The game has been out for about a month now, and I don't have it. Strangely enough, Xbox 360 and Call of Duty games are not standard issue for Peace Corps Volunteers. I find this strange, as I am uniquely equipped to fight the enemies of our nation's fantasies: I have internet at my house and a good amount of free time.
Yet I must instead suffer another three weeks before I return to my home hemisphere, so to waste some time, I've begun watching gameplay videos from the player base. Advance knowledge of new game mechanics and weapon performance was my initial goal, but now I am finding myself on an incredible journey into the black heart of Modern Warfare fan-dom. It was a place I avoided out of instinct, like when the unthinkable happens and a valuable object falls into the toilet bowl- you subconsciously believe that the brevity of your contact with that dubious liquid somehow protects you.
A toilet bowl is a perfect metaphor for Modern Warfare 3. The clear water at the top is similar to the normal, sane individual. Not too dirty, but incurably tainted by the downward passage of the vile. Amassed about the cup are your standard egomaniacs, prepubescent bad-asses, trash-talkers, and dudes who are so high right now ; all of whom meld seamlessly with that turn of the pipe wherein black evil clusters: racists, hacks, exploiters, and aggravationists. And I find myself shoving an entire fist down into that hole, searching for its most viscous secrets.
My first revelation has been the classification of gameplay videos. There are only a few genres of these, and once your realize this, the entire exercise loses its magic. Indeed, you can even tell which part of the toilet bowl the posting player is likely from.
Type A: The "Expert"
These players are the 1% of the player-base. People who maintain their own YouTube channel, and whom actively surround themselves with a hand-picked posse. They are the country-clubbers, the private clubbers- most stop playing the game if there isn't a few of their cronies online. An environment highly tailored to their own success is a key proponent in their strategy.
That isn't to say these players are not skilled. But the dizzying heights they achieve are only possible through the actions of the skilled henchmen who keep the map relatively clear of rogue enemies that might disrupt the killing spree. Most, if not all, Type A players favor a randomly sprinting playstyle which relies almost entirely on surprise and ambush. Only a few of their kills are a result of an obvious superiority in reflexes or aim- the rest are the indirect results of the "Expert's" tailored environment.
However, Type As tend to be humble and relaxed- trusting their numerous victories and impressive Kill/Death spreads say enough.
They come from the top water.
Type B: "The Lucker"
Better lucky than good. Anyone can make an amazingly lucky play, but a true "Lucker" is someone who views a miraculous event as evidence of their superiority over lesser beings.
The five guys who were blown to pieces by his booby-trapped Care Package? They died because I rock at this game.
That knife I randomly tossed into the air and got someone with? I just knew he was there, man.
You only got six kills with your attack helicopter? I get eight with mine, ALL the time!
These players come from that top layer of brown. They might have floated at the beginning, but then they started to sink after they absorbed enough defeat and shame to overcome their barely buoyant ego. Generally, they are bad players who think any defeat is a result of a glitch with the game, or simply because the cosmos is out to get them. Just them. And any success, even one obviously unrelated to their skills, is a life raft they grasp for in desperation.
If anyone is complaining about game mechanics, he is probably a Type B.
Type C: "The Sniper"
If the video you are watching features a guy using a sniper rifle, he is probably a pure Type C player. These individuals dwell in the deepest black, often sticking to the porcelain in desperation long after the bowl is flushed and everyone else has moved on to Activision's latest bowel movement. They are "Luckers" whom have sank to the very bottom.
These players generally have the largest egos and a mouth to match. They KNOW they are awesome. And every time they lay prone behind cover and shoot people coming around a distant blind corner- this knowledge becomes more ingrained. Eventually, you have the countless videos of no-scope kills and multiple kill shots. And each one is upheld as the gospel truth of "The Snipers" divinity. Yes, for those brief 20 seconds, the veil was cast aside and we mere mortals beheld Zarathustra's Superman. We watched in amazement as he spun randomly, fired in the general direction of his foe, and hit them via miraculous bullet spread.
They are often quick-scopers, too. Which means their are incredibly impressed with their ability to aim a gun at someone and fire. The PC versions of the Type C revel in their ability to use their mouse to click on something.
Naturally, we never know which team won the match, the K/D spread is never seen, and generally each new clip is from a new match. But pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Behold what is awesome!