Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Sister Frances (Chapter 2)

Posted by Randolph Carter on July 3, 2009

MMO community connection:

No Prisoners No Mercy

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 used to play paper dolls…where we would actually draw and cut out our own dolls and paper outfits to go on top of them. Some of them got really elaborate with glitter and sequins…it was fun. The other activity I did a lot was what I call “building things”. I used to take things apart and build other things with the parts. For instance, I took apart many pairs of those old metal roller skates, the kind you had to have a “key” to tighten onto your foot..I would take those apart, and make “scooters” with the wheels. My friend and I would play for just hours riding/sitting on our scooters, being pulled by a jump rope through the back end of a bike! It was pretty funny.

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

I used to play piano. I took lessons for like, 9 years. I still play occasionally. I like to write music and improvise it as well.

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

The only “pen and Paper” games I ever played were the making of those little origami “fortune telling” things, you’d ask a question, and then do the origami thing so many times, and the answer was under the flap. The other game was drawing little pictures in the corners of note pads and flipping them to make the drawing “move”. But no “role” playing games, unless make believe or pretending counts.

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 probably read one WHOLE book in my entire life. I do not believe that I’ve ever read an entire book. I like to read parts, get the general idea, and then move onto something else. I was a big “picture book” fan. My favorites were always National Geographic…great photos!

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.

In my case I think it totally influenced my decision to minor in photography and to major in Graphic Design in college. My career then for the next 20 years was being a graphic designer, and in the last 10 years, a web designer. I think those years a grew to appreciate how things look…and it could also be why gaming did not interest me when it was still in it’s “crude” phase. Now, I’m just BLOWN AWAY at some of the graphics I see…like in Fallout 3…wow…and some of the temples and areas in WoW…just amazing.

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

First video game was Pong! ( you have to be pretty old to remember that one!) THAT was my first experience! LOL . then I remember looking at that one where you blast the meteors as they come at you…you are a pixel space ship…and other space ships come by and blast you too…then the next one was in video arcades playing a dinasaur version of “mortal combat” I thought it was called “Diablo” but I think diablo was the name of one of the dinosaurs you could pick…which I ALWAYS picked and always won with! : ) Then it was play station…my favorite was one called “killing time” wow…that one was cool and interesting. Then of course, Tomb Raider 4…I like the whole solving a puzzle/riddle thing as well as kicking butt. Something they don’t have too much in WoW or any of the other MMOs’ that are out there.

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

See above.

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

See above (Killing time & then Tomb Raider).

What gaming consoles have you owned in the past?

Play station, 3DO, and Mac computer games like Myst (I REALLY got into that one!!)

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

Actually when I was a kid I mostly did dolls, paper dolls, and the scooter thing, outdoor games…like baseball and rollerskating, I didn’t actually start playing video games till I was in my late 20s.

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