My gaming history: Game Boy

I am a long time Nintendo handheld gamer, but were it not for a family tragedy when I was young I might never have picked up a portable system.  My brother, suffering from the leukemia (ALL) that would eventually kill him, was given a Game Boy and four games – shown below – by the local branch of the Lions Club.  I don’t know the reasons behind the generous donation, but it was a toy that was shared by the whole family and gave us some good times in the midst of pain.   Although we couldn’t afford any games [... read the rest ...]

My gaming history: NES, part 2

With the recent passing of the NES’s 25th anniversary, I have been taking some time to remember the great games that nurtured me from a tentative C64 gamer into a full fledged video game addict.  Yesterday I listed off the NES games that I owned as a teenager, but those games barely scratched the surface of the breadth of games that I played.  My hometown had a great video rental shop that carried an expansive selection of NES (and later SNES) games that they rented out for $7.50 per week.  I indulged as often as I could afford to. Here [... read the rest ...]

My gaming history: NES, part 1

With last week’s 25th anniversary of the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System, there is no better time to drive back down memory lane and remember what made that system great. My family was going through a rough patch when the NES was first released, and thus my parents could not afford to buy us a top of the line gaming system.  Our old C64 was all the gaming we needed in their opinion.  Agonizing through commercials depicting this awesome new gaming revolution was not something that we could do for long and, as the eldest of the siblings, I [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: 3D Dot Game Heroes

3D Dot Game Heroes, by From Software, is a loving homage to the 1986 NES classic The Legend of Zelda (or blatant rip-off, depending on your point of view).  As a player who loved the first three Zelda games, but has loathed the series since it went 3D, this was a wonderful chance to take a trip down nostalgia lane, and relive a piece of my childhood. Visually, 3D Dot Game Heroes is as unique as they come.  The game’s premise is that a traditional 8-bit RPG kingdom has gained the power to add a dimension to itself, and the [... read the rest ...]

My gaming history: Commodore 64

The first computer my family ever owned was a Commodore 64.  While the C64 wasn’t the first time that I had played a video game, when my father brought the machine home some time in the mid 1980′s it represented the start of an unbroken chain of home video gaming that has lasted to this day.  As a kid in elementary school my parents imposed relatively strict limits on my computer time.  I was allowed an hour every weekday, and double or triple that on the weekends.  The only exception to these rule was that any time spent doing something [... read the rest ...]

Nov 302009

There is something special about the first time. Whether it’s an image, a sound, a touch, or perhaps even a smell – there is something simply magical that sticks in the back of your mind, easily accessible for whenever you need to drift off and bask in the warm glow of reminiscence. I can still remember my first: it was in the basement of my babysitter’s apartment. Sitting atop a beat up couch straight out of the sixties, my feet barely able to touch the orange shag rug carpet below, I held it in my hands – a look of [... read the rest ...]

Oct 102009
My Gaming History: BBS Doors

A recent article on Gamespy reminded me of my first forays into online gaming: BBS Doors. Back before the Internet had become available to the general public, computer enthusiasts would set up self contained dial-up sites called Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). Users would dial up on their modem to connect to these sites, and once online could access any of the message boards or games that were hosted, all rendered in beautiful state of the art ASCII. Typical BBS intro screen Applications on a BBS were known as ‘doors’, and so games that were played on these systems were referred [... read the rest ...]

Jul 162009
My gaming history: Arcade

I’ve been a gamer for as long as I can remember – while computers may not have been very prominent or mainstream during much of my youth, I was blessed with a family that was fairly far along the technology curve and have not been without some form of electronic entertainment since we first purchased a Commodore 64. This week’s episode of the Idle Thumbs podcast (episode 34) kicked off with a discussion of California Extreme, a huge arcade show that took place last weekend. Listening to the guys discuss all of the games that they played really took me [... read the rest ...]

Jul 102009

I have a simple question on my mind that has been nagging me for a while. I’ve chewed on it, debated it with myself, and in the end still can’t come to grips with it. I guess that’s where you come in. Why do players feel entitled to see all raid content? I pose this question in the context of World of Warcraft. Why is it that a very loud segment of players believe that they have the innate right to see all raid encounters in a game simply by virtue of paying their $15 monthly subscription fee? Encounters should [... read the rest ...]

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