Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Bonedead (Chapter 2)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 13, 2009

MMO community connection:

Bonedead’s Adventures

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?

Well back then my games were called sports. I played Baseball, Soccer, Basketball, and neighborhood street hockey. The first video game I played that I remember was on the Atari. We had some tank game, some cowboy game, and Pitfall. After that was a regular Nintendo with the good ol golden case Zelda. Then my parents bought some learning console called Socrates. It was the first game I had with wireless controllers. Then we got a Super Nintendo and my whole world changed. I played with my older brother and my dad. There was a time when I had a Sega Genesis in my room and my brother had the Super Nintendo in his room. That’s when I became a fan of Beastmaster, Golden Axe, Fifa Soccer, Megaman Soccer, etc. Mario Kart was the first game I picked out on my own and fell in love with (still do love me some Mario Kart).

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

I always answer a question in the question before. I started with Baseball. I remember this one time while playing 3rd base some kid came up to bat and the adults started acting weird like he was going to ruin our day and all the parents of the other team were like, yelling the kids name. Well he slammed it straight to me and I jumped and stretched more than I know and caught his ball. Pretty much everyone started roaring and it made me feel pretty good. When I played soccer I was pretty durn good. I scored on a kick off once by toeing it down to the goal and one of the defenders tried to knee it and bounced it over his goalies head heh. I was on some local team in North Carolina in the 12-14 age range. We were beating everyone with scores ranging from 5-0 to 12-0. We got moved up into the 14-16 league and still won the majority of our games.

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

Only a few times with one of my old middle school/high school friends. He introduced me to Magic The Gathering and also to Ultima Online. Once he was showing me how to make my character in D&D I was pretty much hooked. It was just me and him most of the time, but it was a fun game. Sometimes it felt more like me just trying to be right by explaining why what I’m saying is right and him getting mad that I’m beating his game but that made it more fun to be honest.

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 lot when I was in school (that wasn’t high school). I started thanks to Pizza Hut (or the Velveteen Rabbit) and their Book-It program which awarded you a free personal pan pizza every 5 books or something like that. Then there was Accelerated Reader where they assigned points for books read. Being the competitive type that I am I began sorting the list of books by the points they were worth. That’s when I discovered The Hobbit. I also read pretty much every Goosebump book, pretty much every Boxcar Children book, and a few random books like one on Michael Jordan. Even some on the Judicial System and Law in general (I’m pretty sure they were made with kids in mind).

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.

I will always have a soft spot for fun racing games (that aren’t going for realism) like Trackmania and even Free Realms’ racing jobs. I don’t think the books really had an affect on my appreciation towards computer gaming and/or MMOs, maybe The Hobbit, but I still do not own LotRO. The sports, however, definitely affected me. I’m very competitive when it comes to computer games/MMOs.

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

We had an Atari when I was 3-5 I believe. I remember playing it a lot with my brother. Of course there was Pong. My favorites were the tank game, the cowboy game (used to play that on IRL on the couch with my brother), and of course Pitfall.

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

Around the same time we had the Atari we also had a Pink Panther pinball machine. On some weekends my parents would drop me and my brother of at this arcade place. We’d be there for 3-4 hours before they picked us back up and it was always a fight to make us leave. The only game I really remember from there (besides like the Simpsons games and fighting games) was the Aerosmith game where you shoot CDs out of guns.

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

The first computer game/multiplayer experience I had was with my brother over my dad’s work lan. We were playing Doom on Co-Op. I’d played this game a few times before solo and I was young and I really would get scared. I remember in the beginning there is a pitch black room you have to navigate through while hearing crazy pigs breathing all around you. As soon as I could bring my big brother along, it didn’t seem so bad.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

Atari, Socrates, Nintendo, SNES, Genesis, Gameboy, 64, Playstation. That was it for being a family and having consoles. Since then I’ve bought myself a Wii and hardly use it ever. Still need a nunchuck and Mario Kart to even consider playing it. It is a good party game though (sports/wii play).

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

I pretty much traded in sports for computer games. So when I found the Quake 2 Paintball community that had clans, IRC, and competition it opened my eyes. I played a lot, tried to get good, and honestly became half decent. I don’t think I was a member of any of the bigger longer standing clans, but I do remember having a few matches and not always losing. It was Counter-Strike that really opened the competitive gaming world to me though. I pretty much raised myself on the internet in the game Counter-Strike. I was in CAL-M before there was a CAL-P and CAL-IM. I was also in I think IGL with team XZ (lizard, inferno, names no one knows). Basically I’ve played since beta 7 and thus have a 6 digit steam id (which is low, even lower than some are aware it could possibly be, because not everyone understands what the steam id numbers mean). Anyways, at the Pinnacle of my CS times I was playing fun maps with CAL-I players, mainly Hide n Seek with TSG, DiE, and I think some U5 players. All of those clans have placed very high at CPL (which is pretty much world wide). Some people I knew locally and was in a clan with at one time became lucky enough to get a spot in the CPL (due to the real winning team being too young) and they finished I think in 19th place, which is pretty amazing imo. It feels like I’ve been striving for similar peaks since then, though competition in MMOs has much less to do with skill than it does time invested (which makes me not win in my head).

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