My Name Is My Name.

This post is not informational. I’m not here to help anyone today, or point you in the right direction. This post is a declaration of war. This is my truth as best I can tell it. I’m going to share a lot of feelings with you today, and you won’t care about most of them. I made my peace with that before I started. But I feel like people have me, for lack of a better term, fucked up. And before I do what I’ve decided to do, I feel like my history must be shared with anyone who may cross my path in the near future. I’ve let others write the book on me for far too long. No more.

In 2005, I was minding my business on an internet forum. I won’t say the name, but if you know? You know. Anyway, the gaming section was not a very kind place to non Xbox gamers. I was attempting to find some PS3 gamers to play online with, and I was being ridiculed for it on the daily. These people didn’t know me to know that would only strengthen my resolve. Eventually, I met a couple of like minded gamers and we started to play together. For 2 years, this small, tight knit group of gamers played a few games together and shared some laughs. But everything changed in 2007 when this very obscure game called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was released.

A few other soon to be PS3 owners had taken notice of what we were doing on the forums. I had positioned myself as sort of a community organizer for all things PS3, so others let me know of their intentions to play with the group when they secured their consoles. As fate would have it, the vast majority of them purchased their PS3 alongside COD. It was a perfect storm. The group quadrupled in size at the exact moment one of the most popular multiplayer games in history showed up. Before I knew it, I was at the center of what felt like the greatest group of gamers a Sony platform had ever seen. Not necessarily because of skill level or success, because we were good but not the greatest. But the vibe was PERFECT. It was everything I could have ever asked for. Perfect amounts of competitive energy, learning from each other, shit talking (to each other and opponents), laughs and awesome moments, we had it all. Eventually we felt like we needed a name, and the Roc Boys were born. I’ll explain where the name came from another time, but let’s just say COD lobbies did not like hearing the song.

From the release of COD, we were inseparable. We played everything together. If it had multiplayer, we were there. Resistance 2. Warhawk. Burnout Paradise. Modern Warfare 2. Rainbow Six Vegas. And then Killzone 2 happened. Killzone 2 felt like a moment the group had been marching towards. It felt like we were destined to dominate in THAT particular game. The stars had aligned. And not only did we dominate, I DOMINATED. For the first time in my online gaming career, I was to be feared. Me and my sniper rifle were not to be fucked with. And more importantly, thy Boys of thee Roc were definitely not to be fucked with. It was glorious! Until it wasn’t. COD junkies complained about KZ2 en masse, and Guerilla Games caved to the pressure and patched the game to make it more like COD. All of the weightiness and realism that made the game special was gone. And my performance was never the same. So I quit playing out of frustration. And I never realized it, but my fire for competitive gaming died that day.

By the time Modern Warfare 2 rolled around, the crew had divided into two distinct factions. That’s a story for another time. The people who continued to game with me after the split form the core of what is today known affectionately as the Cade Gang. We’ve grown even closer over the last decade and a half, but what we haven’t done is continue to game as much competitively. I’m not entirely sure if that is due to my influence, or if it naturally happened. But in a moment of transparency, I feel sometimes like we were too early to the party. These days, EVERYONE pretty much has a crew in these E-streets. Some game at a very high level. Some are great at just being entertaining. But I’ve always felt they all should be celebrated. Funny thing is, most gamers only respect you when you beating their ass. Cade Gang is more for the people. I skew towards togetherness and a good time, and I try to stay away from anywhere where the energy gets a little too aggressive. That’s not out of fear, but one too many people have made that insinuation for my liking. So I decided to snatch my respect back. But let’s finish the history lesson first.

I just explained how I feel like we were too early to the party as a group. I feel the same about myself sometimes. I started this blog along with a few other members in 2014. I’ve been at this far longer than that though. I’ve been writing about video games forever, but I started publishing it on the internet around 2008. I took that act to Twitter when I popped up in 2010, and for about 3-4 years it feels like I was one of a few people the TL would associate with gaming. At the time I don’t think I realized it to be honest. But looking back, there was definitely a window, in my opinion, where I was doing the work that several others do now. While it feels good to know that something I did lives on through others, it hurts to feel like my efforts aren’t recognized in the way I feel they should be. That’s my fault though. People were willing to put the work in that I wasn’t, so they got the rewards. The game is the game. And my name is my name.

What’s troubling is that the people who DO KNOW like to pretend they don’t. And that’s why I’m a bit irritated. I can’t feel a way about anyone who isn’t informed. But to be real, I fathered a lot of these dudes running around the internet. I can’t say it plainer than that, word to Styles P. And the real kicker is I took a LOT OF HEAT for demanding people take this shit more seriously. I’ve long maintained that those gamers with a platform have a responsibility to provide accurate information to the less knowledgeable. I still believe that. It was different back then, people were just saying whatever got them attention. Much like the internet in general.

Anyway, to sum it up, I feel a little disrespected. Maybe justifiably, maybe not. I don’t care really. I ride for my team, and people only really respect when you make examples out of others. So that’s what I’m about to do. All that friendly shit is over with. I’m about to start hopping on these competitive games and talking my shit. I’m going to clip every single kill I get and post it too. I’m going to start overhyping everything that happens in my camp until you’re more sick of me than you already are. If you don’t like it, so? Fight me. Or pick up the sticks and stop me from eating. I’ll see you all on the battlefield. Hint hint.

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