29 December 2007

The Story Of Us

On a cool Floridian February afternoon, a man walks into a personalized gift store by the name of Things Remembered. He is inquiring about a bracelet he has and wants engraved. He waits behind a middle aged woman to talk to the sales clerk who is explaining the custom design policy to the woman. The sales girl acknowledges him by asking if he has a question or an order to pickup. He shows her the bracelet and she tells him that she could engrave it for him and did he know what he wanted on it? He replies that no, he doesn't quite know yet, and she hands him a book of messages and designs while explaining the pricing to him. He pages through the book, while waiting for the older woman in front of him to cease her incessant questions about the designs.

"I really like this one but instead of a bear could we change that to a frog?"

"Unfortunately we cannot alter any of the designs in the book. If you'd like, we can order a custom made design just for you"

"No no…I don't want to wait that long. What about this one? Can we change the font in this logo?"

"I'm sorry, but again, no we can't alter any of the designs."

The man listens to this conversation between the woman and the sales girl before realizing he is late for his return to work, and must leave. He hands the book back to the sales girl and says he'll come back later on, when he has more time. She thanks him, but her words are drowned out by the older woman who is now asking about engraving on a blanket she has at home…the sales girl wishes she could have gotten to speak with the man more before he left.

About a week or so later, the girl from Things Remembered returns to her home after work and checks her email. She finds a message from a man she does not know that simply reads, "Hi". She ignores it, but does not delete it. A week goes by, then another, and every day the girl sees the email in her inbox and one night, just decides to answer it. She responds with a "hi" of her own and apologizes for the delay. A correspondence begins between the two people. Conversations begin over instant messenger, and after a short time, the man gives her his phone number. She hesitates, but calls anyway. Halfway through their first conversation, he asks if she works at Things Remembered, and she says she does. He asks if she remembers a man with a bracelet or an older woman asking about changing designs, and she remembers.They have dinner together a few days later. The dinner lasts well into the early morning hours moving from a table at TGI Friday's, to the parking lot of Wal-Mart where he changes her headlights for her. She hugs him at the end of the date. The next day, they talk on the phone, and the day after that, they go see a movie together and afterward hang around in the parking lot talking for hours.

She meets his family over Easter, he meets hers over Memorial weekend, they fall in love, twice; first with each other, then with Viva Piñata.

Yes, Viva Piñata. What could be more romantic than a game where you cultivate a garden beautiful and lush enough to attract many species of piñata animals, all with the sole intention of mating them to create a happy piñata ecosystem teeming with wildlife, candy, plants, and fruit bearing trees?

Soon, his Xbox was taken over by her addiction to the game, and he solved the problem by purchasing her own for her as an early birthday gift. They happily played in their gardens for hours, sitting next to each other, each with their separate gaming systems set up, sending piñatas back and forth.

He builds a mine and sends his miners to work; she systematically begins "romancing" all of her animals and steadily climbs toward level 108. His miners are finding emeralds, sapphires, and gold while she builds houses and discovers variants of each animal. He unearths a diamond, deep within the recesses of his mine, and she closes in on the final level. He tucks the diamond away, sure that it would somehow play an important role later on…

So we come to this, the part of the story that has captured international attention. One day, they are both playing happily in their gardens. She is hatching eggs, he is fidgeting in his seat. She receives a crate from him and opens it. His diamond pops out, and the message attached reads "Will you marry me?" She giggles and calls him silly. He slides something into his hand before getting up, walking over to her, and kneeling before her smiles up and says "Really. Will you marry me?" and holds up a beautiful turn of the century diamond ring, an heirloom that has been in his family for its third generation.

She hugs him, says "Yes!" as enthusiastically as she possibly could, and holding her hand, he slips the ring on while she swallows her flutterscotches to give him a kiss…

By Jenn and David Rosowski, AKA Procrasturbate.
Originially on MySpace VPWed.
Also see,
original forum post. Images from Gamespot.

Girlfriend Leaves Town. Boyfriend Finishes Game. Fair Or Foul?

When in a relationship, a lot of times “mine” becomes “ours.”

Sometimes that can be quite convenient, like when “Super Mario Galaxy” was released a couple of weeks ago and instead of paying 50 bucks for it, I only paid 25.

The day my boyfriend, Dan, and I got the game home and unwrapped it, a few decisions had to be made about how we would split our purchase. We decided we’d explore the new “Mario” adventure together under his Mii and take turns playing the different levels. When one of us needed a drink break, the other took over. When the phone rang, the controls were handed off. When a really cool world popped up, we each took a stab at it. When friends came over, we gave them some time with the game. All was going well, and we had amassed 19 stars as a team.

Then Thanksgiving arrived. I headed to my parents’ Wii-free home to feed myself all the turkey and stuffing I could handle instead of feeding star bits to Hungry Lumas. The day after Thanksgiving, I received this picture message on my phone:

Thirty-six stars! Dan had nearly doubled our total. Part of me was happy he was keeping himself busy since the rest of our roommates and most of our friends in the area had gone out of town for the holiday, but the other part of me felt left behind. What had he discovered in the game that I hadn’t seen yet? How far was he from saving the Princess?

“Nice” was all I could muster for a text-message response to the picture. I probably should have written, “WAIT FOR ME!” but I bit my tongue (or sat on my hands, I guess, as far as texting is concerned).

Then the next day, another cell phone message: “So much Mario … over 50 stars.”

Couldn’t he read the underlying message in my previous “nice” response? I mean, come on, if I had been excited about his rapid progression, I would have included an exclamation point or a smiley face, obviously. At this point, I was at a hockey game, so instead of straining a phony response, my next text read, “Red Wings tie it up!”

It was official: My Mario “team” had cut me loose and gone ahead without me. “Fine,” I thought. “I’ll just start a new game with my Mii when I get home and beat the game first!”

No such luck. When I called Dan on Sunday to confirm my airport pickup time, the inevitable had come true. “I beat the game!” he exclaimed. I feigned enthusiasm but was secretly bummed to have missed out on the achievement. It wasn’t the same when he beat Prince of Persia: Rival Swords months earlier, because I didn’t have a lifelong connection with that video game like I do with the “Mario” franchise.

But enough of my whining — what am I going to do about it? Well, I’ll start from scratch. The upside to this situation is I have my own personal intergalactic tour guide. There will be no more searching through the guidebook to find how to pull a lever. The truth is, we probably never should have shared a character from the start. A video game is something you need to explore at your own pace, and one person is bound to put in more time than the other.

By Katie Byrne. Originially at MTV Multiplayer.
Images from MTV Multiplayer
and Gamespot

27 December 2007

My Socom Story

Sit down, my friends, and I shall tell you a tale.

In the beginning, when God created Socom, when the newbie cannon was the M63, the map of choice was Frostfire, and the claymores dominated the hostage room of Desert Glory, there was a young lad by the name of (NMC) C-MAN. He was a good friend, and a great player.

I speak of Socom, not of Socom II, mind you. In the time I speak of, the game was pure; there were no ghosts in the walls and the end-of-round screen clearly displayed that people were downed with 2-3 shots.

But I digress.

(NMC) C-MAN was once happily sitting at his couch in front of his modest 19 inch color television, bought nearly 20 years before to watch the 1984 Summer Olympics. In this late winter of 2003, C-MAN had no idea of the challenge he would face that afternoon after period seven. After about forty minutes of comfortable grenading to the soothing voice of a Russian terrorist singing the words Au Shlaa Grenada, C-MAN decided to change to the less familiar scene of Rat's Nest, which was then blanketed with bright sunshine. The enemy was formidable. It would be that game, when the rounds were tied five-five, that would test C-MAN's abilities.

Because he and his teammates were on the terrorist side, the initial plan was obviously to wait behind the sheet metal in the cavernous tunnels with claymores positioned at every corner. Had he known of the immense attack the opposition was plotting, C-MAN may have agreed and camped as well. As the round started, however, and C-MAN ran left to an opening beneath a blue cloud-spotted sky, he heard the cries of teammates dying and the roar of claymores exploding in vain. The noise was from the right side of the terrorist starting point. C-MAN's right thumb moved to the O button, and he awkwardly placed an unused left finger to substitute control of the right analog stick. In a weak voice he asked what happened on the right side, but because he had instinctively been watching the top of the screen for tactical messages, he already knew there would be no answer. Seven terrorists were fragged by M67s and HEs. Not one of them had killed a seal. It was eight on one.

C-MAN tapped the L2 button, and a black grenade appeared in the bottom left of his screen. He turned around from the opening and headed back to his own base. His right index was fully pressed, which filled the circular, yellow reticle and gauged a throw of about a hundred and fifty feet. He popped around the corner of the left side of the enormous underground room he had started from. "FIRE IN THE HOLE" appeared six times in yellow letters in the message box. Each grenade soared across the room and landed behind the corrugated metal standing upright in between the wall and a vertical wooden pole. As the sixth one flew, he heard the fourth frag a seal. Seven.

After frantically searching for a body, he found a dead terrorist and dove on his body. He was rewarded with four claymores. Air blew forth from the heater in his livingroom. Although it was warm, it caused his body to erupt in goose-bumps. Focusing again on the right-side opening of his base, he laid down six rounds of cover fire, leaving 94 left on his clip. As he turned around to leave the starting place again, he saw small clouds of dirt flying off the walls and heard hisses from the left speaker. They were in pursuit. C-MAN brushed the hair away from his sweaty forehead. He opened the menu to get his claymores and placed one just outside the left entrance to the base, facing away from the base. He backed away, and placed another behind the first metal panel after the opening. A mental timer went off in his head. He fired his M60 at the entrance as he walked backwards. The cross-hairs widened and rose above the middle of the screen. 94, 93, 92, 91, 90, 89, 88, 87; the bullets seemed to travel in slow motion. But they hit their mark. Six.

C-MAN backed to the right, which would have been to the left if he were facing forward. He placed another claymore around the corner, once again facing away from the direction he had just come from. And then he waited.

He didn't have to wait long; he knew it would only be a matter of seconds. He had hoped that when the first seal appeared in front of his last claymore, the others behind him would be in front of the other claymores.

One tan-camouflaged seal in a cotton, brimmed hat hurled around the last corner. C-MAN's index twitched, then plunged over the R1 button. The seal in front of him was blasted to the ground. Five, he thought, and as he glanced in the message box he anxiously confirmed what he had hoped: two more seals had been killed in the other blasts. Three.

He continued to back away, pressing down fully on the trigger and watching the numbers in his clip diminish. Another seal came around the corner. C-MAN nearly smiled as his cross-hairs went red over the charging seal, but his facial muscled contracted when the last two followed their crewman into the diminishing smoke of the last claymore. Guns roared and bullets flew. C-MAN's left joystick was smooth like a pendulum but unpredictable like this week's lotto numbers. He strafed left and right. The first of the three to appear was already dead, having walked right into C-MAN's heated barrel. Two.

The last, however, were just as random as he. Their movements were executed perfectly to avoid his fire. Soon, C-MAN knew, they would have to reload, and he still had a bit of a clip left. Indeed, they did reload. The opportunity was not what C-MAN had hoped it would be, but it was not completely futile. Blood squirted from the torso of one of the seals, and from the left shoulder of the other. But neither went down.

The standoff continued. C-MAN's clip was now running low, but his senses told him that their clips were low as well. In a few seconds, C-MAN, the two live seals, and the thirteen dead comrades heard the loudest silence of their lives. In was the sound of three magazines changing at once; from two M4A1SDs and one M60E3. Six feet scurried back and forth over the dirt.

All guns were once again ready, and the sound of the heavy machine gun poured through TV speakers. C-MAN heard none of it. No sound went in his ears, and he saw nothing but the yellow cross-hairs. His bullets tore through the neck of one of the seals. The seal's head went back as he threw up a pint of blood. One.

C-MAN gently pushed his right thumb to move the cross-hairs over the last remaining seal. His gun pulsed round after round into the seal's supple belly. At the same time, the seals silent bullets were slipping past C-MAN's blue turban. One penetrated the cloth.

The firing stopped. In perfect synchrony, the seal and the terrorist fell to their knees, and collapsed face first into the floor of the cave.

C-MAN knew that the first sign of victory would be Zipper's rendition of Turmkmenistan music.

No harmonious minor chords were to be heard.

The seals had won.

C-MAN died that day, never to return. I retired his name and started anew. Another legend was born, and his name was StealthFire.

By StealthFire on the PlayStation Forums
Images from GameSpot

23 December 2007

Dead Men Walking

I'm playing the game single-player. Kane, Lynch and crew are escaping a failed bank heist, and must clear a roadblocked highway tunnel to proceed. As Kane, I run down the tunnel looking for an exit, when suddenly a cop car screeches up to block the way. Two cops jump out, a man driving and a female officer with a shotgun. I shoot and kill the man, then wing the woman, pitching her to the ground still alive but disarmed. My personal style is to coldly walk up to any maimed enemies and execute them with a pistol shot, just to stay in character.

As I walk up to the female cop, she starts talking to me: "Please, I have a baby daughter at home. I don't want to die, don't do this to me." It gives me pause: I think, lord that's bleak. Alright, maybe I'll let this one live. Maybe the ambulance will get here in time, and--suddenly, from off screen, a blast of buckshot tears into the cop's face. I turn around to find Lynch standing there, pumping a fresh shell into his shotgun's chamber.

By Steve Gaynor at ShackNews on December 14, 2007. Image from Gamespot

Sun Rock Story

I was questing near Sun Rock Retreat in WoW one night with these two other toons. One, just from the way she wrote, was clearly a girl. About 15 minutes in, she /w

"do you like me?"

Knowing that my wife was not looking, I wrote back

"yes. definitely."

She wrote back:

"no, seriously, because this other guy is telling me that he thinks you are fighting the way you are to show off for me."

At that point, I opened up the discussion to all three of us. We retreated to one of those little mounds in the center of the zone and talked about love, difficulties and personal issues. At one point the guy said,

"I had a terrible relationship with my mom. Sometimes I get so angry about it I just punch the walls in my house."

The next night, I was in Sun Rock, turning in quests and repairing, when I saw the girl from the night before. We were chatting about the scene the night before, how weird it was, how awesome WoW was that that could happen, etc. Suddenly, she cried out, her chest exploded in blood, and a lvl 60 alliance rogue appeared behind her, ganked her with one backstab.

It was the most shocking thing I've ever experienced in a game... This girl, who was starting to be a friend, killed in front of me, her blood splashed on my face.

Then the rogue one-hit me. No single player game could ever match that experience.

By Matthew, in a comment on GameSetWatch on June 20, 2007.
Image from SpiritHoof.

Dear Guy with the Flag in the Motorcycle Sidecar in Multiplayer COD3 Last Night

I’m sorry.

There I was, with 11 of my Axis teammates in the lush Forêt d'Ecouves, locked in a Capture the Flag stalemate with only 2 minutes left on the clock.

Slowly making my way towards the enemy HQ, using every available fallen tree and piece of brush for cover, I knew that my prospects for success were dim. The Allies had tenaciously rebuked every assault thus far. And, as one of the Medic class, I knew my standard-issue trench gun (A shotgun so named for the brutally effective job it did so well in the real war) wouldn’t be much good if I came across someone packing even a medium range weapon and a good eye. But still, I pressed on.

That’s when I heard it – shots at 12 o’clock. I’d been discovered. My heart sank as I waited for the inevitable flash of red that would mean my end. And then – I saw you.
Cresting the hill in front of me, Allied flag in hand, running towards our base at full gallop. For a second, time froze, a scene from a movie in still life.

“The motorcycle goddamnit! The motorcycle!” you cried desperately, bullets whizzing by. Breaking from my reverie, I spun around and spotted the bike, idling in a nearby ditch. I jumped in the drivers seat and got the tires on the road just as you slid into the passenger seat, precious cargo in tow.

For a moment, as brothers now, you and I, we shared the thrill of victory. You let out a small laugh of relief as I gunned the gas and steered us towards home. Who knows what horrors you endured to get that flag and make it halfway across the map still intact. Now, speeding away from the enemy, you must have felt that you had cheated death, somehow.
Yes, for a moment, we had won. Then, I promptly drove us into a tree, and your pursuers gunned us down like dogs.

Your plaintive cry of “Noooooooo!” still rings in my ears.

That the Allies subsequently scored and won with only 3 seconds left on the clock not doubt only made you curse my name more.

Dear guy with the flag in the motorcycle sidecar...
I’m sorry.

By Awesomated on NeoGaf
Images from GameSpot

Today, I Encountered Something that Completely Woke Up My Conscious

I was playing Assassin's Creed today, riding through the Kingdom on my way to Acre, and something remarkable happened today.

To start off, I've never been much of a "politcally correct" person, and not someone to protest against violence. I came across a fairly large French encampment towards the West side of the map, and found close to a hundred soldiers in total doted throughout the site. Section of tents by section of tents, I killed them all, usually about 5 or 6 at a time, usually by assassinating one or two, then facing the rest by sword.

Then, I came across two tall outposts made of wood. I climbed the first one, to find a guard cowering in fear at the top. I didn't really notice what he was doing, being so used to killing the soldiers on site at the moment, so I grabbed him and threw him off, to his death.

I ran to the next outpost, climbed up, and found one soldier at the top. He was down on his knees, cowering in fear, holding his hands in a pleading manner. I was about to throw him off like the last, but I stopped and thought about it. I literally sat, staring at the screen, and the soldier's pleading face for 5 minutes. I turned around and climed down the ladder, to kill some other Franks by the tent.

Now, you don't have to put much thought into this. Hell, I'm not even putting much thought into it, but it's interesting. It made me think, that's all, not necessarily about anything, just think.

By Shnozzle from the PlayStation Forums on November 20, 2007.
Image from The Gamers Gallery

22 December 2007

A Warstory

The other day my friend, Zaloko, and I were playing Battlefield 2. The server chose Songhoa Stalemate (one of the better maps), and per usual I played sniper. Zaloko chose support with the medic, and also happened to be an adept pilot. We resolved to work together and put our phones on speaker to create a tactical advantage. Zaloko has logged over ten in flight hours in Battlefield 2, thats a ton of flying. As such, we spawned and jumped right into a helicopter to lead the Chinese charge. As we flew over enemy territory (not for long, hehheh) Zaloko ordered, "Look right! Take them out!" "GAAHHH!," I yelled, fumbling with all the sniper positions. F2, F3, too many. Suddenly, Zaloko was yelling at me "Eject! Eject!" By the time I realized what was happening we were crashing straight into the ground. "Which button?" I shouted back! I pressed keys frantically but it was too late. "You will spawn in 20 seconds," the game told me. But it didn't matter, we were laughing too hard to be bothered by failure.We respawned and met up. "Hey!" I wondered, "Is friendly fire on?"Neither of us knew. "Don't move," I ordered. So I scrolled to my pistols and shot him in the head point-blank. And at the exact same time, Zaloko shot me. We laughed. "I guess so." Two health packs later we were on our merry way to capture a flag. I arrived at the crest of a hill overlooking an enemy base, which they'd recently captured (second Chinese flag from the left, in picture). I think every player in the map was there. The enemy was scrambling like ants. I lay prone and aimed down my M24 bolt-action rifle. Sometimes, players aren't too intelligent. Three U.S. players all went to the same open space in the base, and lay down on top of each other; their heads were overlapping. I couldn't help but laugh at the free kill they were providing. One shot, two kills. PWN3D.
Woah! I forget this awesome part. There was an enemy tank nearby and I'm like, "I'm going to run over and blow it up." And I ran over and planted two C4 on the tank's side, quickly dodging out of the way before it blasted into char. It was awesome. Best. Game. Ever.

By Finn Haverkamp. AKA, Gryffin.
Originally Posted on Invisible Studio.

My Game Story: Tags

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Lastly, after much deliberation, we have decided to not accept comb-videos. Here are a variety of reasons. For one, there are already a multitude of venues available for this format, combovideos.com, for example. Second, we want to focus on individual, exciting occurrences in video games. While combo-videos are awesome in their own right, and produce nice compilations of things achievable in specific games, they aren't exactly stories. Third, we would like to maintain diversity of story format and we fear there would be an influx of combo-videos. However, a documentary about Johnathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel would be acceptable, though it many elements similar to a combo-video.

Collaborations and Series
Another option is collaborations. You are welcome to collaborate with other gamers and storytellers. For example, it is likely that some will have memorable game experiences but want friends to write the story for them. This is acceptable. Also, an infinite amount of people may contribute to the writing of a story. When submitting the story, be sure to give credit to all authors.

Last, we accept episodic stories. Perhaps you would like to write a diary of your experience playing World of Warcraft; if the story is structured well, has purpose, and is compelling, we will accept the story in episodes and post each entry individually. When submitting intended episodic stories, be sure to indicate that the story is or will be part of a larger series.

This post will be changed, updated and expanded upon as the site progresses. Also, any or all acceptance policies are subject to change, though we're likely to become more lenient than strict. Don't let this post discourage you. Though it may seem intimidating, we accept most any story you have to tell. Send them to us. We and millions of other gamers want to hear your story.

Please read and comply with the submission guidelines before sending in your stories.

Updated on 01/06/07. Changed "Comics" to "Artwork."

21 December 2007

Welcome to My Game Story

Storytelling is an intrinsic part of our being. As humans we have a natural urge to share our selves and stories. No where is this more evident than with video games. A passion for sharing experiences is at the heart of video game culture. "You should have seen this game of Pac-Man last night. You will not believe what happened."

My Game Story is founded on this passion for sharing. Video games have been around for forty years, and with them, stories. There are millions of stories out there, floating around our culture, just wanting to be told. Particularly with the ever rising popularity in dynamic multiplayer experiences, amazing stories are happening every day, every minute--stories that make us laugh, or cry, or think. Even now, you are remembering "that one time" you had with some game, old or new. We want to hear your story.

My Game Story is a place to share. This site also acts as an archive for all the amazing stories, both today or long past, experienced by gamers. The purpose of this site is to be a hub for game-story sharing. I know there are innumerable stories out there, sketched in notebooks, posted on forums, captured on film, or inside of you. We can't wait to hear them.

Please read the Acceptance Guidelines and the Submission Guidelines and information about post Tags.