing GoW. Please install. Ironic how both softwares have the same abbreviation.

NM: Mine worked on the first try. Good game, dude.

CK: Shaddup! It was back to Gamejack. Change. Come home. Successful installation. It worked, yeah? Nope. Missing crack.

NM: I keep telling you, “I told you so.” Good game, though.

CK: You know, I can get a black friend with six things to say if I wanted.

Piracy, the bane of that industry that makes and sells these games for a living, is the bane of the gamer as well. It is like the fearsome beast that lurks under your bed and robs you of sleep and shames you so when you wake to find the sheet wet. Singers sing of lost loves, of deep sadness, of the plight of the lonely man, but no man sings of the plight of the gamer. Are we not subject to the same diseases, healed by the same freaky doctors, warmed by the same winter and summer, do we not use blankets enough? Yes, it is quite painful for the common gamer to share with the world his woe, but we, the brave among the weak, have set upon this task to wreak bloody war upon this great evil.

Not too bloody and not too far. Where would our gaming utopia be without the dark deeds of piracy. We have suffered, yes. For two score years. And for god knows how many scores yet, we still will suffer. But we've come this far, strove through the darkness when all hope seemed to have been snuffed out, and struggled through a murky swamp of despair and insanity to reach that river of truth and purity. Gaming Utopia. We're not sure if it exists. Behind those darkness and those despairs, we glimpse its existence, and we've had the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion: Gaming Bliss.

Those of you who have suffered as we have, have lived in darkness with the dim hope of light, may visit our very own Facebook fan page. Those of you who managed to figure out where the last line in the previous paragraph (and the one in this) came from, we will officially recognise as our brethren. As long as one of us stands, we are legion!

By Ninja Murgi and Captain Kauwa

Master Blaster at His Best

"RECORDS are there to be broken,” someone said while trying to act cool when his own record fell. It feels kinda safe to assume that that particular record too was broken by one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the best batsman in the history of cricket, second only to perhaps Sir Don Bradman. But even Sir Don (not Don Khan) did not manage to carry the same outstanding form for over 700 innings and 20 years of toils in the circuit. Sachin did, and is still doing, the same thing for that much time ever since his debut in 1989, when many of us were not yet born.

The latest record he broke is breaking the boundary of double century in an ODI inning. None managed to do so in the long 39 years of limited over cricket. With the emergence of T20 one would guess that it was inevitable that someone does manage to topple the boundary. The players are becoming more aggressive, playing more shots and even the fields are getting smaller for the sake of more fours and sixes, not to mention the newer and newer shackles on the bowlers. But Tendulkar still is one of the more traditionalists, he is yet to star in an international T20 for India, frankly he has expressed his disinterest in playing in that area. 20 over game is really too small for a master class batsman like him to spread the colorful wings.

Tendulkar, who turns 37 in April, smashed the long standing record of highest individual score in ODI, that of Saeed Anwar and Charles Coventry's 194* innings against India and Bangladesh respectively. It was in the 43rd over of the match against South Africa in Gwalior did he achieve this miraculous feat with a flick past short fine leg, one of the best shots in his arsenal. The mountain crumbled at his feet when he cut through backward point in the final over to reach the landmark of 200. He raised his bat and his helmet towards the sky and really depicted his desire to reach the sky. It took him only 147 deliveries to make history. His technique, his shots, his running has been outstanding throughout the innings, or to put it simply, throughout his whole career. Absolute gem of an innings, that's what it was, no mistake at that.

Tendulkar is really the only one fitting to be the first one to score a double hundred in an ODI, just as Brian Lara was for hitting 400. He is too much of a class player. Look at his records in limited over cricket for God's sake. 17598 runs with 46 centuries in 442 ODIs (before the last match of the series) and 13447 runs with 47 hundreds in 166 tests and making lots of records as well as breaking them in the process make statements of their own. Perhaps this record too was in the hope of having Sachin Tendulkar surpass it.

Maybe I will speak in unison with my brother for once, “Why does he play so good?” Sachin-bot anyone?

By Jawad


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