Blistered Fingers

I would like to share a pseudo-ironic experience that I am still currently suffering through.

I recently experienced the bittersweet sensation known as BlazBlue: Continuum Shift.

For those of you that are unaware, BlazBlue is a fast-paced Japanese fighting game and is the spiritual successor to a series known as Guilty Gear. I, myself, am quite familiar with the series but had never before played the most recent console addition to the series known as Continuum Shift (despite it being rather old).

So, I have a bad habit when it comes to fighting games.

And no, it’s not resetting the system seconds before my inevitable defeat.

I have the bad habit of picking characters that no one else uses; I like to be unique. This means that the characters I pick are generally on the higher end of the difficulty spectrum (this does not mean I’m good, I just like suffering with hard characters).

Upon sitting down with the game I already knew most of the roster and immediately informed my colleague that she would be made short work of.

That was before she recommended Hazama.

“You’ll love this asshole,” she predicts. “He’s too hard to use but I can tell he is good.”

She was right; I love that asshole.

Hazama is the classic example of a fighting game character done right; a ridiculous level of complexity in usage that grants a proportionate level of satisfaction upon success.

Thirteen hours later and my digits are raw and swollen; my two index fingers look like light bulbs. To make matters worse, I can’t even play the game properly anymore as my cumbersome fingers refuse to obey me and instead send debilitating pain blazing through their receptors.

Despite all this, I am in awe.

It had been years since I had paid the price of hardcore gaming; while some people have to suffer through watery eyes, unemployment, sleepless nights or angry girlfriends (or lack thereof), my payment has always been blistered fingers.

I consider myself a casual gamer (due to lack of a better word), so naturally this reunion between me and the blisters took my breath away. When I was younger, I used to destroy my fingers attempting, in the most inefficient way possible, to bang out atomic smashers and yoga flames. I thought that now that I am a more mature and refined young man, I was above things like gaming blisters.

Apparently, no one is safe from the curses that stem from hardcore gaming practices.

While using these mutilated nubs to navigate through Steve’s latest article for a second time, I was forced to ask myself; who would want to be considered a hardcore gamer?

The imagery that tends to whiz through my mind when I think of such an individual is not flattering and I think that is universal.

There are so many drawbacks with being a hardcore gamer, why are the casuals the ones that are looked down upon?
Oh that’s right, because they are more numerous and are singlehandedly ruining the industry.

Anyways, I have since been unable to play anything other than my Wii, so needless to say I am in agony.

It is ironic.

In my attempt to don my hardcore gamer persona once more in my adult life, I have unwittingly limited my gaming experience to be relegated to the most casual gaming system ever made (FACT).


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