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TheDarksage Site Admin
36 year-old male from Alpharetta, GA
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TheDarksage Site Admin
Something I need to get off my chestBe warned, this is going to be a long one.

So, years ago I joined RvB. I met PissedOffChick here and she got me involved in clan based gaming on the PC. I played with a clan called Factor VIII, playing Medal of Honor Allied Assault and expansions semi competitively. I enjoyed the teamwork aspect and the feeling that I was a valued member of the team was great to me. IRL growing up I was an outcast, constantly bullied and teased and this was an awesome change for me. We continued playing together, the original Call of Duty on the PC and it's sequel. Then there was Halo 2.

Factor VIII was a PC clan. I needed to find a clan that supported Xbox gameplay. I searched google and came across 2old2play. 2old2play is a website for gamers over the age of 25. They had several competitive Halo 2 clans. I had already acquired a bunch of "internet cred" by being involved in the RvB community as well as halo.bungie.org so joining a good clan and making myself a known if not respected entity on their site was fairly simple. I made friends fast.

I was good at Halo 2. I entered local LAN tournaments at gaming stores and my good friend IRL Sn0wsh0e and I would almost always win either individually or as a team. I brought Sn0wsh0e into the fold at 2old2play and things went well for a little while. Sn0wsh0e was cocky and he didn't hide it. He trash-talked big time. Generally speaking when I play, I don't get emotional or trashtalk or any of that. Having known Sn0wsh0e IRL, I knew that any and everything he says is BS. He's that kind of guy that will talk about how he lays down the law on his wife when we all know he's the most p-whipped guy around. Anyway, he brushed a bunch of people the wrong way on the website. I tried to explain to people he was really a good guy and to just let the crap he spouts roll off their shoulders. I mention this because I think this is where the opinion of me at 2o2p started to slide.

To some degree, Sn0wsh0e's cockiness rubbed off on me. My attitude changed, I knew I was good at Halo and I didn't shy away from bragging about it from time to time. Together we wound up having a "Fuck the haters" sort of attitude. Eventually, Sn0wsh0e was no longer welcome at 2o2p events. At this point I was very active in competitively playing Halo 2. The need to win became an obsession for me. Clan practices that included gameplans for specific gametypes and player roles etc. At work I would be thinking about different strategies, mapping out areas and positions people should hold/routes they should take. In the clan vs clan arenas of 2o2p my teams had great success. Seldom did a team, I was not on, win. A FFA tournament had started in 2o2p and I dominated. These successes came at a huge cost though. As I mentioned before, I became obsessed with the competitive nature of the game. At the same time, I had alienated many of my opponents and created an image of myself that I was a humorless bag of dicks. My favor on the forums was lost and people had vendettas against me which were not handled fairly by the site administration. This made me feel like a victim, that everyone was against me. Even if that was actually the case, maybe it was deserved.

At some point I realized I was not having fun anymore. Even after winning a game, it came only after screaming at teammates on XBL and wishing I could just find teammates that were as good as I was. I was full of myself and resented what few friends I had left. I knew there needed to be a change. That competitive gaming was killing me. I had become addicted to it though and didn't know how to stop. I tried to stay away from 2o2p but found myself going back consistently. I wound up making a huge mistake. I decided to go scorched earth and to burn every bridge I had built. I made horribly offensive posts and just would not let up until I was finally banned by the administrator. I was unable to feed my addiction anymore, but I forever changed the way people thought of me.

After that point, I never took gaming seriously again. I still play and I still like to win, but I haven't participated in tournaments or been part of a competitive clan. Occasionally, several years between I still check 2o2p and search for my name to see what people were still saying about me if anything. Today was one of those days. It seems I've become some sort of joke. "Darksage" is associated with being a pansy, whiny, piece of scum. It hurts. I know I did it to myself though, and I do regret it.

I'm glad I'm able to enjoy videogames again. That I don't have any desire to play competitively again. I wish I could have gotten here without creating such a horrible image for myself and alienating an entire community of good people. Maybe someday we'll all be able to let it go, I don't blame them if they don't though.

Thanks for reading.
1 year ago  |  Comments (4)
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Name Ben
Occupation United States Air Force
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