Monday, July 23, 2007

War of the Nerds

Statutory warning: If you are not a game freak, then this post may not be too interesting.

I was walking up the stairs of the BJohns hostel, when I heard what sounded like a big fight going on inside. It sounded like Rameez and Zanub at each others throats! Deciding it best to intervene before those two knuckle heads came to blows, I rushed into their room. But when I reached there, I found them playing at their respective computers while abusing each other at the same time. Thank God for the virtual world, this was just another virtual battle going on, nothing serious.

But, their passion for the game got me hooked. It was Microsoft’s Age of Empires that these guys were playing. Their virtual armies were fighting each other, while in the real world Rameez and Zanub were right on the verge of exchanging some non-virtual blows. Rameez is a sore loser and Zanub is a natural at games. The combination as you can guess, was rather volatile.

Naturally Rameez lost the game. He got up fuming and desperate from his terminal, ready to choke anybody in the vicinity and that’s when I put up my neck for the slaughter. I asked, what sounded a very innocuous request at that time, “Da, Can you teach me to play this game?” To Rameez this was a sign from God Almighty! Here was a rookie, whom he could beat as many times as he pleased. “Ha! I will teach you alright, now come sit at the computer” he said and almost dragged me to the terminal.

I do not wish to write in any detail those painful first four or five matches I played with Rameez. He trounced me each time and gloated like he just won the Age of Empires world championship or something (did I mention that he was a gloater too?). But to his credit, he taught me the bread and butter basics of the game well. In each new game, I learnt a few more tactics, but in the end I always ended up dead (in the game I mean!).

Things got so bad that, whenever he lost to Zanub he would come over to my hostel (a few hundred meters away) and personally invite (read drag) me for a game at his place. Then he would make short work of my rookie talents and gloat for an hour about his accomplishments as the “best gamer ever”, out of Zanub’s earshot of course! Life as they say, was down in the dumps right then. It seemed that even in the virtual world, I was all set to become a loser.

Then one day, Zanub challenged me to a duel. It was plain suicide to play with the guy, but then, since I was getting slaughtered anyway, why not get slaughtered at the best hands, was my line of thinking. I guess he took about half an hour to put in my R.I.P and sign my death certificate. But, that was because he went to have a drink of water in the middle! Anyways, after trouncing me, he gave me that extremely valuable piece of advice. “Da, to fight, it is not just an army you need, but an economy to back that”. Hmm… interesting!

This time around I did the inviting, Rameez eagerly accepted. After a long drawn out game (knowing theory is ok, implementing it is a lot harder!), I managed to win! “You were just plain lucky” said Rameez. He was totally disgruntled at having lost, but the best part was that he did not even see the change in strategy that had come over my game. The score card read 1-5. I had opened! “Let us do this again” he said and I beat him once again! He left it at that for the day saying it was just not his lucky day.

It was exam season, so it was not surprising that I got the next invite to play on the eve of a semester exam. I decided that “I need to relax a bit, right now I am saturated” and took the invitation, I beat him again…. And again…. And again! As for the exam questions on the very next day… I (and he) got beat again and again and again! Well, at least I won the games. Poor Rameez, he lost out on both.

After about ten straight losses to me, he started picking up that some thing was very wrong. It did not take him much time to figure it. Suddenly, we were on par again. Time to cook up a new strategy, I decided.

I am no great thinker, but there was something that was nagging me at the back of my mind. I normally selected the Spanish civilization and occasionally some other civilization too. Zanub on the other hand used to select all types, mainly Spanish, Turk and Japanese and sometimes even mediocre guys like Mayans.

What was interesting however was that Rameez, almost always selected the Turkish civilization. Initially I thought that Rameez was just very comfortable with them and that is why he did not change. But, mulling over why he did that, I was suddenly struck with a revelation! This guy was actually playing Muslim in the virtual world!!! Now, if I went about destroying his mosques using my “crusader” army, guess who would be mad….:)

In the next game, I made sure to destroy every single mosque he put up. The idiot actually built walls for his mosques and towers for their defense! Needless to say, I won the game with a song on my lips (and that too a Christian song..:D), just to infuriate him that extra bit..:)

Now, Rameez is such a bad loser that he simply cannot take it in stride. He used to get emotional about it all. His normal modus operandi after losing a game was to run out of the room and shout to everyone that he beat me. Naturally, no one ever believed him. They would just come up to me and say, “Dude, keep up the good work, we love it to see him so frustrated”.

A few more games went on like this, until he caught up on my new tactic. By then, I had become a bit complacent with all the wins I had. So it was no big surprise (at least to me) that he won our 20th or so game. He was way beyond happy, he was ecstatic. Pure joy radiated from his face. But then, nobody had witnessed our game, so he ran out to spread the good news. Melvin was at that precise moment, walking into the room. “Macha! I won macha! I beat Aby!!!” cried Rameez.

Melvin, with that utterly bored look on his face replied…“Oh, yeah? Just f*** off loser, I know Aby won it as usual”..:)

6 comments:

N!$#@N^# said...

aahhh!! enough of age of empires !! ... my comp was used either for this stupid game or for something else..... u know what...

I need "Wills"
I need "Wills"
I need "Wills"
I need "Wills"
I need "Wills".....

Abraham Menacherry said...

"cigaratte smoking is injurious to health"
"cigaratte smoking is injurious to health"
"cigaratte smoking is injurious to health"
"cigaratte smoking is injurious to health"
"cigaratte smoking is injurious to health"

Zanub said...

all the best blogs needs rameez The Character..hehe..will the mandira one find place here..nahh thats too much..;)

Abraham Menacherry said...

Yeah, Rameez is a born cartoon character in the flesh...:)

By the by your reason for naming your blog "Blank Ice?"

Zanub said...

i really cant think of anything to answer that;)

Rameez said...

You want to have a game with me now?-Rameez
and I will still beat you with Turks