Karl as a Gamer

I typically joke with my compatriots in gaming forums that I’ve been playing games longer than most of them have been alive. I’ve been blessed to walk this planet since 1965; so I have a few years behind me.

Roleplaying

I started roleplaying in general when I was 12. My dad gave me a copy of Basic Dungeons & Dragons (the original Basic D&D with the blue & white cover) for my birthday. I had no idea what it was or how it would affect my life. Although it’s been some time now since I had a regular gaming group, I played pencil & paper roleplaying games pretty much ever since then. Because I enjoy the creative process, I typically found myself to be in the Dungeon/Game Master role.

Computer Games

The very first computer I ever messed with was a Sinclair ZX-81. We typed whatever programs we wanted and didn’t have any way to save them. Then I moved up to a TRS-80 Model 1 where I could type my own programs and save them on cassette tape (buying software was a foreign concept at the time). Moved on through the Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga 500, and then finally broke down and got a PC-compatible.

The main reason I had any of those computers … playing games of course. I laugh a little at kids these days who say you can’t have immersion in an RPG without being able to sit in a chair or some other silliness. When I started playing games like Adventure, there weren’t any graphics. You had to read things like:

You’re on a road near a woods. There’s a mailbox next to you and a path to the north.

> Go south

You can’t go that way.

> Go West

You can’t go that way.

> Go East

You can’t go that way.

> Get mail

You can’t get that from here.

> Open mailbox

Mailbox is opened. There is a letter inside.

> Get mail

You pick up the letter.

> Read Letter

You get the idea. And it was easy to get immersed into that world that you could only “see” in your mind.

MMORPGs

My first MMORPG ever was Anarchy Online. I started in August of 2001. So just after the notorious launch events. I can still easily remember the feeling of stepping off the pad for the first time in West Athen Backyard 3 (WA BY3 to the AO vets out there). Realizing that the other people walking around me, killing reets, running from rollerats, etc were other real people was pretty amazing. I played Anarchy Online pretty much exclusively until about 2005.

Since then I’ve played several other games. Games that I’ve spent more than 3 months of solid playing are:

  • Everquest II
  • City of Heroes
  • Star Wars Galaxies
  • Aion
  • World of Warcraft
  • Age of Conan (my current game)

Playing Style

I’m a casual solo pve roleplaying style gamer. I don’t have time anymore for hardcore MMO playing. I just don’t have the hours. Because I never know when I might get called away from the keyboard, I don’t like to team up with others and leave them hanging. Although I enjoyed Aion’s player-vs-player combat system, I’m not generally a fan of open world free-for-all PvP. And my roleplaying background still finds a need to escape to another world now and then.

Personality

In addition to being creative, I tend to be very analytical. In other words, I don’t just play games, I like to think about and analyze them as well. I try to figure out what I like or dislike and why. Over the years I’ve become as interested in the process of designing games as I have in playing them. I like to figure out why a design decision was made and try to see if there might be a way to improve it.

Why Should You Care?

I have no idea. I’m posting this stuff because I need to get it out of my head and off somewhere else. 😉 If others enjoy what I write and it makes them think, that’s all good with me. Feel free to comment as well. What I’m posting here are my thoughts and opinions. I’m not saying I know it all. Just that I think I know something. Learning that you don’t know everything is the first step toward wisdom.

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