I have finally realized that if I truly attempt to catalog two-thousand and five, I’m just going to end up with some infinite coastline situation where ever more minute events take the fore and dominate the feature. That actually sounds more interesting to me than using entire posts to relate the intimate measurements of year-old games, as much as I enjoyed the exercise. So, here we go.
We were in the Gulf of Oman, retail version of Battlefield 2, thirty-two player variant. The northernmost point is a mess, tactically speaking. In fact, you could call it a Goddamn mess and not overstate the point. My friend Doc was heading up the squad, and though we had no great affection for the place we rolled up there in a jeep because we had a job to do and we weren’t going to REMF it up with SlapNutzz back at home point, lounging around for his vehicle of choice.
As soon as we pull in, I jump out and try to make this spawn work optimally for Team Our Guys. Almost immediately, he tells me to get back in the fucking jeep. I tell him that I don’t truck with this kind of cowardice, sir. He tells me to get in, and clearly means it very deeply, which creates in me, his subordinate, a kind of panic myself, so I accept the ride. Apparently the Commander had chosen our squad and spoken directly to Doc, a voice from on high, the sort of pure, mighty voice I imagine Isaiah must have heard.
"Get your men out of there," he had said. "There’s a hard rain gonna fall."
Now, when you’re in an artillery zone, there’s a huge icon like a headstone on the map - a powerful image that means death, death, death in any language. Death undiluted, black robe, sharp scythe. But you’re busy, you know? You’re doing stuff. That commander gave us the heads up, something he didn’t have to do, and with it earned our absolute trust - we spent the rest of our time on that server making sure that our squad was first on the scene. That’s a conflux of game and social mechanics you will see described in no manual.
One of the most enduring images of this year, for me at any rate, was how natural my 360 controller looks in the wicker basket with the rest of my remotes. Wireless controllers aren’t new, and the Wavebird proved that they could feel better than the base unit - but there’s another basket where game specific technology lives, and even the proud Wavebird has classically gone in there. The 360 controller has never once touched that exiled realm. Obviously, the ability to turn the console on is a factor, but that white icon just seems to belong in that little nest of inviting, domesticated technologies.
How a tacky wicker cylinder came to symbolize enfranchisement I don’t know, but there you have it.