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Confessions of a Reluctant Video Gamer

I was in my twenties when video games arrived on the scene, so to me a game is something you play on a board or with cards. But despite my best efforts to resist, I've been drawn into the electronic madness. A selection of my experiences can be found here. Feel free to comment, if you like.

Archive for p55carroll

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Take Me Back

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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"Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade." (Marcel Proust)
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So, if I buy the new GOG.com Gold Box games and start playing Pool of Radiance tonite, will I wake up tomorrow and find that it's 1988? Cuz that's what I think I want.

I was ecstatic when I saw the ad for these games today. They were some of the first PC games I ever played. My wife and I were practically newlyweds then, and we'd roll up three characters apiece and sit side by side to play. On our XT computer, it was slow going, but we didn't mind too much.

Then life continued happening, and time marched on, and all that. In what seemed just a blink of an eye, it was suddenly 2015. A quarter of a century passed by in a blur. Every morning I wake up and wonder how I got this old already. And I wonder about all the things I wanted to do but could never find time for or fit in among all the other things I had to do.

But for just a long, wonderful moment today, I saw those GOG.com ads and thought, Wow--I could play Curse of the Azure Bonds again! We both could. Until the short-lived spell wore off, I was sure I could step into a time machine and actually return to 1988 or so, when these games were new. Then we'd be young again too, and we'd have so much more of life ahead of us.

Slowly, though, the magic dissipated. Browsing through screenshots, I started wondering how clunky the game would feel now. Would it be more trouble than it was worth? Probably. I tried to get into Quest for Glory not too long ago, and I didn't get far before shrugging it off and quitting.

Of course, I had never played QfG back in its day, so for me there was no nostalgic lure. There is such a lure with the gold-box games--some of them. Why, I still remember the names of some of my old characters. I still have a pewter statue of our party leader--a gift from my wife.

Chances are, she barely remembers these games. She's not sentimental, the way I am. I could jog her memory, and she'd be momentarily amused, but I doubt if she'd have any interest in playing again.

But if loading the game could really make it 1988 all over again! Then she'd be fascinated with it and would definitely want to play. It'd be just like old times--only they'd be new times.

Hmm ... Saturday is our twenty-eighth anniversary. Will I be spending it with my wife, or will I spend part of it playing Pool of Radiance for old times' sake? Time will tell, I guess.
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Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:57 pm
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Master of Orion--My Ultimate Video Game?

p55carroll
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Minnesota
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Of all the hundreds and thousands of video games out there, I have one or two dozen at my fingertips (thanks mainly to GOG.com)--but that's way more than I'll ever find time for. And lately I'm starting to realize it's more than I have any interest in.

As a matter of fact, for the past year or two I've been sampling various games but coming back to Master of Orion again and again.
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Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:02 pm
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My Video-Gaming History

p55carroll
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I was just thinking about TV, movies, games, and computers, and it led me to review my video-gaming past. I think it goes something like this:

(c. 1965, at age ten) Games were played on tabletops; TV shows were viewed when aired.

(c. 1970) Abstract games and lightly themed family games gave way to realistic wargames which brought slices of military history to life on the tabletop (but mostly in the players' imagination). These games were basically just elaborate chess variants, but I loved 'em.
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Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:49 pm
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Digging Up Old Bones

p55carroll
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Minnesota
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I just finished playing my first mission (and part of the second) in Battle Isle 2, a twenty-one-year-old game. The whole series was available at GOG.com for a few bucks, and it got positive reviews (though all GOG games seem to, so maybe they just have good shills), so I decided to take a peek and see what I missed out on years ago.
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Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:53 pm
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Panzer General and Its Offspring--and GOG Galaxy

p55carroll
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As I mentioned last time, I just bought the GOG version of several "General" (or "Five Star") games. Since my purchase, I've been playing them quite a bit--all of them!
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Thu May 21, 2015 7:12 pm
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Is the Past Overrated?

p55carroll
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Minnesota
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"Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade." (Marcel Proust)
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I just bought a few more video games from GOG.com:
Fantasy General
Panzer General II
Pacific General

I played FG when it was new, and at the time I couldn't get enough of it. It was just what I wanted in a game, and I enjoyed it for hours on end.
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Tue May 19, 2015 4:02 pm
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In Limbo Again

p55carroll
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Minnesota
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"Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade." (Marcel Proust)
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So, I finished Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast and was pleased about that--pleased enough that I moved on to Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and also went back to make a little more progress in Planescape: Torment.
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Tue Feb 3, 2015 3:57 pm
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On Completing Baldur's Gate

p55carroll
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I don't remember when I started playing Baldur's Gate (with the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion), but it must've been months ago--maybe over a year. Two years? I'm not sure. But at any rate (specifically, at the varying rate I played), I got to the end of it yesterday.
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Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:10 am
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Back into (Old) RPGs Again

p55carroll
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I guess I'm probably not the only gamer who's inconsistent in his choices. But for some reason, I've always wanted to be more consistent--to settle on a type of game that I like and stick with it. It just doesn't work out; I always get my fill of one kind of game and turn to another.

My latest change is from TBS games to classic RPGs--Baldur's Gate (I and II), Fallout, and Planescape: Torment. I had read good things about these games, so I bought them on sale at GOG.com, figuring I wouldn't be out much even if I didn't care for them. Right away, though, I was hooked. I found the games pretty cool and didn't want to stop playing.
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Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:14 pm
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Active versus Passive Gaming

p55carroll
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"Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade." (Marcel Proust)
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"Don't just sit there like a bump on a log. Get up and do something!"

My dad used to say that to me sometimes when I was a kid. Left to my own devices, I'd usually choose to stay in my room and read, play games, or daydream. I could work hard and do reasonably well when I had a job to do, but without obligations or deadlines pushing me into action, my preference was for what others would perceive as inactivity. In short, I was lazy.
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Tue Jan 6, 2015 6:14 pm
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