I was at the tender age of 15 when I first played Starcraft. It was the only time I played Starcraft. It was horrifying. I was in grade 10. There were 2 ancient computers that Stage Crew had set up in the drama office back in the old school that we had installed Starcraft on. I played against my friend Karen, who since then has moved to Winterpeg., as we like to call it. Each of us had a senior member advise us, so that we could play to the best of our abilities. Mitchell, my mentor for the game, actually went to Collegiate E-Sport Series last year, which is a Starcraft league competition for North American universities. I sat down in front of the beige monitor and typed in my display name. “Gunbar” appeared in neon green letters on the screen. I picked Zerg, the most difficult race to play, and Karen played Protoss. I picked Zerg because there are larvae that evolve into what look like flying shrimp, which is spectacular. Karen selected the map because she had played a couple times before and I had no idea what I was doing. The game began. “Mine minerals.” Mitchell stated.
“How do I do that?!” I asked in a panic. Gaming makes me anxious, which is why I never do it.
He directed me to a grid with weird shapes, located at the bottom of the screen. After mining enough minerals, I selected a hatchery and placed it in the advised spot (as per Mitchell). Soon enough little eggs hatched into larvae. I made them evolve into these scorpion things, I wanted more vespene gas. “Now what?!” I asked, still tense. The mouse was damp from my clammy hands, which I frequently wiped on my jeans. Mitchell told me that I had to build stuff, and upgrade other stuff. I built something that looked like a grill made out of internal organs, and two spawning pools. I had a surplus of minerals, and I was living the good life. Mitchell looked at my computer. “Did you build two spawning pools?”
“What are spawning pools?”
“The green swampy things.”
“Oh God.” He laughed.
Everyone else watching laughed too, because they all played Starcraft. I bet you Starcraft nerds are laughing now too. For all those who do not play the game, building 2 spawning pools was outright stupid. It’s like building two hospitals to birth one baby. I continued playing, despite my crippled ego. “How do I build the flying shrimp? I want the flying shrimp.”
“They’re called mutalisks.”
“I’m not going to remember that.”
“That’s okay. You have to highlight the earwig things and then click on the button.”
“What button? What does it look like?”
After lots of useless descriptions, he instructed me as to whether I should move my mouse up, down, left or right. “STOP. CLICK THAT.” It was startling. Immediately, I clicked the button. I wanted those coveted mutalisks, the mystical flying shrimp. “You require more vespene gas!” The sultry woman in the computer game said. I acquired more, and soon, my hideous larvae evolved into the flying shrimp. I was ecstatic. Then I heard weird squishing noises. Karen was attacking my base. “KAREN! What the hell, I thought we were friends!” I didn’t know what to do, the instructions being thrown at me combined with the slow death of my flying shrimp were all so overwhelming. I frantically clicked all over the screen, smashing buttons on the keyboard. I had lost. Devastation flooded my body. I had barely gotten a glimpse of my flying shrimp. Heartbroken, the game ended and I stood up. I made it a goal to learn the basics of the Zerg race by New Year’s. I never did do that. I am perfectly okay with this, as anxiety medication would have most likely taken a part in my life had I continued with Starcraft.