January 25th, 2012
Have you ever lost touch with a cool online multiplayer friend? I have. Here's my story.
As a fellow gamer, my neighbor buddy let me borrow Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition. I was a late bloomer to the game but quickly caught on.
After 10 minutes of play, I was hooked by the fast paced experience. And the mods. Oh, the mods! Not only was the game well balanced and fun to play, it was dripping with user-generated creativity (remember the toy soldier bathroom mod?).
Anyways, late one night (I was a night owl back then), I was playing and me and this guy would always end up as the last or second to last man standing after a raucous deathmatch. I'd win. Then he'd win. Sometimes a third-party would steal a victory, but for the most part, we would traded first and second.
It was obvious we were equally matched, which in the case of online multiplayer games, is the pinnacle of what you hope for. Close matches. Riveting gameplay. Emphatic finishes. All made possible by an arch rival.
But more than being an arch rival for me, Brett694 (I'm guessing that was his handle) was a cool dude, not a douche like a lot of other insecure players you find online. He was friendly. Confident. Fun to talk to. And witty. For what seemed like several months, we'd schedule and play together at least twice a week.
One night at the scheduled time, Brett didn't show. The next scheduled date, I couldn't make it after something came up.
Problem was, we hadn't set up subsequent meeting times or traded emails or cell phone numbers. And back then kids, there was no MyBook or FaceSpace, if you know what I mean.
In a futile act, I would jump online at our usual time and play for a while, hoping he'd come around. He never did. Knowing only his first name, I tried Googeling his handle but came up empty. After a while, I played the game less frequently, and my play schedule changed as well.
It's been 10 years since I last played Brett. In that time I've started a family, played a lot of great games, eaten a lot of good food, made a lot of new friends, furthered my career, seen some cool places, and have tried to live large as best I can.
But I have yet to find a multiplayer friend as well matched as him.
Brett, wherever you are, game on buddy. If I ever find you in the afterlife, I'm gonna frag you good!
Have you ever lost touch with a fellow gamer?
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