Tomb of the Hardcore Casual Gamer
Jun 26th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

we wantssssz our blood

In this, a new ongoing feature, we introduce the Forgotten Tomb of the Hardcore Casual Gamer. Seeing how last night I installed a high score kit into my Asteroids (hardcore!) and played some Team Fortress 2 on a server selected because of how terrible the other players were (casual!).


I get the feeling that they are made “to order,” as there was about a month’s delay in ordering them from Mike’s Arcade. I touched base with them halfway through and they responded promptly, letting me know that they hadn’t forgotten about me. I was quite pleased, and recommend everyone involved.

Taking the back off an arcade game makes it instantly the most interesting thing in Kitty World, and four of our five cats immediately descended down the stairs when they sensed that the back of Asteroids was coming off. (Frobozz was going to jump inside but got down when I asked him, Spock just meandered from front to back, Reggie poked his head in to see inside and began to chase Spock, and Boggit bolted inside and sat down to take a nap, leaving only when yelled at.)

Installing it was very easy – the PCB for Asteroids is between two rectangular pieces of wood, with a nice and pleasant groove cut for easy removal. Asteroids as a whole seems very easy to work on – lots of room, an easily-followed layout of the wiring, a nicely-separated monitor shelf.

I gently jiggled the 6502 chip loose with one of those small computer screwdrivers, and plugged it into the board of the Braze kit. The kit itself has sturdy gold (brass?) legs and dropped right into where the 6502 used to be.

The board that I bought came with a rapid-fire mod, and the two work together without it being necessary to do anything to the rapid-fire board. (I am interested in any documentation for the rapid-fire mod – I’d like to take off, I guess, but the one text file I found indicated that one needed to bend chip legs to install, and I really don’t trust myself bending things back.)

Anyway, everything┬ácame up great, and already my horrible Asteroids scores are being saved for all time. Big props to Braze and Mike’s Arcade.


Let’s… go… casual! OK, I used to be okay at first person shooters, but now I’m like a golfer in his sixties coming to grips with the fact that he can play nine holes if he’s having a particularly good day.

I immediately turn voice chat off – no offense to anyone else playing TF2, but you are all a bunch of goddamn contemptible nerds, and I can’t bear to listen to your easily-excitable nasal drones for a second. The fact that you are all sitting there with headgear for speakers and a microphone don’t help the mental picture of you animals.

Valve’s big thing in getting people to play has been:

1) The new videos, for the various characters. These are great. What a cockslap to everything id has ever made, too, by the way: Valve got more personality injected into the “characters” of a deathmatch shooter in a few months than id had managed in their entire history. Valve could make a TF2 adventure game at this point if they wished. They’ve done a great job massaging this IP and making it valuable.

2) Adding new shit to the classes nobody wants to play. The medic and the pyro are the first two, and Christ, every tweaking fucker on the Internet is playing a pyro now.

The achievements seem pretty easy to get (the two classes I play the most were the soldier and pyro, although they are not my favorite classes by any means, I just try to fill in what the teams have lacked) but that hasn’t stopped “achievement farm servers” from existing. Fucking amazing to me, we have had one gorgeous day after another out here in Colorado, and some people have time to farm in TF2. (A casual gamer gone too far??)

But playing in a deathmatch game where people have weapons you don’t have access to is retarded. I know Valve doesn’t care, because they are getting more people playing the game, but it’s a clear violation of the integrity of gaming. Which I understand doesn’t make any money, but still.

The kind of server I am looking for is one where there are terrible players, and I guess I define that by how long I manage to last on a given level. Last week I was playing on a team with Worm and I couldn’t fuck around for even a second, or I’d get a shot in the face. That contrasted nicely with a couple days ago, where I wandered into a room with a scout and two pyros, fucked up trying to reverse direction, ended up killing one pyro and the scout, and survived long enough to get healing. I need more servers like that. Because while it’s OK to feel like a casual gamer, feeling like a handicapped one is not.

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