Like everyone else who counts in America, I picked up a reserve copy of Battlefield 3 yesterday and spent the entire workday looking forward to entering a brand new world of online multiplayer shooting. And by "brand new world" I meant hopefully very similar to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, a game I already like, with enough improvements to justify the purchase and shake off the fatigue of a well-worn experience. But then, when every Xbox 360 player on the Eastern Seaboard tried to actually play the game online, EA's servers shit themselves.
As I traversed an open plain in Caspian Border from the gunner seat of a VDV Buggy, I managed to lose myself in the moment. The roar of engines deafened the skies as two jets flew past overhead and an enemy helicopter razed an unfortunate group of soldiers to the left. A tank accompanied by a squad of soldiers came into view ahead, and I harassed the troops while my driver took a hard right to narrowly avoid a tank shell. The horizon looked endless, and in that instant I suddenly felt like anything could happen. This realization that you are part of a conflict bigger than yourself, that there are more things happening around you than you can imagine, can only be described as a "Battlefield Moment."