The Art of Video Gamesmanship

My name is Karl Smallwood and after you’ve finished laughing about my last name, I’m willing to bet you my left nut that if you’ve spent any time online whatsoever in the last few years, you’ve seen something that I’ve had a hand in writing. Now I’d like to say that you probably recognize me from one of the articles I’ve written for this very site, but I can’t because the odds suggest you know me from this image that shows I play games either very wrong or very right.

It's my magnum opus, apparently.

It’s my magnum opus, apparently.

That stupid joke is literally the most popular thing I have ever written, hell, even Wil Wheaton thinks it’s funny. However because the guy who originally posted the image to Reddit blurred out my name and face instead of using the version I originally publicly Tweeted, no one but my close friends (and everyone reading this I guess) knows I wrote it.

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The original, in case you didn’t believe me or were curious about if my face was really all blurry like that.

The thing is, that status was a joke leftover from when I used to do stand-up comedy, you can’t actually do that in a game of Rollercoaster Tycoon, I just thought it was a funny story I could tell a crowd of people who only kind of knew what video games where. Which inevitably means every time I see this image posted somewhere, like the time I saw someone on my own friends list copy it word for word and post it as their Facebook status, the first comment is almost always a variation on “But you can’t do that in Rollercoaster Tycoon, idiot.” I don’t like being called an idiot, but I can see why people would say that, so to make up for it and for everyone who ever wondered about what the guy behind that post does when he plays other games, here are some true stories from my childhood of times I just got sick of playing the “right” way.

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