Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Stargrace (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?

I played board games, a lot. Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Hungry Hungry Hipos (does that even count?) and of course Mouse Trap were among the list, and I played with family. I also did the D&D thing for a bit, but it was really hard to find people to game with since I moved so many times and was never very good at making friends.

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

Photography, reading, writing, painting. Lots of artwork. I loved nature growing up too, long walks and fishing, camping. I’ve always loved music, but never got involved in it as much as I would have liked.

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

Sure was, played D&D and loved it. My first boyfriend introduced me when I was 15, I still have the original books, some dice, and a DM screen with some sort of scenario printed on it. My brother was into a lot more different types of pen and paper role playing games then I was, I didn’t share his adoration at the time, I was still so very new. I loved to look through his books for ideas. In fact, still have a lot of the books from those games too. I used to browse through them to get ideas for artwork. Character creation and the stories involved were always the best parts for me.

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.

Oh goodness, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I did not have my own computer growing up (even though it wasn’t that long ago) and I never played video games like my two younger brothers – so I was ALWAYS reading. Way back then of course I enjoyed your typical Tolkien books, anything with Dragon Lance in the title, anything by Forgotten Realms, I also used to read a lot of mystery books and historical books about architecture, though I can’t remember the names of any off the top of my head. I was fascinated by castles especially while living in Germany.

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.

Of course, they helped shape me into who I am now. Thanks to being introduced to fantasy in general it stuck with me and now that’s what I enjoy most. Fantasy based MMO’s / Games. I even have a small dragon tattoo. My parents don’t quite understand my fascination since neither of them are into fantasy all that much but for me it just seems natural to love it.

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

First? I suppose my Dad introduced me with games like lemmings that he had on his computer. He used to run a BBS when I was growing up and while the computer was always “his” toy, there were brief moments when I was allowed to use it. There was a game called Hack and Slash that I used to play a lot. Aside from that, my two brothers used to own a nintendo, and various platforms that I could never keep track of. Me and my Mom used to play Super Mario Brothers 3 together late at night, I guess I was around 10-12 years old.

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

I’ve never tried one, they don’t really seem to hold my attention. I’ve watched lots of other people play them – but some how I doubt that counts.

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

When I was living in Germany my Dad took up a 2nd job as a radio DJ for a show called “Not Necessarily the Top 40” – me and my Mom used to stay up really late (1-2am) and play Super Mario Brothers 3 together while we listened to his show. We used to make frozen spareribs in the microwave that I really loved, in a heavy sauce. The game itself may not have made an impression on me per say but I won’t ever forget those hours we spent together. It’s one of my fondest gaming memories.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

I don’t even recall. My brothers had pretty much everything, I remember my parents trying to ask them why they needed yet another system, and all of the games we used to have. Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Play Station, and a plethora of others. I never really played, so I can’t even list them all.

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

Since I never really played video games, all of my stories relate to my two brothers. I remember my parents getting mad if they lost or broke a game, or left one of the games on the airplane which happened more then once with the game boy. I remember them sitting together (8 year difference between my two brothers) playing River City Ransom (I believe that’s the name of it) on the living room floor for hours. I remember their intense discussion while I watched – they still have those conversations today except now I write for a gaming magazine and I can input a little bit more then I ever could back then. I love memories like that.


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