Shout Out To The Teen Who Played Apex Legends With Me Last Night

Illustration: Apex Legends, Respawn

Last night, on my actually for real final Apex Legends game, I thought my squad was doomed. Our third squadmate had been disconnected, and I knew I was dead weight for the more experienced player I was tagging along with.

I was content to get lost and then shot, because it was around midnight and I knew I should sleep. Then my squadmate timidly said hi.

I don’t really like competitive games, or games where you have to talk to strangers. Why I’m so in love with Apex Legends remains a mystery even to me, because it is a competitive game where you might have to talk to strangers. Usually I play Apex with my friends, so talking on mic has begun to feel more natural.

But after my friends logged off for the night last night, I decided I wanted a few more games.

My aversion to talking to strangers is mostly about being impatient and tired, or not wanting to meet new people. I also just don’t want to be yelled at by players who might be angrier or more aggressive than me. When it comes down to it, I don’t want to be shouted at during my private time, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

But last night, when my remaining squadmate said hi to me after we lost our third, I didn’t see a way out of the situation. I turned on my mic, and I said hi back.

He seemed like a nice kid. I assume he was a kid—he had a young-sounding voice and an edgy, all caps username. We didn’t run into much action, so we started chatting. I explained that I wasn’t great at the game but I really like playing. He told me that was fine. When I said that I hadn’t gotten a win yet, he seemed shocked.

“My friend, the guy who got dropped,” he told me, “last game he had 14 kills. We gotta get you a win!”

His enthusiasm was infectious. We shared a little bit about our lives. I told him that unfortunately I can’t play Apex all day because I have a job. He told me he has a paper route. He jokingly chided me for swearing at one point, so I told him about Tim Rogers’s promise to his mother that he would never swear, which he’s kept all these years.

“Nah,” he replied. “I couldn’t do it.” He laughed, and then I laughed with him.

We made it to the last few teams of the game, then got surprised by another squad who flanked us. I got a few good hits in with a shotgun but went down quickly. Soon after, the game was over. I thanked him for a good game.

I went to wash my face and brush my teeth. While I was applying various creams to my face, I thought about my squadmate. I wondered what he thought of me—some anonymous woman, older than him, who he crossed paths with for a game.

To me, it seemed marvellous that even for just 15 minutes, our two worlds, so far apart, could meet. I wondered if tomorrow, when I was getting ready for work, he would be out there delivering papers.

As I went to turn off my PlayStation 4, I saw that I had a friend request. It was my squadmate.

“I had a little bit of trouble remembering your name,” he wrote. “But we gotta get you a win some time.”

I hit accept.


Comments

    I can't even get a kill, let alone a win!

      I feel you, it took me a while too. I think I'm sitting on like 6 now which I pretty much got all of in a weird hot streak of games haha. One of my friends is still yet to get one.

      Hang in there and find a team you like to work with and it will happen. The game counts kills strangely too so you likely have dropped people but it didn't count for various reasons.

    There are some ripper people out there in the online world, but unfortunately, way too often, you come across aggressive little a-holes who ruin the whole experience.

    I'm not huge into online game, mainly due to the toxicity, but I have played around with Rec Room on PSVR and had a game of disc golf with a random stranger. It was just the two of us and we had a ball! I usually mute my mic or don't bother speaking as there are usually a bunch of kids yelling and screaming, but this guy was great. We spent the whole time chatting and laughing at how crap we were at trying to throw a frisbee around a virtual world. If you could guarantee me experiences like that online, then I'd be more open to games like Apex where, as I've recently learnt, you have to play in squads.

      Yeah I hate toxicity.
      I've stopped playing a few games due to it.

      I haven't encountered much in Apex thankfully - but I have met 2-3 awesome people that I've friended. I've played with a few others who seemed pretty nice too.

      I started playing Overwatch 6months ago, and would have quit due to toxicity, or just just getting bored, but I met 1 bloke in comp, which led to an awesome group of people, and now we all play regularly.

    The bit I love about this is the "actually for real final" aspect. It happens all the bloody time - that game was too short, that didn't count, we didn't have any gear, let's just do one more.

    Too real.

    It's nice they were able to have that interaction.

    I feel like the simple joy of positive, non-competitive cooperation is something that's missing from too many online experiences.

    All of the best stories about Journey focus almost exclusively on that aspect.

    Finally got around to watching a couple of streams on Twitch last night. These games generally don't interest me, mostly because I just cant see anything well enough to play these days, but I do check them out from time to time.

    And I can see why its exploded the way it has. Its a very healthy balance between the realism of PUBG, and the cartoonish nature of Forknife, and it \works.

    Then, when you hear stories like this it just adds to that. Nice story.

    I remember doing similar with people back in Everquest. The group I generally ran with was pretty high end, and did things in the game we really had no right to do. Or so others thought anyway. Yet, we were doing them anyway.

    Anyhow, every now and then we'd just wander through regular zones and help people out. We'd get them keyed for a new tier, or camp a boss for a drop they wanted, or something like that, just to help. We all remembered what it was like to struggle, so gave that little back.

    And made plenty of friends along the way, many of which ended up joining our guild later on and becoming a part of our bigger gaming family. Was always a good feeling.

    Games where that sense of community is good are games you want to play.

    Nice article, there are friendly people out there in the masses but they tend to be less vocal suprisingly. I use my headset that doesnt have a mic when playing with randoms because the ping system is good enough.

    I remember day one of Destiny on PS4 I was on leave and didn't know what to do with myself so I bought a PS4. Had never heard of Destiny and decided to try it out as it came with my PS4. By chance I joined a group of people trying to do a strike or something and they turned out to be a nice bunch of people. Five years later and we still play games together.

      I had a similar experience with Destiny 2. Even though I stopped playing it a few months ago, I still join up with them on party chat & talk as we play our different games.

      Destiny is genuinely one of the best games I've ever seen for promoting positive interaction.

      There's really no way to grief people outside of the dedicated PvP and anytime you help someone you are rewarded, too. It makes every experience with another player neutral at worst and more often than not, genuinely positive.

    Yeah same experience with destiny, i solod all the content but got stuck on the raids being too hard to solo

    Joined a random group and they decided to help me with every raid in the game everyone was so nice, co-op or squad games tend to be nicer

    A nice change from the toxic hell that is competitive games chat

    Would love to see a follow up if you play with them again!

    ill admit, i was ready to cringe, but this was cute. i feel the same, i love these brief interactions with strangers, kinda why i love BR games.

    I think the most important thing about starting a new game or gaming in general is not to over achieve , remember every one started from the bottom...don't stress have fun ffs...don't take to seriously.
    I use to stress out back in the day... watching streaming highlights is great, they make look easy...that's because they are sitting in it 27/4

    This is vanilla WoW for me in a nutshell, no group finder made the instance groups you found really meaningful.

    I have an amazing memory of just hanging out for over an hour at the end of a MARA run just chatting with these new temporary besties, that would never meet again.

      I remember doing similar with Burning Crusade. I was done with the raiding guild game, having burned out on 'realm first' raiding in Vanilla.

      My brothers and I played together and we kept bumping into these guys while levelling who were also brothers themselves, and we'd form impromptu groups whenever we met up because at the time it was the only way to share kill credit. We ended up forming a guild together, just family and friends. That lasted all through BC, Wrath until fading out for the lackluster Cataclysm where everyone just kinda stopped playing.

    I must have been lvl 8 lvl 9 or something, no wins at that point & not a single kill. Then whatever group I was with kicked some major ass & we ended up winning a game. I still hadn’t had a single kill until I’d reached lvl 10. Good Times.

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