Long before any of us heard the term MMO we'd been playing games. Be that board games, console games, pickup basketball, etc. we were already gamers. Most of you reading this blog entry will no doubt have played some of the very first MMORPG's to come down the pike. I'm talking about Ultima Online and Everquest most notably. But before those there was a thing called a MUD. Again, some of you will have played those games, and this isn't about their history, but MY history as a gamer.
My first real taste of online gaming came around 1992. I was 22 and living at home with my parents after throwing away a college scholarship (that's a topic for a whole other show as Jerry Springer might say), but I had a great job and literally zero bills. There was a lot of disposable income in my pocket.
I had a little PC at home I used for LAN parties sometimes. You know, those good ole days where about 8 to 10 of your closest friends would pack up EVERYTHING and take it to someone's house, then UNPACK it all, set it up, order a lot of pizza, and play games until dawn? Yup, that.
Well AOL (American Online as many of my Dell customers would call it) was my ONLY option for internet back then. I did live in the deep sticks. One night after a long day at work I was logging into AOL to get into some good ole chat room discussions, and I saw an ad on the main screen about this online game new to AOL. It was called Gemstone.
Being a veteran of LAN parties I thought how cool it would be to play with people over the internet! From the moment I loaded up the game and started playing, I was hooked. I had played some text based games before on my old Texas Instruments TI-99 PC I had as a kid, but the "room" descriptions in Gemstone were what really caught me. My screen may have been black and white, but the words painted such a vivid picture of where I was. What I was seeing. It left a strong impression.
Gemstone is still going. You can take a look at it and play it here. I will talk more about it tomorrow.
This is my second entry for Blaugust.
Tomorrow's entry - Origins of a Gamer: The High Cost of Gaming