Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Brian (Chapter 2)

Posted by Randolph Carter on April 6, 2009

MMO community connection:
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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 grew up out in the country so we rode dirt bikes, played army in the woods, and swam in my above ground pool.

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

I had/have very little hand-eye coordination so my hobbies were music and reading.

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

My very first experience with pen and paper RPG’s was in the boy scouts. A group of older boys were running an AD&D campaign and I remember sitting for hours and watching. It was neat because it was like getting inside a Tolkien story. I don’t remember how long after that, but I got the D&D Red Box game as soon as I could.

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 quite a bit. My mom used to pay me to read books because she’d read/heard that it helped with intelligence. My reading was all books, no comics (that didn’t happen until college). I used to read anything fiction I could get my hands on. I read the entire Hardy Boys series from my elementary school library. My most memorable experience with books was reading Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings during the course of a summer when I was 10. That summer marked the point when I primarily read fantasy and science fiction. My favorite authors as a kid were: Tolkien, Alan Dean Foster, and David Eddings.

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.

Completely. My experience with Tolkien drew me to D&D which drew me to MMO’s. Computer gaming and later MMO’s were a way to get into role playing games without having to find other local people to play with or coordinate schedules.

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

I started with a Texas Instruments 99 and besides some educational games, I used to type in game programs from magazines and save/load them from audio tape.

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

There was no arcade near where I grew up, but I did get some time briefly in college before they all disappeared.

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

The Bard’s Tale on the Apple IIe, I spent hours and days playing that and creating characters complete with background stories.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

Nintendo Entertainment System, PS2, Xbox, and Xbox360. I have a big console gap between Nintendo and PS2 where I solely played PC games.

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