Welcome to pΘtshΘt, a blog mostly about online gaming.
I hope to add some semi-cogent thoughts to the computer gaming blogosphere based on about 30 years of growing up with computers and video games. A little of what I’m playing, reviews of games, thoughts on design and random social comment.
Some basic facts about me. I’m an adult gamer with a real life. I grew up in Silicon Valley when it was still filled with fruit orchards. My first real job was cutting apricots for drying one summer in an orchard near the intersection of DeAnza Boulevard and Stevens Creek Road in Cupertino, the cradle of the home computer. Rumor has it that in high school my sister turned down the offer of a date from a dork named Steve Wozniak…
Always a fan of science and science fiction, I became enamored with computers after an elementary school field trip to Lawrence-Berkeley Labs where they had these exciting teletype terminals with a few simple games. The computer asked a few simple questions like your name and some other questions and then generated a simple story based on your responses on fan-fold greenbar computer paper. Magic! A thinking machine! From then I was hooked.
From an early age I got hooked on the pong craze, through the early consoles and finally to the age of the home computer. Several friends had a TRS-80 that you could manually key in various programs that did, well, not very much but it was cool. Finally with the arrival of the Apple II, I was thoroughly hooked– mesmerized at the amazing possibilities for game play.
Of course, graphics were, well, not that much back then and sound consisted mostly of buzzes, joysticks were mostly two paddles (one for x, one for y) but somehow games were still captivating. What developers were capable of pushing that little system to do was truly amazing. A trip through the old catalog will reveal the primeval roots of most of today’s games.
Aside from the simple arcade style games which were fun because they were “free” (when pinball and video arcades still existed), the fantasy titles were most captivating to me. Games like Zork, Wizardry, Castle Wolfenstein, Ultima I through V and of course Adventure provided countless hours of wonderful imaginitive play.
Unlike my friend Wilhelm2451 to whom I sold my old modem (and a damned fine modem it was), pc online gaming would wait a few years to catch up to me. During college, text based muds, strategy games on the university’s system and pen and paper RPGs were the rage and the Internet, then the arpanet, was not yet the gaming medium of choice.
During the 90’s, sandboxes like SimCity and the first RTS games caught my attention. Fortunately, my roomates at the time were equally enamored and the era of multiplayer RTS games for us was born. Warcraft, Starcraft, Red Alert, Age of Empires/Kings, Diablo as well as FPS multiplayers like UT, Descent and others. All over phone lines and eventually a few hundred feet of coaxial cable strung about the house.
Finally, MMOs caught my attention with the original Everquest though I couldn’t quite stick with it. Finally, Blizzard’s long awaited World of Warcraft launched and our old multiplayer group which had grown idle took the leap primarily based on Blizzard’s reputation for top notch releases.
Currently, I’m mostly casually playing WoW with a static group of long time friends and my spouse (read the other side of the story at Whitekitten), but I’m also playing EQ2, doing a beta of an MMO targeted for release later in 2007, dabbling with Eve Online and looking forward to what 2007’s games will bring.