Print and Go Back ESPN.com: The Gamer [Print without images]

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Sheldon Brookbank talks 'Call of Duty,' Intellivision, and playing with patience


Brookbank
Sheldon Brookbank loves the fact that his "NHL 11" character is known for rough play.

Sheldon Brookbank might not play "NHL 11," but he's heard stories about his character's bad-ass ways on the virtual ice.

"A couple of my buddies were telling me how I was injuring their players, so that's always good," the Ducks defenseman tells me with a laugh.

Looks like Brookbank's character racks up as many penalty minutes in the game as he does in real life.

Maybe that's why when it comes to his down time, Brookbank prefers to get out his frustrations in a different game -- "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

"I played a lot of video games growing up, and then I started getting back into it with 'Call of Duty 3,'" he says. "We started off with an Intellivision playing 'Biplanes' and games like that, then moved on to the original Nintendo, and that's what we played for the longest time growing up. I remember 'Ice Hockey' with the fat guy and the skinny guy, and then 'Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!' was one of the best games ever made. I also played a lot of 'RBI Baseball' and 'Bases Loaded.'

"It never even crossed my mind at the time that one day video games would look so realistic. I thought it would never get better than Nintendo. Now you have games where I can get online with teammates and everyone is talking trash because you have some guys who hide the whole time and won't go out in battle. It gets pretty intense."

And even though the action can get hectic, Brookbank calls his "Call of Duty" style "patient."

"I don't like to just run right in. I'm not a Kamikazi guy," he says. "I like to find cover, then pop up and fire. I'm by no means an expert, but I like to think I'm pretty good at the game."

Brookbank even thinks there are similarities to the way he plays "Call of Duty" and his real game on the ice.

"It all comes down to you or him," Brookbank explains. It's a competition, and that's why I play video games ... I'm just always competing. The other thing about "Call of Duty" is just how realistic it is. From the battlefield to the guns you're using, it's like you're right there in the battle.

"And then you take that battle online and like I said, the competition is just so intense. You play the game and it really gets your blood pumping."