Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Moormur (Chapter 2)

Posted by Randolph Carter on April 1, 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?

Oh geeze. Well, I have very distinct memories of my younger years. I remember very, very clearly that a friend of mine (Thomas I think his name was) had one of those jungle gyms in is backyard. We used to play Star Wars on the jungle gym all the time…just sliding around and stuff and making ‘pew pew’ noises. I went camping a lot with the Boy Scouts, so playing out ‘Star Wars’ was a pretty common occurance. We would make up our own storylines (this was back when the whole Expanded Universe thing was just starting up, so we were all captivated by the idea of making up our own Star Wars stories) and play them out over the trips. Good times, good times. If it hasn’t been made obvious, Star Wars was a big player in my youth, something that has inspired me to get into Film myself.

Besides the whole ‘make believe’ deal, I remember playing a lot of bored games. Some friends and I would set up a fold up table outside and play Life, Clue, Stratego, etc. I still have the copy of Life that I used back then. It still has the writing inside it from when we were counting up all our moolah at the end of the game. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it.

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

I was a Boy Scout (although since now I work at some capacity as a Professional Boy Scout in my older age, I guess I should say I still am). Made it all the way to Eagle. I played soccer and baseball with kids around my neighborhood. Around the end of elementary school and the start of middle school, I began using our family’s video camera and making stupid kid films. Over time, that evolved into a much more serious hobby and now a career.

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

Heh. My experience with RPGs is pretty simple: I borrowed the core rules for the Star Wars RPG from a friend and forgot to ever give it back. I always wanted to play it, but never did. I still have the book, though.

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, absolutely. I remember a series called ‘classics for kids’ or something. It had all sorts of classic books like Red Badge of Courage, Sherlock Holmes, The Jungle Book, etc. I devoured those. I absulotely adored ‘The Hobbit.’ It was and still is my favorite Tolkien book (although The Silmarillion comes in a very close second). I had a lot of science books on my shelf. I also started accumulating Star Wars fiction (starting to notice a pattern?). I never got into comic books. I would like to now but they are so darn expensive. And I hate cliffhangers.

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.

Eh, I don’t really know. Some might say that computer games have the opposite effect as books. Take Lord of the Rings Online (my MMO of choice) for example. It makes a concrete version of Middle-Earth. Once you’ve been there, it makes it hard to come up with alternatives. I am not as picky as others, though. I look at movies and games based on books as one person’s interpretation of a setting. I still hold to my own imagination, so that kind of thing doesn’t bug me as much as it does to others.

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

PC, man. PC. I got a hand-me-down computer from my grandfather when I was pretty young, back in the ol’ floppy days. I remember we had some cheapo rip-off games. I also remember a Sonic CD game. I remember having a Game Gear. We eventually had to get rid of it because the adapter started sparking. Yeah.

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

I’ll be honest; I was just past the arcade generation. For me, many arcade experiences were in places like Jillian’s or Gameworks…those massive, awesome mega arcades. Tons of fun.

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

Aww, man, making me think here. When I was younger, I remember watching people play Shadows of the Empire (I played that game again recently. Doesn’t really hold up to time well). I also remember Super Mario World. Was and still is one of my favorite Mario games.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

It was hard to convince my parents to get consoles, so we ended up with many handhelds. I have owned a Game Gear, a Game Boy Color, a GBA, and a Nintendo DS. In terms of consoles, I own a Nintendo 64, a Wii, and a XBOX 360. I do not like Sony.


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