We here at Hooked Gamers have way too much time on our hands. It's probably why we play videogames so much. It's also probably why Falconer decided to remove the trackballs from every single mouse in the office. Yes, we still use trackball mice at Hooked Gamers.
In an effort to increase productivity, the powers that be have decided to make us discuss various videogame topics and write about them. They call it a "roundtable discussion". We call it "stop Falconer from hiding our staplers".
In our first weekly roundtable discussion, we answer the question, "what moment turned gaming into a lifestyle for you?" We discuss those particular points in time at which our opinions of videogaming evolved. Why do we take the time to write about videogames, beyond having nothing better to do? Why do we follow the industry so obsessively? Keep reading to find out!
I am a gamer today because I grew up on Chess. I started at the age of seven when my father showed me how the pieces moved. We stopped playing each other a couple weeks later when Dad realized he could not win. I moved onto my brother, who is eight years older than me, and played on and off for the next couple of years – until the first time I beat him. Over the years, I literally ran out of opponents. But by then I had discovered Avalon Hill and a wide variety of board games, most of them intriguing in one way or another.
When PC games more complex than Solitaire appeared, I eagerly snatched those up. Their greatest appeal to me was that you didn't need another player. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you had an opponent sitting there waiting just for YOU. And if for any reason you tired of the game or needed to stop for any reason, you could do so, guilt-free. The PC would simply wait patiently for whenever it was convenient for you to resume.
The clarifying moment that showed me that I was most definitely hooked on games was when I was playing a game of Pirates! on a Commodore 64. I was seriously incensed by just how flagrantly the game cheated (A Spanish pinnace, carrying a crew of 312 and equipped with 64 cannons ran down and trashed my 16-gun merchantman with a crew of only 96.). I was so outraged, I popped out the 5-1/4" disk and sent it flying across the room like a Frisbee. After about ten minutes of breathing exercises to get my blood pressure back under control, I calmly walked across the room, picked up the disk, dusted it off, and popped it back in the drive. Damned if I was going to let any stupid machine beat me!
Twenty-plus years later, I'm playing games more now than ever before – but not as much as I will tomorrow.
I must say that the reason I re-entered the gaming world – after having been absent for several years between the end of the 90's and early new millennium – was the remake of Sid Meier's Pirates!.
I cannot remember where I heard about the remake – it must have been some general news site since I no longer followed the gaming press – but it brought to my mind my early teen years which I had spent playing the original Pirates! first on Commodore 64 and later on Amiga 500 and 1200. I remembered the smell of the Caribbean Sea and the pirates on their sailing ships that had been so vivid in my imagination in my youth. I remembered the smell of the gun powder and the excitement of ransacking ports and towns and chasing those rich Spanish fleets.
Perhaps I yearned to relive some of those moments when I searched the Internet for more information on the game and found the fan site Cutlass Isle (it later became HookedonPirates.com). There, I found a community of others like me: people who had heard of the remake and spent hours talking about their memories of the original game. I think it was mainly the community spirit that I found that truly got me into gaming again; the fact that I had found kindred spirits who shared similar memories as I did of the original game. Some of them had never quit gaming, but others were more or less like me, back into gaming after a long break.