Geek's Journal #3

The Last two days off have been exactly what I've been wanting; do nothing days with only slight interference from minor obligations. Gotta love em; and on top of that, they've been rainy days so staying indoors has been doubly enjoyable. Aside from going out for a Caramel Latte, a drive (w/ ipod on random.) and a cigarette or three, I also stopped into Algebar's the new(ish) Computer gaming spot on Church street; I've walked past the placard they have outside many times and I've always wonder what it would look like on the insides, all I could think of was dusty cubicles and beat up old pentiums under ugly bright fluorescent light, snotty geek-boys guzzling jolt cola and half of my time spent just figuring out how to logon to the damn things. Why does this sound so familiar...

(hey don't I work in a dusty basement, w/ fluorescent lights, and spent all day long guzzling caffeine and generally being a douche? ....naw)

So having a five spot in my pocket and time to kill I headed up; boy was I impressed, as I walked in through the door, sporting their slick logo, I was greeted by who I can only imagine was the owner, he spoke with what I thought was an Australian accent and when I asked he said "New Zealand" I quickly apologized and he laughed and informed me that he didn't believe in flag or boarders. (quick little fun fact: When a New Zealander says the word 6 it sounds like Sex. hahahaha.. ehem.) which was cool. The next one to greet me was his Golden retriever, I can't remember the pups name but he was super cute and was all about just hanging out and watching people play games, occasionally coming over for a nudge and a hand kiss. God I want a Dog... so bad....

The Room was spacious, clean and extremely professional looking; after a quick account setup which was simply giving my real name and a screen name I was free to go find myself a spot wherever; I could even take my latte with me; the desks were setup in pods, circular style, at the far end of the coolly lit room were two leather couches and a big screen TV; a man was relaxing and working on his laptop while watching some prime geek cinema, I could tell what it was but I swear I heard someone scream "Protect the Shire!" The Computers were amazing, Alienware setups, and though I couldn't tell what there configurations were do to very nicely implemented propriety software, after running Call of Duty 2 I figured they must all be super high end with very nice video cards. Everything I tried (and they have ALOT of games.) ran as good or way better than my PC. The Chairs were Comfy and the desk clean and the monitors large. I couldn't have asked for a better setup, I was in geek heaven.

Being in a room with other geeks, geeking out is a strange thing, I come from a background where I was for the most part the only computer geek I knew, growing up all my geeky activity ended up being a private affair, late nights after everyone was asleep surfing around on the new fangled interweb, staying after school to mess around in the new computer lab (that was purchased, believe it or not, by the Grateful Dead.) or Even getting my dad to let me and some friend rummage around in his hardware store afterhours, where we tried and succeeded in getting Quake_test (geeks will understand that one.) installed on the barely adequate network.

So sitting in this hip, friendly, geek environment was a little disorienting for a few minutes, I have to admit I felt a little uncomfortable gaming in front of complete strangers. It's like I was in my middle school gym class locker room all over again, and it's shower time...

Even though no one really spoke to anyone else, there was a sense of socialization, community perhaps, that was shared. I rather liked it. After a while I settled in, started playing "Battlefield 2", the current "it" game in the FPS genre, (i'm a COD fan myself.) and once when I got sniped last minute trying to capture someone's final checkpoint I let out a nice healthy "WTF!", a bit startled at myself I looked around to see if anyone noticed, all i recieved were either knowing smiles or total indifference, most of them were to busy with whatever they were doing, headphones on, lost in their fantasies. Smiling sheepishly i turned back to the action, Sweet i thought, I could get used to this.

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