Let us go through the mists of time, back when I was 19 and hanging out at the local bowling alley arcade where I played Street Fighter 2 like it was my second job. I was pretty much the best fighter playing that game, I would use Ken, or Blanka. Really any fighting game I was awesome at there, and I wasn’t bad with pinball either, but SF2 was my forte.
I was not the only king of the hill, there was another. His name was Greg. Me and Greg battled for supremacy all the time he favored Ryu, or Dhalsim. Our battles were legendary, people would gather to see us fight. When either me or him lost someone would step up and try to fight us, but we would crush them so bad it made the other one laugh. Some of the battles were such a workout I sometimes built a sweat like I was at a gym. We had some epic battles in Mortal Kombat as well. I was always Raiden, and he was Sub-Zero. When I exploded his head I made the same weird gesture Raiden did like I was blowing off his head.
Greg to look at was a typical stoner, long hair, listened to metal, wore a leather jacket even in 90 degree weather, and did copious amounts of drugs. After months of battling it out we became friends of a sort outside the arcade. We would hang out once in awhile. Then he disappeared, I really didn’t have a number for him. We just always met at the bowling alley. A few weeks went by, and I asked around and no one has seen him.
Then one day he shows up, his hair cut, and he was wearing…a sweater. I was like, “What the hell?” He told me he found God, that after dropping acid one night, he thought he saw the devil, and sold his soul to the devil. He went to church the next day, and was saved. I shit you not he told me this. Now mind you do what you gotta do to get right with yourself, but the change was so drastic it was a shock. Ok so your a born again Christian, who cares. Let’s play a game, he told me that he was giving that up because he didn’t feel it was Godly. He tried to get me to come to church with him, but I had some very choice words for him. In retrospect I was real mean, and I always felt bad about it. I never seen him again after that night.
I always wondered about what happened to him, and I miss those days in the arcade. The reason I bring this up though cause throughout my gaming history there has been those other players, who brought out the best gaming in me, who made me improve in my game. I’d like to thank the Greg’s of the world. Wherever Greg is I hope he returned to gaming, and kicking someone’s ass somewhere and maybe one day I’ll see him again, and I’ll tell him sorry.