Long before I started playing MMOs, I played stand alone computer games. The first game I remember playing, and it wasn’t a game really, it was a drag racer simulation, ran on the teletype terminal my High School library had courtesy of Willamette Industries. It linked to a Willamette Industries mainframe at their corporate headquarters. The date was 1978 for those who must know. As a freshman I was introduced to this new technology addition at my rural High School with a shrug of indifference from the teachers who showed it to me. They did not understand it nor did they care to try. But I cared. And soon I discovered this simple program that allowed me to put in variables like tire width, and then ran a “race” to see how fast the drag racer would go. I don’t remember the fastest racer I ever designed. I only remember most times the tires spun and the the racer went nowhere. Still, it was fun and I spent many a lunch break in that small room listening to the clackity-clack of the teletype as it spewed my results. Top that Ancient Gaming Noob! LOL
The first graphically portrayed computer game I fell in love with was Warp Factor on the Apple IIe. I discovered those ancient devices in the computer science club room at my university. It may have been only simple ASCII graphics, but the game was engrossing nonetheless. When I graduated from university that experience lead me to buy an Apple IIgs with double 5.25″ floppy drives so I wouldn’t have to do the floppy shuffle. I’ve not been without a personal gaming computer since.
Once I made the change to an MS-DOS and subsequently a Windows 3.0 based system, the world of computer gaming really opened up. For a variety of reasons, the DOS/Windows environment was more appealing to developers at the dawn of the 90s than the Apple I’d had previously or the Amiga system my good friend and Army bro Tex1986 loved and adored. And on that early DOS/Windows PC I played and fell in love with Wing Commander.
My god, the hours I spent flying against the Kilrathi from the TCS Tiger’s Claw. I think that was the first time in my life a non-gamer accused me of being addicted to gaming. I shrugged it off. It’s what I did to relax. And of all the Wing Commander games I played, my favorite was Privateer. And yes, I was a carebear of sorts – a merchant. I didn’t want to fight. There is no profit in fighting, and I did so only as a last resort. Mostly I ran trade routes and made money and bought upgrades. I had one hellaciously tanked Orion, that’s for certain!
I stopped playing Wing Commander about the time Chris Roberts went on sabbatical from game development. Now he’s back. And if you thought I wouldn’t want to play in his world again… well, you just didn’t have all the facts. Now you know different. And because I do believe in putting my money where my mouth is, I’ll let you in on a little secret.