Thursday, December 23, 2010


So I've been banned from Warhammer. No, not by Mythic, but by She Who Will Be Named Later. And rightly so. Unfortunately for her, she came in at the exact time I was rage-logging. I have been frustrated with the game over the last 24 hours or so- ever since I had decided to bring out my Engineer and finally get him up to 40. I'm very close to 38, in any case, which is close to 39 and add in the war tract from chapter 4 and presto! I'm 40.

I was playing in T4 last night and, as I would expect, getting facerolled by wandering WE's, solo DoK's and angry BO's. I even tried the Skaven classes and still, no joy. This morning I decided to leave T4 to the big boys and play in T3 where I'd have a chance. T3 has always been a wasteland of ineptitude, disorganization and low-populations. I'm happy to report that nothing has changed. Destro was running rampant in Empire while groups of players, much-needed healers included- did the champ rats. The final indignity came when I zoned in from a scenario close to my camp to be jumped by a party of three destro. Running, not because I am a coward but to deny them the satisfaction, back to my camp, I came within inches of the camp guards and died at their feet. And as I waited for them to unleash an unholy rage against my killers..... nothing. Absolutely nothing. Insert multiple expletives here. Really? Destro can come right up to our guards and nothing? I lose it, snap! Flury of punches to the solar plexis (background on that particular gem here). I post my rage-quit in guild chat and log. And this is when She Who Will Be Named Later comes onto the scene.

I explain, very calmly I'm quite sure (though I may be mistaken on that) that I am a wee bit frustrated with the game to which she (sensibly) asks: "Why not stop playing if its frustrating you." Good advice, really, but if everyone did that Warhammer would collapse beneath the weight of canceled subs. "You don't understand," I say (whine), "this game could be so good!" In any case we have agreed (or rather I have agreed- she has stipulated) to a 1-day ban for the good of the house-hold and my own peace of mind.

Which is okay because it gives me a chance to focus on the fact that Christmas is just around the corner. If you're anything like me you absolutely can’t wait until the whole gift-giving, tinselly affair is over.

Cash registers ring, are you listening?
In the lane, cars are honking.  
A terrible sight, we're broke tonight, 
Spending in the winter wonderland.

My bah-humbug attitude started a very long time ago and despite the best efforts of She Who Will Be Named Later to infect me with her love of the Christmas season I remain, at best, ambivalent. Or drunk. Or both. Drunken ambivalence ftw! I no longer loathe the season so I guess that means a victory of sorts for her. Huzzah! Pass the Pints of Gin and wave the tonic at them threateningly.

My personal feelings toward the Christmas season aside, it has always been a time of reminiscing. With the new year looming tantalizingly close a series of count-downs, best-of-all-times, and other fun, but meaningless look-backs at what was begins (a little ironic actually). I’ve decided to wade in on the side of foolishness and present, for you lucky readers, a look back at my own gaming history. Before you click that little x in the top right of your window (I would if I was you) you may want to consider that it could just possibly be less boring than you think (especially if you too are drinking your way through the season). It can’t be worse than T3 could it? 

I don’t plan on listing the best computer games I have ever played (Civilization), nor what I think are the most influential of all time (Civilization), nor the ones I have been most addicted to (Civilization), nor the ones that have disappointed me the most (Civilization V). That would be boring both to me and Sid Meir. He knows what he’s done and I'm sure he's sorry.

What I will do is cover some key aspects of the development of video-gaming as I remember it. Granted, my memory may be a little foggy given my advanced age, but we’ll do our best to muddle through. I think it will be fun (which is, as we know, all that really matters), and it will give my blog a focus through the next couple weeks when I may be too drunk, too hung-over, too full, too cranky, too drunk (ooops, said that already), or too frustrated with Warhammer to do any game-specific blogging. So without further adieu:

On the 1st Day of (Gaming) Christmas My True Love Gave to Me: 


That’s right, Pong. The first video game eva! (and the reason Atari should always be worshiped like a god). In 1975 a home edition was released, and installed in my friends basement. The television it was hooked up to was approximately 20' by 20' by 20' in size (with a 2" screen of course) and black and white, but there it was: Pong. And I have to say it was boring as hell. That’s right, boring. Have you ever played it? Not a lot going on, but it was new, it was cool, and we did play it a lot in that semi-finished, damp basement, and we likely enjoyed it. Who can remember (I was actually quite young at the time) exactly what we thought but it was the first and so it makes its appearance here at the beginning.

I will continue this gaming-look back later. Now I have to wade back into the War, and by that I mean the traffic that awaits me as I fight my home-town, down-town traffic to the pub. Its okay, I've seen Road Warrior tons of times. I know just what to do.

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