The Reflexes of a Dead Otter, I Tell You

I have reached that stage of life where waking up is almost impossible. Meaning I’ve somehow reverted to age 14. There was a time when I slept until noon every day I could, but then I grew up and started waking up early¬†on purpose, because I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do. Recently, though, I guess my sleep debt has caught up with me, as waking up is sort of like climbing a mountain.

Thank god for coffee.

So I’m sitting here in wet, snowy Hoboken, coffee steaming, and I’m thinking that I need a new video game. There’s really only one type of video game I’ve ever really loved: The First Person Shooter. I was there when my friend and then-roommate Ken brought home both Wolfenstein 3D and a SoundBlaster card for his PC so we could hear the Nazis scream in German when we shot them, and I was hooked immediately. I’ve played most of the FPS games since then, and no other type of game (aside from Text Adventures) has ever really grabbed me.

The last one I dug into was Portal, which was fantastic, but that was some months ago. I need something new. I’ve been mentally fondling Left 4 Dead from my beloved Valve, but I’ve heard it’s more a co-op game than a single-person game, and I don’t play co-op or multiplayer. Why? Because I have the reflexes of a dead otter. Back in The Day, Ken, my other friend Jeof (those of you who actually read The Inner Swine may know the names) used to go to Ken’s office after hours to play deathmatch games on his office network (first Doom; later Unreal) and here’s how it went for me at first:

ME: <spawns> Hey! Wow! Lookit this!

Jeof: <standing behind me> Hey.

ME: Wha? <turns around>


See? Believe me, no one wants me out on the servers, getting cheesed up by every 10-year-old with a frackin cable modem. Besides, hard lessons like that one led me to become that most despised FPS gamer: The Camper. I learned to find a dark, shadowed spot, locate and acquire whatever sniping weapon there was, and just sit back and relax, waiting for someone to wander past me. Muhahahaha!

So, anyone play L4D single-player? Is it worth $50? ‘Cause I won’t be playing it any other way.



  1. Nemesis0

    I’d like to know this too, been pondering picking it up, but am more of a single player kind of guy…

  2. Damaso

    Given your last two novels I can’t believe you don’t want Grand Theft Auto IV. They even excluded Staten Island from the game to include New Jersey! It’s gritty, you can drink, get lap dances and run over pedestrians when you aren’t blowing people’s brains out, all in familiar NYC. How can you resist? How I ask you!

  3. jsomers (Post author)


    Even virtual lap-dances in GTA would result in coma after The Duchess brains me. GTA is therefore dangerous.


  4. Damaso

    Yeah but doesn’t Duchess work all day long? She won’t see said virtual lap dances! Besides a man of your moral strength can confine himself to simply killing the guilty and running over pedestrians who are also guilty since they don’t own cars…

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