Old Games and Older Gamers

Some who read this will remember the start of online gaming, not with World of War Craft, not with Wii, not with Playstation and not with X-Box. They will remember some strange sounding words to today’s gamers. Words like Quake, Quake III, possibly UnReal Tournament. What are those?

The older gamers will remember it all. These gamers will also remember 2 Forts and the epic CTF (Capture the Flag) battles that ensued between a red and blue team. The somewhat limited coding of the earlier games did lend itself to hacks. Occasionally an opponent could walk through a wall when that should not happen, maybe fly across a water barrier. Part of the challenge was to take the medics axe and whack those folks infecting them as much due to cheating then being on the other team.

My favorite Quake character was the out of control medic, wielding an axe causing imminent but lingering death to an opponent or just as effectively healing a teammate. One whack to the enemy resulted in a frag. The favorite attacks usually involved clutching a grenade close to yourself until it exploded throwing you into the air, over the moat or up to the sniper’s nest. Snipers usually found squinting down their gun sight so when you hit them with the infecting axe they had no idea it was coming.

Clan battles also took on an epic saga. The clan ladder finally came along so all clans could challenge each other to find out who was the “best.” The “icd” of icdfreelance started as part of a clan many years ago. Originally, this name started as Clan Icing Death Freelance before becoming the current “I can do freelance.” Roots and heritage are still there.

The gaming world has changed by hardware and software. The old world of games ran on computers that today would barely handle email and text file in today’s world. If you can find one of these old games, it usually will run even if you have to coax things along with a config file but to see the blocky textures, block faced characters of Quake. Moving to Quake III, we find a world of improvements in how the game looks.

Compared to today’s games of mega graphics, player tools, and demands on hardware all necessary, the old games seem from another time. They are. The new, improved games are as much fun for today’s players as the old games were for the older gamer.

As with all technology, gaming will, cannot go back as we must go forward into a new world. What a gaming world it is becoming; intense reality, major hardware improvements with matching scenes that challenges choosing between a real world and a cyber world.

This is today. What will the gaming world of tomorrow bring? An unanswered question, at least for now but the anticipation is undeniable.

Harold Simmons

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