Growing up in Africa was a strange combination. Seeing as my parents were linguists, we had computers around even before the were widely adopted in Europe and the US. Mind you, we had access to computers, but no regular electricity. Or, we had access to computers but no new clothes. Get the picture? All that to say, I was very computer literate by the time I graduated from high school in Kenya and went to the US for college.
David, would frequent the game arcades in YaYa and the Sarit Centre. I also had a couple friends who actually owned Nintendos – a very rare thing indeed in those days – and we would have great times playing Zelda and Street Fighter together. Mix that with the Kings Quest games of yore on our PC and you see that even in Africa gamers are developed.
The natural progression of one such as I was to get into the console games of that era; Sega, Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Playstation, etc… However, I was never a natural console gamer – and truthfully I still suck at them. I got into playing strategy games like Civilization II, but also moved on to other fun client-based games. Everquest came out, but I didn’t have the money to buy the computer needed or the money to pay the monthly fee, so it passed by.
I unwittingly opened up a whole new world of games when I found Ultima Online in 2001, and it’s been downhill ever since. I played that for a while, then switched to Star Wars Galaxies when it came out and was a hopeless addict of that game for a couple months before I realized I had a real life to live. I tried to go back to client-based games (offline games), and picked up Civ III, Sim Golf, Diablo II, Baldur’s Gate and others, but once you’ve tried online games there’s simply no going back. No non-player character (NPC) interaction can equal interaction with real players like you get online.
So, what do I do now? I’m to old to play games right? Not really, I play World of Warcraft (look up Dawa, my priest on Stonemaul, if you play too) in my free time. Usually this means after the girls are in bed and I have chosen to rot my brain rather than read a book or do something else constructive. 🙂 I guess I’m what is called a “casual gamer” these days, but I still get to go and have fun with my other 1337 friends every once in a while.
By the way, for some very funny reading – if you’re a gamer, or if you want to learn gamer speak – go to the Unencyclopedia where you can learn what a Roflcopter is.