More About Gaming

Okay, I’m still officially in a gaming mood this week from all the games we got either from the Pizza Hut PC Game meal deal promo or from EB Games selling games at the bargain prices during their stock-take clearance this month. And as fate would have it, my cousin KP (who doesn’t like being called by that nickname nowadays, by the way) who works in Korea nowadays dropped me a message on Yahoo Messenger the other day. He was going to get a real-time strategy (RTS) game titled Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth. That sparked a conversation about the good old days.

A decade or so ago, KP, his brother, my brother and I often played Warcraft 2 and Starcraft against each other online via modem connection. This was before Internet gaming was popular so we had to resort to modem to modem online gaming at speeds of 28kbps. Still, it was great fun. We did this almost every night. I remember feeling chills of excitement as our two modems connected to one another. I remember thinking, “tonight, I’m going to beat your ass!” Or something to that effect in Tagalog.

In a few years, Half-Life death matches became popular. But with that kind of multiplayer gaming, we had to go to a nearby LAN gaming centre which was still a pretty new type of business back then. By nearby, I mean traveling to Greenhills which was like over an hour’s bus ride from where we live.

Shortly after the popularity of Half-Life peaked, a mod for HL came out called Counter-strike. It was an instant hit with everybody and soon, it was the most played first person shooter game in LAN gaming centres across Metro Manila. My cousins, my brother, some friends and I would set aside one Saturday night to go to a gaming centre we rented overnight and spend the evening till the next morning playing Counter-strike.

Ah, yes. Those were some of the most fun times I had in my life. I had so much fun that when I moved to Australia in 2000, I missed playing games against friends and family.

The big problem for me was that I didn’t know a lot of people when I moved to Australia. If I wanted to continue playing multiplayer games, my only option was to go online for that kind of thing. So, I bought the latest version of Counter-strike and started playing it online. From then on, I’ve been an online gamer freak.

I’ve enjoyed FPS games mostly while KP still preferred RTS games. It’s not that I don’t like RTS games anymore. It’s just that, with my limited free time, I couldn’t commit to full RTS game matches. The thing with RTS games is that you cannot join a game in progress. Much like you cannot just join a chess match in progress. You have to be there at the start. That’s not too much of a big deal though. The big deal is that once the match started, it’s very embarrassing to leave the game.

And like I said, I cannot commit to lengths of time in advance just to play an RTS match. What if 10 minutes into the game, something comes up and I needed to go offline? I would have to forfeit the match. Although my opponent would get a win, that win wouldn’t be very satisfying. And then when I come back from being offline, I have to start over.

With FPS games though, I can join a game in progress. Sure, I would be behind the number of kills of other players already playing, but I can always catch up. And any moment, I can just leave the game. There’s still more of them playing so they’ll still continue to have fun even after I left the round. So with FPS games, it’s instant gratification.

So, where am I going with this? Nowhere really. I just realised I haven’t posted anything in a long while and thought that I just write something that’s in my mind at the moment. And here it is. Maybe next time I’ll write something about a totally different topic.

Published in: on June 7, 2006 at 4:39 pm  Comments (2)