NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

September 20, 2012

Gamer puts video-playing skills to test on reality show

SALISBURY — After spending his whole life perfecting his aim on Xbox, one local gamer recently got the chance to trade in his controller for a real-life weapon as part of a new reality show debuting tonight on YouTube.

Justin Saboo of Salisbury, a 22-year-old professional gamer and one of the top Halo players in the world, was one of four contestants chosen to appear on “The Controller: Medal of Honor Warfighter.”

The reality show takes the four gamers and teams them up with four elite military men.

“The idea is the gamers use real weapons and blow stuff up,” Saboo said. “And in return, we have to teach the military guys how to play the game.”

Saboo, who is better known in the gaming community by his Xbox Live gamertag “Spikemouth,” said he was taught how to fire an automatic shotgun, a 12-gauge Remington shotgun and an M14 sniper rifle during the course of the filming. He said the weapons were naturally a lot different than their video game counterparts.

“I’d never really fired a weapon before,” Saboo said. “The first weapon I got to use was the Remington shotgun and that had the most kick to it, so I didn’t know what to expect until I fired it and it really pushed me back.”

Saboo said he never got knocked over, thanks to some advice he received from his military partner — a special operations reconnaissance Marine sniper at least three times his size. While the military guys were intimidating at first, Saboo said they were all nice, and the experience took a humorous turn once they had to try their luck at the video games.

“Once they picked up the controller, it was a completely different story,” Saboo said. “They were in our world and they were the ones nervous not to disappoint us.”

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