I was a victim of the Javelin glitch – a sufferer speaks

I also, I confess, don’t follow the gaming news as much as I should. Blame global warming and illegal wars in the Middle East, if you like. It seems to me as though the world has quite enough news in it demanding my attention without having to care about whether there’s yet another update to PSN firmware, this time offering me full Czech-language support.
‘m trying to get to is that I knew nothing of the Javelin glitch until Sunday night, when I experienced it first-hand. And just in case you didn’t either, here’s the rub. If you’ve unlocked the Javelin missile in Modern Warfare 2, and you’re killed while carrying it, you explode. Spectacularly. Effectively, this encourages you to take something of a suicide bomber approach to the game: you can score far more points by running into a crowd of enemies and taking them all with you than any reasonably skilled person could by, y’know, trying to play the game.

Feel the burn!

Tell you what, though… it wasn’t half confusing. And strangely rewarding.

When I play team shooters, I’m not much of a run and gunner. It has its place, of course, but I much prefer the satisfaction of sitting in a clump of undergrowth and spotting the incautious head of the opposition peer meekly over the crest of a ridge half a mile away. And then decorating the surrounding foliage with the contents of their brain pan. By the way, could there possibly be a sillier message on MW2 than “Nice kill from a distance”? No offence, pal, but I know. I was there. Well, technically I was half a mile away, but I’m still sniggering. Sorry, I digress.

For some reason, this particular game saw me running and gunning rather more than usual. It was the irritatingly tight Scrapyard level, no friend to snipers. And there I was, charging around with my rapid fire Vector, and continuously getting blown up. If you’re like me, of course, you’ll skip the vast majority of the deathcams simply because you want back into the fray as quickly as possible. So it took me a little while to figure out what was going on. When I did, it was a revelation.

See, I’ve never really had the opportunity to watch myself before. That’s the thing with deathcams… when you pull off a particularly neat shot, you want to watch it again in slo-mo. You can’t, and you know full well that the Philistine whose head you just splattered won’t, because he wants back and he wants a piece of you. But as I was being killed instantly by the chap I’d just wasted, I saw rather a lot of myself. It was… hmmm… odd. No, you deserve better than that. It was a window into a world of metaphysical self-awareness, where the true consequences of my own actions were laid bare and an inner voice started to question precisely why I was doing this. What were my motives? Why are these two teams fighting? Is there some way of resolving the situation? Should I just have stuck with “it was odd”?

Again and again and again, I got to watch my own callsign taking aim. I started admiring my technique. It was, in all honesty, the best learning experience I’ve had in multiplayer.

And then the game ended, and I realised that all I was doing was watching a cheating toerag getting killed. Frequently.

The patch, according to Infinity Ward, is “imminent”. So, if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, give it a try before you lose the chance forever. Metaphysical revelations are just a cheating, sneaky bugger away. Get out there and hone your self-awareness. Be rewarded. Be renewed. See yourself in a whole new light.

Rob Hobson

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