Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Blackguard (Chapter 2)

Posted by Randolph Carter on March 25, 2009

MMO community connection:

Chapter 2: Origins

What kind of games (if any) did you play as a child before you got into video gaming? Did you play with family, friends or was it more of a solo activity?

Video games were my first games of any kind. I usually played console games with my brother and friends.

What other hobbies and/or activities did you have as a child (sports, music, etc)?

I played various sports, though I mostly played hockey, as well as the guitar. I also wrestled my buddies… like WWF style. My name was Taxicab (I can’t remember why). I did a lot of random stuff all the time, rarely sticking to anything for very long (sounds like me in MMOs these days).

Were you ever exposed to pen and paper role playing games? What was that experience like?

Yep, it was awesome. I played D&D, Vampire, and Shadowrun mostly. I liked being the DM/GM/Whatever sometimes, but usually just played a quirky character of some sort.

Did you read much as a child? If so, what did you like to read (books, comic books, etc?) Please list some favorite authors, titles, etc.

I read a decent amount as a child, though I read more now. I read mostly fantasy/sci-fi titles. Choose Your Own Adventure books were fun, and those Goosebumps books were totally sweet. I really liked comics (Batman and X-Men especially) too. I didn’t have specific favorite authors until I got older.

Would you say that any of these games or books had an effect on your later appreciation of computer gaming and ultimately MMOs? Please explain.

Yes… they collectively made me want to become a game designer.

How were you fist introduced to video games? How old were you? What was the platform?

My brother probably introduced me to them. I first played them either on the Commodore 64 or one of the old consoles. I was so young when I first started playing games, I really can’t recall.

Did you ever play coin-op games at the arcade? What was that experience like?

Yep. I went to the local arcade (Tilt) all the friggin’ time with one or two buddies. We always eyed the Zippo lighter booth near the entrance and eventually got one when we were old enough. Then the arcade closed (I didn’t burn it down!).

What was the first video game you can remember playing that really made an impression on you? Please explain.

The Ninja on the Sega Master System, or maybe Oregon Trail… or Carmen Sandiego (don’t know which was first). I don’t know! There’s a pantheon of them. In The Ninja, I loved being a ninja, and the music rocked. In Oregon Trail, I always found it interesting to try to successfully make the trek across the US. In Carmen Sandiego, I liked the mystery and how so many people loved creole food.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

Oh man… Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Super Nintendo, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360. I think that’s it. If you count handhelds, you could add Nintendo Gameboy, Atari Lynx, and Sony PSP.

Feel free to share a story related to your gaming experience as a child.

There was this one time when I threw the controller at the TV and broke the controller. Okay, that was a bunch of times. I blame you.


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