My Gaming Side

If you read my first blog about my (more mundane) personal life, you’ll probably find that my gaming side has a bit more story behind it.

If you’re going to knock me for saying that my life around video games is deeper than my personal life, give me some leeway here. I’m a guy, and this has been my thing for a good half my life. Now, down to the nitty-gritty.

Mario was my first introduction to the video game scene in Super Mario 64, as I’m sure the same can be said for many growing up in the mid to late 90s. The Nintendo 64 was the first console I had ever played on and I won’t forget its polygonal graphics along with other games that had my interest in Mario Party 2 and Wave Race 64.

After that console spontaneously broke I proceded through my elementary school years with only one other game system, one that still sits in my closet today, the Nintendo Gamecube. Thanks to the wired controller and a parent sitting me as far away from the screen as possible, this system had endured drop after drop and its lack of moving parts and tough design is a testament to its still working functionality. Feel free to watch a teardown with narration if you want to learn more.

Mario still played a prominent role in Super Mario Sunshine and Mario Party 4 – 7 (Yes, I was pretty obsessive with those as a lad) but as I grew older I branched out into other games like the Need for Speed and Call of Duty series.

After sleeping over at a friends house, in middle school, I pestered my mother for another console, the Xbox 360. For the years that it lasted, the console gave me endless hours of fun as I ventured further down the Need for Speed and Call of Duty lineups, I also dabbled in my more destructive tendencies in Red Faction: Guerrilla and its ill-fated, not open world predecessor, Armageddon, and racing thriller Split/Second (see featured image).

Other series such as Battlefield, Watch Dogs, TRIALS, Burnout, Crysis, Tropico, and Grand Theft Auto broke onto the scene, while interspaced with one-off games like Stuntman: Ignition, R.U.S.E, Full Auto, and State of Decay.

It wasn’t until the later years in my 360s respectable life that my family finally connected us to the internet. New to the online multiplayer scene, I tried out many of my favorite games only to find many of their gaming scenes having died off long ago since they were a decade old at the time.

Late in high school, I put down cash for the Xbox One, something I swore I’d never get. Not by the performance, but by how much space the games took up. My 360 held my relatively modest collection of just over 60 games, DLC included on an aftermarket half-terabyte drive. The One, however, a paltry ten with limited DLC on the original terabyte drive.

I have a handful of games, continuing with the Battlefield series which was my main draw to the console. The Crew, The Division, Mad Max, and a quick stint with a pair of Need for Speed games and Crossout are my only real memories and the only games that I really bothered keeping around. While I was apprehensive about going diskless since I couldn’t resell the games, I quickly got lured into the comfort of not owning disks and the relatively mediocre space-saving it caused for my otherwise small yet messy bedroom.

Some time passed and I graduated high school and went to college to get my generals out of the way at a local tech school. It was around this point I can attribute in video games had started to wane. Through the month of September and into October I had settled on and begun gathering the pieces to build my own desktop computer, previously being confined to and burning out three consumer laptops for the purpose of playing World of Tanks on.

In late October, I finished my build after a half hour of cable work and plugged it in and the motherboard illuminated. Everything looked ready to go so I pressed the power button.

Nothing happened, save for the sound of popping electricity and a hiss.

After a few days of troubleshooting, the problem came down to a small PCB that I plugged in the wrong way when doing my initial teardown of the case. I powered it on and it started up, only to present another, more annoying problem.

Bootloops.

I don’t know how long it took for me to figure this out but I can’t tell you the amount of joy when I saw my MSI motherboards post screen for the first time.

Do you know what it is like to go from barebones graphics at 15 FPS to all Ultra at 80 FPS? It’s like being born again. To go from just struggling and persisting to sitting back and enjoying? I was happy for the moment but after years of playing it, World of Tanks had started to become stale.

I’ve heard of other games, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Fable, Final Fantasy associated to playing on the computer over the years, but through over-the-shoulder viewing and trailer watching, I just wasn’t interested in those style games.

“What do I do now?” I asked myself and for a long while, I did nothing.

Dual Universe came around in my last breath on Kickstarter. Having felt like my charity to so many projects was wasted on something so inferior to the product presented with rarely any course for refunds, my love of the was quickly souring.

After looking through for a while, the premise seemed interesting enough. I had always had an interest in space and I’ve always wanted to design my own… everything, but I knew from the get-go that Minecraft wasn’t the environment for me.

My doings in Dual Universe are pretty straightforward. I come for the creativity and entertainment. I’ve tried to get into other space games in the past but found them too restrictive for my accomplishments and their keyboard layouts too much to handle after having been a console player for a good 15 years prior, and let’s please not talk about the various ships UIs. ‘Information overload’ only begins to describe that aspect, but perhaps I was still too young in my years.

Aside from the current pre-alpha testing and my position as Director of E&E, I’m also the head of the foreign affairs department for the Terran Union so we might just cross paths at some point in the future, even if neither of us are aware of it.

I also run another org I created quite some time before E&E called DU Holidays. The organization’s prime focus would be on the recording of important events in the history of Dual Universe and the construction and preservation of in-game monuments. Of course, since there is no game yet, its all a fun design on paper.

If you are also a part of or interested in the furry community, Furries Universal and Resolute Society might be worth checking out. Star-Struck Scalies is a subbranch of the furry community at large and panders mostly to interests in all things reptilian.

Other notable organizations I’m a smaller part of is the Dual Universe Historical Society, they perform a function similar to DU Holidays, the main difference being that the DUHS is mostly focused on written history, whereas DUH is more about the physical history.

DICE, a player run gaming commission is another group that I was very quick to join in on. If you remember from earlier, you might notice that I’m a fan of racing games. Racing was one of the foundations for the organization so it was a quick fit with my interests.

The DU Constructors Guild is a building based organization that I enlisted for the help of creating monuments under my DU Holidays organization.

Inner-Neutral Assembly is a collection of organizations with a strictly neutral stance in the game. I joined and quickly enlisted Eyes & Ears is a neutral party in hopes that it would be recognized as such in future gameplay.

That brings my world of gaming to where it is today. My dedicated console spirit is pretty much all but dead, and I’m holding out, waiting for Dual Universe to become that one game I can sink all my play time into.

I’m not sure where things will go from here. As time passes and things evolve, I maintain hope that an exciting game will come along and sweep me off my feet. Dual Universe is stacking up to be a pretty good game in my humble opinion. There is, however, one feature missing in Dual Universe that would really capture my attention…

Perhaps another time, in the meanwhile, I hope you found this an enjoyable read.

 

Fly safe,

DarkHorizon

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