Next Gen Achieved

Aversion to Sports

image 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

I have for the most part avoided the “next generation” of consoles, and as all the hype surrounded them leading up to the launch I didn’t think much about any of them. Then something happened… and I saw the 2013 E3 presser from Sony. During the current generation of consoles I started out an XBox 360 fan… but over time I gravitated towards the Sony Playstation 3 when I picked up one used from a friend. The primary reason behind this shift in allegiance was the phenominal deal that is the Playstation Plus membership. For what is roughly $50 it gave me access to a massive game library of I think a dozen different playstation 3 titles at a time. So not only was the service cheaper than Xbox Gold but worth way more value in that it actually just gave me a curated collection of games every month for me to download. One of my good friends Ashgarshowed me a nifty trick that allowed me to log into the website and “purchase” the free games to add them to my account each month. After watching the E3 press conference last year, I knew sooner or later I would be getting a Playstation 4, but I was mostly waiting for the price to come down. Nonetheless this meant every single month I would add the new PS4 game to my account knowing that sooner or later I would get one and have a game library ready to play.

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
  • Destiny
  • Kingdom Hearts III
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • The Order: 1886
  • Guilty Gear Xrd
  • Bloodborne

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

RESOGUN™_20140613234425 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.

RESOGUN™_20140613234507 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.

inFAMOUS Second Son™_20140614005549 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.


13 thoughts on “Next Gen Achieved

  1. I kind of know thatfeeling too but in a different way. For australia sports in schools isn’t that important but it infested the pentirety of my home life. Every Rugby league match was always playin as was every pre and post show on multiple channels. IN between that was horse racing stuff.

    It gets to the stage where you do actually resent these things and well, sport in general and hate watching it entirely. Talk about it just makes my eyes glazer over now too…. just don’t care.

    So glad my hubby isn’t into to sports either haha.
    j3w3l recently posted..Excellence in Idiocy at E3My Profile

  2. So I totally get the cognitive dissonance over me saying that I am not a spectator… but doing something that is inherently about others spectating me. For me streaming is a weird endevour and mostly I am doing it for my own entertainment. I am shocked as hell when someone actually shows up in my stream. Mostly for me it is my way of taking what is often a solitary experience and turning it into a multi-player one. So every now and then it is cool when a friend of mine pops in the channel and says hi, and I end up chatting with them albeit extremely laggily.

    I guess maybe it is not so much that I don’t get spectating… and more that I feel no connection to what I am watching. LIke I enjoy watching the streams of people I know. I enjoy watching Qelric or Kiwi or Scarybooster stream because they are a friend of mine. I have an emotional connection to them and what they are doing. I just see sports or someone else streaming as watching a stranger do something, and maybe that is the part I struggle with. If I had friend who were playing on the field I might feel completely differently, because I could see cheering them on, but I just can’t see cheering on an anonymous group.

    It isn’t a jocks versus nerds thing either… and I take zero offense to being called a nerd. I didn’t have the traditional high school experience of a nerd. While I was not the prom king, I wasn’t a social pariah either. I just didn’t participate in the High School sportsdom thing. Maybe it is less the spectating that I don’t grasp and more the devoting yourself to this thing that doesn’t actually involve you. Like even in gaming terms… I have played Alliance almost the entire time I played World of Warcraft. I greatly prefer the races on that side of the fence, but I have never understood the Red vs Blue mentality of Horde against Alliance. Some people have a sports team like relationship to one side versus the other, but I never really have. I have friends on both side of the fence and I honestly wish they would just lower the boundaries and do away with hard factions.

    Anyways back to the original point about streaming…. I don’t expect people to watch me simply put. I record the gameplay mostly because it intrigues me. Its like a visual record of what I did and when I did it. I don’t really promote it, other than occasionally mention it on my blog. I don’t really care about viewership or anything like that because all of this… my blog included is my hobby that I am just sharing with my friends. If I were trying to make money of what I do, I am not exactly sure how I would feel. I have always purposefully avoided monetizing anything I do because in some way it feels like it would taint it. It would not longer be me having fun and sharing it with whoever happens to read or watch it. So if I get the occasional friend that pops by and comments like you guys have, I feel that’s awesome. If it introduces me to new people that will eventually be friends, I feel that is awesome too. Mostly I am just doing what entertains me.
    belghast recently posted..Next Gen AchievedMy Profile

  3. Well to each their own and I appreciate the response, but I agree with Pete! Watching a football game and watching you play Elder Scrolls are two activities that come from the same place.

    I think there’s kind of this thing that nerds fall into (and I hope you know I mean nerd affectionately and include myself) where because we grew up with jocks vs. nerds in high school we still carry that attitude with us into our adult life. And it’s not true!

    I mean totally don’t watch what you don’t enjoy (I only pay attention to the big things like the World Cup) but people who watch football every Sunday are no worse than those of us who play MMOs every Sunday. :)
    Liore recently posted..First Impression of WildStar DungeonsMy Profile

  4. Oh and just to be clear, because I’m finding I’m struggling to convey myself clearly around this issue… I’m NOT saying you should like sports. Not at all. You should like what you life of course! I’m saying that as someone who produces gameplay content for others to spectate at (how’s that for awkward) it’s weird that you find it bizarre that people enjoy spectating, even if you don’t.

    Put more simply, it seems strange to me that you apparently get why someone would want to watch you play a game, but you don’t get what someone would want to watch other people play a game (because a sport is a game).
    Pete S recently posted..Games vs SportsMy Profile

  5. What’s funny is that I don’t think you even see the irony of saying the appeal of sports, ie the appeal of spectating, is bizarre, and yet you seem stream your gameplay pretty frequently, which implies you think it’s perfectly natural for people to want to spectate while some gamer plays whatever suits his fancy but it’s bizarre that someone else is interested in watching people who have spent years dedicating themselves to a specific activity do that activity.
    Pete S recently posted..Games vs SportsMy Profile

  6. edit: I’ve been a huge sports fan, especially football and least of all baseball, since my teen years – so the path really is opposite of yours LOL

  7. The sports story is fascinating to me, mostly because mine is exactly opposite. I grew up in New York City, where apparently no one has time for such things as youth league sports. My friend from Minnesota was the first person to get me to watch a Superbowl with him, and because he was a New York Giants fan I decided I was, too. A few years later while helping our church youth pastor move, I found a book or two in one of the rooms and was inspired to decide I was a Yankees fan as well. I’d hear about superbowls and world series games and decide I was as excited about them as my friends, but really the only exposure to sports I had as a child was a Mets game my uncle took me to, and my dad every once in a while asking me if I wanted to watch a baseball game with him. Of course I did, and my dad would promptly fall asleep on the couch. To this day baseball on TV is excruciatingly boring to me, unless it is broadcasting the Yankees in the playoffs.

    As for consoles, my wife bought me an Xbox for christmas back in the first year or two we were dating, and I actually played the hell out of Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire on it, but nothing else ever interested me for long. I tried to get into Elder Scrolls: Morrowind but it never really grabbed me. I enjoyed many of the concepts of Burnout, but being horrible at racing games made me eventually ragequit the game for good. I also beat Halo once, and generally enjoyed it despite my enthusiasm for FPS being mostly tepid. Not long after it came out, my wife bought a Wii because she was excited about the Wii fit stuff, and I mostly played Puzzle Quest: Kingdoms, Lego Star Wars and Lego Batman on it. But for me, I don’t care much for FPS, I hate hate platforming games ever since the first time I was over a friend’s house and tried to play Mario Brothers with them, and am pretty “meh” about fighting games. So at least 70% of console games don’t matter much to me at all. And most of the ones that do excite me are better on PC anyway 😉

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