The corrosive sense of malaise Halo 3 breeds is aided by the overwhelming presence of the Shotty Snipers game type and the horrendous selection of maps available for Team Slayer. Literally every map, from Isolation to Narrows to High Ground, is greeted with a chorus of angry shouts, wordless shrieks and quiet sobbing. During Halo 3, Butts Chat is every act of a Greek tragedy, all performed simultaneously. We've gotten so good at losing in Halo 3, in fact, that often frustrating defeats or cheap kills are not punctuated with fury or sarcasm, but instead a rushed description of what happened, which quickly devolves into a primal, gurgled scream. I would say the only sense of satisfaction gained from Halo 3 comes after a round is over, when we go back and give a gift to ourselves: negative "Quit Early" player reviews to people we hate. Regardless of how well I do in a round, nothing can quite compare to giving xXxWeedLord420xXx the official Butts' Stamp of Disapproval. Teamwork can be a beautiful thing.
We also - occasionally - play Defense of the Ancients, a custom map for Warcraft III. I mention it last because it is, unequivocally, an awful game. Terribly balanced and buggy, the fact that it's considered a tournament worthy game never stops being hilarious. When the Battle.net cretins are added to the equation, it goes from bad to practically unplayable. Only a few Butts continue to play, and even though I'm one of them on occasion, I still cannot rationalize it. If I had to point to a likely cause, I'd say early-onset dementia.
It bears repeating that I absolutely hate Team Butts and all that it stands for. At this point, though, the hours of frustration and wasted time, coupled with the promise of absolutely no change or improvement, have become a daily ritual. I would have to pick up a hardcore drug addiction and an abusive relationship to even come close to the misery I get from Team Butts in a single day, and gaming is somewhat less expensive and slightly better for my health. Plus I'd have push myself out of this chair, and I ... I don't believe that's possible anymore.
Does Team Butts just love misery? Perhaps. But then again, we're gamers, and if there's one thing gamers love, it's misery. You'd think it'd be games, but you'd be wrong. How else would you explain partaking daily in what forums, blogs and in-game chat all paint as an exercise in frustration and tears? The twinge of agony, the rage of defeat and a glimpse of victory; these are the things my fellow butterbeasts and I live for.
Bob Harris is a freelance contributor to The Escapist.