Short post time!
So.. welcome to sunny Gibraltar. Except it’s not. Sunny, that is. Yeah, apparently Winter means the same thing even in Gibraltar. Not that it’s snowing at all, but man it can RAIN here! Can’t remember the last time I was here, it was well over 10 years ago, but I recall I was on HMS Coventry at the time and I found one of those new-fangled internet cafés. Within a day I had half the Ships’ Company in there playing LAN Quake II. The place was owned by a couple of Danish guys, it was a nice place. Proper furniture, an actual bar with beer on tap. So anyway I’m wandering down main street and the thought occurs to me to check if the place is still around in the broadband age. I eventually find it completely by accident and it’s not changed one bit. They still have a pound coin glued to the floor near the bar so the greedy and unwary can make assholes of themselves. Not that I would know anything about that.
So anyway, I’m downloading the latest patch for Diablo II (hey, it runs on any laptop, don’t knock it) and I’ve not brought my USB memory stick with me. The owner gives me one to store the patch on, tourists are always leaving them behind apparently. “Just bring it back next time you’re in”, he says. I just can’t see this sort of thing happening in mainstream business. You’re at the checkout at the supermarket and you forgot your wallet. “No worries, just bring some cash along next time you’re in”. Of course. Happens all the time.
Now this sort of thing may happen to you when you pop down to your local store, the sort of place where the owner knows your first name, but to a total stranger? Based on nothing other than a chat over a beer about old games? That’s gamers for you. We’re a strange breed. We have our own language. Hands up those of you who’ve called someone a “noob” in real life? Yeah, me too. I even said “lol” once, when someone said something that patently wasn’t funny, in a sort of ironic, post modernist kind of way. Oh yeah, I totally pwn3d him.
You can’t fake your Gamer credentials either. Get two gamers together and they start talking retro gaming in an effort to see who’s more of a geek. You start with Swordfighting insults and if you make back as far as docking at Lave without a nav computer you win. You cannot fake that stuff. What’s wierd is that on the basis of establishing that I was just as big a geek as the café owner I scored a USB memory stick because a fellow gamer will bring it back right?
Wait a sec, I’m a GAMER. Sure, I’ll feel guilty about it but I’m trying to get this Amiga emulator to work, dude! And the last time I came to your café was 10 years ago, man. We established this in our opening conversation! Ah he probably won’t even care, he’s got a business to run after all. Just as soon as he finds a decent site with a ROM for Bubble Bobble.