My relationship with PC gaming (part 1)

~ We don’t stop playing when we grow up,
We grow up because we stop playing ~

Hello everyone!

Today I want to touch on the rather big aspect of my life – games, and PC games specifically.

I was always fascinated with merry playtime activities when I was a kid, especially so because I had little time to spend on playing around in general, since about an age of six I was enrolled into sport gymnastics by my family. Being tantrum-free docile kid (I would say my personality was thwarted by my perfectionist demanding father) I complied and since then all my free time up till the age of 14 and a half was taken by gymnastics. If I wasn’t training, I was either at school, doing homework, eating or sleeping.  On weekends, however I could catch up with life a bit.

At age 14 I simply started to purposefully ditch classes, and eventually father gave up on an idea of making a gymnast out of me…

But I digress… All of a sudden, age 14 I had a ton of free time on my hands and we even had a PC and 8-bit console at home. Thus begun my obsessive relationship/addiction to PC and gaming as a big part of that.

I remember all kinds of DOS games I was able to source off my friends/classmates – Doom 2, Contra, Mortal Kombat, Dune, and list just kept expanding.

One time I was at my friend’s flat and he showed me a RTS (real time strategy) game Command & Conquer: Red Alert – oh the hours we spent on that – one played, other watched, and then we switched. Level editor was another fun tool that we fooled around with… Mind you, nobody had internet access at that time, or even if we did have  56k modems at best – we did not know how to make multiplayer work without local area network, and our homes were good 10 kilometers apart, and of course our PCs weren’t laptops.

Then, a while later we discovered hot seat games like HoMM 2: Gold  and Worms 2 – we forsake everything else and just kept playing when we had a chance, and it was the best fun times I can remember from that period of my life.

I need to say that pirating was VERY prominent in our teen years, and I don’t mean us downloading/pirating stuff for free from internet – no! There was a whole class of people who had stands with illegally burnt CDs with either English or Russian localized game versions. Among the instructions in every install CD I can clearly remember a step where they told us to go to CRACK (or similar) folder on CD and copy executable files after install into installation folder. And we, not knowing any better thought this was nothing out of the ordinary, haha!

Later, when download speed increased, and pre-torrent era of KaZaA and eMule emerged we shamelessly pirated games ourselves. Nobody ever gave kid pocket money, or if they did at most what we could by was a bun a day, not normal PC game, which would take months and months to save up to. Our appetites regarding trying out new games was insatiable and we swallowed one game after another and continued to do so.

School ends, universities and colleges start. Does PC gaming give way to more serious activities, like studying and partying the life away? Partly. Not that much, though. Torrents are on the rise, Lithuania has several native private trackers, there are no anti-piracy laws, live is EASY.

Also, I kinda fell in love with anime during high school, and it became a passion of it’s own in my life, and a worthy contender to PC gaming in terms of eating my free time away. But this is another topic for another time. Now, I want to pause for a bit and leave this picture here

This is one of the phrases that resonates with me quite strongly and I am proud that I am feeling this way. Especially when you can sometimes share the experience with other people. It creates excitement, good fun, strengthens bonds with fellow gamers and leaves behind lasting positive memories. LAN parties are especially fun.

I think that’s enough for today, but I’ll be picking this up in the future, touching more on the more recent years, and my coming of age, so to speak, or, to put this into another words – my journey to becoming legal and the joys of truly owning a game.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time.
~ Peace ~


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