August 17, 2018


"Tell me about your visualization capabilities", I asked the naked humanoid figure on my screen. "What?", a voice squeaks in my headphones. "Tell me how you visualize", I clarify leaning forward a bit closer to my boom mounted microphone. "Do you see colors? Reflections?" "I don't know are blowing my mind dude!", the voice complains in falsetto. There is a pause and then, moments later, another character bursts out of a bush, this time clothed in armor and wielding a gun. "What in the hell is going on here?", demands in a deep voice. "He's trying to fuck with my mind", the first voice falsetos. Moments later, before I can reply to the accusations leveled at me by this young whippersnapper, I am dead and left unable to speak to them further.

Welcome to Rust, the hardest multiplayer video game on the Internet. Most people rage quit Rust after a few weeks, given other players may randomly appear to befriend you, but then later rob the "bases" you build and even blow them up or steal them outright before the server is "wiped" and the map and everyone's possessions are reset for another go round. I've been playing Rust for a few months now and have gotten reasonably good at evading being killed and not getting robbed blind of my base and gear by an angry mob of 12 year olds.

I'm 50 and I've been playing video games since I was 9. Rust is hands down the most "fun" video game I've ever played. I like it because it's hard.
Around 1975 or so, my grandmother bought me Pong, the video game. Being an only child, I played Pong with my dad, or by myself after getting home from school in single player mode, which involved twiddling both controllers at the same time. Over the last 40 years, I've watched video game's visual capabilities evolve from the simple black and white block graphics of Pong to the warmly lit scenes of Rust's setting suns, forests of trees, rivers of flowing water, and bases you could build that look like castles.