Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Crookshankz (Chapter 2)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 26, 2009

MMO community connection:

The Gaming Goob

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?

Pre 4th grade I was all about some baseball. I either played with my cousin who was quite a bit older or my dad. We had to use “ghost men” to stay on the bases for us. 4th-7th was 4 square at school and High School I could be found every day at the local basketball courts.

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

As a child? hmmm. I played video games back then quite a bit. I was an avid comic book reader, collected baseball, basketball cards. I’d also wrote and drew quite a bit.

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

I tried quite a few times to play D&D. Back in my High School though I had a hard time finding people to play with. So trying to play usually consisted of me and 1 other person and we spent the time just rolling random characters.

Did you read much as a child? If so, what did you like to read (books, comic books, etc?)

As a child I read quite a bit. Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown and A Wrinkle In Time. I was also an avid comic book reader. (I was taught to read by Spiderman).

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 guess in an off way. Reading when I was younger taught me an appreciation of the Fantasy Genre. I read a lot now and they are pretty much all either Fantasy or Sci Fi. On the same note, all the games I play are either Fantasy or Sci Fi.

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

When I was very young, my uncle had the original Pong. He would let me play it when I would go over and visit. I must have been maybe 4 or 5ish and still vaguely remember it. I also remember being a bit upset when I was 6 because my Dad was willing to pay $275 for an Atari 2600 but wouldn’t buy me a $7 toy (my priorities were confused back then).

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

I use to play coin-op games like crazy. My dad use to work late night at a resort at Disney World. When I hit 15 or 16 he would get me into Disney and I would run around there until it closed. Then I would go over to his hotel and he would give me a roll of quarters. I’d play until he got off work. I did that once a week for a few months. Even when I was 20, and working at the local mall. I knew a guy who worked in the mall’s arcade and he would give me free games. So I’d go in there and play Street Fighter II during my lunch breaks.

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

If I can still remember playing Pong at pre-5, I would think that counts.

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

Atari 2600, Commodore 64 (if that counts), NES64, Game Cube and the Wii.

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

I when we first got our Commodore 64. We would go and buy Compute! Magazine (I think that was the name of it). And in these magazines you’d get pages of code for games to type in. You’d type it by hand, then go through and recheck it, save it too cassette tape and then execute the program. That was how we first started gaming on it. The process took days.

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