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[PUBLIC] The Games We Played - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
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Tue, Aug. 12th, 2008 09:07 am
[PUBLIC] The Games We Played

Through the good offices of mariaklob, I was able to obtain four more bookshelves this weekend and begin what I hope is the final phase of my unpacking adventure in my new apartment. The big win for me this week was after assembling three of the four, I finally unpacked my video game box collection, which my mother had increasingly believed me nuts for storing in boxes in her basement for years on end in anticipation of some day whence they would be displayed in my home.

But at long last they are unpacked, and I have found the experience slightly more rewarding than I was expecting. My collection goes back deep into the day of 3.5" HD floppies, and contains some of the more significant milestones of gaming through the 1990's. For almost every game on the shelf, I can remember where I got it, when I started playing it, who I discussed it with, and notable scenes or entire sessions from a few. A few also remind me of the buildup to their release, such as my copy of Starcraft, which I remember the tremendous anticipation of from the time it was expected to be a reskin of the Warcraft II engine all the way up through the first time I walked from WPI to the Greendale Mall to pick it up after school on launch day.

They also remind me of friends past and present. Of Norm, whom I played Quake with in the Movie Lab at WPI for half my academy career, Diablo, which I met with another friend to play almost every day for the summer of 1999. Deus Ex, which was a surprise gift from sirroxton, a game I never would have bought myself but has become one of my all-time favorites enough that I occasionally still go back and play it all the way through.

It occurs to me that I think of these games as a particularly avid reader thinks of books; they are signposts of the culture I had growing up, even if I didn't realize it at the time. They significantly contributed to my development and my choice of career, and I realize now that I'm an adult and many of my piers have played some or many of these games, that spending so many hours of my childhood on these wasn't a waste; it was setting up the cultural framework of references, examples, and metaphors that began with my generation and continues forward for a large subset of my peers.

I'm glad I kept these.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Current Location: Worcester, MA
Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic

2CommentReplyShare

taranhero
taranhero
Taran
Tue, Aug. 12th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)

Ah, web research. Such an important activity back in those days.


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gizmo224
Francesco (a.k.a. Frank)
Tue, Aug. 12th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)

It's a shame I don't remember so vividly every game I have in my collection. Many, sure, but my Genesis, Saturn, and NES collections (and certain parts of others) were purchased entirely after their heyday, so I don't have as much of the cultural element as a result. I think a lot of it was also that my internet access was greatly restricted in the earlier 90's, since dial-up got on my parents' nerves when I used it for very long at all.

I have, however, still become renowned amongst my suitemates for being able to pull out some of the most obscure video game titles that still managed to be quite enjoyable. For example, Psychic Force 2012 (which remains my favorite fighting game to this day), or the hilariously poorly-translated Castle Shikigami 2. :)


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