I’ve been playing games for years.I remember back to the Atari 2600 and the amazing world of Space Invaders, Centipede, Air Sea Battle and those joystick destroying Olympic games. They came on this thing called a cartridge which were quite bulky and had to be blown on as they got dusty. That’s what I remember about using them. Then we moved onto floppy disks, somehow we managed to skip the cassette tape generation. This was cool, as we could fit so many more games into the same space. Then CD’s arrived and they were great; so much more content. It was around this time I first learned about patches, so I started storing the patches on CD’s with the game. And games required to have the original disc in the drive to work, which also was painful when those drives did damage them. Or you scratched them by accident. I learned how to create ISO images of my games so they would not get scratched and I could play them safely. This was great for taking to LANs as I didn’t have to worry about forgetting to bring the right disc. When games started coming out on DVD’s was also the first time I heard of Steam; I believe my first Steam game was a Warhammer title Dawn of War: Soulstorm. What a revelation! I bought this game from a store, go to install the game and find it requires some management software to make it happen. My first thought was “what the #@$&! I paid for a game and now I have to install some damn 3rd party tools just to get it onto my computer?”. This was of course Steam back in February 2009. I’d heard about it, but virtual games were not the same I felt. I wanted to hold what I paid for in my hands…
I was very resistant to changing with the times, and then I came across games that sounded cool, but were not coming to Australia any time soon. One of those was Sins of a Solar Empire. I really wanted to play it so I signed up to another of those online game stores called Impulse. I started comparing what I got from the online game, and what I got from the physical game, and I started buying more and more online games as I didn’t have to drive out and get them (or find them as the case might be) and having upgraded from dialup to ADSL2+ my download speeds now made it more viable. So I now have a collection of games on Impulse, which by-the-way was the original name for GameStop, I have an ever growing collection for Steam, Good Old Games, Origin and with Xbox. I am an advocate for electronic over physical, because I get support, its still my game, and I have this pile of games for older consoles and operating systems that I never use but want to go back to some time as they are still fun.
Older games are coming back either as updates, releases or sequels, and I think its a good thing as some of those games were quite good. X-Wing was one of my favourite games but by the time I was on my own it was no longer for sale but now it’s been released by Good Old Games and I have my own copy. Next is to pick up my first joystick since Windows 95. Apparently those old joysticks can’t be plugged into a modern computer, and X-Wing really likes to have a joystick (a 360 gamepad does not work well). Finding friends online is so much easier with the online communities that come from these services too which creates an additional benefit. Games can be better from this too. This is just my first post in a series of posts about how I see gaming. My next post talks about Card Games over the years.
Age of Steam:
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