Most Traumatic Videogame Experience: And the Winner Is…


Yes! Yes! Let me hear your pain! It’s so delicious! I’m declaring this the best TR contest ever, because I just spent the last two hours reading everyone’s tales of woe, and was utterly mesmerized. Again, just about everyone deserves shirts for their pain, but with 70+ entries, it was a tough contest indeed. Here’s some of the highlights:

? ClancyDamon, for managing to keep an NES turned on for a month-plus
? Jason, for taking the time out of a terrifying WoW schedule to even post
? Jay, because it took me a week before I figured out I could pick up Birdo’s egg in SMB2 and hit him with it
? Caffeinated Writer, who abducted his Sims ceaselessly (also: you scare me)
? justin from vegas, for playing NBA Jam until his Genesis spontaneously combusted
? LBD “Nytetrayn,” for learning to type through hate and violence
? HollowedOut, for turning victory into surgery
? geek19, and his amazing trilogy of trauma
? Robyn Robotron, for crying at a game called Overblood
? Lauren, whose dad is a bastard
? Frank.the.Dasher, for using the phrase “vengeful saliva”
? MCJean, because I approve of drinking heavily to forget a videogame
? Chrono, whose obsession with Harvest Moon ruined a girl’s life
? McTool, because…wow
? Gnomemaster, for the phrase “They would sing my song from Pokecenter to Pokemart!”
? D, for traumatizing her sister and family on Thanksgiving

But alas, there is only one winner, and that’s Zerocorpse:

… I had very few friends that lived nearby, and since I
was essentially alone in the middle of the boonies, the Atari was meant
to be the great entertainment that I was lacking. My mind thrilled to
the sight of the packed-in game, Atari COMBAT, and the fun I’d have
playing it until the next time we could scrape up $50 for a new game.

I’m sure you see how this story ends. I ripped open the package,
ecstatic that my dream had come true. I hooked up the 2600 to our TV,
tuned to channel 3, popped in COMBAT, and switched on the system. … I cycled through the games on the cartridge: Two players. Two Players. TWO PLAYERS?!?!

Yep. EVERY STINKING ONE of the games on the pack-in cartridge- the
only game this solitary kid would have for a few months, at least- were
for two players! No fighting against the computer! Just me, a joystick,
a tank (or plane) and nobody controlling the other side.

I had this marvel of technology in my home and all I could do to
make it even halfway interesting was to wedge the joystick under
something so that the button was pushed and the stick made the enemy
drive in circles. My big challenge was to wait for the enemy’s tank to
get stuck on a wall, where I’d pop him from behind.

For FOUR MONTHS I half-heartedly played one-player, gimped COMBAT so
my parents would know I appreciated the present, in hopes that I’d get
a new game. When SPACE INVADERS finally landed in my living room, it
heralded the end of something being the most disappointing Christmas
present ever.

Four months of playing Combat by yourself is the saddest thing I can think of, other than Wambam and Talanic’s stories, which are genuinely traumatizing in the “very sad” way. Since I failed to specify these stories should not make me cry, I’m presenting both Wambam and Talanic with shirts as well, because…Jesus. You read their stories and tell me you wouldn’t give ’em to ’em (actually, don’t. They’re quite sad). Meanwhile, the rest you, well done indeed.