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epi_lj's video game questionnaire

via clawfoot

1. How long have you been playing video games?
The first video game I played was the original Pong in the mid-70s. So, about 30 years.

2. What's the earliest video game that you can remember playing?
Pong. Yes, that Pong. My girlfriend's brother got it for Christmas.

3. What, if any, video games are you playing now (these days)?
I'm currently not playing one, but I have a bunch of text adventure games stored on my computer from the Underdogs site and various Infocom history sites (I mostly went to them searching for a way to play Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). When I got my new iMac in November, I played Sims Unleashed for a while. A few months later I downloaded an OS X port of Solarian, which was a shareware game I was addicted to around 1990. And I'm going to get Sims 2 when it comes out for the Mac.

4. What's the last video game that you bought?
Solarian (shareware).

5. Name three video games that you played in the past five years that you think were particularly notable, and talk about why.


Babel, a text adventure game from the Underdogs site. It's got an interesting story.

Starship Titanic, on which Douglas Adams collaborated. It's hilarious. I like Douglas Adams in multimedia much better than Douglas Adams's books. Terry Jones plays the parrot!

The Sims. I was never interested in any of the dungeons and dragons type games that the OH played because, I told him, "they are too much like real life" (you have to manage a lot of things). So of course when I got addicted to The Sims, the OH teased me that it was more like real life than the games he played. But I argued that it wasn't - it was much simpler than real life, and that was precisely what I liked about it.

6. Name five classic or nostalgic games that mean a lot to you and talk about why.


The classic arcade video game that I liked best was Pac Man. (And Ms Pac Man was OK, but I didn't like it better.)

I played a lot of Space Invaders on my boyfriend's Atari box in the late 70s. I eventually got bored because we used to take turns and he was much better at it than I was, so my turns took maybe a minute and his turns took maybe 10-15 minutes.

The first computer game (as in, game played on a computer, not on a box just designed for game-playing) I got well and truly addicted to was a game that as far as I know existed only on the DEC-20 at Wesleyan University in the early 80s. I think it was written by someone there. It was called DUNGEN. This wasn't the multi-user game or the Zork port of the same name. It was a graphical dungeon-crawl-find-gold-kill-monsters game done entirely in ASCII characters.

I liked Adventure too; that was one that my friends and I played collaboratively - we each played separately but we compared notes at home later and gave each other clues. And I liked Zork, but I didn't get as far into it until later on when I was playing it as an Infocom game on an early Mac.

I have a fondness for a game called Daleks that was one of the first games that came out for the original Mac. Here is a description of it from one of the sites where you can download an OS X version:
SuperDaleks is a game of strategy. Each time you move on the board, the daleks move one square closer to you. If two or more daleks crash into each other, they are destroyed. When the daleks crash, they form a trash heap which can be used to eliminate more daleks. If you get stuck, you can teleport to a random location, but you may be teleported next to a dalek. You also get one 'sonic screwdriver' per level, which removes the daleks in the squares adjacent to you.


7. Tag five other people to take this! If you want to take it and weren't tagged, feel free to consider yourself so.

I'm not going to tag anyone. If you want to fill it out, do.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
futabachan
Jun. 1st, 2005 07:20 am (UTC)
I had a copy of Daleks on my Mac back in the day. I never watched Doctor Who until it started airing here in Canada last month, so I didn't have any idea who the Daleks were....
firecat
Jun. 1st, 2005 07:41 am (UTC)
I didn't know what Daleks referred to either when I first got the Daleks game - I'd seen Dr Who but only isolated episodes and I didn't make the connection until later.
epi_lj
Jun. 1st, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)
"I played a lot of Space Invaders on my boyfriend's Atari box in the late 70s. I eventually got bored because we used to take turns and he was much better at it than I was, so my turns took maybe a minute and his turns took maybe 10-15 minutes."


I've been in that situation, too. I remember once my (MUCH younger) cousin came over. He was both shy and has some sort of disability (I never did find out what) that apparently made him hard to deal with, so his parents let him bring his Nintendo on the thought that if it became rough for him they could set him aside and let him play. My parents heard about this and thought that this was an amazing opportunity -- they knew I liked video games, so they hooked him up immediately and had me play with him. However, I played mostly "thinking games" -- text adventures, RPGs, things that didn't require much by way of reflexes and where you could sit there and stare at the screen for an hour without it being an issue. I'd never had a console and although I was familiar with the "platform game" genre, I didn't really know much about it and had never played it very much (aside from Karateka, which is only a platform game in the broadest possible sense). Anyway, he had one of these Mario franchise platformers that he wanted to play and my parents wanted me to sit with him and play it. So we all sat down to play. His parents made him let me go first and take turns. He gave me the controller with no explanation and I played. It was a simple enough game to figure out, but I survived maybe one minute. He then took his turn and survived I think well over an hour. Then it was my turn again, and I started out figuring I'd do a little better having seen the game a little, but about a minute in he just got so frustrated with me he couldn't handle it anymore and I gave him the controller to play. You see, not only was I not great at the game, but I didn't know all the secret bits, like the part where you have to jump up for no reason at all because there's an invisible block in the middle of the air and if you bonk it from beneath you get some bonus points, and stuff like that. Anyway, this was pretty much how the whole day went. My longest turn lasted maybe three minutes, and his turns would stretch into the 1-2 hour range. I mean, I was old enough to be glad that he had something to do that he was comfortable with and to realize what the situation was and all that, but still, it was incredibly, mind-numbingly boring.
firecat
Jun. 1st, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
See, this is the sort of situation where knowing how to knit is a geat asset.
jinian
Jun. 1st, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
Daleks! I still play Daleks almost every time I turn on the old Powermac. I get frustrated with the insta-death teleport problem, though.
firecat
Jun. 1st, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
It does kind of limit how far you can get, I think.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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