It’s an unfortunate rite of passage that every gamer will go through: at some point, one day, you will break those input devices you love so dearly. Sometimes, it’s very intentional.
For this week’s Tell Us Dammit, I’d like to hear from you about the trials that eventually spelled doom for your beloved input devices. It doesn’t have to be a controller or gamepad per se: keyboards, mice, monitors, whole computers are up for grabs here.
I’ve been pretty good in not rage quitting my controllers into a wall or screen, but I’ve got two instances to share. One I actually wrote about a couple of years ago, when I accidentally consigned my Elite controller to an early grave.
Something awful happened to me on the weekend. my Xbox Elite controller broke. Well, sort of broke. It still technically functioned, but the right stick was no longer operating as normal. It refused to centre. It was stuck in place slightly to the left, or slightly to the right, or if you wiggled it around sometimes it'd just get stuck on the extremities.Read more
The second story, which is substantially more brutal, wasn’t my fault. Honest.
It was over a decade ago, in the bowels of the iStarZone internet cafe in Sydney’s George St. The cafe is still there, but it’s since been renamed: it’s the one that’s right next to the George St cinemas.
Anyway, I was running a weekly LAN competition for Counter-Strike there with a friend. We had two divisions of eight teams each. Everyone showed up to play two games each, and then people unplugged their stuff so the next division could come in.
I was playing in the first division – it was common for admins to play in their own tournaments then, because it’s not like you could really impact the results of other teams, and my friend and I were adamant about giving ourselves the hardest run possible. The first division always went first, with the div 2 teams kicking off after lunch time.
Just before the Div 2 matches started, someone called me over from the other side of the room. “DIPPA,” I remember them shouting, “my PC doesn’t work.”
That’s odd, I thought. All the PCs worked just fine earlier. I always made sure of that before a round of games started, because the last thing you want to do is pause your own team’s game mid-match.
So I walked over and checked it out. The screen wasn’t displaying properly. Something had definitely changed. Maybe a loose cable, I thought.
The player in question went to move the monitor – all chunky CRTs in those days – and immediately reacted.
“What the hell? The monitor’s sticky,” he complained. The fuck, I thought. That can’t be right.
Except it 1000% was.
After a quick investigation of the area around the monitor, we discovered that one of the players in the previous team had poured their soft drink into the back of the monitor.
To this day, I still have no idea what the hell caused it. It’s not like their losses were any more brutal than any other week; they were close to the bottom of the division, and they got hammered pretty much every week. Why go postal on the PC now?
We never answered that question, and despite putting a call-out we never discovered who the player was. And to be fair, it’s not the worst thing that I’ve seen happen at a LAN comp: a mate of mine (who sadly is no longer with us) got a reputation after having a small brain snap one day and pouring an entire bottle of Mount Franklin into a PC case.
How many times have you broken or snapped something, and how’d it happen? And if you happen to have played for Team CMAR in any Sydney LAN comps just over a decade ago and know what happened please tell me. I need closure. I won’t be angry. I promise.