Gabriel was drawn in to the most recent Tiger Woods offering by (among other things) the promise of its asynchronous tournament structure, as well as its Play The Pros thingy. In an attempt to savor said tournaments, he played a full round - checking in a score he felt was a manifestation of excellence. He was surprised to learn that he had come in somewhere around eighteen-thousandth place.
That's the nature of "leaderboard" style competitions, a predatory context I tend to avoid, because I'm already quite acquainted with my own mediocrity, thanks! I don't need it reinforced with visual aids.
Gabriel has a different relationship to it. His feeling is (more or less) that if your golf game allows you to shoot thirty under par, it's probably not a simulation of golf. He's not sure what it is, but it's not that. Tournaments that don't normalize player statistics aren't skill competitions, to him - they're time competitions, measuring not the quality of your leisure hours but the volume. He has the former. The latter is in increasingly short supply.
I put in a beta application on the Tiger Woods Online site, because I think that game is at least a recognition of the problem they've got. With their RPG derived stat twiddling and their annual release system - this last one wasn't even that, clocking in at a gestational nine months - they're already operating an MMO. But it's an MMO with row upon row of hooked teeth, because every time you buy this year's model all your work in the previous iteration explodes.
It's actually Gabriel who had the harrowing experience of competing against hydraulic assassins, and not myself, but with dialogue like this Tycho seemed like a better fit. The reality, though, is that through continuous exposure, Gabriel's mode of speech has begun to adopt an appealing, angular menace. Yesterday, he described his Chicken Bacon Ranch as "malebolgian," though it's possible he was making fun of me. More than possible. Actually, yes.
With Jim Darkmagic having been obliterated in the first round of voting, he has been removed from the island. Here is the second and final round of voting, which is sure to be close, so don't recline in your chair confident in the work of others. It really could go either way, and if you want it to go your way, the process is very straightforward.