Dear Call of Duty: Black Ops,

I would just like to preface this letter by saying thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for re-awakening a part of my soul that I thought was long dead.

I'll explain.

I am an avid video gamer (a.k.a. virgin) and I have enjoyed many games over the years, some more than others, and all with varying degrees of obsessive, time-consuming commitment. But it has been years since I have felt what I feel right now.

I have taken this precious time away from PwNz0R1ng N3Wb5 to write these words in the hopes of conveying my enormous appreciation. As a child I would look forward to Friday, because on Friday after school I would get to go to the video store and rent a video game for the weekend. The excitement of looking at the wall of titles and making the difficult selection, the anticipation driving home reading the game manual, and the climax of playing for hours uninterrupted by the obligations of an education. After finally being forced to go to bed, the fun would stop and the pain would begin.

The game turned into an addiction, a chore, an itch I couldn't scratch. I couldn't sleep because all I could think about was the game. Was 5 a.m. too early to sneak downstairs and start playing with the volume at its lowest? Playing constantly took a toll on my mind and body. It was not even enjoyable but I loved it; I just HAD to keep playing, simply because it was the best. Saturday would come and go in what seemed like moments. Forced to bed again, my brain welcomed the comforting embrace of sleep.

Then I would wake up before the sun, and play while the mind stinging chirping of birds greeted the day. Sunday was different; there was urgency. I had to beat the game before it was due back to the store. Otherwise I'd have to rent it again, and remember kids, this was back in the days when games were saved on the cartridge, so you had to get the exact same copy if you were going to continue where you left off.

Call of Duty shooter with a rifle
You can't take this away from me anymore, Dad. It's MY time to shine.
Remember before you could save games? You would have to leave the console running overnight, during meals, or during your grandmother's funeral. Sometimes it would overheat, sometimes it would just freeze, and sometimes (this was the worst) your asshole father would shut it off because of electricity or "it was setting the carpet on fire," or because he wanted to watch television (even though you showed him how you just unplug it from the TV/switch the channel). I think he was just a vindictive bastard still holding a grudge because I could beat him at Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System when I was four years old.

Anyway, years passed and I was able to own games and have my own time to allocate to tasks and activities. Video games could fit in wherever I wanted. I didn't need huge chunks of time to play before they were taken away by the pointlessness of communistic rental systems. I will still play games for hours a day for weeks on end, but everything is healthy and under control.

At least, that was true up until Tuesday, November 9 at 12:00 a.m. when Call of Duty: Black Ops was released. It has been over 72 hours since then and I still have not slept.

Yet I still feel the need to thank you for giving me a feeling that I feared lost in the abyss of youth. I want to laugh and cry at the same time. I have taken this precious time away from PwNz0R1ng N3Wb5 to write these words in the hopes of conveying my enormous appreciation for everything you represent.

Thank you.

Love,
Michael

Call of Duty Black Ops screenshot in the open field

P.S. Below I have included some helpful tips and etiquette for online play that should be included in the manual of the "Game of the Year" edition. Enjoy!

  • Primary weapons are only used by homosexuals. Why bother trying to master a rifle when secondary weapons offer rocket launchers that eliminate the need for accuracy and skill.
  • Secondary weapons are clearly best. As the old adage goes: First the worst, second the best, third the nerd with the 62% accuracy and 17.89 kill/death ratio.
  • Akimbo is a German word that means "win." Always shoot from the hip, it was good enough for Rambo.
  • Even though the action is fast-paced and exhilarating, take the time to remind everyone how "close" you were to getting the "Attack Dog" killstreak reward. Explain that you just needed 2 more kills (and 38 less deaths, but that's not relevant information).
  • Diving into prone (sometimes confused with skill) is a bug that will be fixed in the next patch. Anyone who uses the ability is a hacker; stop exploiting the game mechanics.
  • Keep in mind that anyone who isn't constantly running, jumping, and spinning is a camper.
  • Yell at anyone using a sniper rifle. If you are in the prone position you are cheating.
  • If you are unfortunate enough to have a sniper on your team, try stabbing him to show your resentment for his being alive. (I use the male gender-specific pronoun because girls don't play COD. Screaming 8-year-old boys [a.k.a. N00Bs] can sometimes be confused for females talking because the longitudinal sound waves produced by air passing through their vocal chords are identical.)
  • There are literally hundreds of perk combinations to choose from. Save time experimenting by picking the best ones: Lightweight Pro, Steady Aim Pro, and Marathon Pro.
  • Kill cams are for losers. Skip them to get back in the action faster. Voice complaints about the same guy killing you the entire game.
  • Remember, there is no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in "all your base are belong to us."
  • If you are what the law would consider an adult, be sure to yell at prepubescent children. Name calling is the best medium to display your intellectual superiority and to teach them respect and maturity. May I suggest using the words bitch, fag, homo, gay, smelly stupid face, and Bolshevik to add some much needed color to otherwise dull internet harassment.
  • If someone is better than you at the game, you should threaten to "kick their fucking ass" in real life. Nothing says tough bad ass like internet anonymity.
  • Last and least, if you are the subject (victim) of a game-winning kill cam, call the kill "cheap, lame, lucky, bullshit, retarded." Verbal abuses will keep you warm during those times you are lost in a blizzard of embarrassment.
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