Thursday, June 30, 2005


My old housemate Simon once overheard a conversation between two
teenagers in a video game shop in England. It went something like

Boy#1: "Wow, look at the graphics on this!!!!"

Boy#2: "Wow, sprite-tastic!!!!"

And so Simon realised he had witnessed the apex of nerd-dom - not only
did this chap know what a sprite was*, he was using it as an
adjective. From then on, with scathing sarcasm, Simon would use the
word "sprite-tastic" to describe anything which he felt to have struck
through to the very core of nerdly behaviour.

Hence (true story):

Lewis: "Simon, I found an old Atari ST on top of a bin on my way back
from the pub! Someone had just written "Take Me" on the box! It's got
loads of games and it works and everything! Fancy a go on Strider?"

Simon: "Sprite-tastic Lewis!"


Lewis: "Andy's coming round later - we're gonna have a bit of a
session on Soul Caliber 2. He's got the PS2 version with Heihachi, and
I've got the GameCube one with Link. Fancy joining in?"

Simon: "Sprite-tastic! I can't wait!"

It didn't even have to be computer games:

Lewis: "Damn, it's five past six, I'm missing the beginning of He-Man
on Toonami, and it's the only one I haven't seen in the new series! Do
you mind turning off the golf so I can watch it?"

Simon: "Sprite-tastic! Sounds like spiffing fun!"

You get the picture. To be fair though, he was right - all of the
above situations were pretty nerdy. Having said that, there's nothing
wrong with acting a bit nerdy now and again. I like to think of nerdy
gaming behaviour as being like kinky sex: it's loads of fun, but you
probably wouldn't want everyone to find out about it, and you should
only ever attempt it with like-minded people.

So here's my confession: last Friday I managed to gather together ten
like-minded people, and indulged in one of my biggest nerd
fantasies.... that's right ladies and gentlemen... EIGHT-PLAYER HALO
2. Oh yes - the dream became reality.

It wasn't without its difficulties - I spent all week emailing people
to try and organise the necessary link cable, two Xboxes, two TVs, two
copies of Halo 2 and eight controllers, and then when everyone arrived
we spent over an hour setting everything up, trying to solve the
problem of linking a Japanese Xbox with an American Xbox, but once we
were going it was utterly nerd-tacular...

"Why am I dead?"


"Get him out of the tank! Get him out of the tank! He's gonna win!"

"You snuck up behind me like a dirty shirt-lifter!"

"Damn you "Cheese"!"

"Who's sniping? Please, somebody kill him!"


"Which screen am I on?"

"I'm in the hill! I'm in the hill! Oh, I'm dead."


Five hours later and we were all shadows of our former selves - hands
shaking, eyes blood-shot and sunken, legs aching with acute cramp,
brains completely fried from non-stop concentration. And it was bloody

I'd even go so far as to say it was "sprite-tastic".

*"The term sprite is used in computer graphics to refer to a two
dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger
scene." (Wikipedia)


Blogger Phoenix said...

"Damn you, Cheese!"

Truer words were never spoken.

It really was a Sprite-tastic evening. I'm sorry I had to leave early (and even more sorry that Kaori ended up running late the next morning; I could have stayed!).

2:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Agreed, sprite-tastic indeed, could almost go so far as polygonorific...(sounds a bit dirty though)

Cheese (AKA Jungle Jim AKA Steak)

3:10 pm  
Blogger Ian said...

Nice to see the phrase 'Dirty shirt-lifter' has returned. About time to. Reminds me of the many happy wasted hours at uni playing Quake III with Lew and Paul. Sigh.

6:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't realise they'd sold that many xbox's in Japan...


12:26 am  

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