I Just Shot Your Son: A Non-Parent’s Guide To Multiplayer
Stand up comedian John Robertson gives us his thoughts on the perils of Multiplayer gaming as a childless adult…
I don’t have children. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s just that my job means I’m never home. “Where’s Daddy?” “Daddy is off making other people laugh.” “Why isn’t he home making me laugh?” “Because you don’t have any money.”
But just because I don’t have kids of my own, doesn’t mean I can’t have opinions about your kids. Your terrible, terrible kids!
The first time I wanted to murder a child was during a Counterstrike LAN in Perth, Western Australia. He was a spotty boy with a face like a greasy turnip, and after he shrieked “He’s camping behind the box!”, all of his puberty-riddled teammates rushed in and slaughtered me. In real life, I was twice his size. Online, I was a man who’d just figured out how the crouch button worked.
This has been my problem with almost every multiplayer session I’ve ever had – I just don’t have the treachery, rage or skill of the average teenage lunkhead! Those kids were so outraged I’d hidden behind a box in Counterstrike! (Note to actual terrorists – if you can’t find people to kill, just shout “Stop camping!” and folks will be shamed into no longer hiding.)
Now, I was born in the ‘80s, I’ve played video games my entire life, I’m training as a professional wrestler, I can fire actual guns pretty damn well, I insult huge groups of people for a living, but every time I’m obliterated online, it’s always by someone younger and more pointless than say, a tamagotchi.
It’s a shame I have to live with! Awake at 3am, getting blasted to hell!
Halo 5? Lasers for days. GTA V? I was literally mugged by teenagers – just like the mainstream media always said I would be. Street Fighter 5? I was good at that one, but that’s because a skilled Street Fighter player is almost indistinguishable from smashing every button with your hands and screaming for blood.
And look at those titles I was dying in! They’re all the latest in franchises I grew up with! My little tricks! My little exploits! Everything I knew was nothing compared to a generation raised on YouTube tutorials and completely obsessed with gaming. (I’m not saying I’m not obsessive, but I’m more the kind of gamer who’ll invite friends round, turn on the old Wii and just as they think we’re going to play tennis, load up Manhunt 2 and introduce them to what it’s like to swing a hammer directly into someone’s head.)
But there I was, brutally beaten by high-level, high-pitched turds; their characters bedecked with unlockable items and ridiculous DLC accessories.
So, what to do? How does one get back the honour that’s been lost after being pummeled by pre-teens, and bushwhacked by the kind of kids whose only knowledge of World War II comes in meme form? Stalingrad LOLWUT 2redarmy5u *camera cuts to a single elderly Japanese soldier defending an island in the pacific while Rick Astley sings ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’*
In the best traditions of the internet, I went out hunting… for the one target weaker than me. I used to have another job, you see – I was a videogames reviewer on television. Videogame Nation ran for two years on Challenge TV. We had a nice viewership, and a timeslot that meant I spent my life sneaking naughty jokes onto Sunday morning telly.
And one Friday, I was tasked with reviewing a multiplayer-only game. I popped in my review copy, downloaded all my free DLC. Loaded up on free items. Played a hell of a lot of tutorial rounds. Then I went online at 3am to see who’d be around to play.
I checked the title of the game. “Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.”
Then I waited til 6am, when the kids it was meant for were going to wake up.
Those 7 year-olds never knew what hit them.
Stand up comedian John Robertson is about to return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with 2 new comedy shows. ‘The Dark Room For Kids‘, a child-friendly version of his hugely successful live-action video game show ‘The Dark Room’, which is on at Just The Tonic @ The Community Project, August 4-27 (not 14) at 16:30.
The ‘normal’ (if you can call it that!) version of ‘The Dark Room‘ is also on at Underbelly, August 3-27 (not 14) at 20:00.
He can also be seen performing ‘Dominant‘, described as “unstructured stand-up from the Cardinal of Chaos”, which is on at The Stand Comedy Club, August 3-27 (not 14) at 18:15.