Don't Be A Careful Carl!
There are three times in my life that have left me feeling both completely sated and yet wishing I could pull out my soul and toss it in the wash with a good bleach load.Ã‚Â The first was the time I went to Tijuana with some Navy buddies stationed in Miramar.Ã‚Â Let's just say for the record that nothing screams alcoholic trouble like walking into a bar with wood chips spread across the floor.Ã‚Â I saw things.Ã‚Â There was a donkey.Ã‚Â I donÃ‚'t wish to speak further on the matter.Ã‚Â The second is the time I had a nine hour layover between trains in New Orleans.Ã‚Â If you think you canÃ‚'t get into much trouble on a September's Wednesday afternoon at the French Quarter youÃ‚'d be wrong.Ã‚Â Very wrong.Ã‚Â IÃ‚'d like to send out an open note of thanks to the stripper who ushered me into the cab and paid for my ride back to the train station, not to mention all the people who could have mugged me and sold my kidneys on the black market but didnÃ‚'t.Ã‚Â
The third is pretty much every time I play Counter Strike.
Over the past several years IÃ‚'ve put a completely irrational number of hours into Counter Strike with, in every sense of the word, nothing to show for it.Ã‚Â I watch as people take up Counter Strike anew firing their machine gun helplessly into the air, and within a matter of days seem to master the art of controlled bursts and stealth.Ã‚Â All the while I plateau at a skill level slightly above epileptic.Ã‚Â I master the maps, know ever nook, and with great aplomb march toward the Sisyphean certainty of my fate.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
In no other area of my life am I possessed of unpredictable spasms except this game where, upon encountering an enemy, IÃ‚'m as likely to do a pirouette as anything tactical or productive.Ã‚Â People usually kill me quickly, though thatÃ‚'s more a matter of impatience than necessity, I think.Ã‚Â IÃ‚'m not a direct threat to anyone, unless one of my random bullets sprays shrapnel into someoneÃ‚'s eye or I startle a rabid animal.Ã‚Â ItÃ‚'s not that I don't know how to play.Ã‚Â In my copious time between rounds I watch as dedicated players make smart moves, line up shots, and cut deep swaths in the ranks of their enemies.Ã‚Â ItÃ‚'s simply an impassible mental block that separates the cognitive and physical processes.Ã‚Â IÃ‚'m the Antonio Salierie of Counter Strike to everyone elseÃ‚'s Mozart; I recognize the talent but donÃ‚'t possess it.
At some point I came to the conclusion that I needed some kind of advantage to mitigate for lack of ability.Ã‚Â My feelings on the scatological nature of those who use online cheats prevented me from crossing that threshold, so it was not an easy answer.Ã‚Â Clearly I was incapable of stealth, subtlety, or accuracy, which left me with what has become affectionately termed the Spiderman move.Ã‚Â ItÃ‚'s a fairly simple and totally ineffectiveÃ‚Â design in which Ã‚– as opposed to making a careful or advisable move Ã‚– one jumps out from around a corner and fires wildly into the air on the off chance that the enemy will be so startled as to wander into the assault.Ã‚Â It is also high comedy to watch.
ThereÃ‚Â are certain stylistic modificationsÃ‚Â that can be employed as enhancement.Ã‚Â For example if you jump around a corner and no one is there, turn quickly through 180 degrees as if carefully checking your Ã‚"sixÃ‚", then dash toward the next corner and repeat.Ã‚Â Also, the Spidey move gains bonus style points if implemented on a set of stairs, leaping down to the landing and expunging a violent and random spray of bullets.Ã‚Â You might be quick to point out how vulnerable a position this leaves the player, completely exposed and slightly stunned from the leap, to which IÃ‚'d respond if youÃ‚'re so busy being a Careful Carl, then youÃ‚'ll never be Spidey material.Ã‚Â The ultimate Spidey move Ã‚– aside from the unrealistic situation where the action ends in the death of an adversary Ã‚– is to leap from your position while singing the Spiderman song over Teamspeak.Ã‚Â The verbal mockery to follow should be seen as jealousy.
Once dead, the most common result of Spidey implementation, you should encourage others to join you in reckless abandon.Ã‚Â If you watch someone being a Careful Carl and wasting the time of everyone who died quickly, you should remind them later that Spidey doesnÃ‚'t sneak.Ã‚Â Spidey just goes.Ã‚Â IÃ‚'m fairly convinced that if everyone stuck to the Spiderman methodology the enjoyment factor for any given game of Counter Strike would rise exponentially.
Its use also makes me feel a little less dirty while playing.Ã‚Â IÃ‚'ve found over the tragic years IÃ‚'ve spent playing Counter Strike that the only time to really be ashamed of what youÃ‚'re doing is when you take it too seriously.Ã‚Â ThatÃ‚'s not to say that one shouldnÃ‚'t set the game up to optimum settings, or to be enthusiastic about playing the game, or even ask that players follow the basic tenets of the game, like not shooting the hostages, or assuming that the team that should be on the move isnÃ‚'t camping the spawn.Ã‚Â What it means is that you canÃ‚'t let yourself get to a position of losing a perspective of fun.Ã‚Â The moment I get angry from a death, or start thinking I should be better than I am, then I know that itÃ‚'s time to pack the game away again.Ã‚Â
Right now, having a new version of the game to play with people whose company I enjoy is a breath of fresh air for my relationship with Counter Strike.Ã‚Â I know logically that itÃ‚'s the flavor of the month, and the game wonÃ‚'t last, but for now a Spidey kill sparks a special place in my soul I havenÃ‚'t felt since -- well since that man in Tijuana offered to buy my driverÃ‚'s license for $500 dollars.Ã‚Â