Blaugust Winner

Blaugust Winner
Blaugust Winner 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Origins of a Gamer: The High Cost of Gaming

This is my third Blaugust entry! 

Sticking with my theme talking about my own personal history of gaming and how I became a gamer, hence my "Origins of a Gamer" titles, I am going to tell a story I've told NO ONE but my wife.  And I only told her YESTERDAY.  Partly because I knew none of my friends would understand it.  They still won't I'm sure.

The high cost of gaming will make mean something different for many of you.  Cost of a new console.  Cost of upgrading your PC or components.  Cost of a "Founders Pack".  Cost buying the game itself.  Or the cost of a monthly subscription fee.

In my last entry I talked about finding the MUD Gemstone on AOL and it being my first real MMO experience.  Back in 1992 where I lived there was no real viable internet option but AOL, and living so far out in the boondocks there was no toll free line to connect online.  Not only was I paying for the AOL subscription, but AOL was kind enough to roll your long distance fees into your monthly bill.  This meant paying more for long distance than you'd normally pay your phone company. Just one of the pitfalls of trying to be cool by being online, right?

Living with my parents at the time, my room had no phone jack in it.  However, my sister Britney had a jack in her room just down the hallway.  When I would come home after work everyone would be asleep and I'd bought like a 25ft phone cord that I would run from my computer down the hallway to her room.  Before going to sleep myself I had to remember to go unplug it and put everything back to where I found it.  Some real high level cloak and dagger stuff here!  

As you can imagine finding a new game, the thrill of those first days playing, the desire to soak up as much content as you could, well that is exactly what I did.  As time went on and the more of Elanthia I explored, the better I understood how to play.  The longer I played, the higher the cost.  

BIG REVEAL --- Mind you, had these fees shown up on my parents phone bill, I would have most assuredly been kicked out of the house.  The wonderful people at AOL must have foreseen this when they decided to roll the long distance fees into their monthly charge for membership.  The largest monthly bill I paid for playing Gemstone that I can safely remember was ALMOST $900

THIS is the "High Cost of Gaming" that I am speaking of.  It is so funny to hear people bellyache about how much a game costs, or a game should be free to play.  Well some of us have shelled out more in a month to play a single game that some people will pay in years.  

And thus the exploits of "Brevin O'Sarandanar, the Bard Who Could Not Whistle" were born.  

Tomorrows #Blaugust entry - Origins of a Gamer - Where did you get THAT name?  

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