Is it August yet?

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Dinner earned tastes twice as sweet as dinner given

Let's get it out of the way in image form first; This happened late last night (around 4 am)

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That's right, I won my first chicken dinner! Okay, that's not really true... I won my first SOLO chicken dinner, which is an important distinction. Ever since playing Player Unknowns Battlegrounds (PUBG), I've been squadding up with other Steam friends and rolling with them to learn the basics. We've won occasional victories, but usually through no agency of me. I tend to get shot quickly, spectate, and give map updates. To be fair, I'm not that comfortable with keyboard and mouse shooters, having grown up playing lots of Halo. I cannot wait until PUBG makes its way to consoles, but I've been enjoying my time learning it so far.

Early on, when I took my first shot at soloing, I actually got 2nd place. It's a terrible thing to have happen on your first game, especially when you have zero kills. I achieved this dubious milestone by hiding in a cabin, moving slowly through shadowy forests, and avoiding all conflict. I got shotgunned in the tiny circle at the very end because I'd never fired the SKS I had found and wasn't a good shot with it (I also had not found a scope). Since then, largely through osmosis, I've learned a great deal about the game and have (obviously) improved greatly. Two of my four kills on this one were in the final circle and I actually UMP-ed the last guy standing through my holographic scope. The exhilaration and relief I felt when the match was over was a powerful feeling that I will not soon forget.

PUBG is a truly unique game that has captured the gaming zeitgeist at the moment and will forever change the face of shooters. I've played lots of them, from Halo to COD to Overwatch, and while all have their flavors and little oddities, none are quite as spicy a meat-a-ball as winning a solo of PUBG. I know this because I had trouble turning the game off after my victory and even more trouble falling asleep afterward. And sitting here typing this blog, I can't think of anything else but getting back to Murder Island for another sweet taste of success. I know that's foolhardy, this isn't something I'm going to magically repeat every time, and this victory was by no means a cakewalk. It was tense. It was pulse pounding. It was nerve wracking. There were moments when I said out loud to myself as I moved across hellishly exposed plains to safe cover behind a tree, "Oh fuck, I'm gonna die here." Despite all this, I won out. It's a good feeling. I hope if you're working towards it, you get there one day too.

PS. Big shout out to all the GiantBomb crew for the Murder Island videos (btw, Murder Island She Wrote is still a title I'm pulling for). They're a great resource of what (not) to do in the game and hilarious to watch as well. Also, to my man Austin Walker and his good good son Patrick Klepick for their work over at Waypoint's stream, "Breakfast and Battlegrounds" for some useful, Will Smith derived tips. They all really helped me absorb the details of this game I might not have seen in my individual sessions.

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