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April 23rd, 2013, 21:21
I was born in '78 and have been a gamer since the mid-80's. My parents got divorced when I was around four years old. Since then I've had very little contact with my father. I guess he felt a little bad about it so he would always spoil me at Christmas and birthdays.
The first computer I got was the C-64, albeit not the classic 'breadbin' model. I can't recall if this actually was a birthday or a Christmas gift but my father definitely gave it to me. Some of my first gaming related memories are from Arcades and the C-64. I specifically remember being awestruck by a Star Wars X-Wing simulator in all its vector graphics glory. On the C-64 I remember Commando, Bruce Lee, Green Beret, and Exploding Fist II as some of the first games I played. I would later move on to the Amiga 500. The Amiga 500 was a fantastic machine. I loved playing adventure games from Sierra on-line and LucasArts and occasionally some Speedball 2 on that thing. Around the late 80s a friend introduced me to D&D and naturally my interest in cRPG grew as a consequence. I remember playing the Gold Box games and the Eye of the Beholder series. To be honest I don't think I was a all that die-hard as I can't recall ever finishing any of them.
Back then piracy was completely dominant and you would either get new games through friends or buy them cheaply from one of the hundreds of people listed in a bi-weekly paper. However, at some point the pressure for ending this public trading of pirated games became too big. I remember it as being a terrible time as you no longer had easy access to cheap games and there were very few actual brick n' mortar shops around and the price for a legit game was at least 20 times higher than what you were used to paying for illegal copies.
As time went by the PC became more popular. I remember an uncle telling me 20 years ago that I would soon abandon the Amiga and switch to PC. I remember telling him no change and I was right until I saw Wing Commander II at a friends house. I had to get a PC. Unfortunately I had to wait 6 months for a shining 33Mhz 486. It probably was the most agonizing wait in my entire life
From the early days of PC gaming I fondly remember games like Alone in the Dark, Syndicate, Darklands, and Wing Commander. Later my gaming interest would take a backseat to social life and I basically only played the yearly editions of Championship Manager (today re-branded as Football Manager). It wasn't until the day I played a demo of an upcoming game called Fallout that my interest in cRPGs would be rekindled. At that time there still weren't many stores carrying computer games and usually it would take a couple of weeks after US release before there was a European release. So I couldn't believe my luck when I went into a store which also carried used games and found the American release of Fallout sitting on a shelf a full three weeks before it entered normal retail.
Afterwards I found a shop that would import games from the US. I think I bought all of the Black Isle / Bioware games from them. These carried a premium price of course but it usually was worth it to get the game a week or more in advanced. I even paid close to $90 (in today's currency) for Heart of Winter. I have fond memories of that store so it was a bit heartbreaking to see it shutdown last year.
In recent years I've somehow managed to get married and have two daughters so that naturally pushed back gaming a bit. However, it has taught me to be more focused on how I spend my spare time and I believe I actually manage to complete more games now than I ever did in the past.
Join Date: Oct 2006
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