Although I’m predominantly a console gamer, I got my start as a kid with PC gaming. This was back in the early 90s and on my father’s computer there was a small assortment of games. My dad only played from time to time, thus the limited selection. Also, my dad’s computer was a Mac and back then there weren’t too many games that came out for Mac. Like most little boys, I was quickly enthralled by these games and played them whenever I could. Many of them were in fact just demos of the full product, but as a kid I didn’t care – I was just happy to have them. Some of the games I only remember bits and pieces of, and others I remember how they played but I can’t remember their name. But even though I don’t remember all of them now, I do remember how much I loved gaming as a kid. There were worlds to be explored, stories to be told, puzzles to solve, and battles to fight.
Truth be told, some of them weren’t that good. As a kid with limited gaming access I didn’t have much of a perspective on what made for great game as opposed to a mediocre one. But there were some really good ones that I had the privilege of playing. Games like Oregon Trail, Space Invaders, Dark Forces, Pokemon (there was a Gameboy emulator on the computer), and SimCity gave me countless hours of entertainment and fun. And then there was Civilization 2, probably the defining game of my childhood and teenage years. I don’t know exactly how many hours total I put into that game, but I’m confident it still holds the title of the most hours I’ve put into an individual game. Most games hold my interest for a few weeks to a few months. Civilization 2 kept me enthralled for about ten years, a testament to its quality.
Together, Civilization 2 and these other great games became the foundation of my gaming experience and profoundly shaped my gaming preferences. It wouldn’t be until college that my gaming life would undergo a major transition, and that transition will be the topic of my next gaming related post.