I’m beginning to think that I’m more of a console scrub than I previously thought.

I’ve been bitten by the yearly round of the Call of Duty-bug… but this time, I think I don’t mind in the slightest. While the title certainly spoils the conclusion of my thoughts, I think that explaining myself—or ranting, whichever is more descriptive of the following—is probably for best with regards to my sanity. (A sidenote: I am also an EVE Online player, so statements about sanity should be taken with a great degree of disbelief.)

I like keeping things simple. I used to enjoy complexity when it came to computing and figuring things out. It was one of the traits that set me apart from other kids growing up. That and I couldn’t form a proper sentence until early primary school. And I learned how to read upside-down before any sane person would acquire such a skill. And I’m rather tall. Regardless, the experience of picking up a controller and having a reasonable amount of fun without having to tweak with settings, cross my fingers in hopes that my computer would run the game properly and the network play (if the game had any) would work out-of-the-box were compelling reasons for me to forgo doing anything with my PC outside of EVE Online and the odd bout of Team Fortress 2.

Simpletons like myself are often drawn to mainstream shooter titles like the recent Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 because shooting pixels that can potentially represent other players is the new neighborhood pick-up sport-style of proving that the player has skill. I’d like to think that I’m pretty competent with shooter games in general, but the most that I’ve played with any sort of zeal have been games with a mouse and a keyboard. Utilizing a game pad to execute anything was a challenge at first, but I think I’ve gotten used to it. I mean, I’m able to pull off stuff like this:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4MzF12zLNQ]

There are some instances where communication with other players in the game become its own special experience. This is because I’ve never really played a shooter game on Xbox Live before, thus I’ve missed the community’s rules governing talking to other players. One particular practice is to never compliment your opponent. When someone finds a new place to hide, or makes a shot that I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t have made were the roles reversed, I typically give a ‘nice shot, man’ over the headset. I’d like to think that I’m acting like a decent human being by acknowledging a special achievement in a game.

Instead, the typical response I receive from players who could be labeled a ‘tryhard’ or an ‘aspiring MLG champion’ runs the gamut between ‘fuck off’ to ‘shut up, faggot’ and other possibilities between. With that crude retort, the conversation was over before it began when it came to complements.

When the roles are switched and I make the fortunately-timed right trigger pull to frag a player who believes that he/she is supposed to win the round, the kindness I tend to distribute when I’m the one fragged isn’t returned in kind. Instead, I hear ‘get the fuck out’ or ‘nigger please’ or something voicing their frustration at me. Normally, I let these exclamations go without reply and I just keep playing the way that I generally do—not very well, but getting lucky sometimes.

In one case, I can remember doing pretty well in a match and replying with ‘don’t blame me because you shot at me first and missed, man’ which might not have been the best way to diffuse the situation.

The following is a paraphrased reply:

The fuck? Who are you? Your KDR is only 0.95, man. You’re so bad at this game, why do you even play it? I mean, yeah, I missed you, but you got so fucking lucky—ugh—fucking lag compensation, I swear to God that Treyarch is really fucking up this—actually, I’m going back to Modern Warfare 3 if they don’t fix this in the next patch because I’m getting shot like this all the time by fucking pubbies like you.

I mean, why would someone play a game like this if they are that easily tilted? How quick to attack does the typical Xbox Live-playing try-hard have to be in order to deserve the air of superiority they project?

And then, it hits me—I have a little bit of the troll in me, I think.

All I’ve been doing with the game lately is playing without a primary weapon and relying on a pistol alone to be able to dispatch opponents. Personally, I find that it’s more fun, if not just as much fun, as using what might be considered the primary weaponry in the game.

Is that not the perfect troll? Players who take any match seriously can lose to someone not using half of the function that the game provides on purpose. This truth signaled that my gaming preference really has changed considerably.

A second truth also confirmed what I suspected of myself after putting tens of hours into Skyrim and Borderlands 2, that I am now that which I had hated at one point: someone that would prefer simplicity in entertainment over the superiority of the endless configurations possible on a PC—a console scrub.