Video Games

I don’t really play video games often. I don’t know why, I used to be a fiend for the old console systems, especially my Intellivision. But after college I guess real life intruded into my gaming world and my interest waned. I still play a few games, but they are not the time sink that my old obsession used to be.

I own a Dreamcast, but I play it rarely. I don’t really play many sports games, but I developed a fondness for Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer. I also really enjoyed Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and MDK2. But that is about it. I am currently playing Shenmue, if taking a year to get only partly into the game is actually playing.

My PC video games are even sparser. I can remember playing Doom, but only a few games appeal to me. I still play the original Descent, and occasionally Diablo, but that’s about it. I’m playing Deus Ex on my PC, but that’s playing like Shenmue is playing – not really.

When I was younger I had a Mattel Intellivision, and I actually played that a great deal. Well into the evening I would toil away on my favorite games, especially Dungeons & Dragons, Night Stalker and Tron: Deadly Discs. And the sports games were really cool. I like Soccer and Baseball the most. But eventually I grew tired of the games and quit playing most of the time.

In college I spent a great deal of time with Nintendo, but so did everyone else. The games were good and while I never owned a NES, I grew proficient in a number of games. Tecmo Bowl anyone? Contra? The Legend of Zelda? It was probably just the college life, but I can distinctly remember all night video game rallies, usually starting around 1:00 or 2:00 when the bars closed, and lasting until dawn. Those empty hours wasted in front of the flickering television marked some of the indelible memories of my college career.

After those college years my game playing withered away, playing just a few games a year. I just found the games a colossal waste of time – a veritable black hole sucking free time. On the rare occasions I did get immersed in a game, it absorbed my time almost completely. Doom did this, the first Tomb Raider did this, Diablo did this. But this only occurs about once every couple years. I’d rather just spend my free time reading books.

Oh, I guess I’m blathering about this since I just spent a couple hours blowing stuff up in Descent. I first bought this game back in ’95 and I still enjoy flying around shotting like a maniac. I spent a few months designing new levels with a level editor back in the day. That’s too much effort for me now. My levels were invariably boring and not very challenging, maybe because I knew where everything was. Anyway, it’s been a fun little trip down memory lane playing this game again.