One Man's Eyes

I'm an early 30's engineer with delusions of adequacy. From here, I'll share my perspective, usually through words, sometimes through pictures, of the view of the world from one man's eyes.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Gamer at Heart

I have always been into video games. Going back to the late 70's with the original Atari 2600 (which was simply "The Atari" back then) I once spent three solid hours playing Yar's Revenge, flipping the scoreboard a good six times in the process.
With the 80's, we had both the original Nintendo and eventually the Super Nintendo consoles. The 80's also saw me spend many many hours in the arcades, most of which no longer exist. Guantlet, Q-bert, Time Pilot, Zaxxon, Sinistar, BattleZone and a host of others sucked up much of my allowance quarter by quarter.
As the 90's arrived, I found myself with a PC and it has been my platform of choice ever since. Games like Wing Commander, The Ultima series, the Might and Magic Series, Knights of the Old Republic and especially my beloved TIE Fighter. I spent many a free hour from high school on immersed in virtual worlds. I spent many a dollar upgrading my rig getting ready for a new game.
But, in the last few years, much of that has changed. Especially with the kids now, I have much less time to dispose of on such pursuits. Now, all this is fine - I wouldn't trade anything for the time and experiences that I get to have with my family. 25 years from now when all the kids are out on their own, I'll have plenty of time to start building killer rigs again.
But, I do still get to satisfy my urges on occasion. There's a group of guys that I work with of a similar age and gaming background to myself. During our lunch hours, we engage in a variety of multiplayer computer games across the network with each other. Our current favorite is a somewhat older game called Rise of Nations. Depending on how many of us are available on a given day, we may create a scenario of all human teams, or we may group all the human players against a force of computer controlled nations. Typically, we play through a scenario during a lunch hour, sometimes two.
But, this week was something different. Two of our regulars were unavailable, so the remaining four of us took on four computer controlled nations. This week, we spent three full lunch hours, over two hours of game time, to defeat the four opposing nations. After the first day, we were essentially at a stalemate, and I was particularly hampered as I seemed to be a favorite target. By the end of the second day, we got the pendulum to start swinging in our favor, though the outcome was by no means certain. Finally, on the third day, we broke through on two fronts and eventually managed to break the four opponents. I would definitely call that effort and its result a high point in my gaming experience. Here below is a screen shot of the end of the game with mine and a buddy's forces pounding away at an enemy city.

EDIT: Damn! As I go back through and add links to the game references, I can't believe how old some of those arcade games are. I'm talking 1980, 81, 82!!!! Man I'm getting old.


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