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My early days of PC gaming

When I was growing up the pc gaming evolution engulfed my friends and I, we were more addicted to it than someone using coke or heroine! Back in the late 80’s, at the age of 10, video games was on every little boy’s mind. The first games were quite basic but it provided entertainment nonetheless and for kids our age, this home personal computer was the answer to all our dreams. Yes I know that other platforms were available like the TV gaming systems which could be hooked-up to your television but I was just 100 times more fascinated by pc’s! I just found it amazing that you could such a lot of things on one device or should I say appliance? The old pc’s looked like a big heavy kitchen appliance. When I watched adults work on a computer, it seemed like they could do absolutely anything on it! They were Gods! Computers were expensive and were bought mainly for work purposes and not for playing games so as a kid I had to find somewhere where I could actually get access to play on one. Only two people existed back then who owned pc’s, at least two people that I knew. My uncle and my friend’s dad. Now that I found potential allies I needed to persuade them to let me play on it. My uncle was fairly cool so he would let me play when I came to visit and even showed me some computer “tricks” like how to print a graphic using the dot-matrix printer! This was super amazing I thought!

My friend’s dad was totally ok with us playing on his pc, he even got some accessories like a joystick and this “home office” soon became our domain where we would hang out a lot. Ok, mostly weekends. My parents said I shouldn’t make a nuisance of myself, can you believe my parents. They just didn’t understand! Later in the 90’s we were able to play on faster machines with better sound and graphics. It was the teen years, pimples, high school etc. Girls became more and more important to us as boys but we still had a special place in our hearts for our PC’s. Yes we now had our own machines. Ok not really our own but one that was bought for the “family” to use for school work, word processing or whatever. For me it was for gaming…period. It was a 486 PC with color monitor, sound card and even had a graphics card for gaming (I had nothing to do with the purchasing of this model PC with these specs, I promise) By this time the best game in the world for my buddy and I was Doom. It followed soon after Castle wolfenstein which were both FPS (first person shooters)… games that put you “inside” the character and you view the game through his eyes. It was beautiful! You were flung right into the action, shooting up everything that moved (mostly alien creatures) and some other baddies. This was after they achieved big leaps in progress with 3D graphics engines and 3D graphics cards. Late 90’s with Windows 95 being introduced the games got better and better. My other favorite was Half-Life. Also a FPS but with an even better storyline and graphics. This one I couldn’t stop playing and actually stayed up nights trying to finish the game. I had to switch off the room light and play in the dark to avoid my parents having a fit if they caught me playing pc games at 3am in the morning. This made the game more intense and actually more frightening! Try playing a 3D game in the dark! If you’re a real man, get Silent Hill 2, switch off all the lights, turn up the sound on your headphones and prepare to wet your pants! It’s terrifying and brilliant at the same time! The game is based on the horror movie with the same title and you play the character that’s searching for a missing loved-one in a demented town where all kinds of horrific events occurred and terrible entities reside. Just give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Although this title if very scary, the graphics, game play and sound is good. The advances in technology are amazing. When I think back to the 90’s when I played Doom I thought that was the best thing ever but compared to today’s 3D graphics etc it makes the first Doom look like a cheap second rate game. Of course the latest Doom titles also have great graphics etc. Not everyone feels the same about gaming the way I do. I’m not a fanatic but I must admit that gaming is very addictive. In Japan they even have fighting game tournaments – called Super Battle Opera – where players fight each other on gaming consoles. Today you get mobile devices with games that look and feel very good but it’s the “easy to play” ones that are the most addictive. Look at games like Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds, both selling millions of copies, making their creators millionaires overnight yet they are “simple” games … but addictive! It seems that the game which gets you addicted is the one that becomes the bestseller and the most successful. There are many people out there that are really not into gaming and if you’re one of them, just give gaming a try, you might just love it and even become addicted!

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