Life as a gamer

The first computer game I remember was J-bird on my fathers workstations from the early 80’s and 70’s. It was in CGA graphics (4 colors from a 16 color palette).

He also showed me a dungeon crawler, and PACMAN.

These two were in monochrome yellow/black graphics. I don’t know if playing them qualified me as a gamer at maybe 7-8 years of age. But I certainly wasn’t aware of the concept gamer when I became a gamer.

Later, around age 9-12 I played a ton of PC games my best friend and neighbor introduced me too. I’ll list just a tiny fraction of them. These were a great help for learning English. With them I learnt most of my first English vocabulary, much more than I did in school.

Leisure Suit Larry was great since you had to type every action

Early sports games. Gran Prix by Accolade, a Formula I simulator.. Then there was PGA Tour, a golf game I enjoyed a lot. Summer Games II, based on the Olympic games.

NHL Hockey, a lot of time spent with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I remember getting a Game Boy. I loved playing The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening, being basically no identity but still with a purpose, like being enlightened. I also played Tetris and Ninja Turtles on the Game Boy, along with a few other games I don’t recall at the moment.

I was very fond of point and click adventure games. One favorite was Simon the Sorcerer, juxtaposing fables along with pixel-art graphics.

I played Monkey Island 2, and Discworld, the former series maybe the most successful and the latter the hardest one in the genre during that era. I’m sure there were more difficult ones both before and later. For example, I never was into Kings Quest.

FPS

I also played first person shooters: Wolfenstein 3D was the first, then DOOM and DOOM II. What I most enjoyed was the music in the latter, it was about this I got into making music using MIDI and PC software, complementing playing actual instruments such as piano, bass and drums.

DOOM II

Somewhere there when Quake came I lost interest in these types of games. Only many years later I was briefly addicted to CS:GO.

Flight Simulators

The first was a game flying a cloaked stealth fighter. Then I had a long run playing a second world war game. I liked these because of the sense of freedom when flying. For this reason I wouldn’t like a simulator of traffic flights. Having fixed routes would feel to limiting. Even if my ‘dream job’ as a child was to be a pilot.

Non-PC

I played many games on Nintendo 8-bit and Atari and Amiga at the homes of my classmates. This felt like a completely different universe to me, who was so much more at home with the PC. Employing tape cassettes for permanent data storage like the Commodore did, what a curiosity!

one of the Atari games I remember playing at a friends house

RTS

I was always a fan of building in games. Perhaps it started with Warcraft. Laying out a neat base was usually more fun than the fighting and competition in real-time strategy games, probably because it appealed to a sense of being creative and mindful. I also enjoyed the adventurous exploration of mythology and music in the genre — the sense of discovery.

After Warcraft II I played Command & Conquer Red Alert and Dune II, neither of them as appealing to me, being inferior in mechanics, graphics, musics and story.

I also played many simulators like SimCity and Transport Tycoon, the later mostly in its open source version OpenTTD

Finally Starcraft II. I have loved the experience of mastering precise mechanicsm, it led to such a beautiful flow experience while playing.

Also in its predecessor Starcraft Brood War.

RPG

I thoroughly played through Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II as well as Icewind Dale several times.

Final Fantasy III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2 and XII. Gosh. And Chrono Trigger.

Oblivion and Skyrim. Games that felt open but still were linear in their main narrative.

Adventure/Creative sandbox

Minecraft. I built and played a multitude of worlds, an still play in one creative and one survival world. I enjoyed a quite few mod packs/mods for Minecraft as well, especially Life In the Woods, Feed The Beast and TerraFirmaCraft.

Let’s make lists

Some games which deserve honorable mentions. I might include them later in the biographical narrative:

  • STUGAN (text-based adventure in Swedish)
  • Cheops Pyramid (educational math)
  • Where in the world is Carmen San Diego (educational geography)
  • Prince of Persia (platformer)
  • Lemmings (puzzle-platformer)
  • Pinball Dreams/Fantasies (arcade)
  • Civilization (strategy)
  • Incredible Machine (puzzle game)
  • Lost Vikings (platformer/puzzle)
  • Beneath a Steel Sky

to be continued…

Future

Now… slightly frustrated with the state of games in the world, I have started to create the vision for what I think will be the best ever made.

What’s your favorite computer or video games?

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