When we were young, my brother and I would go up to the Princeton store where they had a few arcade games in the back. Back then, I loved playing Pacman and Galaga. We sank tons of quarters in those games. One day they brought in Tron. Oh it was on! That was the coolest game! By the way you youngsters, these games were always a quarter. We never payed more than that per game.
When I got a little older, my good friends, Frank and Dale, and I went to the arcade in the Town East mall in Mesquite, TX. Back then the mall was a great place to play. They had all kinds of games. Some of our favorites were Xenophobe, Golden Axe, Double Dragon, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Toobin, Donkey Kong, Gauntlet (the game that could never be beat because there was no ending), racing games, tank games... I could be here all day listing them all. Man, we had tons of fun.
Dale had a computer and we would go to his house after school on days we had band performances and such in the evening. It was much more gas for me to drive all the way home and come back on those days. Dale's parents were great. They would feed us (usually Tombstone pizza and cokes) and take us all over. His Mom was a good cook too. I enjoyed many meals though I probably offended her by putting ketchup on everything :) They would put up with me staying up late at night when I spent the night. They never once got on to me or Dale though sometimes we deserved it. Sometimes we would swim in his pool or play outside but more than not we played on his computer. And when I say we, I mean me :) He was able to play when I wasn't there :) We played lots of TRS-80 (trash 80) computer games. Ultima, Bard's Tale (my favorite), Final Fantasy, Star Flight, Star Fleet, Bruce Lee, and many others. He had a video game console but I don't remember which one. We rarely played with it though. We also played Dungeons and Dragons at his house with many friends. We always had a great time. I don't know why I never asked my Mom for a computer but I never did. I guess I figured it was too expensive. It wasn't. That is how I was though. I rarely asked for anything big like that. My Mom always knew what to get me though. One of my favorite toys was an electronic chess game. I used to play that all the time. I had it for many years and none of the 32 pieces went missing.
After I got into computer science, I got my own computer to program on. I bought games for it and created my own games. My friend Frank got Dale and I into Starcraft and Diablo. These games were the smoothest games ever made in my opinion. We had a lot of fun playing those together. It is a lot of fun to play Dungeons and Dragons with friends and it can never be replaced by computer games but its a great fix for when you can't play with friends. When Ultima Online came out, Dale, Frank, and I were all over it. You build up your character and learn to mine ore, gather herbs and wood, make armor with the ore, arrows with the wood, etc. Of all the games I have played, this one has always been my favorite. It paved the way for all the others. I say it paved the way for the others. What I mean is graphically it paved the way. There were many MMORPGs via Telnet that gave Ultima Online the idea for their game. Telnet games were great when the speed of your connection was 14400 baud. Remember the modems? hehe probably some people out there now that don't even know what a modem is.
Now I have two computers and three laptops. I'm a computer-holic. Of course the laptops are for my children and wife. I have a PC and my wife has a PC. When my wife and I first got together, I bought World of Warcraft. There was another game out called Elfquest that I never played. I will not compare the two. I played WOW because Frank was playing it and i wanted to adventure with him. My wife, Amy, had seen people play games like this before but never really got into them. I began playing and she watched. She couldn't stand it. She took the game from me, made her a character and I would move her around while she fought and interacted with everything. We bought another copy of the game so we could both play. We had such a good time doing that. If you ever get into these kinds of games, try to find a friend you can play with and only play your characters when you are both able to. Play a different character when you are unable to play together. Its a lot of fun leveling your characters together. We don't play anymore these days though we might go back some day. I play Lord of the Rings Online sometimes but I am seldom on there anymore either.
Good times... good times.