Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Openedge1 (Chapter 2)

Posted by Randolph Carter on April 2, 2009

MMO community connection:

Dichotomy of the Gamers Blogosphere

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 liked playing as the superhero or war games with my friends from my neighborhood. At a young age though I started to get moved around a bit and started to play more on my own until High School. (More on that later)

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

I played only a little sports, like football. I was musically inclined and at around 13 I hit my stride and started out playing drums, this then became a career for a bit from 18 until I was 26.

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

Indeed. A friend of mine from school (who ended up having the same last name as me…weird) introduced me with the original rules, dungeon crawling, the whole 9 yards. I played all through high school (and sometimes with a little help from my friend mary jane…yea, did that too), and played until my mid 30’s. Experienced many games from D&D to the I.C.E rulesets, Shadowrun and Vampire the masquerade (and variants).

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 liked comics when I was still very young (about 8 or 9)..until high school, and one class had me read the Hobbit. Then it was all over, and I read full blown. A novel a day type of reading. I started with Tolkien, went to Roger Zelazny, Stephen R Donaldson to name a few.

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.

110%. I think starting with video games when I was very young helped. From Pong and Nintendo, to an Amiga computer and my first PC being a Windows 95 machine…I was definitely there, and knew it would be an easy progression to MMO’s.

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

As stated above…Pong, Nintendo…and even before that with arcade titles, bar games (like Pac man, etc…). I would say my first video game was when I was 13. Owned a Commodore 64 when I hit 18.

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

Again,stated above. My Mom worked for a short while at a local bar as a Waitress/ Bar-tender, and they had games like Pac man, Dig Dug, Tempest. I really loved pinball machines as well.

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

The first game was Pools of Radiance, part of the TSR gold series. The group dungeon adventures, with the real time combat was a joy. I even had some friends that we would invite Mary Jane again (hehe) and sit around and each take a character and decide their options, just like a D&D game. I already started to see options for for computers and Pen and Paper RPG’s at that time.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

Pong, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, 360.

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

I think the most important gaming experience when I was very young were the games of D&D. We went all out heading to far spots in our town in the woods or in the park to camp out, and bringing our books and doing the game. Long sessions, overnight fun, we could play for hours on end. I still have the most fond memories of these times.

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