Growing Up Gaming

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This post is in response to this weeks NBI 2016 writing prompt.

 

When my family moved closer to the rest of the extended family, I got to know my cousins better. They were around my age and we liked the same things. We would have sleep overs and watch Pokemon, talk about digimon and play with action figures.

Growing up I never had cable. While other kids were watching Cartoon Network I was watching PBS. So it’s not really a surprise that when Saturday Morning Cartoons were still a thing, I was glued to the TV.

Our Saturday morning cartoons were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider-man, Batman, and Power Rangers. I was always looked forward to Pokemon and Digimon the most.

One day they showed me a Gameboy Color with Pokemon Blue. My 7 year old mind was blown.   Not only could I catch whatever Pokemon I wanted, but I could battle them and get gym badges too! I  watched them play these games any chance I got. Never playing a video game before, I was ecstatic when they let me play. We spent a lot of afternoons after school sharing a Gameboy and leveling our horde of Pokemon.

We played Pokemon games for a long time. my cousins got a second Gameboy and Pokemon Red so we didn’t have to share as much. We could finally collect them all. I remember having to connect the Gameboys with a cable to trade and battle. Ialways wondered how the pokeballs fit through that tiny wire.

We eagerly looked forward to the next installment of the series when the Ash set out for the Johto Region on TV. I don’t remember much about Silver or Gold, but I distinctly remember cloning 6 Quilavas and completing the game, good times.

A few years later, they got a Nintendo 64. I took every chance I could get to visit the cousins. We’d spend hours together playing Super Smash Brothers, chasing each other around in Golden Eye, and trying to get all the stars in Super Mario 64.

As we grew up, we grew apart. They grew out of Pokemon (I still haven’t).

Now when the family gets together it’s the younger cousins who want to play the games. They take out the Wii U and school us in Super Smash Bros. They teach us about Minecraft and show us their favorite streamers. We take out the N64 and they make fun of the graphics. But when we all get together we still play games and it’s just as much fun as it was back then.

 

 

 

 

A Love Affair with MMOs

 

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I’ve been MMOing since 2004. While I would really like day that my first experience with online games was with Runescape or World of Warcraft, it just isn’t so. See while all my friends were playing Runescape, I was playing Club Penguin. If you’re not sure what that is, it was basically a heavily moderated chat room with some mini games and a penguin avatars to dress up. For the life of me I can’t remember why I was so entranced by it, maybe because it was the first time I was playing a game that had any kind of chat feature at all. It took about a year for my friends to convince me to try this Runescape thing.

I like to think of Runescape as the gateway MMO. It wasn’t flashy, it ran in a browser, and it was pretty easy to learn  to play. It was one of the first open world games I played and even as a free account, where 50% of the content was locked off, the map felt huge. I never could convince my parents to pay for a membership. It was in Runescape that I fell in love with watching numbers go up and there were so many skills to level! I played with friends almost every day for a year and a half before we all lost interest and moved on.

My parents never understood video games, nor could they see why they should spend $15 a month for me to play them. I missed out on playing World of Warcraft and other pay to play games. Guild Wars on the other hand was something I could buy from the store myself. I played Guild Wars and all of its expansions religiously for 4 years. . I had a menagerie of alts, I ran a guild, and I must have completed each campaign at least five times. Though I couldn’t tell you what the story was about now if you asked. I haven’t been able to sink my teeth into a game like that since.

Once I graduated high school, I didn’t have a lot of time for MMOs anymore.  I experimented with League of Legends in college but ultimately gave up  when no one else wanted to play. I patiently waited for Guild Wars 2 to launch but when it can out my laptop couldn’t run it. I was devastated. By the time I got a semi capable PC, no one I knew was playing it anymore.

Since graduating from college I have rekindled the old flame once again. While I haven’t found an MMO to stick with yet, I’ve fooled around with a lot. I bought The Secret World, I played FFXIV for 3 months, and I finally got a character to level 80 in Guild Wars 2. When I discovered what use to be Massively (now Massively OP), I realized I didn’t just enjoy the playing the genre but I enjoyed learning  about the industry as well. Unfortunately my computer still isn’t ideal for gaming, making it impossible to play the newer, prettier titles out there. But I have enjoyed trying games out that it can run.

For the past few months some friends and I have been playing Trove. Most of them aren’t really into MMOs but like building and the super easy game play. For me it’s  a little too simple, but it’s enjoyable in a group. Unfortunately, after the last few updates, my interest in Trove is dwindling.  Once again I’m setting out to find my next MMO to settle down with. Maybe I’ll give Guild Wars 2 another try.

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a while now, but never had the motivation to just sit down and write.I just learned about the Newbie Blogger Initiative a few days ago. I’m really excited to participate in the events and talk with other bloggers. I’m aiming to post at least twice a week, maybe more if time allows. It’s been a blast so far.