4 Oct 2010

My Gaming Life

I thought it was about time I laid out my life in games for you, so you can get an idea of my experience of games and gaming and what I feel qualifies me  as a credible source of gaming opinion and information.

My first experience of a video game, that I can remember is playing the Star Wars arcade game in the early '80s. Flying down that wireframe trench was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my then short life. Not long afterwards I received an Amstrad CPC 464 for Christmas and I've never looked back since. 

I've always been a PC gamer at heart, from the days of my old 464 until the point at which my dad got an IBM 386 in the early '90s, my contact with consoles was limited to those of my school friends. While I loved the simple 'plug-n-play' aspect of the NES and Sega Master Systems, my first port of call for playing games has always been something with a keyboard (and eventually a mouse too). I bought my first console when the Sega Master System II was released and hardly played it, preferring to fiddle about with the Autoexec.bat of my dad's PC trying to get the latest demo to run from the coverdisc of magazines like PC Review and PC World.

When I moved to university I took an underpowered and monochrome laptop with me which was no use for playing games so I finally gave in and bought a PSX. Those were the heydays of Tekken and Metal Gear Solid and I shared many an enjoyable evening with my uni flatmates learning special moves and sneaking my way around government facilities. But, one of them had a PC and I took every opportunity I could to grab some time on it.

We had no internet at this point and only one PC so network play was nigh on impossible but many games of Worms were played and turn about was taken when playing games like Z and Quake. It wasn't until I left uni (having dropped out of a Chemical Engineering course, I realise now that I should have taken the Comp. Sci. place I had been offered) and returned to my parents house that I discovered the joy of an always on connection. 

I've been pretty much permanently online for the last decade (apart form a few breaks here and there) and have watched gaming grow from something that is done alone in a study or bedroom, into  something that can be done anywhere on almost any hardware. 

In 2002 I landed a job that was, at the time, my dream job. Sales Assistant at GAME on my local high street. Yes I know its a menial and thankless job for little pay, but I was working with computer games. During my time at GAME I also started my first blog (long lost to the mists of the internet now) and wrote about whatever was in my head. In 2003 I discovered MMOs, and starting with Earth and Beyond (now defunct) made my first forays into a wider world (or worlds). I left Earth and Beyond not long before it was shut down, because I had found another sci-fi MMO to take its place; EVE Online.

During the six and a half years I've been playing EVE I have also been playing other games. I am not one of the many EVE players that restricts themselves to EVE and nothing else. I have owned (and still own) another 2 consoles in the shape of an Xbox and its offspring the 360. I may also own a PS3 at some point in the future, but that will be under duress and against my better judgement. I have played a variety of MMO games including (but not limited to) Planetside, Star Wars Galaxies, WoW, Aion, Guild Wars, Entropia Universe, Second Life, Auto Assault, Tabula Rasa, LoTRO, Everquest II, Free Realms,  and City of Heroes. I've always had EVE going in the background though and it will be my first love.

In no way do I restrict myself to MMOs however. I try and keep abreast of the latest PC and console titles but gaming is an expensive hobby so I haven't managed to play everything that I've wanted to. The world of gaming is wide and varied, and there are so many games that no-one person can hope to play them all, and some of them you probably wouldn't want to anyway.

So here I sit, today, at my computer typing away and posting my thoughts on gaming for the world to read. I'm doing the two things that I enjoy the most; playing videogames and writing. I think about games a lot, I play games alot, and I hope to write about my thinking and playing on these pages in a way that is engaging, entertaining and informative. I'll concede that the majority of my audience are going to be gamers, but hopefully I'll be able to write so that non-gamers can gain some insight and understanding of the medium, as a counter to the misinformation often published by more mainstream media sources.

So stick around, leave the odd comment, and lets play.

M out

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