Specifically, my history of online gaming. I came to PC gaming a long time ago, before the advent of such luxuries as hard drives or newfangled input devices like a mouse. Schneider CPC, with a monochrome green monitor, those were the days.
In the modern era of PC gaming, I started early with classics like IDs Wolfenstein, Sierras Quest For Glory (then called Heros Tale), Origins Wing Commander and Ultima series… basically all games you expect to find in the top 100 list of best games of all times.
Then came the internet.
Two games shaped my experience in online gaming.
Counterstrike, in which I co-founded a clan that held together for more than 5 years (basically the lifetime of Counterstrike pre-Source). We played actively in leagues, tournaments, held decent sized LAN parties, the whole works. I caused a couple of controversies, but in general, it was a great time and I still have contact with a few guys from that time.
Ultima Online, which I played for about two years. Being a big fan of Ultima and Underworld, this was a must-buy. We had lots of fun, but in the end, it didn’t quite hold my attention, especially with Counterstrike demanding a lot of effort to stay competitive.
After I quit Counterstrike (I think sometime in 2004), I abstained from online gaming or multiplayer in general as much as I could, suffering from some sort of burnout. But recently, I felt the itch to have a go at it again. I toyed with Modern Warfare 2, briefly, but it is clear that if I want to be as competitive as I remember being, I would have to put in a lot more time than I’m willing to.
So, here comes World of Warcraft. I pondered a long time if I should give it a try. The free trial convinced me. It is actually a game that I can enjoy online without feeling the urge to be hardcore competitive. I can go along almost as if it’s a single player game, with the added bonus of Auction Houses and the occasional help from other people.
And there you have it. My primetime gaming slot, once held firmly by the scope of my trusted AW/P is now occupied by World of Warcraft, the casual way.