And that title is “as sung by Johnny Cash” in case you were wondering.  The unfortunate truth is I actually did hurt myself when I started writing this two weeks ago – on a shark-tooth, no less! About 7 or 8 years ago, some friends went to Hawaii and brought back a “ceremonial dagger” which was probably made in Indonesia or Central China, but the edges of the colorful piece of wood are lined with shark teeth. As with all things like this, it has found its way to the bottom of a box which happens to reside in my closet. While searching all around for my journal (yes, I keep a journal – it’s very therapeutic…although, not so much when you’ve misplaced it for the past 6 months), I stuck my hand down in said box and managed to find the ceremonial dagger or rather, one of the dagger’s shark teeth, with the tip of my finger. Cut. Blood. The whole 9.

That said, the title is actually in reference to a game I somehow stumbled upon on AdultSwim called Amateur Surgeon 2. It is not for everyone as there is excessive cartoonish blood and you are essentially using a pizza cutter to operate on patients, but the premise is hilarious and the gameplay is addictive. Imagine, you are a blackmarket surgeon who uses a few household items to repair even the most devastated bodies. Witty one-liners and ingenious levels that recycle the tools for new uses make this free-to-play flash game a must.

Since beating this particular title (at least the 2 available acts), I have begun playing the original Amateur Surgeon. I can see how much they’ve improved with the second title: sewing wounds rather than stapling, upgrading the usefulness of the tools rather than leaving you (or your patients) to rot, etc. My, how the young Alan Probe has aged in the past 50 years, but he’s still got the chops to pluck your glass and suck out your body poison. No innuendo.

Dark Templars are sweet, and by sweet I mean totally awesome.

Blizzard (or Activision Blizzard). You might know the company for their big title game…The Lost Vikings, but did you know they’ve made a few other games? Really great ones, in fact. 12 years ago, they made a game called StarCraft which was a grittier version of a game called WarCraft and it was set in space. 11 years ago, I began playing said game and it not only ate up my time in college, it digested it slowly and let its stomach acids marinate and dissolve my grey matter during the hours I should have been sleeping. The first few years resulted in a feverish and compulsory gaming of StarCraft, much like masturbating when you finally realize it won’t make you go blind. After that, my habit was sated with playing only a couple nights a week for 4 or 5 hours on those nights. As the years went by and other real-time strategies piqued my interest, I would lapse in my Craft, but I have never gone more than about 6 months without jonesin’ for a little Protoss action.

A couple of years ago, SC2 was announced as a current Blizzard project and my RTS-weenie started spinning out of control (along with all of South Korea’s). Since then, I’ve managed to get along with my life in the way a 3-legged dog still hops around and makes do. No, literally. I’ve been living as a 3-legged dog hopping around and making do – Austin is very accommodating.

Earlier this year, the public beta was announced and I signed up and allowed Blizzard to deeply probe the annals of my computer…What? There’s a lot of history on this ol’ computer of mine. Then, the beta came out! And I wasn’t on the list. Then someone at work had a beta invite they weren’t going to use! And I received the email a day late, long after someone else had snagged it. Finally, I contacted an old boss of mine who had sworn to me long ago in a pact with Satan himself that when the StarCraft 2 beta was out, he would send an invite my way because he knew “someone on the inside”. I never heard back from him. I can only assume he had made other such pacts and that the devil had collected the reward of that man’s eternal soul by the time my email made it through.

With all options exhausted and no stone left unturned, I lost hope. Yes, friends, I admit it: I was down-trodden and allowed my mind to fill with dark thoughts and sin! But then!!!! Two days before I was leaving on a trip to that sacred holy land known as Hawai’i, I received an email from Blizzard welcoming me, with open arms, into its bountiful, blizzardy bosom. I had finally been accepted into the beta.

“Drew, what did you do about Hawaii?” you may be asking. I’ll tell you what I did. I ripped my plane ticket in half and in half once more, logged on to Battle.Net and began a journey of downloading, patching and overall StarCraft 2 mayhem that would not end until the night of June 7th, 2010 when the beta was stripped from my clawed and crippled hands.

Not really. I left for a week and a half, got home, ordered new Internet service which is sloooow (thanks CLEAR) and took 2 days to grab all the patch data. From there I responsibly played the amazing SC2 beta for approximately 4 hours a night for 3 nights (never missing a bit of work, mind you) and like that <poof!> it was gone.

The game looks great, plays incredibly well and while it doesn’t reinvent real-time strategy games (or its own brand) by any means, it gives die-hard fanboys like me and newcomers exactly what they should want: many long nights of glorious, uninterrupted pleasure without any need for protection or morning-after pills.