30/05/2016

"Creative Blogger Award" - Some Stuff About Me & Gaming

Shadowz from The Legacies in SWTOR tagged me for something called the "Creative Blogger Award", which as far as I can tell is no award at all but simply another one of those memes that move around the blogsphere like chain letters and are popular because they give us bloggers yet another thing to talk about. Thanks for thinking of me, Shadowz! I rarely participate in these things because I'm a bit obsessed with staying "on topic" on my blog (thus the separate blogs for WoW stuff and Neverwinter) and I'm not good at coming up with "random" facts about myself, which is often a requirement.

However, I'm going to make an exception for this one because Shadowz' tag coincided with me having a conversation with Rav in one of her comment threads in which she mentioned that I rarely talk about my life beyond SWTOR. Which is true! So I thought I'd use this opportunity to do so. If this isn't something you're interested in, feel free to skip this post - I completely understand.

Anyway, first off, the rules of this "challenge":
  • Thank the person that nominated you and share a link back to their blog [done]
  • Post 5 facts about yourself [that's what the main part of this post will be about]
  • Nominate 15-20 people for this award [seems kind of excessive to me even by chain letter standards, but I will tag a few]
  • Let the people you nominated know, that you have nominated them
  • Post the rules so everyone will understand what to do

So, facts about myself:

1. In real life, I work a 9-5 desk job at the moment, which isn't bad, but honestly not very exciting to talk about either. When I get home, I want to immerse myself in something fun instead. Even more so since my employer moved to London a few months ago, introducing a long commute into my work day, which leaves me feeling exhausted every evening. Gaming offers a bit of escapism there, and I don't see that as a bad thing.

2. Both gaming and writing go very far back for me. I actually learned to read and write before I even entered school and started my first diary only a few years later. I've had a Livejournal since 2004, though I only post there very rarely these days.

As far as gaming goes, my father introduced multiple Commodore 64s into our household when I was still very little, and like my older brother I was absolutely fascinated by them. (My mother disapproved of computers and does so to this day.) I loved every opportunity to be allowed to play around on one, even if it was just to load up PrintMaster and plaster a sheet of paper with unicorns surrounded by flowery borders. (It's amazing what sorts of things you find entertaining when you're young.) The first actual game I was allowed to play was called Purple Turtles, a simple game where you play a character that repeatedly crosses a body of water on the backs of the eponymous purple turtles to feed fruit to an owl. That narrative, guys!

3. We soon came into the possession of literally hundreds of games for the C64, all pirated. The problems with the legality of this didn't actually hit me until long after, but at the time I wouldn't even known how else to acquire computer games. It wasn't until my teens that I actually started seeing them in the shops. Copying your own collection and sharing it with your friends was simply how it was done at the time.

I tried a lot of those games and didn't care for the vast majority at all. I wonder if this explains my immunity to the whole Steam sale phenomenon... I learned at a very young age that an abundance of games isn't necessarily all that much of a blessing. I liked things with colourful graphics and with gameplay that wasn't too stressful. Things that required a lot of jumping around and shooting enemies were sometimes fun to watch over my brother's shoulder, but I just wasn't any good at them and quickly got bored of replaying the first one or two levels over and over (back in the days without save functions). You could say that my gaming preferences showed themselves very early on.

My love for gaming really hit a new stride however when I discovered adventure games after we got our first PC. I remember laughing out loud when Stan the used-boat salesman sold Guybrush Threepwood a ship whose mast fell over the moment it set sail... (and then I wrote all of this down in my diary of course).

4. It didn't take all that long for me to start writing about gaming either. When I finally beat a (to me) challenging adventure game, I started writing up a guide for it... not that I ever expected anyone else to actually read it, but somehow I wanted to preserve the knowledge that I had gained about how to solve all the puzzles really badly. My first real-time strategy game, a Bullfrog title called Gene Wars (which was critically panned and thus quickly forgotten) inspired me to write a sort of fanfic about my units' adventures.

The first online writing I did about games goes back a little over ten years ago, to a game called Neopets (which was also my first experience with online gaming and communities). I was in a guild there whose guild leader ran a small help site for the game and also loved to write, and somehow she eventually came up with the idea for a site called "The Neo Commentary" where she'd write editorials about what was happening in the game. Me and a couple of other guildies were invited to write for it as well, and I became the most regular contributor aside from the owner herself. However, she eventually lost interest in the game and took the site down.

5. I've talked a lot about my origins in gaming now, which was a topic that was making the rounds at some point last year or so. I remember that I found it very interesting at the time, but was also a bit sad to find out how little I had in common with most other bloggers in terms of gaming origins. A lot of people mentioned consoles and Mario, but I've actually never owned a console (unless you count my brother's discarded Sega Game Gear... but nobody seems to have fond memories of a Sega console).

Oddly, for all my love of computers, I've never been hugely interested in consoles. I have played a few games on those of friends over time of course, but I've always been a bit put off by their limitations. I realise it's quite hypocritical to say this considering how much time I spend using my PC to play games, but being able to also use the PC for other, more useful things has always set it apart from consoles for me, with the latter coming away as mere "toys" in comparison that offer a very bad value for money proposition in my opinion.

Bullet points or not, that was probably even more than five facts about me, and I even managed to stay at least vaguely on topic by focusing on my relationship with gaming! Now for the "tagging" part. As I mentioned above, I think 15-20 is a bit excessive. (Who else are they supposed to tag then? We'll use everyone up really quickly!) However, I will still tag...
Unlike with a classic chain letter, there are no threats of bad luck if you break the chain and don't make a post on this yourself, it's after all just a harmless bit of fun. Normal posting will resume within a few days!

8 comments :

  1. As someone who still has a half-complete post from my Liebster Award Nomination (apologies to Zerne..!) I haven't had the best track record for these sort of things, but I'll give it a shot and see what I can come up with.

    I completely agree with you on the console-vs.-PC front. I find it somewhat bemusing that consoles have now started including a lot of packages (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) which would otherwise be on PC. Whether or not this is a desperate attempt to keep being relevant in the modern day and age, I don't know, but it's fun to see the various arguments spring up over them all the same.

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  2. Replies
    1. Just for that, I tag you too!

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    2. Nope nope nope! You finished!

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    3. Hmm, I was tagged by Shadowz too and still need to post about it. Tempting... >:)

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  3. I had a Sega console growing up! Eventually I got a PC and never looked back. Like you, the value for money is my main reasoning. Though I do have a PS3 that is the best Netflix & Blu Ray player EVER.

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  4. YOu're welcome and I had fun doing it, even though my post was short, but then again waking up to that was odd too. But I'm glad you had fun doing it. I'll have to check out your other blogs since I do play Neverwinter, and I have a new blog I just started this past week.

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  5. This was a lot of fun to read, especially how you wrote a diary, too, and your early internet days, oh and how you got into gaming, and how you handed those illegal copies down to friends (don't worry, I did that too, well, I didn't have any friends that would want my video games, but we had a steady supply from an co-worker of my dad)... okay, I confess, I liked all of it. :)

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