We are all over PC gaming this week , but what do we know about PC gaming? Each day, one Kotaku editor will reveal their PC gaming knowledge and share some memories. Yesterday you read about Crecente's experiences, and now?
Now you can read about mine.
For several Texas summers between the ages of 11 to 15, I sure was. But as a kid, I didn't have a PC at home. We had a typewriter! (Oddly, we didn't have a microwave, either.) If I wanted to write something, that mean I could try to henpeck out a letter or get a pen. If I wanted to game, well, I had an array of video game consoles. The computer, a 1981 IBM, was at my dad's office. My parents never really made the connection between computers and kids. In fact, I didn't have my own computer until 1996 — right before I left for college. So, sadly, I don't have a strong PC gaming background. Blame my childhood! That doesn't mean I totally missed out on computer games as a wee lad. I didn't grow up in a cave.
Like most children of the 1980s, my first computer game was Oregon Trail. But, the first computer game I played outside of school was probably 1987's Leisure Suit Larry. A friend's older brother had a copy, and a bunch of us loaded it up to, and I quote, "see things you'll never see in a Nintendo game". Besides fuschia graphics and conversations in bars, I actually don't remember much about the game itself, but rather, what really stuck out was how Larry was controlled by the keyboard. It was a revelation! Game characters manipulated by something other than a control pad or a joystick.
My consoles always got in the way of my PC gaming. When the Nintendo Entertainment System came out, I had one. When the Sega Genesis hit, I had one. When the Turbo Grafx-16 went on sale, I was there. Besides those consoles, my parents had Pong and an Odyssey. Yes, I was that kid. But there was never any impetus to get a computer until I went to college. And while in college, dormmates' computers held wonders like Grand Theft Auto and Quake. Good times. I felt what others had know for years: the computer can more than hold its own as a gaming machine. Late to the party, but hey, at least I arrived.
My best friend growing up had Sim City, Civilization and later TIE Fighter, among other games. Often, I'd go over to his house and play for hours and hours. There isn't a specific memory per se, but those sunny afternoons, drinking Dr Pepper and taking turns playing seem to be from a different era. Kids today have their own PCs and play with each other online — which certainly is fine. But there's something to be said about being in the same room and learning from another player's mistakes.
Right before I left for college, I picked a Mac over a ThinkPad laptop. Since I, you know, GREW UP WITH AN ELECTRIC IBM TYPEWRITER, I honestly did not know you could not play PC games on a Mac. I was utterly crushed upon being told that by a sales clerk. I was even more crushed when I saw the number of titles in the games for Mac aisle. I felt like my Mac was nothing more than a fancy typewriter.
Hrm, Jazz Jackrabbit? Epic Games is known for their shooters Gears of War and Unreal Tournament. Why not release another Jazz Jackrabbit? And release it for the PC!