Calling out all Core Gamers!

So after seeing several post on “Share your favorite ____” I thought that it may be interesting to start a thread on video gaming to talk about what games fellow board members are playing, which they recommend; and maybe just talking generally about your experience with gaming. I’ve been reading these boards since 2006 and I can’t recall ever seeing a topic on gaming. Are IDer’s not gamers?

I guess I’ll just start off with my own history:
Eighties-baby, raised on a steady dose of 8-Bit Mario, Sonic, and 16-Bit Mortal Kombat. Fell out of the gaming world during the early PS2 and Xbox generation. Then I was reintroduced through Halo 2, and started playing Counter-Strike and Age of Empires II mostly on the PC. Right now, I’m a pretty frequent player of Team Fortress 2 which is an amazing game both in terms of game play, character personalities/animations and overall artistic vision. Just to give you an idea of the visual appeal here is a great article on the art style of the game from CG Society.
The artistic vision is inspired from the classic illustrative styles of J. C. Leyendecker, Dean Cornwell and Norman Rockwell.

I’m planning on buying an Xbox 360 in a couple of months mostly due to the release of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Call of Duty 4.

In terms of being an “aging” gamer, I can honestly see myself remaining a casual gamer till my death. I think that as long as the games continue to grow in sophistication and entertainment value, I see no reason to “grow” out of this hobby. I get a bit of flack from my significant other for mentioning plans to game until I die. I look at it this way, as a boy my grandfather would lock himself in his room and make model airplanes, now as an 80 something year old, he’s still doing it and it keeps him young.

It’s a good hobby for me, a couple of hours on the weekend is a great way to blow off some steam; and the whole online aspect is a decent (not great) way to maintain friends from college who I would otherwise never talk to.

What are other people’s thoughts? I’m especially keen to hear from some of the more “established” designers and “professionals” (Read that as the old Pong folks :slight_smile: haha, just playing). Do you guys and gals still game? How is gaming viewed in the ID world?

I used to be a much bigger gamer, though when I started working full time it took most of that steam away. Staring at a computer for 10 hours a day meant I no longer really wanted to do it when I got home.

I never really got into the console world - I was always a big PC gaming addict (thus the screen name which I’ve had since 1993 when Doom came out). The thing I liked most about PC gaming was the fact that you could make “mods” to games fairly easily. I got my first video game editing book around 94 (age 10) and that spawned a huge love affair with computer graphics, 3D modelling and web design. This subsequently introduced me to the world of ID when someone I worked with on a mod turned out to be a defacto GM designer gone into the world of video game car design. I’ve always been a big FPS fan and played TF2 quite a bit when it came out, but just recently I bought myself a PS3 for my birthday, primarily for Gran Turismo and GTA4.

I have a hard time seeing myself being as serious with gaming as I was when I was still in school. For a while I wasn’t playing anything at all - my attention span has gotten much shorter and my days of being able to frag people for hours on end now runs out in about 15 minutes.

Very cool. That was the one downside of console gaming, the only opportunity you had to mod, was I dunno, pulling your cartridge apart to blow out the dust.

If anyone is interested, I ran into this NPR report on the evolution of video game music and how there is even a touring orchestral performance of game theme songs. Entertaining listen if you have the time.

Any other designer-gamers out there?

I was a big gamer before I went to uni…then it all went to pot. I still play of the odd bit of HL2 and still like a bit of Q3 deathmatch now and again.

I play CounterStrike Source and of course Team Fortress 2. Its great fun and I can “hang out” with my buddies that live in different states while sitting in my uber comfortable chair. Look for me on steam, my name is “^x | fatkid”.

If I wasn’t able to decompress with some gaming now and then, I probably wouldn’t have been sane enough to get my degree! I also play console games, xbox, wii, but no ps3, no one I know has ponied up for that one… yet.


Grew up watching Computer Games develop. I am 36, had an original Pong console. Moved on to Atari 2600, Commodore 64 and have been a PC gamer ever since. My brother did the Nintendo and now has an original XBox.

I never got into the FPS games I have always been an RPG gamer. The affliction started playing D&D as a kid (still mourning Gary Gygax’s death). The Bard’s Tale series on Commodore 64 was amazing.

Something kids these days are missing out on is the Arcade Culture. I used to ride my bike an our to Galaxy World in the Chicago Burbs as a kid. It was HUGE!!! Well, it was HUGE to a 12 year old. I can’t tell you how many quarters I dropped into Pacman, Galaga, Space Invaders, Gauntlet…sheesh, the list goes on.

If you think School and Work puts a damper on your gaming…wait until you have kids. I have had Dungeon Siege II expansion pack loaded on my machine since Christmas and I think I have turned it on for a total of about an hour.

I have dumped more hours of my life into Diablo II than I care to admit. There’s nothing quite like a big ass Starcraft tourney at work.

Sigh…now I want to play.

I agree, I’m only 24, but I grew up going to the arcade after school. Luckily I live in NYC now, and you can find some pretty nice arcades out here. I recommend the Chinetown arcade on Mott st. Galaga, X men street fighter, gigawing, and The OG marvel vs capcom, all for a quarter.

Also, there is an underground pinball scene here that is pretty sweet, for us dorks.

Hehe…pinball, can’t forget pinball.

I’ve been a gamer since I was young, but don’t play as much now. I play mainly Nintendo, and the classics that they keep re-imagining - although I played way too many hours of Starcraft, Warcraft, and Counter-Strike, and Halo when I was younger.

Now I try to limit my playing to small sessions of Mario Galaxy or Smash Bros. Being married and an ID major helps a lot with that stuff too, though. :smiley:

Started out with Atari 2600 and am still at it with XBox360… Though not as much as I’d like. I prefer consoles because the games always work like they’re supposed to.

XBOX 360, so far, has been my favorite console ever. XBOX Live is very well done and the games are fantastic. PS3 has some catching up to do, cause it’s collecting dust at this point.

Favorite games right now:
Call of Duty 4
Grand Theft Auto IV
Halo 3 (multiplayer)

Team Fortress 2 is sweet too, but I haven’t gotten to play it too much.

Now, I just need 36 hour days.

Ditto, that’s precisely why I’m going to pick up a 360 in a couple months. It’s nice to know that the games were built around a set hardware requirement and can then milk the system for all it worth. PC gaming can get really frustrating with all the graphics card upgrades they push out. I don’t like having to think that the game I’m playing could look a lot better if I could only throw down $300 for a new graphics card… and then having to think that same thought again in 6 months.

Hmmm…I never really thought about it that way. I suppose it makes sense. I never got wrapped up in getting the BEST graphics out of a game. It was more about the game play and story involved. Probably why I am more of an RPG player.

Also explains why I would buy a Wii over a 360 or PS3.

Ha. My friend goes through graphics cards like they’re candy. $300+ a pop, at least 3-4 times a year, is ridiculous. You’ll be happy with the 360. I try not to be bias, and I like my PS3, but the games speak for themselves. Wait until August though, because that’s when they’re coming out with the new chipset that’s supposed to run a much more quiet and cool machine. You’ll have less chance of running into some of the notorious problems that the hardware has had.

Of my 4 close friends that have had 360’s EVERY one has experienced the Red Rings of Death (total system failure) at least once if not twice.

I personally went with PS3 for a couple big reasons:

1: It includes a Bluray player. That ALONE is worth $400.

2: 360 has very few killer apps that I want to play (I hate Halo) and the major games will all come out for both systems (GTA4, Assassains Creed, any sports games). PS3 has Gran Turismo (the real #1 reason I bought the system), and Metal Gear Solid both releasing soon. Gears of War is probably the only game that I really enjoy thats Xbox specific.

3: Xbox live costs money. PS3 Online is free. Not only that, but Xbox live has had HUGE issues with overloading and server problems that lead to an inconsistent experience at best. The price difference of the systems is almost equal when you factor in a year of Xbox Live.

4: PS3 has great support and integration with your PC and existing USB/Bluetooth peripherals. I can use my Moto Bluetooth headset and Logitech keyboard rather then having to shell out $60 for a Microsoft Wireless headset. It also does a great job as serving as a media center - it’ll play movies from your jump drive, burnt CD’s, windows media files, youtube videos, etc.

Overall I’ve been very happy with it since I got it. I used to be one of those guys who would shell out $300 for a new hardware every 6 months (to my credit I’d always ebay off the old parts before purchasing) though there have been VERY few compelling PC titles recently. I really want to play Crysis but I’m waiting for a video card that’ll play it seamlessly at 1080p so I can enjoy it in all its HD glory.

For when my mouse is a gun:

For when my steering wheel has handles:

Hey Choto…welcome

Thought I’d share my .25 cents on the gaming topic…

I would imagine I’m like alot of the “older” ID’ers that grew up on gaming literally because the genre was brand new (I had an Atari 2600). This is when controllers had two means of control: a joystick (or wheel) and a button. How times have changed when my PS2 controller now has almost a dozen buttons.

But for me, the portal of video games now allow me to take part in my other hobby of photography. Quake 3 Arena was my first exposure to the Screenshot feature where a function button would act as a shutter for a virtual camera. I later experimented with this in my 7 year addiction to Unreal Tournament. It’s easily the most dynamic game I’ve played where I can dodge off of walls or handle a small nuclear weapon with a pilotable warhead. Being able to take screenshots during gameplay is all about capturing a moment not unlike in photography. I can look back on my archive of screenshots and connect with the emotions of the gameplay.

But my love of exotic automobiles and racing along with my love of photography are wrapped up best with Gran Turismo which I’ve played since it first came out in 1998 and the Need for Speed: Underground series since 2003. GT comes with a great Photo Travel feature allowing you take camera-like photographs complete with the ability modify shutter sounds and speed. GT and the NFS series also have the ability to record your gameplay and watch them in a replay.

So, for me, video games on the surface may be viewed like something no more than a waste of time. But the best games I enjoy are deep with other features which truly immerse you into their respective virtual worlds.

And with all the flak that Grand Theft Auto gets for being a violent game I posit:

Ahh GT4 Photo mode…yeah that one provided some entertainment for the true nerds :laughing:

GT5 Prologue doesn’t have photo mode but in the menu screen it drops your current car into one of several goregously detailed environments complete with HDR lighting and all kinds of panoramic shots, closeups and pans. Really makes you appreciate how much detail went into the car models (with polygons down to the emblem level)

I’ve always enjoyed pretty games. I think The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is my current favorite. Lush beautifully rendered forests and water with dynamic lighting meant I spent lots of time just sitting on the side of a cliff watching the fake sunset. /geek

Josh: Good look on the 360 upgrade, I’ll hold off till August to get mine. My friend just got their 360 back after it Red-ringed, so I’d like to avoid the hassle.

Cyber: Good points about the PS3. I have a lot of respect for the console after spending some time with my friends. I’m probably still going to go with the 360 though mostly because almost all of my college buddies have one, so for fear of being ostracized, I will conform, ha.

Jerry thanks for the welcome. Nice screen shots! I get tired of video games getting flak for violence. I grew up playing Mortal Kombat, ripping heads off and such, and I am probably the least angry/violent person I know. It’s all about parenting, and being raised not to confuse reality with fiction.

Have you seen any of the panoramic shots compiled from Halo 3 in game images? Pretty incredible and very much art.

I love to game. Gaming is a valid form of entertainment for all ages. My first system was an 8-bit Nintendo. I have owned every generation of Nintendo (except 64, my best friend had one), Play Station and Xbox. Now I have a PS3, 360, and Wii. First, this is my second 360 both have had red ring error. My first broke in a window after the warranty was up and before MS extended the warranty. (tried to fix it myself and it worked for a while longer) my second 360 is lost in the mail on it’s way for repairs. (I am not happy with the 360) I used to love it.

For PS3 I cannot get enough Call of Duty 4 online (M-16 + stopping power). I also liked Uncharted it was very short however. Ratchet and Clanck was good, a bit easy. Devil May Cry 4 is great, I cannot stop playing COD 4 long enought to finnish it though. Blu ray’s are amazing.

My Wii is fun, but he kids play it more tham me, Twilight Princess was great brought me back to my days of playing A Link to the Past (best game ever made).

PC I had a Bad @ss rig two years ago with SLI and everything, I spent about $2200 on it now it is slower and just ok. PC gaming is just not as easy as consols. I am always afraid I will toast my PC it I start overclocking and running liquid cooling. Plus I hate trying to play a new game on an old PC and your frame rate drops to like 6 FPS… I am sure I will spend 2 grand on a computer in a year or two and buy a few new games to push it.

If my 360 ever gets found and fixed I am sure I will have fun with it again. If not I am done buying Xbox’s from here on out. I had two two first gen Xbox’s go out on me as well. I have not yet had to replace a Sony system besides a PS1 my daughter shoved a candy into.