My Gaming Life
As a kid, I can remember the first time I was ever introduced to video games like it was yesterday. My Dad had an original NES and what seemed like an endless stack of games(turns out it was about 13). I would sit in front of the old entertainment center as long as my parents would allow, whenever they would allow it.
This feeling never really left me; later earning me the nickname ‘Spud’ due to the amount of a couch potato I had become. I would play any platform, any game, where ever and whenever I could. Some people would think this is a crutch and maybe think it ruined my childhood, but I was a very active kid. Most of my days were still spent outside playing or working in the yard. I played sports throughout my life including 10 years of playing soccer, a few years of football, and eventually running track 3/4 of my high school years. But at the end of the day if I was going to hang out with friends, it was centered around a TV(or two or three) playing games.
Fast forward to middle and high school and the coming of age of online gaming on consoles. Yes, I remember having to have the network adapter for the PS2 and the dozens of times it was LAN party as the only option to link up and play with more than 4 people in the days of Halo. I wasn’t privy to the broadband internet that some of my friends had, and so I would spend all my gaming time over their houses tea-bagging noobs in Halo or Call of Duty. The adrenaline of playing with real live people that you didn’t know was intoxicating. It was like every match was a tournament. It continued to full that spark that started when I was just 3 or 4 years old.
After high school, most of my friends had gone off to college and therefore had little time to game online in between trying to pass their classes and party their ass off. Sidenote: I live in the town I grew up in and there is literally nothing around but Amish and strip malls so my fellow high school graduates got the F#$% out of there as soon as they could. So after high school my focuses turned to college(I stayed home and worked while I went to community college for computer programming). I still gamed plenty with the friends that also elected to forego the crippling debt of college for the ability to work and have money to spend. I also picked up where I left off in high school working on cars, installing stereos, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
We’re getting closer to the present, I promise. By the time that I turned 20, I was getting through my last classes of my associates degree in programming and edging closer to my 3rd full year working for a local grocery store. Not the most amazing job, but it was flexible and didn’t pay too bad for my age. But the urge to step into something that resembled a career path started to grow every time I clocked into work in the morning. By this time I had been a cashier, stocked shelves, managed the dairy and frozen departments, ran produce, even decorated a few cakes when needed. But just like any other job, the best way to see where any corporate ladder goes, is to look at the people above you in the hierarchy. And my bosses were nice enough people but miserable from years of dealing with corporate sales environments. I have detailed stepping into my current career and moving up in a previous blog so I will spare you the details but the main point being, I got a job that afforded me the leeway to save money and more so spend some of it every once and a while.
In another blog post, I stepped through buying my first house and building my shop out back. It was about the time that I broke ground on the garage that I met the woman who would eventually be my wife. And even though we used the garage all the time for parties or working on our vehicles, I started to look for something else to pass the time.
Enter the small addiction called Youtube. Due to the hundreds of hours of computer aided training modules I had to do for work, I spent countless hours at work sitting on the computer and clicking through training modules along with watching Youtube videos in between. Most of these videos were of funny things that happened or crazy plays in competitive games and finally, my first experience with FrankieOnPCin1080p. His DayZ gameplay videos are still to this day one of my favorite series of videos ever on Youtube; and rightfully so. He spent hundreds of hours setting up plotlines on unknowing public servers and stringing together amazing interactions with total strangers on a weekly basis. I can honestly attribute my burning desire to finally build my first serious “Gaming” rig to his channel. And if I were to be given the chance, I’d shake the hell out of his hand for doing so.
My first real “rig” was fairly modest to most seasoned vets as I would soon find out but I was reentering the arena of PC gaming for the first time in probably 10 years so I wanted to take it slow before blowing 6 months pay on the ultimate set up. And the only game I had in mind was DayZ mod/Standalone. I played that game religiously day in and day out solo. Which is exactly the wrong way to play anything Arma related. I had no experience in the online gaming community and none of my friends had the desire or the money to join me in my PC Gaming endeavors. So I slowly changed my schedule and eventually I had sort almost stopped playing altogether when Frankie did it again, but this time it was an Arma Mod called Altis Life. An RP based mod that allowed players the ability to buy cars and guns, role play with total strangers, have jobs, or maybe just sit on the beach and fish all day. Again I was practically glued to my office chair every moment that I was left alone. It took a couple different servers full of trolls and 12 year old D-bags to make me search out something a bit more my speed(and my age) in the server browser. So there I sat, hopping onto server after server. I spawned into the most toxic parts of the map right off the bat to test the waters and see what the RP experience was like and, in most cases, it was garbage human beings and garbage RP.
That is until I ran across the GSNGaming.com Altis Server still in testing. But that’s another story for another day…
Thanks for lasting this long and I hope it was at least a tiny percentage as entertaining to read as it was to write. Stay tuned for more stories about Gaming, Friends, Family, or Life in general!