Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Tried Playing Call of Duty. It's Not Going Well.

Being an adult is a very liberating thing. It comes with its responsibilities of course, but it also allows you the freedom to buy things you never could have afforded before (without judgement from your parents). 

So like any typical 23-year old woman…I bought an Xbox. Duh...

I should probably start this out by saying that I haven’t owned a gaming system since I was six and that was a Super Nintendo. My sister and I fought over it so horribly that my mom packed it up and shipped it to my dad in Canada saying we could ONLY play that thing when we were visiting him on vacation. We owned basically one game, Yoshi’s Island, and my sister and I were so bad at it that my best friend’s little brother had to help us complete the entire game. He finished eight levels during a birthday party. He was seven.

The experience of even purchasing my Xbox was really a precursor to how this was going to go for me from the start. I marched myself confidently into a GameStop at the mall in Plano during my lunch break on an impulse. Admittedly, I took one look at the sweet little 17 year old gamer boy in the Call of Duty: Ghosts t-shirt behind the counter, cocked my head slightly to the side, flashed a big smile, and asked if he could help me. There may have been a hair-tuck-behind-the-ear action somewhere in there too. SUE ME, Gloria Steinem, it was exceptional customer service.

I probably played up the “SOS, I’m a girl in a GameStop” act more than I should have but let’s be honest, I wasn’t exactly acting. Example: They asked me which one I wanted and I said, “The black one.” They should have kicked me out right then and there.

Nevertheless, I was excited and curious and promptly start asking guy friends for suggestions on games I should get. Most  of them considerately suggested easier games to get me started (particularly since I had never used an Xbox before) but I stubbornly brushed those suggestions aside. I just bought a freaking Xbox, dammit! Give me cool game suggestions like Halo or Grand Theft Auto or any other game I was subconsciously aware of…

“What about Call of Duty?”

 Call of Duty: (n) A war game where you shoot people; a game with lots of famous actors playing voices; the direct cause of boyfriends disappearing for hours at a time carrying a headset.
 Use in a sentence: “How hard can Call of Duty be, really?" Caroline asked her breakfast taco with a shrug, "I can figure it out.” 

So a friend from work brought me his copy of Black Ops so I could try it and wished me luck.

How hard can it be?


1.   I am convinced that if and/or when you arrive in the pits of Hell,  the first thing to greet you will be that RIDICULOUS green arrow to show you to your dungeon. Why? Because it’s the most useless navigational guide of all time. My 3-lb TomTom that hasn't been updated since 2005 is more helpful.

If Drunk Uncle tried to give you directions through a war zone, that’s this green arrow. (“Yeah man, so in this general direction, but I don’t f**king know. You may have to go down eight floors and jdfijfuihdfthen a quarter mile through Commies with machetes and fuhsdfhdebris n’stuff, but yeah thataway-no wait-go the other way, hey do you have any Cheez Nips?”)
WHY give me an arrow to help me navigate when, if I turn one way, it flips around and starts pointing in the direction I JUST came from? It just took me 2 minutes to even turn.

2.    Must there be two different thingamabobbers to control your soldier body? I can barely get from one room to the other; let's not reach for the stars by making me have to turn my own head too. In fact, I consider it a rare talent that I’ve ran completely through open fire without dying with my head pointed directly up at the ceiling.

3.   I run through open fire a lot.

 4. I treat “taking cover” a lot like a three year old playing hide and seek. If I stand kind of near this barrel and crouch and look at the wall, I’m totally 100% safe. Right? Right?

5. The main struggle is that I know what I need to do but I have absolutely NO idea how. If a morbidly obese baby just now learning to walk was strapped to a machine gun and Dumbo-dropped into Castro's Cuba, that would be a very close depiction of my coordination in Call of Duty.

6. How is it that a Russian with a knife has killed me more times in Call of Duty than any other weapon and I’M the one with the AK47? I’m shooting RIGHT at them and they’re still rushing at me with part of Guy Fieri's Sears collection.

7. If I'm not being killed by a steak knife, I'm being killed by grenades. To make matters worse, I'm pretty sure it's my own grenade that I just don't know how to throw.

8. Speaking of death (who I spend quality time with in Call of Duty), this damn game has a hilarious way of killing you...and then telling you what to do. Example: *EXPLOSION AND EVERYTHING GOES WHITE* Me: WTF... Game: Hide behind the wagon and push it forward to block yourself.* Oh, okay, thank you.

9.  If you're going to give me a "mission" to accomplish, why don't you start by giving me some actual instructions? "Find Drhriwdsgmakov" gives me nothing. I honestly don't even know who that is.



Until Sam Worthington gives me some more detail, I'm just going to stand here virtually jerking off in the fog (why is there FOG in a warehouse? Those Russians are monsters).

10. I try to act natural by switching out my gun a lot, like I actually have some kind of expert preference.

11. I do a lot of stupid crap on Call of Duty when there is absolutely no reason to do them. I've never not been killed peeking out from behind a wall to shoot someone, but I sure feel like a professional!

12. I've "betrayed my brothers in arms" so many times, even Benedict Arnold thinks I'm an asshole.

13. I get asked sometimes if I go online and play with real humans on a headset. Answer: Are you OUT of your mind? It's not to spare my own dignity--I would just feel bad for the poor souls who would be forced to have me on my team. Imagine the 20 year old boy on the headset playing with his bros and here's me, Private Dudley Effing Do-right, turning around in circles trying to get his head to stop pointing at the ground. No one wants a soldier on their squad that takes 10 minutes to get through a doorway.

Moral of this story: 

Over and out.

1 comment:

  1. I've never read your blog before, but someone linked me this article and I thought it was really funny. I play CoD a lot and can picture these frustrations well. I've been racking my brain trying to give some tips, but ultimately came up empty. I figured some words of encouragement might help better instead. So here goes:

    First, if you've never moved around using both joysticks (or, "thingamabobs") it's not intuitive. So don't sweat it! I think of the right one as the head and the left as the legs, but that's oversimplifying things a bit. Still, left legs, right head, might help. But ultimately is not natural and just requires practice. So no worries if you're not perfect after a year...

    (Oh you can't edit easily on a phone, this comment should go well...)

    2. I am very good at call of duty but black ops 1 is annoying and hard. I died a lot. So if you're frustrated, join the club.

    3. You're smart and can learn it if you care to, but you knew that.

    4. Fire in short bursts and don't throw grenades unless you have to (sorry, strayed into advice)

    5. Some levels will keep generating enemies unless you move forward (admittedly hard when you don't know how to move forward...)

    6. Get behind something!!

    7. With guys, it's a lose-lose skill. If you suck or hate it, you can't be a part of our club. If you're better than us, we'll probably resent you.

    Okay that's all I got. Sorry can't help with the advice. To use your analogy, it's like someone's entered a toddler into a karate tournament. For me to give advice on your karate technique might be a bit premature considering...well...that you can't walk without staring at the ceiling yet.

    Funny article. Welcome to the club n00b :)