Until yesterday I prided myself on the fact that I never spent a single cent on Facebook's fake game money. Now that pride is gone, but the cause was just: I used real money to kick someone's arse.
It almost sounds cool when I put it that way. Not so much when I expound. I used real money to reach the top of the leaderboard in the weekly friends tournament for Zynga's colourful new puzzle game, Ruby Blast.
Nope, still feeling pretty manly.
Ruby Blast is a score-based puzzler that pits friends against friends in a weekly high-score competition, the winner walking away with big prizes like a larger energy reserve, which in turns allows them more chances to best the score of the next tournament.
As Stephen explained last week, the game involves matching coloured squares to dig deeper in a mine as a countdown clock ticks down. Clear the bottom of the screen and you score a time bonus, extending your round.
Stephen placed third in the tournament. Granted I only had five friends in the game, but it was a good showing nonetheless.
As of Saturday I was in the lead with a healthy 800,000 point score. The tournament ended on Sunday, and I was confident in my position, the next closest competitor being in the 500K range.
But one man, whom I shall refer to as Travis (because it's his name), had the audacity to best me. I awoke yesterday to a 950K score above my own; I was in second place. Screw that noise.
So I spent yesterday attempting to defeat this... Travis. I played without power-ups, amassing coin so I could line-up a full set of performance enhancing gems for the big push. I was in the zone. I was clearing lines faster than the bathroom at a Hollywood night club. 800K. 850K. 930K.
No, not going to happen, Travis. The sad little miner girl popped up on the screen, offering me salvation. For five Blast Cash I could get another 15 seconds on the clock, easily enough to put Travis in his place. It's not cheating to use the mechanics put in place by the developers to my advantage; it's just a little pathetic.
I sat there, hands shaking with trepidation. OK, I am lying. I hit the button for buy faster than something incredibly fast. It was the heat of the moment. I could almost hear Steve Howe's guitar solo in the background.
So yes, I caved. I set up my PayPal account and spent two dollars on 15 Facebook credits; Blast Cash in Ruby Blast. I paid to win.
*spotlight fades to darkness*
Or I would have, but the game locked up coming back from the transaction. The next round I played I scored 1,600,000 points without spending a dime.
So yes, I paid to win, but lost. Then won without paying. There's a cautionary tale in there somewhere. You dig for that while I mine some more stupid gems.