Knowledge isn’t something that comes out of a book. Hell, it’s not even something that necessarily comes from a teacher’s mouth. Every day, we pick up useful information from the world around us.
The color of the sky. The sound of a waterfall. The taste of a child’s tears. The kinds of things no book learnin’ can teach. And while some credit their parents, Bill Nye, or other fictional characters for their extracurricular data assimilation, I had a far better instructor. You see, I learned everything I know from Blizzard’s masterpiece, Diablo 2.
Everyone knows I’m a modern day, master-level merchant. I literally wrote the book on TF2 hat trading. But a decade before I was dabbling in digital dressings, I was whisking around weapons and runes in Diablo 2. Those early experiences interacting with random strangers from around the world formed the basis of my real life etiquette.
For instance, when I walk into a store like Best Buy nowadays, I don’t look around the aisles like a fucking sucker. I stroll right up to the manager and ask wat u got? If he doesn’t understand exactly what I mean, I elaborate (in case he’s a bit thick in the head). “Sorry, I meant to say WUG?” Assuming the moron knows what to do (show his fuckin’ elites unique flatscreens), it’s time to move forward.
I pull out my wallet, flash $70 (so he knows I mean business) and just say “offer.” It’s not a question. Hell, it’s not even really a sentence. But Diablo 2 taught me that when someone tries to have a meaningful business transaction with you, you say “offer” and then count to two. If I don’t see a fucking 72″ plasma in the trade window by then, I call him a noob and leave the store.
What is he gonna do, call the cops and follow me? Two words for you: PK, bitch.
Mathematics and Economics
Diablo 2 is a game of min/maxing, and concepts like marginal utility and diminishing returns don’t have any value. A sword exists to deal damage, so it should have the highest DPS possible, right?
It works the same way in real life. A car’s designed to get me to work, fast. What the fuck do I need a passenger seat for? It weighs down the car and, worse yet, it allows for the possibility of a passenger that could further slow down my 500-HP Scion tC.
No, “Mom,” I won’t drive you to the doctor’s office again. Jesus Christ.
Of course, I learned a lot more than just how to get the most out of everyday tools like cars, pens, women, and scissors. Diablo 2 taught me that the only way to get really useful shit on the cheap is gambling. Now, I know there things called “casinos” and “the lottery,” but the way this shit went down in Sanctuary was you walked up to the shadiest motherfucker in town and asked him to give you a random item from his coat in exchange for all of your money.
Guess what? This totally works. Yeah, 90% of the time you end up with cracked sashes, cracked iPods, or just plain crack, but every now and then you hit the jackpot. I mean, do you have any idea what scary ass guys on street corners in the ghetto are willing to give you for $6,000 cash? On numerous occasions I have scored automatic rifles, high-end designer drugs, blowjobs, and +2 skill amulets. Now, I couldn’t verify these amulets really improved my skills, but the guy blowing me in Camden assured me the bling I just bought would grant at least +1 Street Cred.
And if you can’t trust a cracked out guy blowing you in a Camden alley, whom can you trust?
Religion and Philosophy
Everyone at my church loves me. Not that I go to church. Sometimes I just wander into them with a sword, hoping they’re infested with demons. Usually, though, it’s just infested with old people.
But I found one church in New Jersey that has yet to file a restraining order. Heck, they even let me teach Sunday School. It may be because I hooked up the Deacon with a sweet +3 Defensive Auras amulet. But that’s beside the point: kids fucking love Sunday School when WiNGSPANTT is giving the lessons.
Some kid asked me why God lets good things happen to bad people. I just laid it out real clear for the little bastard:
“Okay, first of all kid (if that is your real name), you’re mispronouncing it. It’s not “God.” It’s “Tyreal.” And he doesn’t really let bad things happen, he just kind of fucked up and let the Prime Evils enter our realm. I mean, they are pretty powerful, and are wholly capable of outright haunting the shit out of your closet at night. Anyway, Tyreal destroyed the corrupted Worldstone, which means Baal can’t bring his minions into our realm but it also means that’s why your dad got cancer.”
That kid dropped out (he never really passed any tests anyway), but in general I think Diablo 2 helped me open kids’ minds to a different, more awesome side of the Bible. I mean, sure this Sermon on the Mount stuff is pretty cool, but where are the bare-chested she-demons? Not once in Leviticus does it talk about the River of Flame or why we had to destroy the Soulstones. Yeah, I saw a vague reference to the Nephalem and some angels, but it didn’t once talk about how much bullshit it is when the Whirlwind guy gets you trapped in the corner. I mean seriously, what the fuck, Blizzard?
Eventually the church kicked me out when I asked the kids to bring their favorite demon-slaying weapon to Sunday School. Turns out Betty Pak is a pyromaniac and, well, there’s no church anymore. On the bright side, it totally looks like the Tristram Cathedral now.
Finally, Diablo 2 taught me that a lot of shit in life just isn’t worth doing. I mean, if there’s a big pile of gold lying on the ground, you could pick it up… but what are you gonna do, pick up every giant pile of gold you run across? It’s much more efficient just to steal cars and sell them for gold.
I also learned that certain types of activities just don’t yield high-level results. In game that meant endless Baal runs for the best EXP and drops possible. In my day to day job, it means I can’t be bothered to do things like “refill the coffee machine after emptying it” or “locking the doors when I’m the last to leave.”
That’s chump work. Do you have any idea how much experience and lewt I get doing high end tasks like cleaning the CEO’s toilets or polishing all his golf trophies? Do you think street-grade crack, fellatio, and skill ammys pay for themselves? That’s why I only perform the most optimal runs every day. And you better believe I always get the last hit on every fucking roach. Can’t let the noobs here who don’t even understand what Magic Find is be the ones spraying the Raid in the heating closet.
What’s the moral of the story? Most likely it’s “drug dealers and people who have syphilis apparently overlap.” But the second moral (learned about that in Sunday School) is that Diablo 2 shaped my entire life for the better. My index/trigger finger is the fastest on the East Coast, and I have a much firmer grip on economics, ethics, trade relations, and kids and shit. I sure as hell can’t wait for Diablo 3, and I hope it can do for the younger generation what Diablo 2 did for me.
That is, except Betty Pak. She’s in juvie for 11 more years.