HCF Podcast #11: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare & Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number


To me, this episode is all about embarrassment. Playing certain games can be, apparently, embarrassing. Failing at a game in front of strangers, equally, if not more so. All the man hours that have gone into boob physics? Embarrassing for sure.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Chris would be embarrassed to play Call of Duty. Sure, the annual release cycle has caused the franchise to drop the ball here and there (:::cough::: GHOSTS :::cough:::), but the game is popular for a reason: it’s fun! FUN, I SAY!

For my part, I got to fail in front of strangers and feel like an asshole while playing Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. Painful experiences all around this week, but they make for an entertaining episode.

Listen for yourself!

Kill Confirmed


Listen to this gamer story (3 min, 06 seconds):

Or, read the transcript:

So, my fiancé is not much of gamer, but over the last, maybe 7 of the 14 years we’ve been together he’s really come around. He’ll play some couch co-op with me and even occasionally play some games on his own, which is pretty amazing. But, more often than not, he will just watch me play video games. He’ll sit on the couch and give me his really good advice.

So, this one time I am playing Call of Duty and he’s not split-screening it with me which is odd because that’s a game he will split-screen with me. But, anyway, he is just sitting on the couch, watching me play, giving his usual advice like: “Oh, over there!” or “Look out!”

This time, however, he goes silent for a bit. And, I can feel him looking at me, but I’m playing Kill Confirmed. Dudes are trying to kill me and I’m trying to kill them, so I’m not really looking back. I just feel him looking at me. And he’s quiet. And then he says, “I like your grey hairs.”

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“There was a point in my life where a relationship caused me to leave games behind entirely.”

...photo by Dennis Powers...

…photo by Dennis Powers...

QUESTION: Is your significant other a gamer too?

Absolutely, she is, in that video games are a part of her life. It is something that I relish more than just about anything else about her. Why? Because she understands my love, she understands a part of me that so very few others have in my life in general – a part that nearly none of my past partners have. It was something I didn’t actually realize I loved about her until this very question. I was, of course, attracted to it subconsciously. I just never thought about it. In addition, it made me realize that there was a point in my life where a relationship, and namely my then-partner’s views on video games, caused me to leave games behind entirely. I am happy to say neither the relationship nor my forsaking of video games lasted a full year.


…the lovely Kyle…

With my lovely Kyle it was something we had in common: the fond NES and SNES days early in both our lives. We would talk about how neither of our families could afford consoles early in the console’s launch windows, and instead rented or got them much later. It brought us together. We spent quite a few dates at arcades playing Street Fighter, or pinball (she kills me every time, it isn’t even remotely fair), or talking about old games we loved. Once we shared the same roof we actually played less together as our tastes are different. She is all about the puzzle games and pinball. There have been times though, especially early in the Wii’s life. She will still happily tell you how bad I am at Sonic games “Michael can’t even run upside down!!”… or that she can beat the hell out of me at Boomblox. She has no patience or interest in shooters, or sports games, or more realistic 3D games in general. So, I learned early on to recruit our daughter as my sidekick in Portal 2 or Ibb & Obb instead. While she may not play split-screen Call of Duty with me (opting instead to point out HOW MANY TIMES DO THEY NEED TO SAY “UAV ONLINE”?!?!) what she does and always has done is support me (and our daughter) in our love of games, as she shares that love as well. Would I love it if she played more of the games I love alongside me? I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t hate it. I love that she has her tastes and I have mine. I love that I will never beat her at pinball or Tetris, and that if I somehow ever convinced her to play FIFA for just 5 minutes it would end in tears most likely. One of ours.




Michael Beach by day is a salaryman and photographer in the Pacific Northwest… who happens to wish that he got paid for the mess of damn video games he plays.



Love games? Love talking about them? Tell me your story!

Your Email Re-Engagement Strategy: It’s Working

Every time I get one of these emails from Call of Duty I pick up the controller and play. I can’t help myself.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 7.10.16 PMCOD3COD2COD1

Part of me feels really proud. The rest of me wonders how badly everyone else must suck.

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