Aversion to Sports
It started yesterday with a random dumbass quip that I am known to occasionally spout towards the end of the day. Watching the internet be enthralled about the World Cup is a really surreal experience when you are living in the United States and soccer never actually makes the sports page other than during the World Cup. I figured surely someone would give me shit about my statement, but I expected them to hone in on the World Cup portion. Instead my friend Liore latched onto the root of the comment… asking why exactly I found the appeal of sports bizarre. I rattled off a half truth and said that I just was not born with what I call the “spectator gene”. I love league of legends for example, but no matter how many times I have tried to watch the LCS I find it completely boring. All it does it make me want to boot up League and play it, instead of getting completely caught up in the matches like my friends do.
My aversion to sports however goes far more deeply than that. When you grow up in a small town in Oklahoma or Texas… your entire school life revolves around the sports team. I grew up in a town of 2000, with a graduating class of 60… and even though we had a horrible football team… the entire damned town revolved around it. Growing up a big kid I was stalked from middle school on by coached that wanted to make me part of their “lineup”. I played little league ball and gave an attempt to play football… but I just didn’t enjoy it. Additionally I have never bought into the bullshit drill instructor act that all coaches perform. While that might motivate some people, all it does is make me want to flip them the bird… because I had so many other options for spending my time. It completely baffled them that anyone would not want to play football.
On top of that over the years sports have come to represent what was wrong with a small town. You might have duct taped together supplies in the science classroom, and classes meeting in portable huts instead of actual buildings… but by god if the field house needs renovated that is going to happen, and there is nothing that will ever stand in the way of our losing football team from getting shiny new equipment every year. The focus on football means other things slide and the school as a whole graduated a ton of barely functional adults. In my graduating class of 60, I would say 2/3rds of the kids who went to college flunked out their first year and are now working menial jobs in the same town. Then we get to the problem of the coaches themselves… who always seemed to be History or Mathematics teachers. My Geometry teacher was the head football coach, and would spend exactly five minutes writing something on the board… and then spend the rest of the hour as we worked on our homework assignment with the football players huddled around his desk talking about plays for the “big game”. The history teacher, while a nice guy was equally incompetent. He once told us that “Old Iron Sides” was named that because it was made of Iron not Wood. So how can I respect sports when I grew up in this situation.
I realize that huge swaths of the population love sports, and love cheering for their team. I try my damnedest to just ignore it, because I really don’t want to be a buzzkill. Every now and then one of these quips slips out, and as I said while I really do not have the spectator gene… there is a lot more driving that attitude. I played little league ball, but for whatever reason the indoctrination never really took. Which is humorous because I used to work in a baseball card and later comic shop. I even collected cards… but then it was more about the artwork on the card or the value of a specific rookie… and not about me actually caring about the game itself. I will say though that to this day Baseball is the only game I will really willingly watch. There is something untainted about that sport, because at our high school they never got any attention either. They had to play in old uniforms and on a crappy field… because the football and basketball programs drained the system dry. So in a way I felt almost a sense of kinship with them, since they too were damaged by the system.
Next Gen Achieved
Awhile back on the AggroChat podcast, my friend Tam introduced me a rule he uses for the purchase of new console systems. He waits to buy a new console until it has at least five games, either currently released or releasing within the next six months that he wants to play. The more I thought about it, the more I thought this was an excellent and logical way to decide when to jump into a new console. For me right now the list of games I am excited about looks something like this.
- Infamous: Second Son
- Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag
- Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
- Last of Us: Remastered
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Final Fantasy XV
- The Order: 1886
- Guilty Gear Xrd
While many of those are not Playstation 4 exclusives… I am devoted to the playstation family of consoles thanks to the warm fuzzies I have about playstation plus as a whole. In the time I have been subbed to the service I have gotten 151 games, and have a library of six PS4 titles waiting on me. Granted most of these are not exactly AAA titles yet, but one of them at least is something I have amped to play since the moment I saw game play from it. Microsoft on the other hand… really has nothing to offer me. As far as Microsoft Console exclusives… the only two that I am interested in that are not also coming to the PC are Killer Instinct and Sunset Overdrive. Neither of which are going to be games I play enough to make that console worth my time. Then again… there is just a lot I don’t like about the target of the XBox One. I was watching an excellent rundown video about the two consoles yesterday, and the guy admits that while he used the Kinect and TV integration features for the first month… he hasn’t used them at all since.
Getting the Goods
When it comes to buying hardware especially… I am a cheap bastard. I rarely if ever buy game systems new… in fact the only game system I did buy new was the 3DS, and only because I had pretty much exhausted all options. So when I started kicking around the notion of maybe picking up a PS4… I hit craigslist like normal. I did a search of the site and noticed that someone had a PS4 incorrectly posted in the barter section for way less than normal. They were wanting $280 and it came with two sports titles. Since I have zero use for those… I opted to try and talk the guy into a price without them. I honestly expected nothing to come of it, so when it texted me back a day later saying he would do $250 without the games… I was absolutely pumped. I joked during the day yesterday that I hope I didn’t get killed meeting a stranger on craigslist… which apparently disturbed Rae considerably. It was a little odd because generally I am not alone when I meet people from craigslist, but my rule has always been that we meet at one of the many QuikTrips in Tulsa… since they are ALWAYS busy 24/7.
The guy was running late… as in he was an hour late at the time he finally arrived. For awhile I was thinking that it was going to fall through like so many other “good deals” from Craigslist have. However he arrived with a PS4 in hand, with the original box and everything that came with it. It seemed that once again I was benefiting from the flighty nature of teenagers. He bought the PS4 and games with High School graduation money… and then decided he needed that money to move into an apartment. It is funny the stuff that folks you meet from craigslist will tell you, like when we bought my chromebook we found out that the guy grew up in the same town as my wife… and that they knew some of each others family. I think maybe this stuff only actually works out this well here in Oklahoma… where people are generally well meaning and rather polite about everything. But once again I am more than happy to take advantage of a good deal when I can find it. I took the machine home, booted it up and everything works awesome. It feels as though the dual shock four hasn’t really even been broken in. The guy had not even registered an account on the playstation network, so after a wipe of the system it is now set up with all the plus games.
So far I am mostly playing Resogun and Infamous Second Son. I would like to find a cheap copy of Killzone Shadowfall because it looks pretty cool. I am also kicking myself that I did not sign up for the Destiny Alpha. At that point I had no clue I would actually be getting a PS4, so of course hindsight is 20/20. Here is hoping I can figure out a way to get an alpha key and play it as well. So far I am loving the system, and super happy with the purchase. It is actually good timing considering my allergies are going completely haywire and right now I can barely breath. Seems like the perfect time to hibernate with a console and play some games. I might even try streaming to twitch later, just to see how well the service works.