Me and video games

May 17, 2014

I don’t know what the first video game I played was. I do know that my family had a home Pong system, an Atari 2600 and some old computers with DOS games, but I don’t think games were a part of my life until my uncle introduced me to his Super Nintendo. I specifically remember playing Mortal Combat, Bart’s Nightmare and various Mario games on that Nintendo, and some time after that, I remember him letting me have his Game Boy, which I remember playing during trips and car rides.

I started watching my uncle as he played his computer games around the same time. He would let me play his games sometimes too, and give me free rein to do whatever on his computer while he was at work. During that time, I remember playing Quest for Glory and other Sierra games, Ultima, Myst, Wolfenstein 3D and a lot of Rodent’s Revenge.

Shortly thereafter my parents bought me my first console, a Sega Genesis, which I still have to this day — actually, I still have all of my consoles. I particularly remember playing a lot of Zombies Ate My Neighbors, some Strike games like Desert Strike, some Sonic games, Ecco the Dolphin, and that Terminator game with the light gun. Then I got a PlayStation, but I would eventually get a PlayStation 2 and I can’t remember much from those days, as they all kind of blurred together. I would also go on to get a Nintendo 64, and I particularly remember playing Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Pokemon Snap and Rogue Squadron on it.

After school, I would hang out in the school’s computer lab and play DOS and Mac games. Some games that I particularly remember playing there were Breakout, Oregon Trail and Stunt Copter, and everyone in the lab would play Worms against each other.

I got my first personal computer in 1997, and with it, I played a lot of Blizzard games, Ultima Online, Redneck Rampage, Starsiege Tribes, Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament and taught myself some programming and web design. I would spend a lot of time creating websites, actually.

In 2001, I got a new computer and I consider this time my golden years of PC gaming. I was heavily into Diablo 2, Tribes 2, Rainbow Six, Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Unreal Tournament, Halo, Operation Flashpoint, Dark Age of Camelot, and America’s Army, and for that last one, I would go on to become an internal quality assurance tester. I also started making my own mods during this time, and worked on some mod teams.

I eventually got an Xbox 360 and a PlayStation 3, but that was more of a casual thing. My favorite console-exclusive games from that era were Red Dead Redemption and Journey.

In 2009, I left the quality assurance program for America’s Army when America’s Army 3 came out. Leaving that game behind was a long time coming for me; I felt it degraded with each new release once Special Forces came out, and I longed for those old Operations days. Even though there were new maps introduced in most every update, when playing the game for fun, I usually only ever played maps made in the game’s first few iterations: Bridge, Mountain Pass, and Pipeline.

Also in 2009, Arma 2 was released, and I’ve played way too much of that since. I haven’t really played much of Arma 3 yet, though.