So there I was. Playing Halo: Reach alone yet again. My skills never warranted any accolades, but they did foster something else. Outrage. My mediocre ability was so insulting to the other players that it wasn’t important that we won. How dare I be a casual gamer. How dare I play just for the fun and enjoyment of a game like Halo: Reach. How could it be possible that I did not care what my “K/D” value was, especially if it wasn’t as high as “pro” players. This must have something to do with my mother, for she was next on their list of hateful slurs.
I was close to quitting. As much as I love Halo, and playing online, it wasn’t worth my poor mother’s honor. Moreover, I did not want to lower myself to the level of those poor souls whose lives revolve around their Halo statistics. I did not want to degrade myself with hateful language and pompous demeanor in order to find a place within the world of competitive multi-player. Thankfully, I never had to.
After watching an interview with a member of the Good Game Network I noticed the clouds began lifting. The idea seemed preposterous. Gamers that valued other gamers, and their right to having fun? And what was this phrase, “Good Game?” Has sportsmanship somehow found it’s place on Xbox Live? Then a good thing got even better. Sword and Shield Gaming welcomed me with open arms, like an old friend long removed from an old dive bar.
I feel as though I have been here all along, and that I was foolish for thinking otherwise. It’s more than just gamers banding together for mutual advantage. It’s more than a need for skilled gamers to win games. This is a place of friendship and honor. Here we do not have to stand alone and be bested by foul mouthed teenagers, safe in the anonymity of the internet. Here we stand shoulder to shoulder with shields meant to keep our comrades from harm.
We stand together for more than just victory, but for the prospect of better gamers. Here we strive to set the example for others to follow. We show them that it’s okay to just have fun, and treat each other fairly. We endeavor to make “Good Game” a mark of honor, not a punch line.