Gamers without Borders

Gamers without Borders
Halo on the High Seas

J.D. Levite | 10 Mar 2009 08:36
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To account for this, I've developed a routine where I stay up all night to play games. (The blackouts mostly happen in the evening and the early morning.) If I play through the night, not only can I avoid most of the power outages, but I can also play with American and Japanese friends who wouldn't be up and playing games during the normal Greek hours. Since I can't stay up all night and work efficiently the next day, I have to restrict my hardcore multiplayer gaming time to weekends. It was a tough call, but at least it gave me time to beat Fallout 3's Operation: Anchorage while offline.

Unfortunately, even with a steady source of electricity, the island Greeks aren't too concerned with connection speeds. You can find Wi-Fi hotspots in the major cities like Chania and Iraklion, but they're often slow and short on bandwidth. That can be a hard pill to swallow when you want to play during peak times, but it's just another good reason to play through the night.

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It doesn't matter where I go - I'm always prepared for gaming. When I went to Egypt, my laptop came along for the ride. Camels and pyramids are great, but so is Rome: Total War right before bed. Spending New Year's Eve at Tokyo's Zojoji Temple was amazing, but I don't know what I would have done without my Nintendo DS on the train ride home. On the few occasions I have been home to the U.S. to visit with my family, I can always count on my dad for a game of Age of Empires III or Command & Conquer: Generals.

The Navy has fundamentally changed my life. I've learned a lot about myself since becoming a sailor, and I've acquired skills that will serve me well when I get out. I've discovered a resourcefulness I never knew I had before I signed up. It may be tied to setting up a Halo tournament on the fly, but it's resourcefulness nonetheless. And while my fellow servicemen and I have been to a lot of places and seen the sort of unique things only a world traveler can see, it was our common gaming urge that brought us together.

J.D. Levite is a traveling journalist with the U.S. Navy and splits his time between writing and gaming. He's fascinated with gaming journalism and hopes to pursue that some day. Feel free to only email compliments to him at jdl[at]jabberwocky[dot]ws.

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