Is Conflict The Key?

Is Conflict the Key? | Post a comment..
Saturday, June 30, 2001, 18:07

I`ve never really sat down and thought about this at any great length before but today this question has been running around my head over and over

Why do we all play computer games???

So for the past couple of days I`ve been sitting here trying to figure out why it is we all play computer games or at the very least trying to figure out why the hell I`m so addicted to playing them.
Me, Myself and I

Personally I`ve been playing computer games as far back as I can remember, —Warning Entering Flashback— ahhh my trusty old Sinclair Spectrum and Rolling Thunder —Flashback Ends—. Console gaming was where it truly kicked up a gear for me though. The first time I saw the “To be this good takes SEGA -> AGES” adverts I knew that was for me. My love affair with Sega began shortly afterward. Watching as I made Alex Kidd run around the screen of my TV all thanks to a little ole 8-bit Sega Master System filled me with glee. Then in what seemed a remarkably short time it happened, looking back on it now I didn`t even notice, I was hooked on games.

Then, as it always was in the good old days, Sega kept up there reputation for being able to do no wrong and the MegaDrive was born along with their most famous character ever Sonic the Hedgehog. In November 1990 I, along with no doubt many of you, drooled as that little blue hedgehog started running around.  Sega churned out top quality game after top quality game with it looking as though there was no end in sight.  The Sonic games went from strength to strength with Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and the worlds first plug through game ever, Sonic and Knuckles.

Of course Sonic wasn`t the only things I played.  I picked up rakes of great games including Streets of Rage 1 – 3, Atomic Bomberman, Mortal Kombat 1 & 2 but my favourite game was, like most peoples at the time, Street Fighter 2.  SF2 is a totally classic title that I still occasionally play to this day, smelly Vega doing that screechy Dooooooooooooooooo followed by a body slam rubbish on me again

After the Immense success of the MegaDrive Sega decided that it was calling off the love affair with its fans.  The company lost the plot completely releasing a number of bad machines which all served as nails in the coffins of Sega`s console business.  First came the MegaCD then the 32x and lastly and most fatally the Saturn.  Sega`s inability to provide a decent follow-up to the MegaDrive is what turned me onto PC gaming.

PC games started for me with the classic Wolfestein 3D by the boys at  ID Software. Then of course onward through Doom, Doom II & Quake until we finally arrive at Quake II (I know that`s a bit of a fat leap but I don`t want to bore you all to tears if I can avoid it).  Quake II, for a bloody long time, was my all time favourite game.  Nothing was more impressive than grabbing the flag in a CTF (my personal favourite being Lokis Minions) game and using that grappling hook to drag your ass back across the level as fast as you could.

Today I`m a Counter-Strike junkie.  Today the fun comes from driving that AM bullet right through the head of my opponent from half way across the map.  Along with Counter-Strike I also regularly play Tribes 2 and sometimes Quake 3 gets my attention (but compared to Q2 its a piss poor substitute).  My Nintendo 64 also receives its share of attention at times, with WWF: No Mercy being the current title I cant put down.

So ok by now I`m sure your thinking “So what? Who cares? What`s this got to do with why we play computer games” and a few days ago I was also uncertain.  The common link between Sonic 2`s ring grabbing antics and firing off a Rocket at somebody in Quake 2 evaded me for quite some time but now I believe they all have a common theme.

Yes I know, it seemed silly to me at first as well.  The thing is though the more you think about it the easier it becomes to understand why such a simple thing as Conflict can be the driving force behind me picking up my AM and you maybe picking up a Spinfusor.  In games like Sonic you fought to grab those, which now seem so ridiculously named the more I think about it, Chaos Emeralds.

In games like Wolfestein 3D and Doom you were at conflict with the Nazi`s and the Demons from Hell. I`m still not sure that those two groups aren`t one and the same.  Either way you ran around with your gun playing the hero in a “your the last hope” style.

In Quake the level`s were cranked up a notch.  Now you got to kick the shit out of your mates properly.  Ahhh the joy of using that good ole shotgun to decapitate your best mate.  Is there any sweeter feeling?  Well probably, but doing that still feels damn good.  Online gaming takes the conflict to another level, now its not just you versus some computer AI.  It`s you against everybody else you can find.  Online gaming allows people to get there adrenalin pumping by not only kicking one persons ass but maybe 2, 5, 10 or more all at once.  And that, for me, is the kick. Getting one up on as many people as you can lay your hands on.

It gets better now though as with sites like you can actually know just how good you are. Below is my personal ranking bar provided for free by the guys at knowing my luck by the time I finish this column my rating will have dropped from 59,063 all the way down to like 15,000,000 or something, I guess if I don`t play for a bit it cant get any worse though

To get one of those for yourself click here and read what is says.  You will obviously have to register with the chaps there but in my personal opinion this site is far better than any of the alternatives out there.  Anyways if you like you can stick your score for all to see in the forum thread that I`ve started by clicking here and following the instructions that I`ve given there

So peeps go out there and let conflict bring you together in harmony and please post your thoughts / opinions / flames in the forums over here

And now for something completely different…..

On Monday I finally decided to grab myself some new CD`s and so picked up a copy of Dido`s album No Angel which I totally recommend to anybody who hasn`t already got a copy, apart from being stunningly beautiful this lady is also stunningly talented so go pick this one up now.  Whilst your there I must also recommend that you get the new Muse album Origin of Symmetry.  As with pretty much every other artist on Mushroom Records these guys rock

As some of you may or may not have guessed I have now joined the ranks as a new Counter-Strike admin. I`m around loads so you guys have no excuse not to pop into IRC and find me if you spot something going on.  I`m also quite a night owl so don`t forget to check before you say there are no admins at 2am in the morning

Finally I`d like to apologise for my past few updates not really being all that good. I shouldn`t have let them slip as this column is something that I enjoy doing. Hopefully now they will pick up in terms of quality again as I get back into the routine of once again trying to write them regularly.

Right I think that`s covered everything as always feel free to drop me a line.

Until the next time…..


Getting Re-acclimatised

Getting re-acclimatised | Post a comment..
Wednesday, June 13, 2001, 17:58

Now my column is no longer under the Counter-Strike section here at BarrysWorld I’ve been trying to adjust to the fact that I am now less bound to speak about one title in particular. From now on expect to see a little bit more Variety in what I write about.

Also I suggest you guys all go grab Tetrinet from the BarrysWorld FTP and give it a whirl. It’s a multiplayer Tetris clone brought to my attention by Zero-T (thx m8) and it’s a great laugh. So go break some blocks and let me know what you think, it really is a nice change from shooting/blowing things up.

Until next time…