A Friendship Defined by Gaming . . .
My best friend Kenny and I met in Jr. High School. The cast of characters at this pit stop between elementary and high school were the stuff of legend in our community. One such character was this skinny white dude I saw playing volley ball with a few chicks and saying, “yo mama” every time he scored a point. “I gotta meet this clown,” I thought to myself. After P.E. we were standing around waiting for our next class when the skinny white kid walks over. In his gym bag was a copy of the NES classic Section Z and a NES Max game controller.
“Hmm, a seasoned gamer,” I thought quietly to myself. Section Z was brutally hard and you could not save your progress (years later I put a Nintendo emulator on my PSP and he yanked it out of my hands and played Section Z for like, 2 hours and didn’t speak to me the whole time). Not being able to save your game would be inconceivable in today’s gaming landscape, which is why he had the NES Max controller. It had turbo buttons, but these ones you could use on the fly. I was impressed. We made plans to hang out and play some video games later on that day. More than 20 years later and we still send obscenities to each other via MMORPG’s.
Our friendship has endured some rough times over the years. I’m sure many of you can relate. There were hills, and our friendship almost didn’t survive some of the valleys. But in a strange way we always stayed pals through our mutual admiration for gaming. There were some hilarious moments too. Like the time when he completed this really difficult passage in Mega Man, pauses the game, turns around and says, “I make it look easy.” One day I cruised on over to his house, but he was taking a dump and couldn’t come to the door. His mother was kind enough to let me in so I hung out in his room for a few minutes. He emerges from the commode with a copy of Nintendo Power Magazine in his hands, tosses it on the bed and quips, “and they wonder why I’m so good.” One of the more funny and exciting moments in our shared gaming history came a few years back.
Our dear friend John (R.I.P) had built a LAN room in the house that he and Kenny shared. So he puts Aliens vs. Predator on every PC in the so we could go after one another on a closed server. Like O.J Simpson said, “you want to beat your friends more than you want to beat anybody.” Man we must have stayed up till like, 4 in the morning, Kenny, John and I yelling and screaming at each other every time we scored a kill. Testosterone fueled trash talk like, “you better watch your back when you have skilled gamers on the move”, and, “you can’t walk around and think that nobody is watching you!!” It was a gas. I can’t imagine the personal hell we created for Johns’ girlfriend and another female roommate that stayed down the hall and had to get up in a few hours to go to class.
Consoles came and went, fads got started and fizzled out but through it all we remained loyal to our mutual hobby and to each other as pals. Kenny, if you happen to stumble upon this article you know when we duel each other online, that I’m going to win. Just sayin.