My gaming life began the same way as many children of the 80s, with Pong, and later with Nintendo. (Super Mario Bros. 3 is my favorite game of all time.) Due to my extreme early geekdom (see my computer biography), I also got into PC gaming at an early age. Like most children of the 80s, it was all about Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego.
With the age of CD-ROMs of course the first game I got was Myst. I enjoyed the 90s immensely for the popularity of simulation games, both of the SimCity variety and the Janes combat sims and others. It's really too bad that genre has pretty much died off or been dumbed down for casual gamers.
The Mac Years in the Desert
My gaming life took a turn when I became a Mac user, as obviously Mac gaming sucks. Nowadays that's not a problem at all as Intel Macs run Windows quite well, but back then it was a big setback, and for several years I focused my gaming much more on consoles (primarily the PS2) because I didn't have a computer capable of running the latest games.
It was during this time that I first got broadband, and wanted to play an MMO. The only one for Mac that appealed to me was WWII Online (now called Battleground Europe), which I have been subscribed to continuously since 2003, and continued to play on Windows, on my Mac. My gamename is Dover, and I play for the Axis, but I haven't been playing much at all since around 2009.
My Gaming Rig
In 2004, back before Intel Macs, I spent a good deal of time working on Broadway. In early 2005 I decided to blow all the money on building a gaming PC. It was a lot of fun to return to my roots of tinkering with PCs, though I would never want to use it for actual work.
In 2008 I upgraded the CPU / mobo / RAM / video card, and the current specs are in the computer biography. Here's a picture:
Nowadays I don't use it very much, since it's still running 2008 hardware and Windows XP (which I'm still not convinced is a bad thing, since it can run more older games than my laptop, which runs Windows 7 64-bit. Honestly, though, I just don't see why as a primarily Mac user, I should own two legitimate copies of Windows 7, so I refuse to upgrade it. As a result, my gaming options are limited as far as modern games. Also, I think game developers have become evil and I refuse to invest heavily in games that I don't permanently own, so I feel little incentive to upgrade.
Apple's switch to Intel has solved a lot of the problems I've faced as a gamer and a stage manager. My job has me on the road more than I'm home, so even though I have a PC for gaming, most of the time I have to rely on a laptop. Laptops are kind of the great equalizer since they remove the one thing that makes PCs better than Macs for gaming -- the ability to choose one's own hardware piece by piece. For a laptop, the Macbook Pro does a good job for Windows gaming, and while gaming on a laptop in general is not much fun, it allows me to have everything I need in one package on the road.
When I'm feeling into gaming I travel with the following peripherals:
- Razer Mamba Mouse (my review)
- Razer Sphex thin mousepad
- Razer Megalodon 7.1 surround headphones
- Saitek P990 gamepad
Back at home I also have:
I haven't purchased a console since the Xbox. It's not that I don't like console gaming, I actually like it a lot for certain types of gaming. It's just that since I spend so little time at home, it ends up being a waste of money. I really did plan to buy a PS3 when GTA IV came out, but when the time came I was broke, so the $800 just to play one game was not going to happen. I actually lost the $5 preorder I had on the game for a year before its release. With an unclear winner in the current-gen console wars (and my natural preference for the Playstation over the Xbox format), I just have no interest in any of it right now.